1- What is grape crushing?
The crushing is also known as grinding, or crushing the grape. Once the grapes are separated from the stem (destemming), they are squeezed to extract the must. This work can be done mechanically with a grape crusher.
2- What is crushing for?
What benefits does it bring and why is it done?
The crushing allows better extraction of the must , in the case of white grapes that are directly pressed and in the case of reds that are going to macerate in a stainless steel tank together with the solid parts, it will allow a greater maceration, by having more must in contact with the skins.
With the crushing the output of the must is facilitated, the natural yeasts found in the skin part are dispersed , while they are aerated and begin to activate, it facilitates maceration by increasing the contact surface between must and skins, facilitates the transport of the paste by pumping and favors the formation of the hat in maceration .
3- When is the grape crushing done?
Normally it is the process that is carried out after destemming and prior to maceration. We could say that crushing is the second process in the cellar.
4- How is the grape crushing done?
Formerly it was carried out by stepping on the grapes , but nowadays crushing machines are used, which are machines that break the grape berries, doing the least possible damage to the skin, releasing the must. The crusher must break the grape grains without grinding them and without breaking seeds .
Like destemmers, there are several types of crushers.
In the lower photograph we can see a joint model of a destemmer, a grape crusher and a pump.
Other articles published in this viticulture blog about winemaking that may interest you are: