Bladder press versus basket press

Discussion in 'Equipment & Sanitation' started by fafrd, Jun 18, 2017.

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  1. Jun 23, 2017 #21

    balatonwine

    balatonwine

    balatonwine

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    Two things:

    1) Gives a good idea about weight of lifting the 80 l press basket and

    2) That is the wrong way to empty a tilt bladder press (pretty hard on the bladder whacking it like that).

    Here is the right way (shown at about 2:30 min), which shows the whole point and efficiency of the tilt feature:

    [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvJyIlkn59E[/ame]

    By the way, the Zottel is also from Slovenia, like the Lanceman. And I am more familiar with the Zottel model, but they all pretty much work the same. In fact, most of the stainless steel wine equipment here in Hungary (you can check my bio -- American expat living in Hungary) is either Zottel or Inox.


    Sure thing. I said it was doable. I did not say it would be easy. ;)

    FWIIW: 50 lbs is the weight of just one side of my basket press which I lift on and off 3 or 4 times a day during pressing. Then I got smart. Bought a small electric hoist and rotary hoist frame. A small 110 lb single line (220 lb double line) hoist and the frame combo will set you back about $120 at Amazon (about $60 each). And quite frankly, I keep finding things to use that hoist for. A good generic investment. I am even getting lazy, using it to move things as small as my 30 l demijohns. But... I see no handles on the Speidel basket, so some sort of strap would be needed, but how it would work, or if that is even worth the bother... Maybe not.


    Yes, so many decisions. I have a similar quandary, but just a bit larger in scale. One of the reasons I did not buy a bladder press yet is I really wonder if at least a 400 l model would be better. Long term planning indicates 250 is maybe just too small for what will start to roll into the winery once my newly planted vines reach maturity. The 400 l models cost about $6,000. But the work savings by fewer cleanings, reloading, in the long run may be worth it. Still thinking about it.

    I think that was my white wine bias coming out. Not so much the skins as the pulp, which is not much an issue with red wines fermented on their skin.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
    sour_grapes likes this.
  2. Jun 23, 2017 #22

    fafrd

    fafrd

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    Yeah,that's the way to do it - easy-peazy ;)

    Pity Lancman's competition has not yet lined up distribution in the US - they seem well designed (and less expensive, at least based on European pricing).

    The half-baskets on my #50 ratchet press are pretty hefty as well, but lifting up to waist height is very different than lifting overhead.

    The hoist idea is interesting, but throws KISS out the window. For single-handed operation, that video of the guy pulling the pomace tube into a wheelbarrow is probably worth 2-3x that incremental cost...

    On the subject of weight, no big deal, but I think that article from Virgina Tech may be off by 2x. It first says 100 pounds of stems and 160-240 pounds of pomace per ton, and then goes on to say stems and pomace from 3 tons of grapes equals about one ton. That would mean 1700 pounds of pomace for 6000 pounds of grapes or about 567 pounds per ton. If the entire first sentance was intended to apply to a half ton instead of a ton, that would mean 600 pounds of stems and 1400 pounds of pomace in 3 tons, or 467 pounds of pomace per ton.

    I found this article, which jibes more closely with my experience (page 15): http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3273e/i3273e.pdf

    It says about 5% stems and 15% dry pommace by weight (and 25% - 40% wet pomace by weight). That would mean 100 pounds of stems and 300 pounds of pomace per ton.

    Translated back to 300 pounds, that would mean a pomace tube weighing 45 pounds (and 70 pounds with basket).

    It also means less of a mystery in terms of starting weight:

    1000 pounds of grapes
    50 pounds of stems
    950 pounds of fresh must (@25 BRIX or S.G. of 1.092)
    61 pounds lost to fermentation once S.G. has reduced to 0.990
    590.5 pounds of pressed wine (71.5 gallons @ S.G. of 0.990)
    150 pounds of dry pomace
    901.5 pounds of stems + fermentation loss + wine + pommace
    98.5 pounds or 10% of 'mystery' loss

    Note that the above uses the 15% figure for 'dry' pomace and if the lower 25% figure for 'wet' pomace is used instead, that's an additional 100 pounds of wine stuck in the pomace and there is no mystery. That would also mean a pomace tube from 300 lbs weighing as little as 45 pounds if dry and as much as 75 pounds if wet, meaning 70-100 pounds including the basket.

    According to that same article, the seeds weigh another 4.5% so depending on whether you throw all of the seeds into the press or strain as many out as possible, that's another 45-pound (for 1000 pounds of grapes) factor that can help explain this discrepancy.

    And 'yeast lees' represent another 5.5% or 55 pounds, so if you press dry leaving most of the seeds and yeast lees in the fermenter, there is no remaining mystery (and the pomace tube from 300 pounds of pressed grapes is about 45 pounds - 70 pounds with basket).


    Yeah, the primary trade-offs seem to be minimum press volume and maximum press volume versus cost (at least if single-handed operation is a requirement). We're in no rush and I appreciate your perspective and advice.

    I'm still struggling to understand how much must can be loaded into one of these bladder presses with a bit of sequential loading. All the videos I've seen have pomace tubes of 1-2" thick, which tells me the press was nowhere close to being fully loaded. If you press to 0.25 bar, that is supposed to get most of the juice out, which should mean you can empty the bladder and load another 1/3 basket or so. If it's possible to get 500 lbs of must into an 80-liter bladder press with a single sequential load, we'd forget about the 120-liter model...

    Got it -thanks ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  3. Jun 24, 2017 #23

    balatonwine

    balatonwine

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    You bet, no big deal. But still.... an interesting issue to ponder. I did note the error. Took it that they meant 1/2 ton pomace per 3 tons, which would fit their earlier numbers. Would have to contact the authors to ask what really happened with their numbers either way.

    Absolutely. Not KISS. And tilt is probably very much worth the cost in the 90 l range if one plans to really pack the basket with multiple loads like with a basket press.

    But, still, the 9 year old in me really finds it fun using the hoist. :h
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  4. Jun 25, 2017 #24

    Johny99

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    That is how I unload. It makes the net bag worth the money. I tried it once without the bag, bad news. Hard on the hands.

    I now have two hoists. One in the barn to lift the picking and fermenting gear into the attic for storage and one in the winery for lifting barrels. Yup I'm getting lazy, but having overstressed my back and tearing a rotator cuff lifting a full, 100l, barrel, I don't want that again. Besides, @balatonwine, you are right, they are just plain fun:HB
     
  5. Jun 29, 2017 #25

    fafrd

    fafrd

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    I found the breakdown presented in the FAO document to be far more detailed and consistent with my own experience than the numbers from Virginia Tech.

    It matters alot what is being included and what is not.

    If you add up the FAO numbers for 'stems', 'seeds', 'yeast & lees' and 'pomace' for a ton of grapes, you come up with 610 lbs from a ton of grapes, or 1830 lbs from 3 tons, so close enough to VT's 'a ton per three tons', especially when error bars are taken into account.

    The interesting thing about this analysis is that only 15% or 300 lbs / ton is pure 'pomace' which is what matters when talking about pressing (and this is actually significantly higher than the '160-240 lbs/ton' than the VT article states, probably because they meant 1/2 ton and possibly because they include seeds as part of what they call 'pomace').

    So if you are able to leave lees and most of the seeds in the fermenter, the dry (pressed) pomace is only 15% or about 45 pounds for 300 lbs of grapes. Seeds sink, so by definition they must be denser than wine, but if you assume a 1:1 ratio of volume to weight, 4.5% seeds in 300 lbs of grapes would correspond to 13.5 lbs or 1.62 gallons. And using the same argument for lees, they constitute up to another 6% by weight or 18 lbs for 300 lbs of grapes which corresponds to as much as 2.12 gallons of solids in the fermenter (more difficult to seperate out since lees go into suspension so easily).

    If you take the 40% figure as representative of the weight of unpressed must/pomace (absent all the free-run), that represents 120 lbs for 300 lbs of grapes consisting of 37.5% or 45 lbs dry pomace (15% / 40%) and 62.5% wine which will be pressed out and which weighs about 75 lbs (corresponding to about 9 gallons).

    Adding in the 25 lb weight of the basket and even the 70 lbs basket+pomace tube that results ftom 300 lbs of pressed grapes is probably beyond what a single (average) male can realistically handle, but the importance of this analysis to me is the benefit of seperating out the seeds and lees prior to pressing:

    Seperating out seed and lees through delestage or straining out skins prior to pressing reduces volume and weight in the press (win-win). I dumped everything from the fermenter with 500 lbs of grapes into my #50 basket press and it didn't quite fit, so I had to use a bit of sequential fill. If I had left out 22.5 lbs of seeds and 30 lbs of yeast lees, my pomace cake would have been smaller and lighter, but more importantly the pre-press volume would have been over 6 gallons less and the entire load of unpressed pomace would probably have fit into the 34 gallon basket.

    An 80-liter bladder press is less than 2/3 that volume, so no way to fit the same amount of unpressed wet pomace into it without at least one cycle of sequential load, but whether it's to fit more unpressed volume into the press or to reduce the weight of the resulting pomace cake to make it easier to manage, keeping seeds and lees out of the press seems like a good idea...


    I'm interested to hear from anyone who has emptied the pomace from 300+ pounds of grapes from their bladder press single-handedly without using a hoist or leaving the basket in place and taking the pomace out in chunks by hand.

    If you plan to press 300 lbs of grapes solo and want an easy and quick empty/clean cycle, investing in a tilting basket or a hoist seems like the only relatively painless options...
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
  6. Jun 30, 2017 #26

    fafrd

    fafrd

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    From your earlier posts, sounds like you pretty easily and quickly empty your tilting 80-liter bladder press solo (using the mesh bag ;)).

    With a helper or two (with strong backs ;)), sounds like an 80 or 90 liter bladder press can be emptied by lifting the basket off of the bladder, but the availability of those helpers is a big constraint that I want to avoid. And from all reports, having to empty an 80 or 90 liter bladder press by hand leaving the basket in place is pretty painful...

    What maximum pressure do you typically press to and have you ever done any experimenting with press lots (keeping the juices from different pressures seperate, at least until they've been tasted)?
     
  7. Jun 30, 2017 #27

    fafrd

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    This is a picture of the pomace tube remaining after hard-pressing must from 300 lbs of grapes which filled a Speidel 90-liter bladder press.

    Basket has been removed, mesh has been removed, and the pomace tube is cleaned by breaking it up by hand (pic and cleaning methodology courtesy of my wine-making buddy ;)).

    That tube of pomace is no more than 1" thick, and since the O.D. of the 90-liter basket is 18.5" and the I.D is ~18.25 (and height is 22.5"), a 1" thick tube of pomace corresponds to no more than 20 liters or 22.2% of the full 90-liter basket volume.

    That's a compression factor of 4.5x from wet, unpressed pomace to dry, hard-pressed pomace, and that means a few things:

    If the original 90-liter load took must of 300 lbs of grapes which hard-pressed down to a volume of 20 liters, a second sequential load of ~70-liters corresponding to must from ~230 lbs of grapes should be possible after hard press (so over 500 lbs should fit easily into a 90-liter bladder press with 2 sequential loads and might barely fit into an 80-liter bladder press).

    That second 70-liter load should compress down by 4.5x after hard press to an incremental volume of ~15.5 liters or ~35.5 liters total, corresponding to a pomace tube which is just over 2" thick, still leaving room for as much as 180 lbs of grapes in a 3rd load of 54.5 liters.

    That third 54.5-liter load should compress down to an incremental 12.1 liters for ~47.6 liters of dry pomace total, corresponding to a tube which is less than 2.9" thick, still far outside the diameter of the bladder in relaxed position (and allowing an easy fourth sequential loading of as much as 42.4 liters, corresponding to must from another 140 lbs of grapes).

    Now after loading must from a total of 850 lbs of grapes, the pomace tube is approaching 4.2" thick and is reaching the point where it is meeting the bladder in relaxed position and no more wet pomace can easily be loaded.

    But if I was using one of these 90-liter Speidel fixed-leg bladder presses single-handedly, I think I'd load must from as many as 800 or 850 lbs of grapes into it sequentially and only clean (painfully) by hand once.

    With a tilting 80-liter bladder press, the work of emptying the bladder and emptying the press single-handedly is really not that much more work than just emptying the bladder, so there's no real benefit to sequential load (and some potential cost in terms of mote total bladder-emptying cycles).

    But if you can easily get you full volume of must loaded into your press using sequential with only light pressure (meaning ~0.25 bar or less), that wpuld mean only a single batch of hard press, which probably saves time and certainly makes incremental press lots easier to manage...

    On an 80-liter press, three sequential loads would correspind to about:

    267 lbs first load
    204 lbs second load
    160 lbs third load

    so must from grapes of a quarter ton should fit easily in 3 sequential hard-press loads but unclear without testing whether the same would be true with only light-press loads (compression factor will be less).
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
  8. Jun 30, 2017 #28

    fafrd

    fafrd

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    For whatever reason, 'the system' is not allowing me to add the pic to my original post - here it is:

    image.jpg
     
  9. Jun 30, 2017 #29

    Johny99

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    I think two people, tall would help could easily lift the basket. I'm an even 6 ft and it is a "curl" to loft it above the bladder. Doable though. However, I've only done it with the basket, not with pomace. It looks like in your picture the pomace stays put, which I would expect, it does when I breaker open the basket on my basket press. I suppose it is a little messier to remove the cake once the basket is lifted, but shouldn't be too bad. I'm glad I got the tilt but, with the 80l I think it would be ok without. I'd think different with 120l, that's a lot of cake to pick off the crushpad as it falls apart:h

    I haven't done any separate fermentations. I just tasted the wine as it came off. Unfortunately I didn't record any numbers but I only let it go till the relief once with Cab Sauv and decided that was too much.
     
  10. Jun 30, 2017 #30

    fafrd

    fafrd

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    Just be clear, that pic was snapped after the mesh bag was removed. I'm not sure if the mesh comes off with the basket or stays with the pomace tube when the basket is lifted off, and gets peeled off in a second step, but use of a mesh bag is apparently critical to leaving the basket in an easy-to-clean condition.

    And 'relief' is what? 2.5 bar? 3 bar?

    That Ridge winery article I linked to earlier says they generally keep everything up to 1 bar and usually keep most of what they press up to 2 bar, which is as high as they like to go...

    image.jpg
     
  11. Jun 30, 2017 #31

    Johny99

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    I believe the relief is set at 2.5 bar.
     
  12. Jun 30, 2017 #32

    balatonwine

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    FWIIW, the FAO document gives nice ranges for most values, but only uses the "about" symbol for 15% (~15%), without a range. A range there too would have been very much more useful.

    Meanwhile, the other place they use the "about" symbol was "vine prunings ~5 tonnes/ha/year" (1 tonne is 1 metric ton). Meanwhile, the U. Idaho gives a range of 0.4 to 2.8 tons per acre (they state the reason for the range). 1 U.S. ton per acre = 2.24 metric tons per hectare. So ~5 tonnes/ha/year is 2.23 tons per acre per year, which is nearing the upper value of the U. Idaho value. So maybe ~15% is also an upper value of a wider range as well.

    So, in short, I would not hang my hat on ~15% as a super solid number to do calculations or comparisons. Rather, just another author to contact to get the actual, unambiguous values.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
  13. Jun 30, 2017 #33

    balatonwine

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    That is quite a.... bit.... of pomace on the floor. :< And I expect it would increase getting that pomace tube knocked down and carried away.

    If it were me, I would get the press with tilt if sequential loading is the plan. Not worth the cleanup hassle to do otherwise. :h
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
  14. Jun 30, 2017 #34

    fafrd

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    Yeah, if you compare the two pics, the pomace 'roof' in place when the top was removed caved in when the basket and/or mesh bag was removed. Breaking up the pomace tube by hand must make a much bigger mess than that.

    You don't need to convince me a tilting press would be easier than emptying a fixed-leg press in this way - these pics are an example of the pomace tube from 300 lbs of grapes in a 90-liter bladder press which my buddy says he can only empty in this manual way if he is pressing solo (too heavy to lift off of the bladder all by himself).

    My only point was, if you are going to go with solo-pressing in an 80 or 90-liter fixed-leg bladder press, only having to painfully empty it once by using sequential loading strikes me as a lot easier...
     
  15. Jul 1, 2017 #35

    fafrd

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    And then there is this: https://morewinemaking.com/articles/Choosing_a_press

    "Keep in mind that when you're pressing must it will be between 30% and 35% solids. As you fill the press most of the liquid will flow right through and out referred to as free run wine/juice. So the volume of the press is going to correspond to the volume of solids that need to be pressed. For example, if you have 100 gal of fermented must to press, that only corresponds to about 35 gal worth of solids. To press 35 gal of solids through the 40L bladder press (10.6 gal) you would need to run about 3 press cycles in order to get the job done."

    I'm not seeing how that math works out.

    930 lbs of grapes results in ~100 gallons of must (using the '10.75x rule' ;)).

    If you've got 35 gallons of wet pomace you are going to press in 3 runs, that means getting 11.7 gallons loaded per run. How exactly are you going to fit 11.7 gallons of unpressed must solids into a 10.6 gallon (40-liter) basket? Unless you are going to make use of sequential loading, of course ;).

    Interestingly, if you leave out the 4.5% of seeds corresponding to 42 lbs / ~5.0 gallons, that 35 gallons of must solids may be as little as 30 gallons of wet pomace, in which case it would fit into a 40-liter bladder press on 3 press runs...

    Morewine's guide would suggest pressing must from a half-ton of grapes through an 80-liter bladder press in two press runs should be a no-brainer, but the 35% they describe is about half of what I have heard from others and have experienced myslef.

    I could not fit the pomace from 500 lbs of fermented red grapes into a #50 (34 gallon) basket press without a small amount of sequential loading.

    Even if I wave away the overflow, that corresponds to 34 gallons of unpressed must solids from 500 lbs or 54 gallons of fermented must, meaning 63%...

    And my buddy filled a 90-liter (23.8 gallon) Speidel with unpressed must solids from 300 lbs of grapes which should have resulted in about 32.3 gallons of fermented must, meaning 74%... Even knocking off 10% of that basket volume to account for the bladder and spindle results in 66% wet must solids.

    So it seems as though Morewines guide stating 35% is off by close to a factor of two, either because they pre-press in some way or they have a much more effective way of seperating/draining the free run from the skins before loading the press.

    No way I'd want to press 100 gallons of fermented must through a 40-liter (10.6 gallon) bladder press...
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  16. Oct 10, 2019 #36

    montanarick

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  17. Oct 10, 2019 #37

    bluecrab

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  18. Oct 10, 2019 #38

    montanarick

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    thanks for the input
     
  19. Oct 11, 2019 #39

    bluecrab

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    Just to be clear, it holds 3 lugs post-ferment. I only make reds. I didn’t mean to imply it would hold three lugs of white grapes pre-ferment.
     

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