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Oak Stave Oxygen Permeation: A New Tool To Make Barrels with Different Wine Oxygenation Potentials

Nevares, Ignacio, Alamo-Sanza, Maria del
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2015 v.63 no.4 pp. 1268-1275
barrels, oxygen, permeability, wines
The aim of this study was to classify rough staves according to their permeability to oxygen by measuring their transmission rate to assess the capacity to build barrels with high and low oxygen transmission rates (OTRs). The ability to assess the OTR would be important for better understanding and controlling the aging process of wine in barrels. To accomplish this, we built a device that measures the OTR of rough staves under the same conditions as those in a full barrel, in which the stave is in contact with a liquid solution on one face and with a diffusing gas on the opposite face. A total of 69 rough staves were classified to yield a high-OTR group, with a mean 2.6 times higher than the mean of the low-OTR group. A high-OTR barrel and a low-OTR barrel were constructed, and we confirmed that the stave OTR decreased between 3- and 4.5-fold in the barrels and that the high-OTR barrel allowed the entry of twice the concentration of oxygen compared to the low-OTR barrel. These results confirmed the capacity to classify rough staves and build barrels with different OTRs.