Handling crushed grapes and must
The grape harvesting stage is a significant stress test in wineries. Quick decision-making, precision and expertise play a fundamental role in determining the successful outcome of correctly managing the reception of grapes and sorting the musts.
To avoid any errors and inefficiencies we have developed fully automatic plants. First and foremost, the operator in charge of receiving and sorting can rely on a control panel where every single operation can be monitored in real time.
The first operation involves selecting the required process according to the type of grapes:
• Separation of grape juice from solids in the hopper
• Making the product inert to oxidation
• CO2 extraction and pressure countermeasures
Once the required options have been selected, the operator only needs to start up the line. The speed of the grape auger, the crusher beaters and the crushed-grape pump are automatically staggered according to the flow rate that has been set for the system. In any case, the operator will be able to change the speed of the auger and the beaters on the destemmer within a set range, without causing delays to the synchronised line operation.
Based on the pressure trends in the crushed-grape line, the plant will manage pauses and work times, nitrogen injection into the bearings and the fluidification of the product in a fully automatic manner. If there are heat exchangers, the operator can enable or disable the cooling system for the crushed grapes and/or draining at any time, even while the system is in operation.
The control panel will always display the status of the winemaking tanks: ones that are full and ones that are available, as well as the paths used and those that are currently in use. The type and quantity of product present and the set filling threshold are indicated on each winemaking tank.
The same is true for the presses. The operator can check the real-time status of the full presses and those that are loading on a dedicated screen, which is also showing information about the quantity of loaded product.
During the sorting process, it is possible to measure the winemaking products on the line.
Various products and their concentrations can be pre-loaded onto the system, so as to allow the user to accurately calculate requirements. The product and gr/hl value to be measured is entered for each pump. Based on the set weight/volume ratio and the flow capacity over time, the system regulates the must/wine dosage.
By relying on a series of standard procedures, at the end of the day the operator will complete the filling of the winemaking tanks and/or presses and empty the lines.
Only after the emptying procedure has finished, the line can be washed and the next automatic phase can be started.
The automatic plant washing phase involves only one manual operation: the rinsing of the destemmer hopper with a jet of water. Once the manual operation has been done, the sequence of phases for washing the plant can be launched.
In addition to the standard cycle, the operator can decide to wash some specific parts of the plant whenever appropriate. The automatic phases are as follows:
• Flooding with soda
• Flushing with soda
• Water thrust to recover soda
The water used for final rinsing is recovered so as to considerably reduce its consumption.