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After the grapes are harvested, many gardeners, especially those cultivating technical varieties, begin to make homemade wine. At the first stage, of course, you will need to chop the berries, crushing them to a state of pulp.
If earlier it was customary to grind berries directly with your hands or feet, then at present this not too hygienic method has been replaced by modern aggregates - crushers. They allowed to automate the work and save time and energy in the manufacture of a large number of beloved alcoholic beverage.
Purpose and principle of operation of the crusher
Almost all crushers for crushing berries have a very simple, but at the same time effective design. The units consist of a receiving hopper for loading, a pair of parallel-mounted crushing rollers and a container for collecting pulp.
The volume of grapes required for processing is loaded into a special receiving container. Then, crushing rollers are put into operation by mechanical means or by means of electricity, which crush the grapes and transfer it to the pulp collector.
The main features of this unit are the presence of a gap between the teeth of the crushing rolls, as well as their rotation in different directions. The gap allows you to leave the grape seeds whole, which is very important for obtaining quality wine. Damaged bones give the finished drink excessive bitterness, which is due to too much tannin in them.
Varieties of Crushers
Today it is possible to purchase wood, plastic or stainless steel crushers for grapes. The main condition for a quality unit is the manufacture of parts involved in the process of crushing berries from materials that are not susceptible to oxidation.
The easiest option is a wooden crusher. A more convenient and modern option is a manual or electric crusher equipped with a comb separator. High quality characterized by stainless steel crushers, which are very easy to clean and wash.
Crushers with and without separator
Grape combs can give the wine the astringency and saturation characteristic of high-quality drinks. However, their excess amount very often causes a bitter or unpleasant taste of the drink, and also negatively affects its color and transparency. And if in the manufacture of red wines the grape combs are allowed not to be removed, then for white wines this procedure is mandatory.
Combine crushers used for grape processing are represented by two main types.
Such an aggregate best meets the requirements of the technology for preparing raw materials for wines and allows you to get high-quality wort. In our country, the production of such crushers has been established. The principle of operation is based on the work of rolls and comb separator. A pair or more horizontal rolls are cylindrical and rotate in opposite directions. The size of the gap between the rolls is regulated by a special device. Rolls have a corrugated, smooth or lobed surface and can be four-, six- and eight-bladed. Mainly used profile rolls.
Centrifugal impact crushers
Centrifugal crushers, or CDG, can be both vertical and horizontal. The process of crushing grapes occurs as a result of the impact of a rotor rotating at a speed of up to 500 rpm. The use of this variant of comb-separator crushers is characterized by the most complete wort yield with an increased amount of coloring and phenolic substances. As a rule, CDG is used in the manufacture of red grape wine.
Mechanical and electric crushers
The principle of operation of a standard electric crusher has slight differences from the action of a mechanical apparatus. A special feature is the presence of a special comb separator, which is a horizontal cylinder with a shaft and helical blades. Such elements allow you to quickly and efficiently separate the grapes from the ridges. As a result of the progressive movement of the helical blades, the ridges are pushed out. Only juice and pure grapes enter the crushing tank.
Benefits of Using Crushers
Crusher for grapes is a useful and practical unit for winemakers. The use of such a device in the manufacture of wine has several advantages:
- several-fold reduction in technological losses of pulp;
- lack of saturation of pulp with components undesirable for the final product;
- saving time and effort;
- obtaining a higher quality pulp;
- unit design is simple, reliable and very durable;
- manual or mechanical crusher can be used in the absence of electricity;
- high-quality stainless steel crusher is reliably protected from corrosion and does not impart odors to grape juice.
It should be remembered that crushers equipped with comb separators are not used in the processing of muscat grapes.
We also recommend that you read the article on grape presses.
DIY crusher making
A simple, but rather technologically advanced grape crusher is quite easy to make with your own hands. With small volumes of homemade wine, it makes no sense to purchase a factory design, which, by the way, is quite expensive. Independent manufacture of such an aggregate will take a little time, and in terms of efficiency it will hardly be inferior to the devices sold in stores.
Crusher Manufacturing Instructions:
- Making the body of any material, the most preferred option is high-quality oak boards.
- Making a drum, or beater shaft, from a pipe and equipping it with 1.5 mm thick stainless steel blades
- The manufacture of bearings in the form of plastic bushings with longitudinal slots, which will allow you to change the size of the gap between the drum and deck.
- Installing the drum with a metal rod with a diameter of 1.4 cm on bearings in the form of plastic bushings for sliding.
- Installation under the beater shaft of the concave, or deck, the dimensions of which depend on the size of the berries. The most commonly used grate is a deck with a cell of 7.5 x 14 mm for a small berry and 12.5 x 25 mm for a large grape berry.
- Installation of the handle, with which the beater shaft on the bearings will be driven.
The manufactured hand crusher is mounted on a container for collecting pulp. Almost any capacity can be used as a mezzanine, but preference should be given to barrels or tanks made of food-grade plastic or stainless steel.
DIY grape crusher
Both purchased and self-made unit for crushing grapes will become an indispensable tool for winemakers. It not only speeds up and facilitates the preparation of pulp, but also helps to obtain a more transparent, tasty and aromatic home-made wine.