press is a wonderful tool to have when making grape wines or for when
fermenting only the juice of certain fruits. Certain presses are made only
for grapes and will not press a hard fruit. Other presses will work in
both cases. In either case, a press is used to press the juices from the
fruit. Generally a press is comprised of a square or cylindrical basket,
with a pressing surface above the basket. A ratchet or threaded rod of
some sort is used to lower the pressing surface down into the basket, thus
squeezing the grapes or fruit. Pressing should be done slowly, letting the
juices run down into the bottom of the press or the catch as I call it.
The juice is then ran into a container from the juice catch. A nylon mesh
bag is often used to line the press basket with, to reduce the amount of
solids that are passed on into the receiving container. For white grape
wines, pressing is done immediately after crushing the grapes. For red
wines, the pressing is completed after fermenting on the pulp for a period
of time. The juice that is pressed from the skins of red grapes is then
returned to the fermenter and fermentation is allowed to continue.
Presses range in size and cost. The larger the press the
more expensive it is. You can buy a plastic press that is designed to fit
over the fermentation bucket and have the juice run straight into the
fermenter. The cost of a press such as this is only about $100.00 -- Other
presses are either made of stainless steel or hardwood, and range in price
from around $175.00 to $400.00. Depending on the amount of fruit you need
to press, you may be able to get by without a commercial fruit press. If
you have a vineyard, or are planning to plant a vineyard for the purpose
of making wines, you will eventually need a decent press.
wine is a discretionary process for the average home
winemaker. Filters can be costly, and are not always necessary for
making a good wine. There are a lot of filters on the market now,
that are geared toward the home wine maker. The super jet and mini
jet filters made by Buon Vino are real popular and are not to
awfully expensive, a couple of hundred dollars more or less will
land ya one of these filters. Filters use various pads to filter the
wine with. the filter pads range in shape and size depending on the
housing that they are made for. Plate filters tend to be some of the
best, using flat filter pads. The wine is usually passed through
several pads or plates, to achieve the final result. Another
type of filter is the cartridge filter. This is the type of filter
that I use when I need to filter my wine. A cartridge filter is
round and is IN-LINE with the pumping hose. The wine is ran through
the filter housing on one site, through the filter and out the other
side of the housing. A pressure gauge is usually mounted on top to
monitor the pumping pressure. Plate filters are supposed to be
better than cartridge filters, but I have had no problems with my
cartridge filter, and it does a very nice job.
You can use any GOOD small water pump for a wine
pump. I purchased a water pump at home depot, and bought a cartridge
filter to pump the wine through.
Filters are rated in Microns. Usually the
following is general guide line.
- 5 micron A course pad used for pre
- 1 micron. a fine pad, can be used as the only
filter for reds, and are also a good finishing filter for
- .5 to .1 micron are micro fine filters.
These will filter out yeast and sterilize the wine. Can also
strip the wine of color and body.