VinWizard is known in winegrowing regions throughout New Zealand and around the world as the solution that goes beyond controlling tank temperatures. Now, three new tank sensors will be trialed in the research winery to provide real-time data for brix, oxygen and more.
As a founding sponsor of our research winery, VinWizard has already developed new solutions for our 90 mobile tanks. These tanks are not only on wheels—with the ability to hook into any docking station in the winery—but can also be modified from a 200-litre tank to house four 17-litre inserts inside one tank. Installing a temperature, pump-over, and agitator control system on a mobile fleet of tanks was new for VinWizard, says General Manager David Gill.
“The software challenge was like nothing else we had ever encountered,” David says. “We will use this approach for other wineries in the future but having a completely mobile tank farm was unique for us.”
The VinWizard system was a success through the winery’s inaugural harvest, and now David is looking to trial three new sensors with Research Winery Manager Tanya Rutan:
- A differential pressure sensor would calculate specific gravity and brix. It measures the difference in pressure between two points in the tank, providing a measurement as an online brix sensor.
- A redox, or oxidation reduction potential (ORP), sensor would let winemakers know when oxygen levels are getting too low in a ferment, allowing winemakers to introduce oxygen before it’s needed.
- An electrical conductivity sensor would determine the state of a ferment, providing online data about the ferment curve.
These sensors would save time in ferment rounds and give winemakers tools to catch issues in real time, David says.
“This technology all exists today in various forms. It’s the packaging and delivery that we’re trialing. These sensors are created specifically for a tank, adhere to food safety standards, and provide real-time, online results to eliminate the constant need to take samples,” he says.