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This Blog Posting was first posted on the Tek-Dev Technology Blog on 3/23/2014.

As reported last month, Stites & Associates, LLC, (SALLC) has patented an electrochemical device for accelerated aging of wine.  Since our last report there have been several developments.  These are reported here:

New Prototypes Built:

Five new prototypes have been constructed and tested.  These were all of the bottle variety.  One of them has already been extensively taste tested in home settings, including dinner parties.  In all cases, users agreed that the flavor of inexpensive red wine was improved with 10 to 15 minutes of treatment.  Well over a dozen bottles of wine have been treated with this single device with no signs of needing to change the 9 volt battery or do any repairs.

New Test Rig Built and Used for Taste Testing:

A five position test rig was constructed to more quickly develop optimal recipes for treating wine.  This is pictured below (with wine consultant Holly Wells).  This rig has proven to be invaluable in demonstrating to potential investors the effects that the wine aging device has on various wines.  Many of the tests were performed with very astringent wines for the purpose of demonstrating the process.  Multiple samples were set up and allowed to treat from a few minutes up to an hour to show the complete spectrum of tastes that could be generated.  In some cases the persons tasting the wine had definite biases against accelerating the aging of wine using a device.  In all cases tasters, even those with negative bias, agreed that the wine was vastly improved in a matter of minutes.  They did not all agree on their preferred treatment time.  The results ranged from a low of 10 minutes to a high of 25 minutes.  This confirmed our belief that it will be important to capture results in a reasonably consistent way and share the information with the user community.  Methods for accomplishing this are under development.

5-Position Tester.jpg

 

Scientific Basis for the Success of the Wine Aging Device Investigated:

In addition to extensive taste testing, the wine aging device has been subjected to electrochemical experiments to determine the mechanism for improving taste.  This mechanism has been shown quite conclusively by cyclic voltammetry.  These data can be shared with those serious about participating in these exciting developments.

This technology has been shown to be amenable to the consumer market.  The prototypes are very portable, weighing only a few ounces and powered by a 9 volt battery.   At least a dozen bottles of wine have been treated with no signs of needing to replace electrodes or even change the battery.  Based on our data, we expect a typical 9 volt alkaline battery to treat approximately 80 bottles of wine before requiring replacement.  This can actually be extended by some simple circuit redesign.  Most of the energy used is in the very simple control circuitry.  Theoretically battery life could be extended to several hundred bottles of wine.  Users universally report that treating wine in this way not only improves the taste of many wines, but that it is a lot of fun to do at a dinner party.  SALLC is working on a dinner party prototype.

Electrochemical data has also been collected that can be helpful in scaling up the process for use in large, winery-sized batches. 

SALLC is continuing development work.  A new prototype for multiple, individual glasses in being constructed.  We expect to have more on that in about a month.  If you are interested in working with SALLC on this exciting development please contact Ron Stites at: ron@tek-dev.net.

Shown with the 5-Position Tester is Holly Wells, a wine consulstant who has been helping us develop and test the Electrochemical Wine Aging Device.

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