Friend is giving me Cab grapes, need help

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Inverted

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Hey all,

I have 40 lbs of Healdsburg Cabernet grapes coming my way, and I have never made wine from grapes. So I know I need to destem then crush. Little confused as to what I need to do after that for fermentation. Do I crush, k-meta, then 24 hours later add my yeast? I ferment with the skins the entire time right?
 

Johny99

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You lucky devil. How fresh will they be? If a day from picking and no obvious mold or mildew, skip the meta. Of not, or to play it safe, a bit of meta, I use 1 tsp for 100 lbs or so, will set back the bad bugs. Sounds like you will destem and crush by hand, which is just as it sounds. You can use you feet to crush then pull the stems by hand. Just be sure to scrub everything, the crush vessel, your hands, your girlfriend's or boyfriend's feet, etc.

Let them sit, in a cool place if you have one for 24-48 hours, then pitch your yeast. Keep them on the skins until about -2 Brix, then press off. To press, you can pour off the juice and squeeze by han, put in an old clean pillow case, or whatever. Some folks don't press at all, just drain the free run juice.

Enjoy, there is nothing like fresh grapes.
 

Inverted

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Thanks so much. What is the best method to stomp the grapes? What should I put them in to stomp before I transfer to the fermentor?
 

Arne

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For a small amount like you are doing, a plastic dishpan and a potatoe masher will get em crushed. Hit them with the masher and pull the stems out after crushing. Arne.
 

mennyg19

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Exciting... i love watching the color come out of the skins. Post a pic tomorrow, k?
 

BlueStimulator

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My first time this year for me too making wine from grapes that is. Push the cap down twice a day and every morning you will get a new deeper color. It was really exciting to see the changes
 

Johny99

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Next time, crush first then destem much less work! Keep at it.
 

Inverted

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What a difference 20 hours makes on the skins makes! These were picked/crushed late so testing today, the brix were at 30, so I cut it down to 25 before pitching yeast.



My GSM has been fermenting for 24 hours and it is booming!
 

Rtrent2002

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Very cool. I live in Alabama so no wine grape varietals here. Just muscadine. (And kits)
 

Inverted

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First fermentation stalled so I added some EC-1118 and it finished off great. I haven't pressed yet, I'll do that tomorrow. It smells and looks terrific though!

 

AkTom

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No grapes in Alaska either. That does look like fun. I'm hoping to plant some berry bushes next spring. Those grapes look great.
 

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