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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Canning grape juice

My mother-in-law Sandra is an expert at canning and over the years has canned quite a bit. This year she let me join her in her harvest of grapes to make some canned grape juice. Now, I don't know why we call it canning when we put it in jars but oh well, we do. Now, obviously this post isn't designed to be detailed how to instructions, but more to demystify the process and show you how simple it can be.

Sandra harvested her grapes before I got there and had three or four tubs full of grapes ready to go. The first step was to wash the grapes. You don't need to stem the grapes - it won't affect the flavor of the juice. But you do need to wash them unless you want the flavor of little spiders and dirt in your juice. We also took out the few dried leaves that had ended up in the batch.

Then pile them into your steamer juicer - all the way to the top. Put the lid on and start steaming them according to your steamer's directions - somewhere around 60 minutes.

During that time the juice will slowly flow out into your waiting container. In our case a pitcher for ease of pouring into our jars.

After your done you'll end up with some pulp that looks like this. You can reserve this pulp to get some diluted juice from it later on if you'd like. It must be good for something!

Once you've got the juice pour it into jars ready for canning. Make sure the top of the bottle is clean and free from juice so the seal can be nice and tight. We then went on with the canning process - boiling the jars for 15 or so minutes and then letting them cool and seal.

And voila! You've got homemade healthy juice to enjoy for a long time. Wasn't that simple? I thought it was and already my boys are begging me to open up yet another jar! By the way, we do dilute our juice a little bit - you might like it 100% or not - just play around a bit to see.


jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
loavesandfishes said...

Which variety of grape do you grow and which zone are you in? I want to attempt to grow grapes next year.

megan said...

She grows concord grapes and lives in Boise, Idaho which is right on the border of zones 5 and 6.

Rae of Sunshine said...

I am looking at a bountiful harvest of beta grapes this fall but didn't want to end up with 20 jars of grape jelly, but as my husband really likes grape juice, I wanted to find a way to can that grape juice for later use, so this post is extremely helpful!

marisa said...

Rae of Sunshine,

I'm so glad this article helped!

paula akin said...

I made wine grape liqueur last year; delicious! I would use the leftover grapes from canning to make liqueur or fruit syrup. I plan to make more fruit syrups for those who can't or don't care to imbibe. I made a tangelo syrup and an orange-lemon, just by using the liqueur recipe but not putting in the vodka. A spoonful in a glass of water or 7-Up type soda tastes great!

Hagerott said...

I know an old farm wife who puts the hot juice directly into sterile jars. She seals them and does not process them. Interesting and she has no spoilage.

Tip Garden said...

I am going to try grape juice this year, but when I was a college student the family I was the nanny for would put the whole grapes right into the jars, pour boiling water over them and process them that way, then strain the grapes out after they opened them. I am going to search for those directions, unless you have them or know of them.

Anonymous said...

the grapes in Jar is my preferred method (I have tried both methods like the taste of non-concentrate better).

For 1 quart(Double for half gallon):
1 heaping cup washed grapes no stem
1/3 cup sugar
file rest of jar with water.
Boil for 20 min

Let sit on shelf for 1-3 months before consuming.
1 month starts to taste good.
3 months it is about as good as it will get.

Ramona said...

I make juice with my grapes, then run the pulp through my squeezo strainer and use that to make jam, and then feed what's left to our pigs! :)