grape harvest

Homebrew, cordials, cheese, dehydrating, smoking and soap making. An area for all problems to be asked, tips to be given and procedures shared.
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catalyst
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grape harvest

Post: # 6462Post catalyst »

hurray! we now have almost 300 litres of "wine" bubbling away in barrels (i use airlocks - just cant seem to trust the idea of sealing the barrels!!)
and 120 litres of pasteurised grape juice....

it was great fun picking, treading and pressing the grapes... anyone else grow grapes in quantities?
the pasteurising is tedious though - bring juice to the boil in the bottles, and boiling for 45 minutes...
making olive oil soon....

andy
http://quintadasabelhas.blogspot.com/

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Post: # 6464Post 2steps »

wow :mrgreen: I'd love to grow to grapes. not for wine, just to eat, eat, eat :lol:

ina
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Re: grape harvest

Post: # 6467Post ina »

catalyst wrote:hurray! we now have almost 300 litres of "wine" bubbling away in barrels (i use airlocks - just cant seem to trust the idea of sealing the barrels!!)
and 120 litres of pasteurised grape juice....


andy
http://quintadasabelhas.blogspot.com/
So from next year we can expect you to be on the site less frequently - due to constant inebriation? :drunken:

I'm jealous, that's all!

And olive oil, too... Well, I should remember that all that comes with a hot climate, and I don't get on too well with that. Can't have everything.

Ina

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Post: # 6581Post Wombat »

G'DAy Andy,

I'm not a wine drinker mate, but I am interested in extracting oil from olives, having a tree myself.

So..............do tell! what is your process and how well does it work?

Nev
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Post: # 6582Post shiney »

I have a grape vine in my garden not a huge one as I prune it. I let it do it's own thing this year and not one bunch of grapes!

Have you any tips for pruning a vine? I just snip it right back to three 'branches' in January. Then I get a little lost on the nipping out process in order to get a good crop.
If in doubt ~ use a hammer!

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catalyst
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Post: # 6588Post catalyst »

hi nev & shiney,

olives... we have 60 tress. for every 10 kilos of olives you get about 1 litre of oil... most of our trees are small and produce about 10 kilos, but the big ones can give 100 kilos - 10 litres of oil for a long hard days work. I recently saw handpicked organic cold pressed olive oil for sale for £24 for 100ml!! (crazy but probably near the cost of production!)

we prune at the same time as picking... putting nets under the tree, cuting off the branches down to 'nodes' as i call them, points of growth, where the tree will put out loads of new growth. we do half each year, as you get olives on 2nd year growth.
under the tree we strip the leaves of fruit, doesnt matter if they are green or black (green is just unripe, they go black later) for oil. you get a spicier oil with earlier unripe olives.
while we are picking, the picked olives are stored in a huge plastic tub of water, changed every day.
when we are finished we take them to our local mill - almost every village in portugal has one... and queue for hours, and wait for hours (often all night) as it is pressed...
is there a mill near you?

vines... around here vines are normally grown on the edge of the terraces on trellises that run the length of each terrace. normally vines are cut down to a couple of branches, and the number of buds you leave on each stem depends on how cold it gets in the winter.
here, vines can be huge, with many 'nodes' where we cut them down to 2 or 3 buds, one stem on each node. once the leaves have dropped off - this work will be starting in the next month or so, and takes me about a month, a few hours every day (i suffer from RSI from using a mouse too much!! so i cant do repetitive task with my hands for any longer most days) this produces a lot of grapes, you actually get better wine if each vine only produces a few bunches - i am trying to make my vines smaller over years, to balance quality and quantity. the idea is to prune hard to make the plant fruitful - but if you prune too hard you only get a lot of green growth and no grapes.
i'd suggest in the uk that you leave quite long stems - i have read in cold parts of the US they can leave up to 12 buds on each branch.
a good book is "From vines to wines".

did i forget anything?
andy

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Post: # 6589Post shiney »

Thanks for all that info on the vines and of course the olive trees. I shall heed your advice and see what happens next year. Last year I had about 20 bunches of small tasty grapes.

I have one olive tree that survives outside all year round. No olives yet! It's about 4 feet tall and lives in a pot in a sheltered spot in the garden. I am just amazed that it survives our Winters!
If in doubt ~ use a hammer!

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Post: # 6594Post greenbean »

Hi all, I have just been given a small vine from my neighbour who has not had much success and has given up with it, he's a cheery old chap, told me to think of him when i'm eating grapes and he's dead and gone. One piece of advice he gave me was to prune it by letting the neighbours ass have a chew at it, easier said than done in the uk.

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catalyst
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Post: # 6598Post catalyst »

my wife pruned her mother's vine and fig tree last year (in uk)
mum-in-law was devastated... "what have you done"

this year both are bigger than ever with more fruit than ever before!!!

can't stress the need to prune enough.

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Post: # 6605Post Wombat »

Thanks Andy,

What sort of press do you have?

Nev
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Post: # 6618Post Guest »

hi
its an old hand press.... metal base, wooder barrel shaped top, with a big screw on the top that you turn with a bar....
i'd post a photo, but a friend has borrowed it...
andy

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Post: # 6623Post Wombat »

No worries, thanks mate!

Nev
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Our website on living more sustainably in the suburbs! - http://www.underthechokotree.com/

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catalyst
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Post: # 9320Post catalyst »

been drinking the wine for a couple of months now...
pretty good this year.... have to decant the rest out of the 100 litre barrels soon.
have just finished pruning the vines too... now we have to rebuild the trellises and start tying them in...
andy

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Post: # 9389Post Moorf »

Hello catalyst

Very interested to read of another forumite who has grapes and makes wine. We have a small vineyard of 150, 30 yr old, vines - four varieties apparently but we're unable to fully i.d them at the moment. I have a sneaky suspicion that there's a red in there somewhere!! As you can see, I'm no viticulture expert!

I'd be interested to hear of your method of wine-making from harvest through to quaffing! Currently it's early summer here in NZ, and our vines (which I don't think were well pruned for the last couple of years) are HEAVING with bunches of grapes - so much so that I did a bit of thinning as I read that overcropping can seriously damage the root systems. I have found the nets which we shall need to put on in the next few weeks. I envisage harvesting around April time - maybe March - this year is a learning year for us. I have already roped in several village kids to pick them!!

I'd love to hear of your experiences...

Thanks
Moorf
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Post: # 9403Post catalyst »

hi
luckily i'd written this for somewhere else... so here it is:

when the grapes ready (the book says use a hydrometer to measure sugar levels - if you wanna go that far i can lend you one) pick them. we use large buckets. then tread them, in the buckets is easiest. the idea is to break the skins. then we poor these squashed bucketfuls into the press. keep pickng and treading til the press is full enough to work.
then press them, putting the juice extracted into a large container (we have a 600 litre plastic foodgrade tub, bought from the agri co-op in tabua).
cover with a sheet to keep flies out, and make sure to put a tarp over it if it looks like rain (or maybe you have a large enough indoor space?)

if red, put a significant amount of stalks and skins (what is left in the press) back in to it, this gives it a deeper colour. I put about a third back in, the rest of the waste goes on the compost heap, but you could make aguadente with it if you have a still.

leave for (mais ou menos) 4 days, stirring the skins etc back into it every day (it floats to the surface)... this is the primary fermentation and needs air. after 4 days it should slow down in its frothiness.

if you are using new barrels they need to have been filled with water... look for leaks, if after a few days they still leak, try to take back and exchange. they should not leak after absorbing water for some days.. make sure to change the water each day, or it can go rank...
if using old barrels, do much the same, but i would advise cleaning them properly - we used sodium carbonate from the agri (1 gram per litre barrel size, 24 hour in barrels, then wash well, and rinse and soak until needed)

now the fun that i've just had today - put the whole lot through the press again (not necessary for white), strain (we use a piece of mesh over the buckets) and put in the barrels.


personally i store my barrels upright, with an airlock in the them, but i think its normal to seal the barrel on its side, and the wood breathes. but i'm not convinced mine wont blow up if i did this... at the moment my airlocks are like little volcanoes of wine Smile

now wait for 6 months or more for the secondary fermentation to finish. this does not need air.. in fact air is the enemy. then put into garafoes (the 5 litre demijohn like wine bottles), and seal. ready to drink whenever you are.

cleanliness - this is important. make sure everything is hosed down with plenty of clean water before use.

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