February 25, 2019

Why having the right level of humidification is crucial for wine

The Art of wine making and the mystery behind the Angel’s share

Wine making is an ancient and sophisticated process where various factors can have an impact on the quality and taste. During the process of wine making, there is a curious phenomenon that happens when the wine is aging (sleeping the wooden barrels):
the Angel’s share.

What is the Angel’s share?

The Angel’s share is the part of wine that evaporates in the air during the aging stage in the wooden barrels.

Angels’ share is a term for the portion (share) of a wine or distilled spirit’s volume that is lost to evaporation during aging in oak barrels. The ambient humidity tends to affect the composition of this share. Drier conditions tend to make the barrels evaporate more water, strengthening the spirit. However, in higher humidity, more alcohol than water will evaporate, therefore reducing the alcoholic strength of the product. 

Better wine quality with humidification

Humidity has a direct impact to the amount of Angel’s share and the quality and taste of the wine. Controlling the humidity will help wine makers to achieve the quality of wine without loosing in quantity with recurrent topping.

What to do to have a perfect humid wine cellar?

Underground stone cellars already have the right balance between cold temperature and humid air. It is important to recreate the same environment for above-ground cellars in order for the aging process to succeed. The idea is to control the evaporation effect (Angel’s share) in order to control the amount of product loss and the strength of alcohol in the wine (taste).

In a colder humid room, the liquid (water/alcohol) present in the wooden barrels will be less drawn to evaporate in the air compare to a dry room temperature environment.

The solution to create a cold humid room for the “élevage” process: installing a humidifier.

What type of humidifier to use in a wine cellar?

There are several type of humidification system existing on the market: steam humidifier, high-pressure humidifier, ultrasonic humidifier, and fog humidifier.

When choosing the right humidifier for your wine cellar, the important feature to assess is: will the humidifier wet the wooden barrels and create water puddles? If so, the appearance of mold on the barrels and stagnated water contamination is a big hygienic issue. That is why you need a humidifier that does not wet the surrounding object while cooling and humidifying the atmosphere.

Our star product AKIMist® “E” humidifier has the best feature for non wetting, spraying Dry Fog .

What is considered as Dry Fog?

Spraying small water droplets at an average size of 7.5 μm, the water droplets evaporate before reaching any surface. Thus, it can be use for both ambient and spot humidification.

Our installation helped wine makers reducing their product losses.

Wine cellar installed with AirAKI humidification system

One of our customer even achieved to save up to 130 bottles / year!

To learn more about the installation and the benefit of our solution, have a look to the leaflet.

Download the leaflet