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First time with grapes, stomp party, equipment advice please

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satxwineguy

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So I have a bead on fresh grapes and am looking forward to making wine properly for the first time. It will be dry and red, but apart from that not sure yet what varietal.

Today I own a kit - basically all the equipment, starting at Primary fermentation, for 6-gallon batches. Now I need to get whatever I'll need to start from fresh fruit.

First, harvest. I'll have to drive about an hour to the vineyard. As far as I know, all I'll need for that is a large ice chest.

Next, crush. My plan is to have a stomp party. I know I'll need some containers to go on the ground, and for max fun I'd like them to accommodate 3 stompers at once, unless that's a bad idea. What else will I need for a stomp party?

I know I'll need a press. Looking at a couple basket presses - 4.75 gallon and 1.6 gallon. Not sure which is better.

Anything else?
 

salcoco

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you will need about 100lbs of grapes for 6 gallons. a 5 gallon press can take a while to press once fermentation is complete. if budget allows a bladder press is the best. you will need at least a 30 gallon primary bucket for fermentation.
 

NorCal

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Get more grapes than you will think that you will possibly need; like 20-25 lbs of grapes per finished gallon of wine. Take out all the leaves and other matter. Lightly step to open up the berries, but not smash every grape. You don't need to make juice, just make it so the yeast can find their way.

After your done stomping, add 50ppm SO2 per the volume of must, mix well and let it sit over night. Next day inoculate and watch the brix drop. Add your nutrient at start of fermentation and after 1/3 brix drop. Remove stems from the must when possible.

Lightly press the must when dry. Since you have stem inclusion, you will need to be very careful in pressing to not get the green flavors or overly tannic wine from the stems.

That's what I'd do.
 

Ajmassa

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Get more grapes than you will think that you will possibly need; like 20-25 lbs of grapes per finished gallon of wine. Take out all the leaves and other matter. Lightly step to open up the berries, but not smash every grape. You don't need to make juice, just make it so the yeast can find their way.

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Could you clear something up for me? I could not find this info online. If some grapes make it through crush still intact, does the yeast penetrate and ferment the juice within an unbroken grape?
Crushing with a 2x4 or old school stomping I've noticed a good amount of grapes unbroken. Probably a non-issue, and a moot point if pressing at around 1.000 sg. But it's always bothered me seeing full grapes in the must.
 

ibglowin

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Yeast only need a crack to get in and do the magic. Lots of high end wineries do whole cluster ferments on Pinot Noir etc.

Could you clear something up for me? I could not find this info online. If some grapes make it through crush still intact, does the yeast penetrate and ferment the juice within an unbroken grape?
Crushing with a 2x4 or old school stomping I've noticed a good amount of grapes unbroken. Probably a non-issue, and a moot point if pressing at around 1.000 sg. But it's always bothered me seeing full grapes in the must.
 

Norton

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I was offered Vidal Blanca grapes left over after mechanical pickers went through. I don't have access to a destemmer and the thought of manually picking the grapes off the stems makes me think it is more trouble than it is worth. Does anyone press without destemming?
 

sour_grapes

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What does anyone think of this technique? This is what I was thinking of doing:


[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP9ubxOzoqA"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP9ubxOzoqA[/ame]
 

NorCal

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Looks like a very reasonable solution. May need a second pass removing stems from the must. Beats pulling them off the stem by hand for sure.
 

Ajmassa

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Saw a video on YouTube of a guy just running full clusters through the crusher. Filling 5 gallon buckets. He just simply reached in and removed the stems by hand right after crush, getting the majority.
He even went ahead and dumped each bucket through the crusher a 2nd time, and removed the stems he missed the first time.
Not ideal, but I think thats gonna be my plan this year since I'm renting a manual crusher. Removing grapes off the stems by hand on 54 lbs is a "never again". I'll try and find that video.

https://youtu.be/GS5-an1yU7s
 
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