Right basket press size

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

zappoid

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2022
Messages
32
Reaction score
11
Location
Georgian Republic
Hello everybody. Just Joined. And of course, have some questions. Now I’m contracted in Georgian Republic (Caucasus region) and decided to get some experience and joy in good homemade wine.

  • For small batches as maximum 100 kg at ones do I really need crusher- destemmer or simple INOX small crusher will be enough?
  • Smallest basket press on local market I could buy is D40 Marchisio. What the minimum weight of grapes (before crushing) I need to buy to fully press the must. I’m afraid too small amount, like 30 kg press could not press. My idea to try different styles, to drink the same is too boring. Sellers have lazy girls at counter knowing nothing. Some descriptions says 70 liters, some 130 kg. As you see it is not the same units to compare. Crusher I have to buy tomorrow, press – maximum in week. Please comment.
  • Will yeast stay alive if I press the must before end fermentation?
Wish the best to everybody, specially to myself, tomorrow will be long day: work, shop, vineyard and pressing.
 

sour_grapes

Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
14,158
Reaction score
16,574
Location
near Milwaukee
Welcome to WMT!

I cannot help you with the questions about your euipment choices. I can say that yeast survive pressing just fine, and continue to ferment the rest of the sugars after pressing.
 

Flufnagel

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2021
Messages
31
Reaction score
54
If the Marchisio is a 40L (10.5 gal) press like the item linked below, it should be able to fit about 50 kg of grapes (based on original pre-fermentation weight) once the free run wine has been drained. So you would need to run two press loads if you had 100 kg of grapes to start with.

I have an 11 gal basket on my press and it fits 3 boxes of grapes, which is 108 lbs (49 kg). That's how I came up with this estimate for you.


Regarding crushing and destemming; the crush is the easy part even with a fairly small crusher. It's the destemming that will try your patience (and your back). But machines to automate that are quite expensive compared to the crusher alone.
 

zappoid

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2022
Messages
32
Reaction score
11
Location
Georgian Republic
If the Marchisio is a 40L (10.5 gal) press like the item linked below, it should be able to fit about 50 kg of grapes (based on original pre-fermentation weight) once the free run wine has been drained. So you would need to run two press loads if you had 100 kg of grapes to start with.

I have an 11 gal basket on my press and it fits 3 boxes of grapes, which is 108 lbs (49 kg). That's how I came up with this estimate for you.


Regarding crushing and destemming; the crush is the easy part even with a fairly small crusher. It's the destemming that will try your patience (and your back). But machines to automate that are quite expensive compared to the crusher alone.
D40 means diameter 40 cm. So it is much bigger than 50 kg.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
7,090
Reaction score
18,189
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
This is interesting -- I have a #40 basket press, and I've yet to figure out the "#" schema. However, 40 cm = 16", and I just measured my basket -- inside diameter is 16". Cool! I've learned something new!

I have no experience with bladder presses, so I can't advise on minimum volume. If it was a basket press, you could create more wooden blocks to press smaller quantities. I press in 4 or 5 lug batches (144 to 180 lbs, 65 to 82 kg) and have no problems. I am leery of offering minimum sizing on your press.

Destemming? You can do that manually -- it may be irritating, but unless you remove the stems you will probably produce a wine that is too tannic.

Paul is right -- the yeast will survive crushing.
 

zappoid

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2022
Messages
32
Reaction score
11
Location
Georgian Republic
This is interesting -- I have a #40 basket press, and I've yet to figure out the "#" schema. However, 40 cm = 16", and I just measured my basket -- inside diameter is 16". Cool! I've learned something new!

I have no experience with bladder presses, so I can't advise on minimum volume. If it was a basket press, you could create more wooden blocks to press smaller quantities. I press in 4 or 5 lug batches (144 to 180 lbs, 65 to 82 kg) and have no problems. I am leery of offering minimum sizing on your press.

Destemming? You can do that manually -- it may be irritating, but unless you remove the stems you will probably produce a wine that is too tannic.

Paul is right -- the yeast will survive crushing.
I don't know why everybody talks about bladder press, I clearly mentioned basket press in my first post. Anyway it looks you have the same press size l'm about to buy. So I will apply your numbers and buy at least 80 kg for each varietal. Thank you for the info. I was on your website before and impressed by your stuff.
 

BarrelMonkey

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
290
Reaction score
398
Location
Northern California
This is a useful guide to sizing a press: https://www.juicegrape.com/guide/articles/Sizing_A_Press
However, note that they mix up gallons and lbs in the calculation at the bottom of the page...

The values I use are: 1 ton (2000lb, ~900kg) grapes produces 213 gal/803L must, of which 75gal/283L is must solids, yielding 128gal/484L finished wine. If you're planning to buy 80kg of grapes, that's a bit less than 1/10 of this amount, so 80L must/28L must solids. If you drain off the free run wine first, that should easily fit in one load of a #40 (70L) press.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
7,090
Reaction score
18,189
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
I don't know why everybody talks about bladder press
Because I looked at the picture in @Flufnagel's post and stopped thinking .... ;)

@BarrelMonkey's numbers sound good. In my experience, my press handles 80 kg just fine, and can probably hold double that.

I made a jig -- 4" PVC pipe with 1/4" / 0.635 cm holes drilled in one end. I wrap it in a fine mesh nylon bag, submerge it in the must, put the racking cane inside, and rack/pump the wine out of the fermenter. This removes half the weight so carrying the fermenter to my pressing area is much easier, and I'm not unnecessarily pouring the wine through a press.

The following picture is the remaining pomace from 82 kg Merlot after a light press. IIRC, this is about 1/3 the height of the basket. I'd not get 160 kg in there all at once, but could put in 100 kg, press, then add more.

Merlot-After-Light-Press-1024x982.jpg


Beyond the press -- what size(s) are your secondary containers? As much as possible, plan batches for secondary container size, e.g., if you have a 54 liter barrel, you need at least 65 liters of post-pressing wine to allow for sediment to drop and for evaporation through the barrel. If using glass or stainless steel you don't need to account for evaporation, but you must allow for loss of volume due to sediment.
 

zappoid

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2022
Messages
32
Reaction score
11
Location
Georgian Republic
This is a useful guide to sizing a press: https://www.juicegrape.com/guide/articles/Sizing_A_Press
However, note that they mix up gallons and lbs in the calculation at the bottom of the page...

The values I use are: 1 ton (2000lb, ~900kg) grapes produces 213 gal/803L must, of which 75gal/283L is must solids, yielding 128gal/484L finished wine. If you're planning to buy 80kg of grapes, that's a bit less than 1/10 of this amount, so 80L must/28L must solids. If you drain off the free run wine first, that should easily fit in one load of a #40 (70L) press.
Thank you for the link. Numbers of must solids are included stems?
 

zappoid

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2022
Messages
32
Reaction score
11
Location
Georgian Republic
what size(s) are your secondary containers?
I'm going to use 18 and 19 liters glass carboys. Today I have bought 100 with some kg, crushed with the stems and put in 2 food grade 60 liters plastic barrels. I got 40 and 5 liters of must in both barrels. Including stems. I added total 4.3 g of PMBS for 2 barrels, pumped some CO2 above and then I screwed lids.
Tomorrow I have to find out what to use as punch down tool. Then to remove stems. Is it safe for wine to remove stems by hands? Also tomorrow night I will enaculate the yeast.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
7,090
Reaction score
18,189
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
I have a stainless steel paddle I use for punch down -- it's not ideal, but for small batches (6o to 80 kg), it works fine. Some people use a 2x4 board (I'd sand it smooth and sanitize with K-meta or Star San before each use), and recently someone posted a photo of one they made from 4" PVC pipe -- 4 equidistant slots were cut in one end, maybe 10cm long, and the PVC was heated and the 4 sections bent outward. I may make one of those, as I have leftover PVC from a project, it's easy enough to do, and it should work very well.

People have stomped grapes with their feet for centuries, so destemming by hand is no problem. Hygiene is the key thing in winemaking -- wash your hands and arms well before doing anything, and you'll be fine. Adding K-meta at every racking after fermentation also makes a huge difference in preserving the wine.
 

BarrelMonkey

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
290
Reaction score
398
Location
Northern California
Thank you for the link. Numbers of must solids are included stems?

I think must solids usually assumes that you have crushed and destemmed the grapes - so no stems. (However, some people suggest adding back some stems when pressing in a basket press, to produce channels for the juice to flow...)

One word of warning: I believe the volume of must solids assumes dry must solids, whereas what you load into the press will be wet (that's why you want to press it!) So for an 80kg load of grapes, you'll probably load closer to 40-45L of grapes into the press (if you drain off all the free run first).
 

BarrelMonkey

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
290
Reaction score
398
Location
Northern California
But I had read otherwise: stems are not allow to fully press the must.
I think that including stems is more important if you're pressing grapes before fermentation (ie for white and rose wine). For red wine, the grapes will have already given up most of their juice during fermentation. another option is to add rice hulls to the (white) grapes to help break up the skins and extract more juice.
 

zappoid

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2022
Messages
32
Reaction score
11
Location
Georgian Republic
Because I looked at the picture in @Flufnagel's post and stopped thinking .... ;)

@BarrelMonkey's numbers sound good. In my experience, my press handles 80 kg just fine, and can probably hold double that.

I made a jig -- 4" PVC pipe with 1/4" / 0.635 cm holes drilled in one end. I wrap it in a fine mesh nylon bag, submerge it in the must, put the racking cane inside, and rack/pump the wine out of the fermenter. This removes half the weight so carrying the fermenter to my pressing area is much easier, and I'm not unnecessarily pouring the wine through a press.

The following picture is the remaining pomace from 82 kg Merlot after a light press. IIRC, this is about 1/3 the height of the basket. I'd not get 160 kg in there all at once, but could put in 100 kg, press, then add more.

View attachment 93633


Beyond the press -- what size(s) are your secondary containers? As much as possible, plan batches for secondary container size, e.g., if you have a 54 liter barrel, you need at least 65 liters of post-pressing wine to allow for sediment to drop and for evaporation through the barrel. If using glass or stainless steel you don't need to account for evaporation, but you must allow for loss of volume due to sediment.
How do you think, will be it good idea to add small part, as 10%, of half fermented must to new, freshly crushed must? I think about because i couldn't find the yeast I wanted.
 

ChuckD

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
1,252
Reaction score
2,206
Location
NE Wisconsin
someone posted a photo of one they made from 4" PVC pipe -- 4 equidistant slots were cut in one end, maybe 10cm long, and the PVC was heated and the 4 sections bent outward
That was me. I used a 1-1/2”
Pipe but would use a 1-1/4 if I had it on hand.
7DC32435-9C40-4D32-B6E9-9DBDF75F2059.jpeg
It worked really well for punch downs. I sanded it up nice and smooth which makes it easier to wash.
 
Top