Definition - What does Lobe mean?

Lobe is a type of pump design, usually referred to as the Rotary Lobe Pump or the Lobe Pump. The Lobe is a general-use pump that is used on vineyards for a variety of tasks. It is the most popular pump used in the U.S. wine industry and is usually the first type of pump a new winery will purchase. The Lobe uses positive displacement to pump wine, making it one of the gentlest ways to move grape must and wine.

WineFrog explains Lobe

Rotary Lobe pumps contain two counter-rotating gears inside an oval-shaped chamber. The Lobe uses positive displacement to move the wine, which means wine or must is pulled into the chamber, trapped at a fixed volume and then forced into the discharge pipe. The lobe design moves wine or must at high flow rates with considerable control on the winemakers part - they can control the speed, flow and amount manually or via remote controlled device. The pump usually has a stainless steel pump head, water tight electric enclosure and is mounted on a stainless steel cart. Additional features include pressure control, float control and more.

Considered one of the most versatile pumps, the lobe can be used by winemakers in almost every step of the winemaking process (depending on the size of the pump, of course). This includes:

  • Pump overs - where red wine must is pumped over the top of the tank
  • Destemmer to fermentor or press - where grapes are moved from the destemming machine to fermentation tanks or the press machine
  • Press to tank - moving wine from the press machine to holding/storage tanks
  • Fermentor to tank - where wine is moved from the fermentation tanks to storage or holding tanks.
  • Tank to tank - moving wines between tanks
  • Tank to barrel - moving wine from a holding tank to barrels for aging
  • Tank or barrel to filtration system - moving wines from holding tanks or aging barrels to the filtration system
  • Filtration system to bottle - moving wine from the filtration system to its final bottling stage
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