I thought the process of making grape juice would be more complicated than it actually was. I am not a huge fan of grape juice or juice for that matter – but every once in awhile I do enjoy a glass. Stella likes juice – but since I do not buy it often, she pretty much drinks water -so this will be a treat for her.
I was happy to oblige and let my kitchen be used for the grape preserving and even more happy to oblige when I was given many jars of juice to keep!!! I think we started our grape preserving with close to 40 pounds of grapes!! I have grapes on the property, but still do not know what kind they are – it will be fun to figure that out when they are ready and I will already have experience on the juice and jam making. Might have to make some wine!
Grapes (many pounds)
Large soup pot
Canning jars – quart size
Small sauce pan
1. Fill your large soup pot 3/4 of the way with grapes – fill with water to just covering the grapes. Cook on medium-high heat. Place lid on.
2. Fill your canning pot with water and set that to get boiling.
3. Sterilize your jars either in your boiling bath water or in a dishwasher.
4. Once the grape water starts boiling, start mashing the grapes in the pot with your masher. Lower the heat and allow the grapes to simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Place your canning jar lids into the small saucepan, fill with water and heat to almost boiling.
6. After the 5 minutes, mash the grapes again. Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
7. We double strained our grapes – first through a colander and then through cheese cloth. You can also use a jelly bag.
8. Pour the strained juice back into the large pot and add sugar (only if needed). For 7 – 8 quarts of juice we added 1 cup of sugar. We tasted the juice before adding anything.
9. Fill your jars, place lids on and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes after the water comes back to a boil.
10. Remove the jars and listen for the pop of the jar sealing. If a jar does not seal, turn upside down for 15 minutes or so and it should seal. If a jar does not seal – drink up!