Here are five wine making tips for using a grape press. These are basic bits of information that describes the central role grape presses play when making wine at home.
1 . You Can Press More Than Just Grapes With A Wine Press:
While grape presses are sold with the intent of being used for making grape wine, they work perfectly fine for pressing other fruits. Everything from tiny elderberries on up to apples can be pressed with a grape press.
2. All Fruits Must Be Crushed Before Pressing:
While you can press a variety of fruits with a grape press, it is important that the fruit be crushed beforehand. This is true whether you are pressing grapes, blueberries or pears. Depending on the amount of fruit you are dealing with: you can crush the fruit by hand; you can use a blunt object such as the butt end of a 2X4; or you can get an actual grape crusher to do the work for you.
3. Stems Should Be Removed Before Pressing:
This primarily applies to pressing grapes. Some stems are alright, but excessive stems left in with the pulp can cause your resulting wine to have excessive tannin. This can give it an astringent flavor. The astringency could age-out over time, but the result of that would be a dark, dusty sediment forming in the bottom of your wine bottles. To remove the stems you can pick the grapes from them, but if you have a larger amount you may want to invest in a grape destemmer that does the process for you. A grape destemmer typically will crush the grapes as well, so you can handle both process with one piece of wine making equipment.
4. Whites Are Pressed Before Fermentation, Reds After:
This one often throws a lot of beginning winemakers off. Many assume that the grapes are always pressed before fermenting. In the case of making a white wine, they would be right. The grapes are destemmed, crushed, pressed and then fermented. However, when making a red wine, you want to destem, crush, ferment and then press. Having the pulp in during the fermentation is what gives a red wine its 'red'. It is also what gives these wines more body than whites. If the pulp were not in a fermentation you would end up with a blush wine.
5. Choose A Wine Press That's The Right Size For You:
Grape presses come in all sizes. In general, they all press with the same amount of pressure and extract the juice with the same amount of efficiency. It is simply a matter of how much wine press do you need. Too much press and you won't be able to fill the pressing basket all the time. Not enough press and you'll be spending all weekend pressing. All the grape presses we list on our website have listed how many pounds of fruit they will hold and the approximate number of gallons of juice you can expect with each pressing.