A groundbreaking new technology from Vijay and Meera Singh, the developers of the innovative, single-use liner GOfermentor® winemaking system, is revolutionizing the way that wine can now be aged and stored post fermentation and pre-bottling.
“With conventional barrels, there’s always evaporation and the barrel must be topped off,” notes Vijay Singh. “We go from one liner to another until the bottling line, handling everything in disposable containers. There’s no water usage, no washing involved, and no wastewater generation. The liners are available instantly, whenever they’re needed, with absolute cleanliness ensured.”
Known as the SmartBarrel®, it works by employing a single use, medical-grade plastic liner, which can be installed inside a wood barrel or metal vessel. This semi-permeable flexible liner, fitted with the SmartBarrel dip tube, is filled with wine to the desired level, leaving no headspace, thus eliminating the risk of oxidation and ensuring complete cleanliness, free of microbial contamination, with each use.
The dip tube assembly is used to fill the liner, as well as to empty the vessel and sample the wine throughout the wine finishing process. Because oxygenation is not an issue, the wine can be stored as long as necessary. Once the vessel is empty, the liner is pulled out and discarded. The dip tube assembly is reused each time a new liner is installed.
For red wines or even some whites where specific levels of micro-oxygenation are desired, the SmartBarrel makes the process easy, offering liners with two different levels of oxygen permeability to choose from.
Oaking operations are also simplified through the SmartBarrel™ technology. Oak staves, chips, or powder are easily added into the liner. When the appropriate level of “oak” is achieved, the wine can quickly be transferred to another liner to stop the process and keep the wine at the correct sensory level until it is ready for bottling.
“One of the problems our SmartBarrel solves is it eliminates breakdown cooperage,” Vijay Singh points out. “Typically, every time you transfer wine you end up with left over wine that’s stored in numerous different containers depending on volume since headspace has to be minimized. Each container has to then be sampled to make sure there’s no spoilage or oxidation. In our system you can have five gallons in a 60-gallon liner , or 60 gallons. It doesn’t matter.”
“Once you’ve got good wine it has to be kept safe,” agrees Meera Singh. “Our system protects the end product. You can’t afford to ruin it due to poor storage.”
SmartBarrel™ liners come with a 60 gallon or 330 gallon capacity. The reusable dip tube is included in the SmartBarrel™ kit. An aspirator is available for headspace removal and sampling.