View Full Version : Short term grape must storage

09-25-2010, 10:35 AM
I was recently given approximately 30 lb. of concord grapes which I'm aiming to turn into a pyment. (I know concord isn't exactly the ideal varietal, but they were free after all). The grapes have been stemmed and washed, and I intended to begin fermenting this weekend, but unexpectedly learned I need to leave town in a few days and am concerned about not being around for cap management/removing skins/nutrient additions after fermentation is underway.

So, my question is this: can I safely crush the grapes, add sulfites to them, and store them in a sanitized bucket under airlock without risking infection for a few days before mixing up the rest of the must when I return?

Thanks in advance for your advice and comments.

Medsen Fey
09-25-2010, 10:57 AM
Freezing them might be better.

09-25-2010, 09:54 PM
Alternatively, if you can keep them below about 50F, you can sulphite them and keep them in a closed container or under an airlock for a few days. In fact that is a kind of "cold maceration," and that can actually serve to extract more color and more fruit aromatics from the grapes.

Tannin Boy
09-26-2010, 06:47 AM
Freezing them might be better.

I just ordered my grape juice from the supplier for this years Vintage!
As usual, they come from California. Do they freeze them then ship in a
truck that has a refrigerated system? Never gave it much thought, but
the trip must take a week to get to NY from there?


09-26-2010, 02:13 PM
Thanks for the insight guys. Since I live in a basement apartment in which I don't control the temperature, storing them below 50 degrees unfortunately isn't an option. So, I managed (barely) to jam them all into my freezer.

Any suggestions on how to press them without a wine press? I was thinking of going the traditional route and stomping them barefoot (with sanitized feet of course). It would certainly add the novelty factor of the experience. :)

09-27-2010, 12:44 AM
Many homebrew shops that cater to winemakers will rent a press. Otherwise, clean feet sure sounds fun!