The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.
User avatar
User

Peter May

Rank

Pinotage Advocate

Posts

2174

Joined

Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:24 pm

Location

Snorbens, England

Champagne 'smoke' explained -- it is adiabatic cooling

by Peter May » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:14 am

When you open a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine there's a curl of 'smoke' coming out of the bottle.

I've always wondered what it was. Now the phenomenon has been explained in a way understandable to me, and named, in today's Daily Telegraph by Andrea Sella, an inorganic chemist at University College London, and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Senior Media Fellow


"If you look quickly into the bottle you will see a small cloud floating inside that will dissipate in a few seconds: the result of the extremely rapid decompression of the small volume of gas in the neck of the bottle. Because of the speed at which this occurs, there is no time for the energy transfer – heating – to occur. The result is what meteorologists call adiabatic cooling – the temperature plunges to below -30C, causing the water vapour in the gas to condense."


Ms Sella's article is about beer but the effect must be the same -- full article is here. She also explains the formation of bubbles. Very interesting -- see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/5966 ... -beer.html
User avatar
User

wnissen

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

811

Joined

Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:16 pm

Location

Livermore, CA

Re: Champagne 'smoke' explained -- it is adiabatic cooling

by wnissen » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:47 pm

You can also get this effect if you inflate a bike tire until it pops. Not that I would have recent experience with that or anything.

Walt
Walter Nissen
User avatar
User

Mark Lipton

Rank

Oenochemist

Posts

4348

Joined

Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:18 pm

Location

Indiana

Re: Champagne 'smoke' explained -- it is adiabatic cooling

by Mark Lipton » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:51 pm

Peter May wrote: Because of the speed at which this occurs, there is no time for the energy transfer – heating – to occur. The result is what meteorologists call adiabatic cooling – the temperature plunges to below -30C, causing the water vapour in the gas to condense."


It's not just metereologists who use that term: it's drawn from the field of thermodynamics (the movement of heat, i.e., energy). Adiabatic cooling and its reverse (adiabatic heating) are the basis of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps. That's also the reason that a tire will get hot to the touch when inflated and that an aerosol can will get cool to the touch when expelling its contents.

Mark Lipton
User avatar
User

Jeff B

Rank

Champagne Lover

Posts

1906

Joined

Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:01 pm

Location

Michigan (perhaps more cleverly known as "The Big Mitten")

Re: Champagne 'smoke' explained -- it is adiabatic cooling

by Jeff B » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:20 pm

Thanks for the link! I always kind of wondered what that was myself. I just assumed it must be pressure/carbonation related somehow but never really knew the specific science behind it...

Jeff
"Meeting Franklin Roosevelt was like opening your first bottle of champagne. Knowing him was like drinking it." - Winston Churchill
no avatar
User

Steve Slatcher

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

830

Joined

Sat Aug 19, 2006 12:51 pm

Location

Manchester, England

Re: Champagne 'smoke' explained -- it is adiabatic cooling

by Steve Slatcher » Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:07 pm

Mark Lipton wrote:
Peter May wrote: Because of the speed at which this occurs, there is no time for the energy transfer – heating – to occur. The result is what meteorologists call adiabatic cooling – the temperature plunges to below -30C, causing the water vapour in the gas to condense."


It's not just metereologists who use that term: it's drawn from the field of thermodynamics (the movement of heat, i.e., energy). Adiabatic cooling and its reverse (adiabatic heating) are the basis of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps. That's also the reason that a tire will get hot to the touch when inflated and that an aerosol can will get cool to the touch when expelling its contents.

Yes, I too was wondering why metereologists should get a special mention. I would also expect ice particles at -30C rather than condensation. Nevertheless, an interesting article - thanks Peter.
no avatar
User

David Creighton

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

1237

Joined

Wed May 24, 2006 11:07 am

Location

ann arbor, michigan

Re: Champagne 'smoke' explained -- it is adiabatic cooling

by David Creighton » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:39 am

when i was a kid we used to be able to let out a little puff of smoke from our mouths by increasing the pressure inside and then gently letting it out.
david creighton
User avatar
User

Bill Spohn

Rank

He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'

Posts

5078

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:31 pm

Location

Vancouver BC

Re: Champagne 'smoke' explained -- it is adiabatic cooling

by Bill Spohn » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:51 pm

David Creighton wrote:when i was a kid we used to be able to let out a little puff of smoke from our mouths by increasing the pressure inside and then gently letting it out.


When I was young, I swear I never inhaled....oh, wrong sort of thread..... :wink:
User avatar
User

Ryan M

Rank

Wine Gazer

Posts

2020

Joined

Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:01 pm

Location

Yankton, SD

Re: Champagne 'smoke' explained -- it is adiabatic cooling

by Ryan M » Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:14 pm

Has any one ever seen this in a non-sparkling wine before? I saw it briefly upon opening a 1988 Lafaurie-Peyraguey last week.
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
Galileo Galilei

(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Champagne 'smoke' explained -- it is adiabatic cooling

by Daniel Rogov » Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:24 pm

Yup....will happen not infrequently with wines, young or mature, that have been particularly well sealed with no air-exchange whatsoever. Generally a momentary effect that goes rather unnoticed.

Best
Rogov

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 4 guests

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign