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Crushing Grapes with Stems

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ForzaNoli

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Does everyone on here typically crush their grapes with the stems or without the stems?
 

grapeman

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Since I use a crusher/destemmer, they are crushed to remove the stems. For whites, I then let them set overnight with some enzyme and then press withougt stems (although I do sometimes put a couple layers of stems in to aid juice yield). The reds get fermented without stems and then pressed whem almost dry.
 

Wade E

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I know a few people who leave just a little of the stems in it while fermenting but do remove 95% of it. So Grapeman, do you layer the stems in the press betweenj the grapes? This helps let the juice flow more freely?
 

grapeman

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That's right Wade. For whites only, after destemming and ready to press I take a few handsful of stems and form a layer about every 8 inches (it doesn't ake a lot. I also put stems on top under the press plate. It aids in the juice extraction as it gives an easier route of escape for the pressed juice. Some guys use rice hulls for the same purpose, but I just use the stems. Just don't crush too hard or you will extract more tannins than you want in whites typically. You can alter the taste of the wine a bit by the hardness of the press. I like a bit of tannin from the stems in both the Chardonel and the Niagara I make so they are a bit different. They both won medals this year at Winemaker.
 

frankr3

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grapeman,
I am going to make niagara this fall for the first time. where do you get your grapes? right now, I am looking at getting juice from the finger lakes.
frankr3
 

Wade E

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Frank, Grapeman his his own vineyard in upstate NY where I got all my currant bushes, he is the one who gave them to me, maybe instead of buying juice from them that you could buy the grapes from him? I know he used to sell his grapes but he is now going commerial so not sure if that is still an option.
 

grapeman

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Frankr3 you might try Walkers in western NY. They ship pails and are priced fairly. Look up Walker's Fruit Basket online.

Like Wade says, I have my own, so I can control every step of the way- mostly a good thing. I am hoping to use all my grapes in my own crush this fall - just waiting for the last permts.
 

frankr3

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niagara

grapeman,
I am probably going to drive 5 hours to pickup juice from Fulkerson winery in Dundee, ny. This will be a 5 hour ride, but I loved their whites and they do not ship.
 

Rock

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frankr3,m&m in hartford carried juice from the fingerlakes last year and thats alot closer to you then taking the 5 hour trip.
 

frankr3

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I spoke to frank musto last weekend at a seminar and he told me he was not going to carry niagara. I was plannning on checking with m&m when they post their fall offerings before I did that big drive.
however. I must say, the Fulkerson niagara was awsome and a darn good price for their juice - no grapes are sold there.
 

Fuegofan

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My understanding is that to some extent it really depends on the grapes. Frontenac is really low in tannins, and seeds and stems have tannins, so for that grape I did leave some stems in there.
 

danielpego

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we have always used stems, and have never gotten a bad batch of wine. we remove leaves and any rotten looking grapes. grapes that are beginning to turn to raisins are fine too.
 
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