Getting Into Home Wine Making - Equipment And Contacts

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Newbee(r)

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Well, the hops are growing, the apples and perry pears are in - and there's 6m x 12m of space with good sun out the front for some vines. Looking at planting some riesling vines as they do really well in Canberra - I can probably get 12 or so established vines in this space and around 50kg grapes once they are. I found yalumba now sell vine stock, so will be sourcing from them, as they make some cracking riesling.

As the vines will take a few years to establish, I was thinking of sourcing some grapes locally to get my skills up. Is anyone aware of local wineries that may sell some grapes before I start the run of calls?

I was also thinking about building a press over summer as I pick up the other bits and pieces - demijohns, refractometers etc. Does anyone have any experience doing this, or should I save some grief and spend some $ on one of these too?

Not looking to go into large scale production, just to produce 2-3 cases of annual vintage in between the brews and the ciders.

Any help with second hand equipment going in the canberra / NSW region also appreciated!



J
 

Greg.L

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Making a rack and cloth press is fairly easy if you have diy skills. basket presses don't work very well for apples and white wine. There are lots of plans on the internet for apple presses, I use my apple press for wine as well, it works well. I think the best presses to buy are the "hydropress" type which have a bladder that uses water pressure from a hose. They work well but about $1500 for a 80L press.
 

Newbee(r)

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Making a rack and cloth press is fairly easy if you have diy skills. basket presses don't work very well for apples and white wine. There are lots of plans on the internet for apple presses, I use my apple press for wine as well, it works well. I think the best presses to buy are the "hydropress" type which have a bladder that uses water pressure from a hose. They work well but about $1500 for a 80L press.

Thanks for this - why doesn't the std basket press work for white wine grapes? Too much tannin pressed out I am guessing- so an apple press will do the job for whites?

I had seen the bladder press - not a small investment though at that price - none of the sites I have seen have been listing the cost and that's a bit steep early in the hobby - but pressure control sounds like a big part of clear low tannin juice
 

Tim F

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I don't know if it's the same in canberra but in SA you can pick up a small basket press for grapes new for ~ $700 or about a third of that in the classifieds or gumtree etc. I was/am thinking of building one but once you price out the bits to do it properly you would be tempted to just buy one. You've still got a while before you'd need it so I'd start looking out now for a cheap one. Just don't go too big if you're doing such a small quantity of grapes, it's a pain trying to press 100kg in a press that can do 500kg!
 

Newbee(r)

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I don't know if it's the same in canberra but in SA you can pick up a small basket press for grapes new for ~ $700 or about a third of that in the classifieds or gumtree etc. I was/am thinking of building one but once you price out the bits to do it properly you would be tempted to just buy one. You've still got a while before you'd need it so I'd start looking out now for a cheap one. Just don't go too big if you're doing such a small quantity of grapes, it's a pain trying to press 100kg in a press that can do 500kg!

Not a lot of options in Canberra! Can rent a press from the local HB, but can guarantee there will be a queue at pressing time, and as I understand it, half the battle is getting the grapes in, chilled and pressed on the same day when they hit preferred brix, and if you go to the trouble of growing your own, I figure I don't want to get quality pinged waiting - otherwise it's Internet orders only. Yep, keeping an eye on the classifieds now - only looking to process 50-60kg at most.

G&G seem to have a range of basket presses of various capacities - hadn't heard they were no good for whites before previous post though - just figured a gentle touch on the press would reduce the tannins. the 63L might be the go if I can't find one, subject to postage of course. I do have a birthday coming up :D
 

Greg.L

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Thanks for this - why doesn't the std basket press work for white wine grapes? Too much tannin pressed out I am guessing- so an apple press will do the job for whites?

I had seen the bladder press - not a small investment though at that price - none of the sites I have seen have been listing the cost and that's a bit steep early in the hobby - but pressure control sounds like a big part of clear low tannin juice

Basket presses work for white grapes but you will be struggling to get 50% yield, its very frustrating believe me when you spend a day pressing and leave so much juice behind. Basket presses are meant for red grapes which get fermented first so they are a lot easier to press. Whites get fermented after pressing, normally a bag (bladder) press is used because the pressure is a lot more even and you get a good yield. The juice from basket presses is fine, you just don't get so much of it. Building your own rack and cloth press is the most economical way to do it, you just build a sturdy frame with a plastic tray at the bottom, and use plywood or hdpe for the racks.
 

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