A common use of dry ice in viticulture is mash cooling with dry ice in the processing of grapes and the production of wine.
When grapes are pressed, they can oxidise quickly and thus impair their taste and quality. However, oxidation can be prevented by using dry ice to cool the mash, as the dry ice releases carbon dioxide, which protects the grapes from oxygen.
How much dry ice is needed for mash cooling?
To cool 100 kg of mash down by one degree, you need approx. 800 g of dry ice. 3 mm dry ice pellets are best suited for this purpose.
Advantages of mash cooling with dry ice
Schnelle und effiziente Kühlung
Compared to conventional cooling methods such as cooling coils or cooling jackets, mash cooling with dry ice is much more efficient and enables the must to be cooled more quickly.
Minimierung von Oxidation
During mash cooling with dry ice, a protective layer forms on the surface of the mash. This layer of carbon dioxide prevents contact with oxygen and thus reduces the risk of unwanted oxidation. This preserves the flavours and freshness of the grapes.
Erhaltung der Aromen
Rapid cooling with dry ice helps to preserve the aromatic compounds in the mash. Lowering the temperature reduces the activity of enzymes and yeasts, which leads to better preservation of the aromatic profiles. The result is a wine with more intense and complex flavours.
Bessere Kontrolle der Gärung
The use of dry ice for mash cooling enables more precise control of the fermentation temperature. Fermentation is a sensitive process in which the right temperature is of great importance. Targeted cooling with dry ice allows winemakers to precisely control the temperature in the mash and create optimum conditions for fermentation.
As mash cooling with dry ice is very efficient, it significantly shortens cooling times. This can speed up the entire winemaking process and allow the mash to be pressed and drawn off earlier. This allows winemakers to better plan their production processes and potentially shorten the overall duration of the production process.
Dry ice consists of recycled carbon dioxide, a natural and non-toxic gas. It is not broken down, but sublimates directly into the atmosphere. This means that no harmful residues or waste are produced. The use of dry ice for mash cooling is therefore environmentally friendly and sustainable.
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Further information about dry ice can be found here.