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Who washes their grapes before crushing

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Mac60

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Just curious how many of us wash your grapes before you crush.

I started washing grapes a few years ago, never did this the prior 8 years, but for some reason to which I can't remember why, maybe I read it somewhere, I started washing the grapes with non chlorinated water before I crush them. Who thinks this is it a waste of time?
Would love to know how many others are washing their grapes before press.
Should I skip this step? go back to my old ways?
BTW I really love this forum, so many knowledgeable Wine O,s
MAC.
 

Ajmassa

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I remember somebody mentioned rinsing off their grapes right before the season started. And thought to myself crap why did I never think to do that?
But some of the knowledgeable wine o's responded with some good points. The only thing I remember was that they said it wasn't needed. And the cons outweighed the pros. And essentially washing your grapes can have a byproduct of allowing water to get into the skins potentially lowering the Brix level and watering down the wine.
No clue how much that would actually affect the levels though it seemed to make to sense.
 

JohnT

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I assume that we are talking about harvested grapes just prior to crushing? If yes then...


Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever wash your grapes.

I know that I run the risk of sounding obnoxious. Sorry, this is an occupational hazard for folks from New Jersey...


The reason is that (for most wine grapes) you will never get them dry again. Grape clusters are like sponges and will retain a surprising amount of water. This will only serve to dilute the brix and acid that God work so hard in putting into the grapes.
 

Boatboy24

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I would answer your question with another question: Does Mondavi or Coppola rinse their grapes? If not a commercial best practice, why would a home winemaker need to do it?
 

Mac60

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Yeah... Like said I'm not sure why I started doing it ???. But I will Stop the Madness and definitely NOT wash them next season.
Thanks again for great grape advise.
How about another question whats everyone using for bottling I have to 500 bottles to fill next year this time.
 
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cmason1957

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Glad to hear you are going to stop the madness, as others have pointed out, why dilute sugar and acid.

Bottling. I use my All in one Wine Pump for almost all of my bottling, sometimes if SWMBO helps, we use a Ferrari Automatic Bottle Filler, but that is so she doesn't have to pay attention, it stops flowing, when the bottle is full.
 

JohnT

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Check out the All-in-One.

Perhaps @vacuumpumpman can help you further....
 

Mac60

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JohnT, Thanks I think I will, would you know if I can fill bottles directly from my 250Liter & 150Liter SS VC Tanks using the All-in-one ?
 

bkisel

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Glad to hear you are going to stop the madness, as others have pointed out, why dilute sugar and acid.

Bottling. I use my All in one Wine Pump for almost all of my bottling, sometimes if SWMBO helps, we use a Ferrari Automatic Bottle Filler, but that is so she doesn't have to pay attention, it stops flowing, when the bottle is full.
Would you recommend the Ferrari to a wine making hobbyist filling maybe 250 bottles over the course of a year? I currently use a wand which is a pain when filling dark bottles and any deeply punted bottle. Clear flat bottomed bottles are no issue but I have a lot of dark and punted bottles. Thanks...
 

Ajmassa

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Bottling with the AIO pump is freaking great. That thing is like the best kept secret in the home winemaking world. It transfers, filters easily, degasses the wine as a byproduct of transferring, and makes bottling simple. With the level on the neck preset so each bottle is identical.
As long as you can fit a hose or racking cane into your tank then you can transfer or bottle out of it. Whatever vessel the wine is going INTO is the vessel that gets vacuumed.
It's also got the overflow built into it in case you get sloppy and there's no mess.
I got one in May and already put some serious miles on it. I made a rack for bottling 12 bottles at a time. With 3" pvc pipe cut into about 4" lengths all cemented together 3x4. Set em up, bang out 12 in 2-3 minutes. Set em aside and bring in another 12. I can't speak highly enough about it
 

cmason1957

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Would you recommend the Ferrari to a wine making hobbyist filling maybe 250 bottles over the course of a year? I currently use a wand which is a pain when filling dark bottles and any deeply punted bottle. Clear flat bottomed bottles are no issue but I have a lot of dark and punted bottles. Thanks...
Assuming you don't have an All-in-one-wine pump, which I think is the best way to bottle, then to me the second best way is the Ferrari. You start a siphon, put it on top of the bottle, the siphon shuts off when the bottle is full. You push a button on the side of the bottle, move to the next bottle, push a button, fill. I think they cost under $20.
 

vacuumpumpman

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JohnT, Thanks I think I will, would you know if I can fill bottles directly from my 250Liter & 150Liter SS VC Tanks using the All-in-one ?
I believe we talked over the phone earlier today -

You can pull from any vessel as long as the bottling filing height is higher than the input vessel liquid height
 

Johny99

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I have a three bottle tank type filler. After some messing around, it works well with a pump with speed control. However, unless I’m really bottleing a bunch to make the setup and cleanup worth the time, I just grab the all in one and go at it. Convenient and works well.
 

Mac60

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I have a three bottle tank type filler. After some messing around, it works well with a pump with speed control. However, unless I’m really bottleing a bunch to make the setup and cleanup worth the time, I just grab the all in one and go at it. Convenient and works well.
Would like to see your exact setup, I have 500 bottles I need to file in July so I'm looking at my options, right now the AIO wine pump seems like a cost effective practical option.
 

Mac60

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I believe we talked over the phone earlier today -

You can pull from any vessel as long as the bottling filing height is higher than the input vessel liquid height
Thanks Steve, yes we did talk I appreciate your advice, your AIO wine pump looks like a good solution for me
 

Johny99

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Would like to see your exact setup, I have 500 bottles I need to file in July so I'm looking at my options, right now the AIO wine pump seems like a cost effective practical option.
With 500 bottles, I’d use the three bottle filler.

I got rid of the ball float “valve”. It basically aerated the wine as it sets partially closed. I use a small ac pump with a variable speed drive. I route the 1/2 inch discharge hose through the hard filler pipe to discharge just above the bottom of the tank, so once a little wine is in, it is submerged an not pulling air in. I start the spouts and begin filling bottles, tuning the speed of the pump to try to hold a pretty consistent level. The consistent level leads to consistent fill levels. When I have time, I plan to rig a small aquarium type float switch to a relay to stop the pump if the level gets too high. Right now I just juggle to toss the off switch if I get behind in filling.

Losing suction can be an issue. I carefully bent my filler tubes to have identical, as I could, radius and suction height. Also messed with the springs as well. If the tank level is well controlled, no suction loss as no air gets in. I did buy one of the little tube and build suction starters. It works sort of.

I’m whipped tonight, picked and crushed 1200 lbs today, but if you still want pictures, let me know and I’ll set it up and take some.
 
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homer

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If you don't wash the grapes before crushing, then I would surmise you don't think it's important wash your table grapes or blueberries or apples or any other fruit before eating it? bk
 

sour_grapes

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Not following your surmise. Do your apples reside for weeks in a high-alcohol, low-pH environment before you eat them?
 

JohnT

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If you don't wash the grapes before crushing, then I would surmise you don't think it's important wash your table grapes or blueberries or apples or any other fruit before eating it? bk
Homer,

Table grapes are different than wine grapes. Wine grapes are usually tightly packed with the berries clumped together where water is drawn into the cluster through capillary action. This makes drying wine grapes difficult if not impossible.
 

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