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Bugs on Grapes

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Vinn

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Neighbor has an impressive thick and heavy grapevine growing over the fence. It is thick with dark purple grapes, probably enough for a five gallon batch of wine. She told me she only grows them to feed the birds, and I am welcome to them for winemaking. They're very dark and beginning to shrivel, so I think it is time to harvest. I don't have any equipment for measuring brix or anything fancy like that. The grapes are very sweet and delicious, but having never tasted anything other than table grapes, what do I know?

Anyway, the grapes are covered by gnats, or some small flying (mostly crawling) insect. Whatever it is, it prefers not to fly; more of a crawler. How do I safely and effectively get rid of these bugs so I can crush and move on with the winemaking?
 

sour_grapes

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Personally, I would consider using a leaf blower, but I also would just not expect to make a "vegetarian wine." You will have some extra protein in your wine -- so what?
 

salcoco

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try submersing some in water and see of the gnats float to the top.
 

Sage

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Hose it down, then pick.
 

BigH

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New Sevin (Zeta-cypermethrin) has a 1 day PHI if you want to go the chemical route. Makes some people nervous. If you decide to use water, do so judiciously. You don't want to absorb a bunch of water into your berries.

H
 

Vinn

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I'm trying to avoid any chemicals. I am also reluctant to use water; I don't want to wash out any juice, or absorb too much water. Maybe just a brief soak in water to drive the bugs to the top.

I did submerge a few clusters in water with a couple k-meta tablets, and refrigerated them overnight. There's bugs all over the inside of my refrigerator now, but it is the garage refrigerator, so no biggie.

Now we're working on hand washing and de-stemming the grapes. I'm going to 100 pounds, or 120 if I can stand it.
 

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