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Vibration in wine: How much is too much? How to cure?


#1

OK, getting a bit obsessive here, but advice and input needed. I have an actual cellar that I’m using for wine. It’s pretty much perfect, being a dank, humid place (this bit still non-damp proofed). It’s on a resin floor that was laid on top of the old stone floor that was seemingly rather all over the place - hence the resin to help with drafts and general stuff. Then lino on top.

The washing machine is in the next big room, separated by stone walls.

I’m thinking of at least getting some rubber cups for under the washing machine. There is some vibration when the washing machine is on.

My question is - what is the level of vibration one should worry about in wine?

Are we talking busy London road at rush hour? Road drills? Washing machine in modern flat? I’m really trying to work out if there is an issue.

I might try isolating the wine stuff with some rubber foot things itself. Maybe even some layers of carpet to absorb any vibration and let the mass of the wine do the rest. Any oenophile phycisists/ engineers here?


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#2

I wouldn’t use carpet as the potential is for it to rot or suffer infestation - A simple layer of rubber should help absorb “normal” vibration. Resin will probably help transmit vibration quite well, whereas a levelling compound could possibly (due to its structure) help absorb

I asked this question to someone years ago and the reply was - vibration resistance in wine is like noise resistance to sleeping children…some suffer at the slightest noise and some can sleep through a rock concert !

I think the key aspect is to avoid i) constant vibration at any level or ii) massive excursions (like placing wine on a washing machine on spin cycle)

Hope that helps ?


#3

Thanks James!
The cellar really is quite dampish, so perfect storage for wine - I’ll avoid carpet and think about a rubber mat of some kind. And rubber for under the washing machine as seemingly it’s not so good for it to vibrate too much. Argos sells some rubber foot pads quite cheap.

I’m not really yet into the high-end wine so I suspect that I should be fine. :smiley:

My wee one slept through all our fire-alarms going off once (dust caused it) and the subsequent visit of the fire brigade. But mention ‘let’s go to the park’ or ‘ice cream’ very quietly and her hearing is acute. Interesting.


#4

I have no personal experience, but I will pass on what I have heard. The problem apparently is that vibration stops the sediment from settling out in mature wines. But I have only ever heard of one person (online - and I have been on online wine newsgroups and forums for around 20 years) who ever had a problem, and he was storing wine in an old chest freezer with a hacked thermostat. A chemist once commented that the amount of energy you could feasibly transfer to the wine physically would be far too small to affect the rate of aging, so in theory you need not worry about that.

My gut feeling is that the vibration needs to be bad and persistent to make much of a difference to the sediment, and that you will be fine. On the other hand, rubber pads under the washing machine will not hurt, and may reduce noise levels too - so why not?

Edit: A stone floor may transmit noise, but I imagine not vibration you could feel. And the layer of vinyl, and probably your racking (especially if made of wood), should also help insulate your wine from the effects of the washing machine.


#5

I would have thought that if a washing machine in the next room is an issue then every single refrigerated wine cabinet would also be an issue. I seriously cannot believe that amount of vibration, especially occurring only once or twice a week, would be any sort of issue.


#6

I concur with the above


#7

Thanks - I think you’re quite right - if that were true, everyone who is not in a castle far from civillisation and motorways and who still (gently) hand-washes their smalls in a sink would be having problems with sediment.

I think the upshot of this is I will go for the 5 quid dampeners from Argos for the washing machine but maybe not do anything much else with the storage. Just now I’m using some shelving but have seen a wonderful use of plastic piping as wine storage - cheap and strong. Once I get that going I might just as well add a bit of vibration damping - if only for the engineering overkill that satisfies my geeky side. :slight_smile:


#8

One other thought is, whilst I know you don’t want it bone dry, I do wonder, if it’s as damp as you suggest, whether you’ll be in danger of getting mould on the corks. I’ve no experience of this but that would be my worry.


#9

Don’t worry - I was exaggerating - it’s Yorkshire Humid, and the other room has been damp proofed but this one was left. But it’s really not too bad. I’ll bear that in mind though.