Does this antique wine grape press look like it would work?

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Khristyjeff

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This popped up on local Craig's List and am interested in your thoughts whether I should pursue it. I have only done fresh grapes once so far but would like to do more in the future. My first batch from fresh grapes I had to hand squeeze so I know I lost a lot of good juice. Mainly interested in the press but looks like they would like to unload it all. Here are some pictures:
1615180227886.png1615180256302.png1615180329708.png

This is the listing: "Vintage old Wine Grape Cider Press form the early 1900's. Complete working condition. Also have matching large wood barrel with matching wooden horse (stand). Also have an antique hand crank grape crusher with wood hopper on wood stand in great working condition."

They are asking $400 for everything and I don't have knowledge of any of these items.

Thanks for your opinions.
 
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VinesnBines

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$400 is WAYYY too much. Be patient and look around carefully, you can find much better deals. In fact you can buy a new basket press about that size for much less. The same with the crusher; a crusher is very cheap. Crusher/destemmer a little more but you can find used models fairly cheap. The barrel and stand look nice but no value for wine making/just decoration.
 

Rice_Guy

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Good comment @VinesnBines
my two cents? Does the screw work easily? The screw carries a lot of mechanical load so you want that part working/ not rusted up
 

Rocky

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I would not say that is "way too much" to pay for those items, but I do agree it is on the high side for what is there. It all depends on what your objective is. That press and crusher have some antique value and they are usable. There are two issues I have with the press. It is difficult to determine how large the basket is and how much it will hold. Secondly, it is not a ratchet press and therefore more difficult (tiring) to operate. Regarding the crusher, those old wooden models of long ago are getting very hard to find in my area. If one finds a decent example, the cost is in the $125-150 range. I would also ask how the barrel has been cared for and when the last time it was used. If it has not been properly cared for, it would require a lot of work to get it to a point where it could be used reliably. I don't know what the size of the barrel is but it appears to be at least 20 gallons.

I have used similar items and they give one a sense of making wine "the old fashion way." If this is attractive to you, make him an offer. If not, go with the newer stuff.
 

Khristyjeff

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What would you suggest is a decent size for a novice? I may only do 1, 6-8 gallon batch of wine from grapes each year. Possibly a fresh fruit wine as well. This means I've given up on this particular CL listing 👍. Thanks for the honest feedback.
 

winemaker81

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This site gives you dimensions of basket presses. It sounds like you're planning to use 90 to 120 lbs of grapes per year.

#25 press will handle that is ~2 batches ... but the opening at top is 10" wide. IMO it will be a PITA to get the must into it without making a mess.

#30 has a bigger opening, but it will still take 2 batches.

#35 will handle everything you intend to make in 1 batch, but the price jumps quite a bit. The top is wider yet, which makes things easier.

I mentioned in a separate thread that I have a #40. It handled 180# batches with ease, but is complete overkill for your needs.

Look at Craig's list and Facebook Marketplace for used ones. If you have any idea that you'll increase production in future years, get a larger press.

BTW, I was taught to line the basket with cheesecloth, which is a bit of a PITA. Last fall I used a fine mesh bag that fits tightly over one of my primaries -- it caught the few chunks that made it off the press, and saved a lot of hassle.
 

VinesnBines

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I used the plastic wrap on a roller like they use in wrapping boxes. It is slightly sticky and I wrapped the basket to prevent squirts. It worked like a charm and only took a few minutes. The Costco plastic wrap works too.
Be diligent in looking for a press. I spent months looking and now have three; a small basket that is adapted for a hydraulic jack , a large #45 basket and a small 40L bladder press. All used. The small one cost $100, the big one cost $250 and the bladder press was part of a micro winery deal.
 

Bliorg

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FWIW, Facebook Marketplace usually has tons of basket presses of various sizes. May have to troll a bit to find what fits your needs, at a price you're good with, but that's part of the fun, isn't it? 😉
 

balatonwine

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That looks more like a fruit press than a wine press. But I may be wrong.

Otherwise, a new combo hand operated crusher and press of that size would probably be less expensive (even a motorized version might be about that price). So unless you are buying for the "antique" value (assuming it is an antique --- I am not sure), I would myself pass.

And I recommend never buy old barrels. Especially ones that look like that. Long story short, when bought our winery it came with all the wine equipment, including barrels (as part of the "extra cost") and they all turned out to be complete junk. Yes, I was once young and naive.... You may be young, but you can learn from my experience and not be naive. Rather be young/middle aged/old and well informed!!!
 

Steve Wargo

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This popped up on local Craig's List and am interested in your thoughts whether I should pursue it. I have only done fresh grapes once so far but would like to do more in the future. My first batch from fresh grapes I had to hand squeeze so I know I lost a lot of good juice. Mainly interested in the press but looks like they would like to unload it all. Here are some pictures:
View attachment 72323View attachment 72324View attachment 72325

This is the listing: "Vintage old Wine Grape Cider Press form the early 1900's. Complete working condition. Also have matching large wood barrel with matching wooden horse (stand). Also have an antique hand crank grape crusher with wood hopper on wood stand in great working condition."

They are asking $400 for everything and I don't have knowledge of any of these items.

Thanks for your opinions.
I bought press (link below) and pressed all fermentation of what was originally 300lbs of grape with no issues. I expect the press to last for a few decades if I take care of it with proper cleaning. Grape crushers are available for $100 or less, or I guess you can use the press. I personally would not buy a used wood barrel, unless I knew the person selling the barrel and it was recently used to store wine, or there was a local vineyard that was replacing recently used barrels and selling their neutral barrels. Pertaining to barrels you'll have to get them to re-seal, and free of spoilage bacteria. JMHO
 

Khristyjeff

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Thanks @Steve Wargo. That is a reasonable price for a press.
I only plan to do real grapes once a year. However, any reason why this press couldn't be used to press the wet grape skins that come in high end kits? On those with 2 bags of skins, I never end up even close to 6 gal. Usually 5.5 or even less. I seems like this would get me slightly closer in volume to where I should be.
 

Steve Wargo

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Q: Any reason why this press couldn't be used to press the wet grape skins that come in high-end kits? A: You will have to have cut additional blocks of wood about 6in length or less to allow the press-round to reach lower into the basket. You will need to make additional blocks as the press does not come with enough blocks for use. I used 2x4 wood that I cleaned and sprayed some concentrated Kmeta mix on them before use. FYI. I've been able to press a small batch of must that left a 1.5-2in grape skin cake with very little moisture left in the cake. I ended up with about 2 gallons of wine out of that batch. When processing larger fermentation, don't fill the press basket to the top. The cake will tend to stick to the sides of the basket. About 2/3 full is a good start. I also made a 4'x4' tabletop out of a half sheet 5/8 piece of plywood and two sawhorses for legs. I secured the press-table to the plywood so that it wouldn't move around as I exerted pressure on the must in the basket. Good luck. Petite Pearl darker cake, Marquette lighter cake.
 

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MiBor

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I bought press (link below) and pressed all fermentation of what was originally 300lbs of grape with no issues.
I used that Amazon press last season for a 500 lbs batch I made with a friend and we had no issues. The feet have holes and you can screw it down to a workbench. The basket is big enough for home use and the included bag helps retain the skins and seeds very well, without impeding the flow of wine. The only thing we had to do was to grease the screw with a food grade grease because it is bare steel and I thought it would rust in no time.
 

Ivywoods

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$400 seems a bit high to me. I paid $400 for this one at a farm auction recently. 2 baskets, press and crusher- the crusher is on the bottom for hauling purposes.20210307_175320.jpg
 

winemaker81

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I used that Amazon press last season for a 500 lbs batch I made with a friend and we had no issues.
How many times did you have to clean out the press to start another round? I'm asking as it's a trade off. The smaller press is more labor intensive in that regard.

OTOH, it's a lot more affordable, it's a lot lighter and easier to manipulate, it's a lot less bulky to store, and it's applicable for small batches such as the skins from a kit's skin pack. In @Khristyjeff's situation, it's probably a better choice.
 

Khristyjeff

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How many times did you have to clean out the press to start another round? I'm asking as it's a trade off. The smaller press is more labor intensive in that regard.

OTOH, it's a lot more affordable, it's a lot lighter and easier to manipulate, it's a lot less bulky to store, and it's applicable for small batches such as the skins from a kit's skin pack. In @Khristyjeff's situation, it's probably a better choice.
You make a good list of pros and cons. I make decisions like this, as well. Trying to get my son to do the same when making his decision regarding which College to attend.
 

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