As one of the most dominant elements in our universe, nitrogen is a very versatile gas. Even with it’s grand and cosmic reach, nitrogen can also be used for a great many practical applications right here on Earth. One such application is sparging, sometimes called nitrogen gas sparging.
The process of sparging with nitrogen gas is a common practice in winemaking (See: Nitrogen Uses in the Wine Industry). Sparging refers to the process of applying nitrogen in the form of very fine bubbles in order to remove dissolved oxygen from the wine. This helps improve the wine’s taste and shelf life.
The process of nitrogen gas sparging also helps remove volatile contaminants, and improves efficiency of the wine-making process. Because red and white wines differ in chemistry, the process of sparging with nitrogen may vary depending on the type of wine being processed.
Sparging for White Wines
With white wines for example, nitrogen can be used for sparging in order to remove the dissolved oxygen; however, this process may also strip CO2 below the optimal level, which can affect the wine’s freshness and taste. To avoid this scenario, either CO2 alone or a mixture of CO2 and nitrogen is typically recommended for the sparging process.
Sparging for Red Wines
With red wines on the other hand, nitrogen is the optimal choice for sparging. However, some red wines typically need to retain a small amount of dissolved CO2, so a mixture of 2 parts nitrogen and 1 part CO2 can sometimes produce more desirable results.
Sparging for Wine Bottling
When wines are being bottled, nitrogen gas can also be used to help prevent oxidation (See: Nitrogen Generators Aid in Bottling Wine). Wines are particularly more vulnerable to oxidation during the bottling process. The interaction between the wine and the air inside the bottle can cause oxidation, so the bottles should be flushed with a chemically inert gas like nitrogen or CO2 prior to the filling process.
South-Tek Systems is a leading designer and manufacturer of nitrogen generators which provide the ideal way to apply high purity N2 gas for sparging applications. A nitrogen generator is installed at the facility and N2 gas is generated using a simple and straightforward technology that separates nitrogen molecules directly from the air we breathe and stores for use as needed. This system eliminates the need for gas company contracts, deliveries, and high pressure cylinder handling and storage.
Contact the experts at South-Tek Systems today to learn more about how a nitrogen generator can benefit your sparging application. Call us at 888-526-6284.