Ratchet Press Instructions

1. If the press is unassembled when purchased, it must be reassembled before use. The press should have the following parts:
· 1 three-legged base (smaller presses have the worm screw permanently attached)
· 1 long worm screw with a nut at one end (larger presses)
· 2 wooden half baskets with metal "keys" to hold them together
· 1 ratchet with 2 metal "Pawls" (angled metal pieces)
· 2 half round wooden bases, and 6 square wooden blocks
· 1 long metal rod
2. Insert the screw into the base, and tighten the nut. This needs to be tight, with no 'play', so a wrench may be necessary to tighten.
3. Place the baskets on the base, insert the keys to tighten and hold them in place. Some baskets have an "up" and "down" position, this varies with the manufacturer.
4. The ratchet goes on top of the screw. The "top" of the ratchet has the slots for the pawls to go in. Rotate clockwise to move it down.
5. The pawls control the ratcheting up and down. On the smaller presses, there will be one set of slots for the pawls. On larger presses, there are two sets of slots: one on an inner ring, the other on an outer ring. On the presses with two sets, the pawls are placed either in the inner ring or outer ring. The pawls are inserted so that the when the ratchet is moved back and forth, the mechanism moves up or down the screw. Some experimentation will be needed to determine the correct placement.
6. Insert the long metal rod into the ratchet and tighten it. When the pawls are inserted correctly and the rod is pushed back and forth, the ratchet will move up (or down) the screw.

Using the press:

1. Make sure the press is clean before use. It may be sulfated prior to use if desired.
2. Be sure a fermenter is under the lip of the base for the juice to flow into. Load the basket with the grapes to be pressed. For ease of loading, the ratchet may need to be removed.
3. When the grapes are all in the basket, or the basket is almost full (whichever comes first), put the two half circles of wood on top of the grapes. The blocks are placed, in pairs in a criss-cross fashion, on top of the half-circles. Additional blocks may be added if needed to properly press the grapes. The Ratchet is rotated down to the top of the blocks; the pawls inserted so that the ratchet will go down, then pressing may commence. When stiff resistance is felt, and the flow of wine is reduced, stop and rest a bit. Resume pressing after the flow of wine stops all together - the flow of wine should begin again. Repeat this procedure until the grapes are fully pressed out. The pumice or "cake" will be fully compressed and nearly dry. The ratchet should then be reversed (reverse the direction or location of the pawls), the blocks removed and basket removed.
4. The pumice may be used to make a second wine if desired or discarded. Clean all parts of the press with water. A coating of mineral oil on the screw will prevent rust. Store in a dry location until the next season. Properly cared for, a press will last many years, if not generations.