Crush day at Crushday's...

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Joe B.

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I've enjoyed following your journey this season and to read about the loss of some of the fruits of your labor just hurts. I use the same brutes and dollies as you and will be extra careful from now on.
 

Gilmango

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Gilmango, your words represent the intent of the string. So glad...

Depending on where you live, someone might have some equipment you could borrow or rent inexpensively. Either way, making wine from grapes is the best way to go. However, kits serve a great purpose and you'll always have enjoyable wine. Glad you're on here...
Just want to report back that you did in fact inspire me, I woke up at 4:30 this morning to get to a pick in Brentwood (Contra Costa County, California -- the far eastern edge of the SF Bay Area), by 6:30, picked 163# of Mourvedre and used the crusher destemmer on site, brought home about 16 gallons of must. About to figure out my yeast and yeast nutrient situation. I will have to DIY a press in a week or so. Totally winging it with a real lack of equipment beyond what I have for beer brewing and kit wine making, but what could possibly go wrong? - Gilman
 

crushday

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First taste today:

Petite Sirah - flavorful but tannins are bullying my palate right now and will loose strength over time. Color great.

Cabernet Franc - flavorful, smooth and displaying future approachability - maybe I'll just bottle it tomorrow? lol...

Here are some really lame pictures:

Petite Sirah -

IMG_2538.jpeg


Cab Franc -

IMG_2536.jpeg
 
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My sympathies Crush, that outcome simply blows. Looking at the picture, IMO it was just a matter of time. In simplest terms, the base was far too narrow. Then the wheels eliminated any aid from friction. think of riding a unicycle on ice... For stability, the inturned wheels must be outboard of the vertical plane of the top of the load (filled Brute). Remove the wheels and build bigger dollies. Better yet, use HArbor freight wheel barrow replacement wheels for 2 of the 4 wheels
 

crushday

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Just racked for first transfer since press. Everything looking and smelling great! I did pull 1 gallon of PS into the house so I could see if I have MLF - looking for tiny bubbles. It’s warmer in the house. My garage is only 64 degrees right now which is in the range of the CH16 albeit on the low end.
 

Boatboy24

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Just racked for first transfer since press. Everything looking and smelling great! I did pull 1 gallon of PS into the house so I could see if I have MLF - looking for tiny bubbles. It’s warmer in the house. My garage is only 64 degrees right now which is in the range of the CH16 albeit on the low end.
You need to put on a little Don Ho on repeat for those MLB bugs.

 

crushday

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Quick update - after 24 hours after racking and bringing 1 gallon of wine into the house AND not seeing any tiny bubbles - even though I added Don Ho to the equation (thanks @Boatboy24) - I decided to re-inoculate CH16 on all batches. An hour later, I’m beginning to see those tiny bubbles.

I’m now convinced the previous packages of Ch16 were bad.

I really only have experience with CH16 - but can get VP41 locally. Is there a major difference between these two?
 

Cap Puncher

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I really only have experience with CH16 - but can get VP41 locally. Is there a major difference between these two?
I like vp41, it is very solid and tolerates high alcohol. It doesn’t give much butter flavor if I remember correctly. it co-inoculates easy as welll too
 

CDrew

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I really only have experience with CH16 - but can get VP41 locally. Is there a major difference between these two?
Good question. I've not ever had a problem with CH16, but I pick it up from Lodi Wine Labs who is very particular about storage and temperature control, making sure you have cold storage for transport. I've wanted to try VP41. Just because it is highly regarded here. Please let me know what you find out. The real advantage I see to CH16 is that it tolerates high alcohol wine and, it needs no hydration step. Just toss into the wine and stand back.
 

heatherd

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Today was both a battle and a walk in the park. First, the saunter…

After getting everything set up and sanitized, I started filling the bladder press. I‘ve found it’s easiest to just take 35 trips to the fermentor with a gallon sized pitcher. Most of the wine “free runs” through a strainer into the 5 gallon stainless stock pot and then pumped into the secondary fermentors (120L Speidel). It's typical to replace the strainer about every 5 gallons. I have two and alternate. I use a hose and spray the clogged strainer and put it back into rotation. My new pump worked like a champ. It never clogged and I was able to work through five fermentors within a few hours. You can see the setup in the pictures below. I was able to get approximately 62 gallons of Cab Franc (gravity is .996) and 45 gallons of Petite Sirah (gravity .995). I kept the press at one bar hoping for a gentle press.

Now, the battle…. Halfway through the first fermentor (Petite Sirah), I heard a crash behind me in the garage. During set up I noticed that one of the fermentors was listing. I literally got down on my hands and knees to see why. One of the five wheels was turned inward and wasn’t providing any support on that side. Keep in mind the food grade plastic cans are wide mouthed and tapered to the bottom. So in my case, top heavy and listing on a slopped concrete floor (All the clues were there, I should have known!). To my horror, it actually tipped completely over and I lost all 40 gallons of must. That was the crash I heard filling the bladder press. I made my way in to the garage.

I was stunned, dumbfounded and simply went back to the press knowing there was nothing that could be done except clean it all upon the completion of the press.

Gone. It’s gone. Down the drain in the floor. My unintended and inadvertent contribution to the fruit fly circle of life.

Now, some pictures - in order - to represent the day….

View attachment 78811View attachment 78812View attachment 78813View attachment 78814View attachment 78815View attachment 78816View attachment 78817View attachment 78818View attachment 78819
Ah that sucks!
 

heatherd

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Quick update - after 24 hours after racking and bringing 1 gallon of wine into the house AND not seeing any tiny bubbles - even though I added Don Ho to the equation (thanks @Boatboy24) - I decided to re-inoculate CH16 on all batches. An hour later, I’m beginning to see those tiny bubbles.

I’m now convinced the previous packages of Ch16 were bad.

I really only have experience with CH16 - but can get VP41 locally. Is there a major difference between these two?
VP41 is really reliable.
 

Jay A

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Quick update - after 24 hours after racking and bringing 1 gallon of wine into the house AND not seeing any tiny bubbles - even though I added Don Ho to the equation (thanks @Boatboy24) - I decided to re-inoculate CH16 on all batches. An hour later, I’m beginning to see those tiny bubbles.

I’m now convinced the previous packages of Ch16 were bad.

I really only have experience with CH16 - but can get VP41 locally. Is there a major difference between these two?
 

Boatboy24

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Quick update - after 24 hours after racking and bringing 1 gallon of wine into the house AND not seeing any tiny bubbles - even though I added Don Ho to the equation (thanks @Boatboy24) - I decided to re-inoculate CH16 on all batches. An hour later, I’m beginning to see those tiny bubbles.

I’m now convinced the previous packages of Ch16 were bad.

I really only have experience with CH16 - but can get VP41 locally. Is there a major difference between these two?
If the Don Ho approach didn't work, there was most certainly something wrong with those little bugs. 🤣 Glad it is working out in the end.

I've used both CH16 and VP41, but my go-to is VP41. Both are good. CH16 has a slightly higher alcohol tolerance, while the VP41 can tolerate a lower pH. I like that VP41 tolerates SO2 as high as 60ppm - a plus for those of us whose grapes are trucked across the country on/under those sulfite blankets.
 
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crushday

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Well, it would appear that the CH16 I added on September 5 was sound. It’s clear I have a completed MLF. Rack tomorrow to mid-term storage and wait for a barrel. Estimated port to barrel is May 2022 for both CDL Cab Franc and CDL Petite Sirah. This was a fun, fulfilling and educational journey! Other than loosing all that must a few weeks ago, this couldn’t have gone better.

890B3FA5-B90B-4C4B-8B7B-54A5C0A12838.jpeg
 
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