Temperature and Humidity Monitoring in a Small Winery

Escort iLog Humidity Data Logger

CHESTERLAND OH - August 1, 2011 - CAS DataLoggers recently provided the data logging solution for a small winery involved in growing, producing and transporting grapes and wine, an extremely temperature- and humidity-sensitive process. Most parameters defining the microclimate of the grape crop could be attributed to both temperature and humidity: rain caused an increase of 100%RH, wind lowered temperature due to windchill, and light raised temperature due to solar radiation. Temperature and humidity were also in most cases the critical factors used to obtain data for disease prediction--early warning of disease, frost, and mold were necessities before they could overwhelm the whole crop. The winery already had a very demanding clientele, so constant temperature monitoring was crucial to wine quality and the label's reputation. During storage and transport, the storage of kegs and wine bottles strongly influenced wine quality, so white wine had to be kept at temperatures of 50°-53.6° F (10°-12°C), and red wine at 53.6°-59°F (12°-15°C). The barrel storage area also had to be humidity-controlled or the alcohol would evaporate from the wine, leaving it at a lower alcohol percentage. Care had to be taken during cork storage and transport as well, or the bottles would spoil. The winery had been using typical glass and electric thermometers for temperature measurement, which proved to be too labor-intensive and prone to error. Some of the recordings were even measured on hardcopy, but increasingly, the winemakers found that measurements needed to be quickly compared with previously-recorded data to get an idea of how to conduct temperature profiling for each of the winery's processes. All current conditions of the measurement cycle would have to be available at a glance for quick correction. What the owner and growers needed was a temperature and humidity monitoring solution powerful yet affordable enough for all the winery's operations.

The winery installed three ESCORT iLog Humidity Data Loggers in the vineyard, the wine cellar, and the fermentation room, enclosing the one in the vineyard in a wooden solar radiation shield to protect the humidity sensor from saturation and to measure ambient air temperature rather than just the heat resulting from solar radiation. The iLog data loggers monitored temperatures in the -40°F to 158°F (-40oC to +70oC) range with their ambient temperature and external humidity sensors, as well as recording humidity across a sensor range of 0 to 100% RH. The iLog's 0.1ºC resolution provided an informative advantage. The winemakers could clearly see each logger's large LCD display, which featured active and alarm LEDs and multi-function viewing to show the data in real-time. Customized alarm settings notified staff whenever temperatures went out of specification. Logger memory could store up to 32,000 samples (at 16,000 per sensor) with a sampling frequency of anywhere from 1 second to every 10 days. Additionally, the data recorder could be started with programmable auto start or bookmarked via a quick magnetic swipe to identify important moments in time, and also boasted an IP Rating 65 with dust filter for durability against outdoor conditions, the dampness of the cellar, and riding in the truck during shipments.

Functioning like a portable weather station for monitoring the vineyard in detail, the outdoor iLog conducted temperature profiling in the vineyard, gauging the effectiveness of measures like foil for shocking the flowers and wind shields. The humidity logger gave key information on the microclimate (e.g. whether a temperature drop or a change in the diurnal range was due to rain or wind) by linking the temperature to the humidity info. This combination of historic and current data was invaluable when collecting comprehensive meteorological information to reduce risk to the season's crop by limiting the negative effects of uncontrollable environmental conditions. The logger also aided in disease prediction from certain diseases (such as powdery mildew)and mold which depended on temperature and humidity conditions, so the growers knew when to spray and when to remove infected vines.

The fermentation room's iLog was invaluable for controlling the temperature throughout the fermentation process. Its recordings guaranteed quality assurance by warning if the process was too warm (going too quickly) or too cool (going too slowly). This optimized results, letting the winemakers compare methodologies and resulting wines of differing years. As opposed to walking up to a fermentation tank to read the temperature and recording it manually, the information was all stored on the data logger, while an online display could be available even at a location some distance away. Meanwhile, the iLog in the wine cellar closely monitored temperature and RH in the barrel storage areas, ensuring that there was little fluctuation in temperature and preventing the alcohol from evaporating due to excess humidity. The logger also monitored and recorded the storage of cork to help avoid problems and waste of overly dry or wet cork spoiling the wine. During transport, this logger was included in the truck, ensuring that the wine temperature stayed constant and ensuring its high quality.

Free ESCORT Console Pro Software was also included, designed for ease of programming and downloading.The user-friendly and multi-language interface guided users step by step through the process of downloading data or reconfiguring the logger, and also allowed the winemakers to combine the readings of multiple loggers into one graph or list.

The winery benefited in several short- and long-term ways from installing the iLog temperature data loggers. Most importantly, the iLogs provided constant temperature and humidity monitoring at high accuracy with customizable alarm settings. The iLog's programmable alarm feature was especially convenient when profiling the vineyard for disease prevention. From growing to shipping, the entire winemaking process was modernized and correlated to further protect the crop, and all electronic recordings were easily stored for later review. The iLogs also provided the technology to improve the growers' documentation and understanding of the different temperature and humidity-sensitive processes at work, resulting in a superior and repeatable product that would improve every year. Finally, during transport, the iLog's recordings served as objective proof to the winery and its receivers that the wine had been protected during transit, reinforcing its high-quality image.

For further information on the iLog Humidity Data Logger, other ESCORT temperature data loggers, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Analyst at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:

CAS DataLoggers, Inc.

12628 Chillicothe Road

Chesterland, Ohio 44026

(440) 729-2570

(800) 956-4437



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