Pressing fruit pulp

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Jim Welch

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Interesting... So do you think that 15 minutes hanging in the bag is almost as good as pressing? I could put a hook in the ceiling.
I actually let it hang about an hour or two, usually the flow transitions to dripping well before 15 minutes. Here is a pick of a vino pumice draining, I wrap the whole shebang with cling wrap to keep any pesky fruit flies out.
IMG_2310.jpeg
 

Rice_Guy

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* my Mom would tie her bag to a kitchen cabinet and drain into a large bowl. to get more she would twist the bag. Twenty years ago I put the hook in the kitchen ceiling mimicking Mom. BUT Having a press is lazy since it does most of the work. I wouldn’t go back, ,, Yield was about 50%.
* rice hulls are called a filter aid, it works by creating channel.
* We can get better press efficiency by having a smaller diameter basket, I have baskets from six inch to twelve inch and keep using tall and skinny, it works faster.. The 4.75 gallon press mentioned earlier may only yield 50% juice. Reducing cake thickness is conceptually the same effect as having a home style bladder press. Traditional apples are usually done with a series of bags separated by drainage layers.
Traditional apples/ pears/ quince are run through a grinder, the goal is less than 1/4 inch and bigger than apple sauce. Traditional small scale would be to mash your fruit/pears with a pole pounding in a tub.
* mixing helps, it exposes high moisture inside to the surface. This is also programmed into bladder presses.
* high moisture applesauce or lees can be pressed through a filter bag if the pressure is high. It works better to let some liquid weep off the bag and keep the solids inside the bag. Once apple sauce like flow stops we can increase the pressure.
* your original post said you already started yesterday, a FYI for next time. Juice comes out of pears/ apples fairly easily if they have a hard freeze (2 days). With a press I get 78 to 80% juice yield. ,,,, Hard fruits that are not ground or frozen have low yield, 30 or 40%.
 

JustJoe

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"Butt bucket press" method as described by Johnd - Butt bucket press = one bucket with spigot + another with holes drilled in the bottom and sides nested inside + another plain bucket nested inside the second. Grape skins for pressing go into the holy bucket, plain bucket on top of the skins, sit your butt on the top bucket. Wine forced through the holes into the bottom bucket, out the spigot and into your catching container.
 

BarrelMonkey

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...It worked just as well hanging them for about 15 minutes and gently squeezing the liquid out.

This brings back memories... My Mom used to have a four-legged kitchen stool, she would turn it upside down and pin a muslin cloth to the four legs with safety pins, then use that to drain the fruit must (into, I assume, a bowl? saucepan?) The wine would then go into a gallon jug on the kitchen windowsill. I know that isn't the best place for aging wine, but it's what she did...
 

Raptor99

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Yes I press. I like to press at 1.020 so that I have active out gassing. , , ,
Oxidation? ,, My quality went up when I routinely added meta to fight oxidation.
If you press at around 1.020, do you add Kmeta at that point? Is there any concern that the Kmeta will prevent the yeast from finishing fermentation? In general, I was wondering if those who rack between 1.010 and 1.020 add Kmeta at that time.
 

winemaker81

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If you press at around 1.020, do you add Kmeta at that point? Is there any concern that the Kmeta will prevent the yeast from finishing fermentation? In general, I was wondering if those who rack between 1.010 and 1.020 add Kmeta at that time.
Unless dealing with H2S, I don't add K-meta until fermentation is complete. Commercial yeast should handle a regular dose (1/4 tsp in 19-23 liters), but I don't normally take the chance.
 

Raptor99

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Thank you everyone for your comments and helpful suggestions!

@Rice_Guy These are Bartlett pears from last fall, and they have been in a 0 degree F freezer for months. After thawing, I mash them with a potato masher. The pear pulp is the consistency of apple sauce. Other than the skins, there are very few recognizable pear chunks left. Based on past experience with pear wine, after fermentation there will be more liquid separation, but still a large amount of gross lees. I want to minimize the amount of wine that I lose with the lees.

@JustJoe The "Butt Bucket Press" has the advantage of simplicity. I may have to consider that. I could even read WMT while I press the pulp!

A different approach might be leave the wine on gross lees for a longer time. This is not red grape wine, where there is the danger of picking up too much tannin and bitterness from the skins. So grape wine rules don't apply here. How essential is it to get the wine off the gross lees ASAP?

I could filter through a very coarse mesh bag to remove pear skins and any remaining pieces, and put the rest of the pear "applesauce" into a carboy for a month or so until the lees compact. This is related to the suggestion by @winemaker81 to use Bentonite after primary fermentation. I would feel more comfortable with the wine in a carboy rather than a bucket while waiting for the Bentonite to work.
 
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l use a method similar to the Butt Bucket Press. i like to make a still pear wine of around 13.5% abv. I use a 30 litre fermenter bucket with an inverted plastic collander on the bottom of the bucket to keep the spigot area free. I have the fruit pulp in a large nylon bag and then use another bucket to press down on the nylon bag. Prior to getting to the pressing phase - the pears have been through a blender and the pulp treated with pectinase and k- meta then left for a week. After pressing I like to balance the juice in another fermenter bucket before adding back any fruit pulp. Once I have the free run juice I do the usual calcs of Brix and pH. Make adjustments - adjusting the acids, adding sugar, tannin, water etc… - and once all that is sorted I may then add back a small amount of pear pulp (in a smaller nylon bag) to help enhance depth - pitch the yeast … removing the pulp bag at day 10 then leave everything a further two weeks before transferring the wine into carboys. I understand what you say about having to juggle weights. Lifting heavy containers and pulp bags gets more difficult by the year. FYI - I live in the Southern Hemisphere ( New Zealand ) and harvest my Bartlett pears in early February. Harvesting, cutting and pulping, pressing etc can be bloody chaotic especially when the wife wants us to go away for a week to see kids up north.
 
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On another point - I’d be interested to know if you have noticed any changes to your pears. With our weird climate I’m finding my pears are smaller and are ready to drop a lot earlier than previous years. And because they are dropping earlier each year the Brix levels have similarly decreased. Some years back I would get a Brix of 15. But this year it was only 9.
 

Rice_Guy

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These are Bartlett pears from last fall, and they have been in a 0 degree F freezer for months. After thawing, I mash them with a potato masher. The pear pulp is the consistency of apple sauce. . . . I could filter through a very coarse mesh bag
there is a fine mesh nylon bag on Amazon called a “nut milk bag”. With the tools I have I would run it through a nut milk bag with no pressure > When the dripping stops I would start pressure on the bag trying to recover more liquid. > I would do it early with the intent to have active out gassing example 1.050 or 1.060. , A factory set up would build a filter cake with diamateous earth > pump the slurry onto the filter cake and then press/ pump with the aim of a clean finished juice.
Apple sauce is hard to work with ,,, I have not gotten big enough to have a grinding set up. Everything I press has gone through the freezer > it is thawed the pear/ apple is sliced in half with the aim of increasing the area where juice can bleed off > freezer juice is significantly cleaner than grinder juice and apple sauce. > the two images are pressed apple (frozen pear will also press flat with 78 to 80% juice yield). I am using a reverse bar clamp rated at 600lb force. Note jar of juice.
343B30E1-FF46-4B8A-A9D0-3CE6402CE096.jpeg

a small press which is collecting juice from two tannic variety fruit, acrylic press plate
BA8142F3-0CE3-4A71-A206-A076214CD933.jpeg
 

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