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Crusher / destemmer question.

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Charlietuna

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Hello everyone. I'm going to be making my second batch with grapes this weekend. I've been making wine for over 8 years, but just now getting into the grapes. Have 165 vines in the ground as of this past spring.
Im buying grapes now to get the feel for it before mine are ready in 2 years.
I'm asking all the pros on this forum what they think about my set up & if or how you would change it for my first time using this crusher. I'll be doing around 600 lbs this weekend.

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Luse_Cellar

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What are you fermenting in? And I'm assuming you're making a red? I would think it would be easier to just de-stem directly into your fermenter so that you don't have to keep emptying that little tray into your fermenter. This can be tricky, though, if you're fermenting in something small (like a trashcan or similar) as obviously you don't want to have a bunch of fruit and juice falling to the ground. You may be able to construct some kind of simple funnel in this case. If you're making a white, then perhaps de-stemming directly into the press would be an option, along the same line of thinking.
 
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ibglowin

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You need a bigger catch tub. That one is too little. Get a deeper one that will hold ~3 lugs so you don't have to stop and empty it every 2 minutes.
 

Charlietuna

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I thought about the catch tub being too small. I have two, I thought I'd switch them out as I go. I have 32 gallon fermenters. This was my way to avoid buying the 2-300 chute to set it on.
 

Charlietuna

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The lugs underneath are 14 gallon. I didn't think that would be too bad.
 

Charlietuna

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I like the idea of destemming the whites directly into the press. This weekend only one small batch of Vidal blanc. The rest reds.
 

ibglowin

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The stand is worth every penny let me tell you. That said I used a couple saw horses and a 20G rectangular Brute for the first couple of seasons on my setup. Everytime you swap out your dripping grape juice and grapes on the ground so less is more as they say.

I thought about the catch tub being too small. I have two, I thought I'd switch them out as I go. I have 32 gallon fermenters. This was my way to avoid buying the 2-300 chute to set it on.
 

NorCal

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Charlie, great job on the destemmer! I crush fight into the ferment vessel whenever possible, but you'll be fine.
 

Charlietuna

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I was wondering how much mess it would make when switch out tubs.
I appreciate all the info. I'm sure I'll have the chute for next season.
 

TonyR

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The problem I see is the tub catching the must. You said it will hold 14 gal. If you fill it that is about 112 lbs (figuring 8 lbs per gal) I would think that the tub would flex terribly and you will have a hell of a mess not even mentioning getting tired. Need a way to go right into a 32 gal brute. Then have a dolly to move the brute. My 2 cents:h
 

Charlietuna

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Good point on the tub flexing. Wonder if I could cut a section out of the front of the tub & use it as a chute to the 32 gallon brute.
 

Charlietuna

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ImageUploadedByWine Making1475862310.382497.jpg

Made a small modification based on everyone's input. I'll let you know how it works within the next few days. 1100 lbs to go this weekend.
 

Charlietuna

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Headed to Walmart for a new one. I just don't think my wife would like it if I took the one she uses for cleaning windows. Lol.
 

AmityFlatts

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I used a tub much like yours on my first go round this last weekend. I cut a round hole in the center of one end of the tub and put a barrel underneath it. You can see the round hole in this pic under the crusher

 

Charlietuna

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Thanks for the pic. Very similar to what I did.
We crushed & destemmed today & for the next 2 days. I've got 500 lbs of Vidal Blanc tomorrow. That'll be a chore. Then 325 lbs of reds.
The chute tote worked out well. I see where I need to change a few things tho.
 
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