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Lots of uncrushed berries

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joeybudd

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I do not have an actual grape crusher (on the list for next year), but I use an apple crusher to crush my grapes. I have noticed there are a lot of berries which were not crushed in the initial 'crush'. Should this be a big concern or will the skins naturally break during the fermentation process? I know I will get them during pressing but was wondering if they would naturally break down.

Thanks in advance for your time.
JB
 

NorCal

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I do not have an actual grape crusher (on the list for next year), but I use an apple crusher to crush my grapes. I have noticed there are a lot of berries which were not crushed in the initial 'crush'. Should this be a big concern or will the skins naturally break during the fermentation process? I know I will get them during pressing but was wondering if they would naturally break down.

Thanks in advance for your time.
JB
They may or may not. The longer the fermentation, the better the chances are they will get fermented. If you have a press that is pretty strong, just know you will have some sugars being released at press and fermentation may continue or you could have a little residual sugar.
 

joeybudd

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They may or may not. The longer the fermentation, the better the chances are they will get fermented. If you have a press that is pretty strong, just know you will have some sugars being released at press and fermentation may continue or you could have a little residual sugar.

I figured this would be the case and secondary fermentation would take longer. thanks for the reply.
 

Johnd

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I have a crusher / destemmer that I use for my crush, last year my cabernet had a lot small berries, many of which were left whole after the process. By the time my enzymes worked on the berries and fermentation was nearly complete, I don't recall seeing many, if any, whole berries. As @NorCal said, the press should clean up any of them left whole.......
 

mainshipfred

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Punch down is also going to take care of some of the uncrushed berries plus it doesn't take much for the yeast to enter the berry. The act of destemming could be enough.
 

stickman

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This is another case of ask 10 winemakers get 10 different answers. The standard answer is crush and de-stem, but you are only limited by your imagination. Many red winemakers are de-stemming and not crushing, whole berries go to the fermenter, they punch down and release juice slowly and progressively during fermentation dragging out the fermentation time. Some winemakers will crush and de-stem, but use a percentage of whole cluster leaving intact berries on the stems, some crush and de-stem or just de-stem and then return a percentage of stems to the fermenter.
It's not intuitive and almost impossible to predict what the end result is going to be without giving it a try, a lot depends on the type of grapes and where they were grown, harvest conditions etc. I've done fermentations with crushed and de-stemmed red grapes leaving 15% whole cluster, the result was very good, but I didn't do side by side testing so I couldn't tell you what effect, if any, it had on the finished wine. Reportedly whole berries in the fermentation gives a different aromatic profile, some say similar to carbonic maceration though not nearly as pronounced.
 

mainshipfred

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This is another case of ask 10 winemakers get 10 different answers. The standard answer is crush and de-stem, but you are only limited by your imagination. Many red winemakers are de-stemming and not crushing, whole berries go to the fermenter, they punch down and release juice slowly and progressively during fermentation dragging out the fermentation time. Some winemakers will crush and de-stem, but use a percentage of whole cluster leaving intact berries on the stems, some crush and de-stem or just de-stem and then return a percentage of stems to the fermenter.
It's not intuitive and almost impossible to predict what the end result is going to be without giving it a try, a lot depends on the type of grapes and where they were grown, harvest conditions etc. I've done fermentations with crushed and de-stemmed red grapes leaving 15% whole cluster, the result was very good, but I didn't do side by side testing so I couldn't tell you what effect, if any, it had on the finished wine. Reportedly whole berries in the fermentation gives a different aromatic profile, some say similar to carbonic maceration though not nearly as pronounced.
You just made it 11 winemakers with 14 answers. LOL!
 
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