Archive through March 14, 2002

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archive Thru March 2002: BETINA ELIXIRS ANNOUNCEMENT...NEW PERNOD ABSINTHE:Archive through March 14, 2002
By Rowl on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 12:39 pm: Edit

In light of the citations by Oxygenee I will concede the point. I've not the time to do proper research for references supporting my assertion and the only one I could find was the Robert Mondavi website, obviously much weaker documentation.

Apologies to the list if I mislead anyone.

By Oxygenee on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 03:43 pm: Edit

If wine is incorrectly stored, the corks loose elasticity and eventually fail to maintain a perfect seal - air gets in the bottle, and the wine declines fairly rapidly. Perfectly stored wines however age and mature due to a complex combination of factors, of which oxidation is only one. Such oxidation that does occur is for all practical purposes NOT due to the movement of oxygen through the cork. The rate of oxygen ingres through the cork is given by Jackson in Wine Science - Principles & Practice as 0,1ml/litre/year. This is the HIGHEST figure I've ever seen quoted - some authorities believe the true figure is a factor of 10 less than this. Even using Jackson's figure though, the average bottle of wine would receive only 0,75ml of oxygen through the cork per decade of ageing. The doyen of French oenologists, Emile Peynaud, says in his classic book: "...in fact the quantitiy of oxygen that normally penetrates bottles corked and laid down....is negligable, if not entirely nonexistent.....wines do not age in the bottle with the help of oxygen...rather, since oxygen penetration spoils wines, they obviously age in glass due to the absence of it."

By Rowl on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 03:02 pm: Edit

And that brings up a question I've been wanting to ask (sorry if this has been covered already) but how _does_ absinthe age? I don't mean in technical details here, I mean is it worth it to lay in some bottles or does it just spoil?

By Timk on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 02:48 pm: Edit

hence I said liquid, not wine

By Tabreaux on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 02:47 pm: Edit

Absinthe and wine are two very different liquids. They age differently as well.

By Timk on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 02:42 pm: Edit

that is a complex issue, if properly stored, in all likelihood, it would bear a good resemblance, but as has been said, even if it had been thouroughly changed by age, it is still possible to determine with some accuracy its original chemical composition from those remaining in the bottle.

By Rowl on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 02:36 pm: Edit

"if alcohol can evaporate out of the bottle, then other substances can surely move into it via diffusion, though surely at different rates, and the effect may be negligable, when you take into account the changes the wine undergoes as it ages."

As I pointed out in my previous post the effect is negligable in the short term but when you are looking at periods of time measured in decades it adds up. The initial discussion was about what the quality of a bottle of Absinthe that had been produced before "prohibition" would be if the bottle were opened today.

By Tabreaux on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 02:35 pm: Edit

When bottled, wine will contain a certain concentration of dissolved oxygen, as will the small pocket of air that remains in the bottle. Even so, the presence of free oxygen is not necessary for oxidation to take place (not at the time of bottling anyway).

A wine can age slowly over a period of 20 years, yet be toast after a day or two of being uncorked. Evidently, a well-hydrated long cork is a very effective means of sealing wine.

By Rowl on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 02:29 pm: Edit

"No, that is diffusion. Osmosis is, specifically, the diffusion of water or other solvents."

Yes, diffusion. Sorry for mixing up the terms.

By Baz on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 02:25 pm: Edit

The only reason I would know this is through my years of bottling beers and trying to get them to last in the bottle. When light and temperature are removed as a factor in ageing, boyle and time are the only things remaining.

By Baz on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 02:23 pm: Edit

In effect, aren't you just all talking about boyle's law? Since there is little or no oxygen in the bottle, there is a void (of oxygen) and it will therefore move through almost any barrier to equalize this. It happens with beer caps too. That's also why you can't get wine and beer in plastic bottles-plastic is (slightly) permeable and allows this migration. I don't use osmosis b/c I think that is a biological term.

By Timk on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 02:03 pm: Edit

oxygenee - if alcohol can evaporate out of the bottle, then other substances can surely move into it via diffusion, though surely at different rates, and the effect may be negligable, when you take into account the changes the wine undergoes as it ages.

By _Blackjack on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 02:00 pm: Edit

No, that is diffusion. Osmosis is, specifically, the diffusion of water or other solvents.

By Timk on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 02:00 pm: Edit

it would depend, if the bottle is stored on its side, oxygen would diffuse through the cork and dissolve in the liquid inside. There is only a tiny area for this to happen over, so presumably the process is relatively slow.

If stored upright, it would diffuse into the presumably oxygen defficient gas at the top of the bottle, where it would then dissolve in the liquid. There would be a somewhat larger area for the oxygen to dissolve in the liquid, presumably speeding the oxidation process. This would cause a drop in oxygen concentration in the gas above the liquid, providing a greater difference in oxygen concentration between the inside and the outside of the bottle, thus bringing more oxygen into the bottle from outside, a vicious circle.

In reality, i wouldnt expect either of these processes to be particularly rapid, especially if a seal is placed over the top of the bottle, and the bottle is not agitated.

Osmosis concerns diffusion of a fluid through a porous 'partition,' so the concept of qxygen gas undergoing osmosis doesnt really work.

By Rowl on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 01:32 pm: Edit

"am i missing something here, osmosis of oxygen - confusion of terms i think"

That's always possible... my understanding of the term "Osmosis" is the flow of molecules from an area of high concentration through a membrane to an area of lower concentration. Have I confused this with another process?

By Timk on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 01:20 pm: Edit

am i missing something here, osmosis of oxygen - confusion of terms i think :)

By Rowl on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 12:46 pm: Edit

"As a winemaker, I can assure you that wine does not age through the slow osmosis of oxygen through the cork. This is a common, but entirely incorrect falacy."

Is your claim that the oxygen does not get in through osmosis or that no oxidation occurs at all? If you are actually making the latter claim I would ask that you cite references because even Scientific American has published articles validating the theory that oxidation continues after bottling.

By Rowl on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 12:36 pm: Edit

"isn't an inert, heavier-than-air gas used to fill the space between the wine and the cork in order to help prevent oxidation?"

In modern winemaking, perhaps. It would depend on the winemaker. In the discussion I was responding to the time period in question was when Absinthe was still being widely made and I don't believe anyone was using an inert gas to prevent oxidation in that era. If I'm wrong then please correct me.

By Scanion on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 12:20 pm: Edit

Oxygenee - isn't an inert, heavier-than-air gas used to fill the space between the wine and the cork in order to help prevent oxidation?

By Scanion on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 12:16 pm: Edit

Just a comment on the Coca-Cola analogy. Coca-Cola switched from sugar to high fructose corn syrup in the US becuase sugar prices are kept artifically high (at least according to some Harvard study). This doesn't mean Coca-Cola couldn't go back to the original recipe if they wanted to. They still use sugar outside the US. It is impressive that Coca-Cola is able to produce such huge volumes of the same drink with consistent quality.

Or did I miss the point?

By Oxygenee on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 11:43 am: Edit

As a winemaker, I can assure you that wine does not age through "the slow osmosis of oxygen through the cork". This is a common, but entirely incorrect falacy.

By Tabreaux on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 11:29 am: Edit

"On another topic, in an earlier posting you ridiculed the idea that anything inside a sealed bottle could oxidize over time....."

Actually, what he seemed to be ridiculing is the notion that an experienced scientist would overlook something so elementary. The fact is, in order to study vintage absinthe, delineating potential oxidative effects is but the tip of the iceberg.

By Rowl on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 10:03 am: Edit

Wow Don, I must say I've met few people with an attitude as bad as yours. The fact that you mistake behaving in a civilized manner for chivalry is quite telling as is the fact that you can't seem to disagree with anyone without descending to the level of vulgarity and name-calling (many people consider this an indicator of ignorance). You may want to consider this when you cool down some as your foul language damages your credibility.

On another topic, in an earlier posting you ridiculed the idea that anything inside a sealed bottle could oxidize over time. If you had taken the time to ask someone who _does_ know their science or even a wine connisour you would have found out that this is one of the processes involved in the proper ageing of wines. The mechanism is a very slow osmosis of oxygen through the cork/wax/plastic/whatever. The effect is negligible in the short term but over the course of years or decades it has a very mesurable impact. Whether this would improve or degrade the taste of Absinthe I have no idea and I'll leave that discussion to those who have a more educated palate.

By Arj on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 09:23 am: Edit

Gotcha. The Betty stuff is way down the thread and your point was unclear. You're right. She can say what she wants, like everyone else.

By Larsbogart on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 - 09:21 am: Edit

Arj:
You dont get it. Unless its directed at me I dont tell anyone to shut up.
Just forget it. The purpose of my post was in reference to advertising for Betty.
larsbogart

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