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Shrinkage

Term for the loss of liquid in a wine container due to evaporation, which occurs mainly in containers made of wood and, to a lesser extent, other materials, as well as in bottles sealed with natural corks. Compared to tanks made of stainless steel, glass or ceramics, wooden barrels are not absolutely leak-proof, but there is an exchange of substances such as liquids, oxygen and possibly also harmful substances such as microorganisms in both directions (outwards as well as inwards), which can lead to negative impairment or even spoilage of the wine. In old wooden barrels, leaks, especially between the barrel staves, can result in relatively high shrinkage. Depending on the type of wine, the resulting empty space in a barrel must be filled regularly, especially in the case of young wine, in order to prevent oxidation. The tightness of the bung or the position of the bunghole on the barrel also has an influence. Water and alcohol escape through the wood pores to different extents. In the case of water molecules, this happens more quickly, but this also depends on the humidity, air pressure and air temperature.

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