New jersey winemakers talk

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
4,357
Reaction score
4,937
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
Thanks for the info @Ajmassa. Food for thought... with my small quantities I’m pretty fussy about only grapes going in the vat. But when I think of big operations I know there’s all kind of stuff in with the grapes, so maybe I can be less fussy. I don’t have a press either, so if I get the grapes crushed, I’ll still be pressing by hand. We’ll see...
yeah man after reading this forum for a couple years it seems that everyone has set their own bar when it comes to sorting grapes,

1st grape purchase i made was total impulse. Had zero equipment. I decided to destem 1st and it took 3 of us over 2 hours for just x3 18lb lugs! Way too much work. We kicked it old school and had my daughter stomping away to crush. And then for pressing i made a crude “bucket press” instead of hand squeezing, which worked well.

But now when my family is with me it’s perfect and doesn’t add much time to pull out & transfer clusters into a bucket and leave behind all the junk. (and letting my crusher do the destemming for me now)

when working solo i admit my sorting gets less and less vigorous as the lugs start to pile up. 3377CC70-96B3-442E-BB79-6EED9C692677.jpeg 31569E15-9346-4F4D-9251-3725DC750817.jpeg 81D39009-BB5D-404C-8015-903E3390383F.jpeg 2ACEB6A1-FF4B-4D9A-88A8-FA4A426E2DC5.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • F6532D40-8DF0-420D-96BA-42B0134CBA05.jpeg
    F6532D40-8DF0-420D-96BA-42B0134CBA05.jpeg
    684.8 KB · Views: 8
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
4,357
Reaction score
4,937
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
@Ajmassa, the pictures of your daughter stomping grapes are so cute! That's great family time!
It really was. time certainly flies. that was 2017. i wish we did more of that family winemaking time looking back.

@winemaker81 come to think of it, i’m definitely going to try and make that happen again this fall with all the kids. maybe pick up a few extra lugs specifically for this and time it in a way so my and my brothers 4 kids can all participate together.

a few lugs i don’t mind doing somewhere else if i had to, and i’d just transport it back home to ferment.
 
Last edited:

BMarNJ

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
161
Reaction score
162
Location
South Jersey
Keystone Homebrew grapes were pretty sad... maybe that’s just because it was an off year in Chile, but they looked really old, some mold and some shriveled up. Nothing like what I have gotten at GP in the past. My juice bucket came in last week, but I waited to pick it up so I got the grapes too. It had started fermenting, and was bubbling out the air hole on my long ride home. I don’t know what temp they kept it at.
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
4,357
Reaction score
4,937
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
Keystone Homebrew grapes were pretty sad... maybe that’s just because it was an off year in Chile, but they looked really old, some mold and some shriveled up. Nothing like what I have gotten at GP in the past. My juice bucket came in last week, but I waited to pick it up so I got the grapes too. It had started fermenting, and was bubbling out the air hole on my long ride home. I don’t know what temp they kept it at.
it’s safe to assume the bucket was about 1.090 SG and a decent ph if they are like all the other buckets i’ve done. I’ve read here some people will hit it with some so2 and try to kill the ferment before adding their yeast of choice. I’ve never done it though. I just add a strong yeast and hope it takes over.

and that’s a shame about the grapes. though i can’t say i’m surprised. Its the exact reason i was skipping this season. With GP not selling any fruit and keystone only having a very limited supply ya gotta wonder about quality. I mean, there’s a good reason spring grapes are so scarce.
luckily you are adding it to juice to beef it up and not using for an all grape wine.
 

dizzy

Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
41
Reaction score
57
What are people up to in 2022? We have used up much of our wedding wine leftovers. I'm considering to do something in the spring, IDK if I'll go Chilean or South African again like I did last year.
This time putting in smaller bottles or bags (we did our wedding wine in bulk since we knew most of it was being used then)
 

JohnT

Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
10,058
Reaction score
5,920
yeah man after reading this forum for a couple years it seems that everyone has set their own bar when it comes to sorting grapes,

1st grape purchase i made was total impulse. Had zero equipment. I decided to destem 1st and it took 3 of us over 2 hours for just x3 18lb lugs! Way too much work. We kicked it old school and had my daughter stomping away to crush. And then for pressing i made a crude “bucket press” instead of hand squeezing, which worked well.

But now when my family is with me it’s perfect and doesn’t add much time to pull out & transfer clusters into a bucket and leave behind all the junk. (and letting my crusher do the destemming for me now)

when working solo i admit my sorting gets less and less vigorous as the lugs start to pile up. View attachment 74448 View attachment 74446 View attachment 74445 View attachment 74453
We sort it all. Even when we crushed 6 tons.
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
4,357
Reaction score
4,937
Location
S. Jersey/Philadelphia area
We sort it all. Even when we crushed 6 tons.
If I remember correctly you posted a pretty thorough summary on your ”material other than grapes/MOG“ removal and sorting methods a few yrs back.

I bet I can probably dig it up. Was a great reference point for anyone really. But especially someone who’s unsure of what is or isn’t acceptable
 
Top