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Always remove stems before crusher?

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Ajmassa

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Currently shopping around. If making wine from grapes and fermenting with skins for reds, are the stems ever left in with the juice and skins? I'm reading it would add too much tannins, but is that always the case ?
So if one has a crusher, all the grapes need to be separated from stems by hand first I assume. If that's the case than it sounds like a crusher/destemmer is a no-brainer. What does everyone with a crusher without a destemmer do? Is there a practice to remove stems that I am unaware of?
 

Johnd

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Currently shopping around. If making wine from grapes and fermenting with skins for reds, are the stems ever left in with the juice and skins? I'm reading it would add too much tannins, but is that always the case ?
So if one has a crusher, all the grapes need to be separated from stems by hand first I assume. If that's the case than it sounds like a crusher/destemmer is a no-brainer. What does everyone with a crusher without a destemmer do? Is there a practice to remove stems that I am unaware of?
Depends on whom you ask. A crusher/destemmer does both, but doesn't remove every single stem, but most. Some wineries separate the berries from the stems, sort out everything but grapes, then crush. Some don't even crush before fermenting. The big bunch stems should go, but after that, the world is your oyster.
 

balatonwine

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So if one has a crusher, all the grapes need to be separated from stems by hand first I assume.
Crush and full destemming is just one way to make wine. While there are plenty of wrong ways to turn potential wine into an undrinkable beverage, there is no one right way to make a good wine. For more, see:

http://www.wineanorak.com/wholebunch.htm
 
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Ajmassa

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Crush and full destemming is just one way to make wine. While there are plenty of wrong ways to turn potential wine into an undrinkable beverage, there is no one right way to make a good wine. For more, see:

http://www.wineanorak.com/wholebunch.htm

Wow. I had no idea the stem question would have been that involved. Though I should have known because it seems like this hobby has endless information. EVERYTHING is taken into account by winemakers it seems when figuring on when to add stems or full bunches and how much.
This article is very detailed and I only just skimmed through it. In the end I'll probably get a crusher+destemmer and I can always just add some in there if desired.
 

NorCal

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Not a question of right or wrong, just what you are after and does stem inclusion get you what you want. For the wine I make, with the grapes that I get, I want to avoid them. They are typically green and bitter, a flavor and mouthfeel that I'm trying to avoid. Certainly some get included in the must; the destemmer/ crusher isn't perfect and I'm not inspecting and removing MOG post destemming, and I can live with this small amount.
 

Rocky

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Ah, yes, my first job in winemaking! We kids used to be employed to strip grapes from the stems and remove leaves and other debris that were in the lugs. The stripped grapes were then fed into a crusher (with no de-stemming capability) and crushed. The crusher was placed on top of the "working barrels" and grapes were crushed into it to about 2/3 capacity. My Grandfather thought it was critical to remove the stems so when I made wine from grapes a while back, I continued the practice.

I do not have one but I understand that the crusher-destemmers work reasonably well. A few pieces of stem may get through but the wine is only in the working barrel for 10-14 days. Also, as the wine ferments and the cap is forced to the top, there is another opportunity to remove some of the surviving stems during the daily "punch down."
 

Ajmassa

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Thanks. This is not a subject that seems to be mentioned much, and I'm glad I asked. It's difficult to absorb everything all at once and I'll have to research each batch as I go.
I used zero stems for Chilean Cab Sav last month. And I'll be researching what to do this fall with Sangiovese , cab, merlot blend given how the stems look at the time.
 

garymc

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No destemming needed with muscadines!
But I have been told the wine sometimes tastes like stems were included.
Hah! Now the software is turning the pics upside down. Gotta love it.

20160916_164606.jpg
 
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