How do I use a crusher/destemmer?
A crusher/destemmer is one of the best items you can own when it comes to wine making. These units are great for grape wines, but they can also make softer fruits easier to press. Keep in mind that this unit is not designed to take the stem off strawberries, but it can help pulp them up a bit.
There is no need to sanitize the crusher as you will be using metabisulphite to kill any bacteria in the fruit later on in the process. The metabisulphite will kill anything that might be on the unit.
- Start by attaching the handle to the wheel with the included nut if you need to. Motorized units will not have to do this.
- Attach the wheel to the post of the unit by using the included bolt. Make sure to tighten the bolt well. Again, motorized units will not have to do this.
- Place unit on top of stand, or bucket, to collect the fruit and juice.
- Plug in unit if motorized.
- Add the fruit to the hopper.
- Turn on the unit or start cranking the handle until fruit falls out of the unit.
- Keep adding more fruit as needed.
- Turn off the unit, or stop cranking, when all the fruit is done.
That is all you have to do to get the fruit ready for pressing. This is a pretty simple operation that will save countless hours on this part of the process.
There is very little to the clean up process with these units. Make sure the unit is unplugged if you have a motorized version. All you need to do is hose off all of the equipment to get rid of all debris. You also want to remove the de-stemmer portion, which is the drum in the middle part of the unit. Just unscrew the drum and it should just slide out. Wash this off as well as you can. When everything is clean, put the unit back together and store it for the season.