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Are there any practical benefits to using a bladder press instead of a basket press?

This is for an average sized production winery.


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Kinnek Knowledge Team

A bladder press extracts more press juice, with more consistent flavors, and easier, to boot.

Basket presses have come back into fashion in recent years.  Some find the traditional aspect alluring, some swear that the press juice is higher quality.  A basket press may produce a subjectively better wine in your case.  If we look at the objective differences, however, the benefits of a bladder press are quite clear.

Basket presses suffer from two issues: lower yield of press juice, and the potential for 'hard ratcheting', or higher application of pressure on the grapes, which causes more bitter and harsh flavors to enter the wine.  While 'hard ratcheting' produces higher yields, the introduction of bitter and harsh flavors is undesirable.  The potential for inconsistency and mistake, combined with the lower yield, makes a basket press a bad choice for a winery in which the pressing is not highly supervised and micromanaged.

Bladder presses are more user-friendly and consistent.  The press squeezes the grape from the inside-out in an equal application of pressure.  There is no issue of 'hard ratcheting'.  Bladder presses are also higher yield (and each press cycle is faster), which means that you can either up your production or purchase a smaller bladder press, whichever suits your needs more.

Generally, a bladder press will offer you substantial benefits, unless of course there are some other subjective reasons for which you believe a basket press will provide a higher quality wine.

Apr 4, 2014

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