Bladder Press

Definition - What does Bladder Press mean?

A Bladder Press is one of several types of wine presses used to extract juice from crushed grapes during winemaking. Wine presses exert controlled pressure on the fruit; the pressure must be carefully monitored in order to prevent the release of undesirable tannins.

The grapes are placed in a large, closed, perforated cylinder with a long, sausage like bladder in the center. The bladder is filled with air or water, usually with water, and presses the grapes against the side of the cylinder. Grapes are squeezed from the inside out in an even fashion. Juice is pushed out the perforations in the cylinder. The large device spins, ensuring all of the grapes receive equal pressing.

WineFrog explains Bladder Press

Developed in the 20th Century as a way to prevent the needless repacking of the horizontal screw press, the bladder press is a soft, gentle way of pressing grapes. It is capable of pressing grapes in bunches at a very high hourly output. Considered a "batch" press - because the pommace and skins must be removed between batches - it is an easier way to press grapes than its predecessors, the basket press and the horizontal screw press.

Bladder presses are easier to use than their counterparts because they:

  • Don’t need to be repacked and repressed - the bladder ensures no juice pockets are created.
  • Are gentle on the must.
  • Create a higher quality press.
  • Don’t require physical effort, just a garden hose.
  • Are easy to sanitize.
  • Are easy to move around.
  • Can cool the must if needed by using cool water - a benefit in the hot, dry climates and summer time.
Unfortunately, bladder presses are more expensive than their counterparts.
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