Grape Destemmer and Crusher

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Dec 15, 2017
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Hi, my name is Howie Barnes, I am a student at Pal-Mac High School. For my senior engineering class, Engineering Design and Development (EDD), I am working with a fellow student, Tyler Pauly; we are tasked to solve a problem. The problem we plan on solving is to find a way to make destemming grapes easier for small scale winemakers. Our research has shown that many current solutions are meant for large industrial-size vineyards and are very expensive and impractical for the small vineyard owner.

We are wondering:

1. What are small winemakers currently using to destem grapes?

2. Would you be interested in a small table sized grape destemmer?

3. Are there any features you would be looking for when purchasing such a product?

We would be grateful for any information that you could provide. If you have any you can email me at [email protected]
Oct 25, 2016
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S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
1. Everything under the sun apparently.
- rubbing clusters along an upside milkcrate or screen of some type (already on the market) over a bin
-sitting in a comfy chair and pulling off by hand (50 lbs w/ 3 people = 1.5hrs)
-whole clusters through crusher and picking out directly after
-same thing but picking out over the course of the ferment
-investing in a crusher destemmer
-buying grapes from a supplier who will crush and destem for a fee

2. Yes

3. Practical. Needs to be less $ than the difference of crusher : c/dt
Most crushers seem to share the same general design. A product that could also somehow attach to a crusher making it a one step process is ideal. But destemmers used before crushing and after crushing would likely be very different designs.

I must say I’m impressed with this years class of 18’. So what do you guys have in mind?


The Verecund Vigneron
May 9, 2017
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Badacsony wine region. Hungary
Not wanting to be a killjoy, but a "small" wine maker, in some areas, can produce up to 50,000 gallons a year. For that amount professional equipment is really needed (or a lot of feet and hands).

For a hobby wine maker, then a low end hand crank crusher destemmer will run about $500. That will be a hard price to beat unless there is a redesign in how the process is done (see the Homebuilt Winery web site to see how much work it is to build a traditional destemmer). But that should be the fun part in the assignment.

To that, do consider that "whole cluster" fermentation is also gaining in vogue. Which means to leave some stems in the must. So a redesign might try to not be too perfect in the destemming process and market that as a feature. What about, for example, blasts of compressed air to "blow away" some stems after crushing? I have no idea if that would work. But if it did, it might even be less damaging to the grapes, skins and seeds compared to commonly used full machine destemming methods.

As for good to have features, do recommend a motor to do the crushing (at least as an add on option).
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