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How to Make the Best Tasting Grape Juice

Grape juice1

How to make grape juiceThe secret to making delicious homemade grape juice is to never boil the grapes.

Grape juice reduces bad cholesterol, helps maintain healthy blood pressure, prevents damage to blood vessels in your heart, and reduces the risk of blood clots. Do you see a down side to drinking fresh-made grape juice?

Concord grapes are great for juicing. But there are a host of grape varieties for home-growing and most table grapes will work just fine for juicing. I like starting with a sweet grape and the sweet and tasty Muscadine that grows wild across a fence on a creek-side path I walk every day is perfect. Just find a grape that tastes good to you and get started.

How to Make Grape Juice Simply

  • Wash, stem, and crush the grapes in a flat-bottomed kettle. Use a potato masher to crush the grapes.
  • Barely cover the grapes with water in the kettle.
  • Heat the mix to160°F and hold the heat there for 20 minutes; don’t let it boil (grape juice will boil at just above 210°F ). The juice will come free of the fruit tissue.
  • Strain the juice from the pulp through a square of muslin or a double thickness of cheesecloth.
  • Sweeten the juice to taste with sugar then reheat the juice to 160°F.
  • Seal the juice in thoroughly sterilized jars. During cooking, you can sterilize and prepare your jars. Sterilize your storage jars covered in at least 2 inches of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes —not less. Quart jars are perfect for juices. Make sure you use fresh lids each year; you can reuse jars and rings each year once they have been sterilized, but you want to replace the lids every year.
  • Set the jars in a water bath heated to 170°F for 20 minutes.
  • Let the jars cool to room temperature. Press the lids with your finger. If the lids stay down, they are sealed.
  • Be sure to label your juices. Store juice in a dark place until ready to use.

How to Make Grape Juice—Even More Simply

  • Put 1 quart of washed and stemmed grapes into a sterilized ½-gallon jar.
  • Add 1 cup of sugar to the jar and then fill the jar with boiling water.
  • Seal the jars and pasteurize the jars in a hot water bath at 170°F for 20 minutes.
  • Wait a month, then drain off the juice. You can use the grapes left behind to make a pie.

Also of interest:

Table Grapes: Kitchen Basics

Growing Backyard Grapes

How to Plant, Grow, Prune, and Harvest Grapes

 

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. Harvesttotable.com has more than 10 million visitors each year.

Comments

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    • Fresh grape juice can be refrigerated in jars with tight fitting lids for 5 to 7 days; after that the juice will ferment. You can also freeze grape juice; pour it into a freezer bag or container; frozen grape juice will keep for one year. The juice will begin to ferment if left longer. And you can can fresh grape juice by filling canning jars to 1/4 inch from the top with juice. Place the canning lids on the top of the jars and secure with the canning rings. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the water bath and allow to cool. Check the tops for proper sealing. This can be determined by pressing the center of the lid. If the lid does not move, the jar is sealed properly.

      • This was a very easy method to follow, and a lot of fun with my four year old. Thank you! I canned the fresh grape juice last night and it’s all sealed, but I am worried about it fermenting (the juice is mostly for my kids!). How long will it keep in its canned state without fermenting?

  1. This looks easy; I’ll give it a go. I have a wonderful crop of grapes this season and have frozen (free flow style), made chutney and thoughtI must try juicing as I don’t want to learn how to make wine and juice is very handy for the children, when the adults are drinking wine. The grapes are delicious but have pips so the straining will deal to that. Thank you

  2. It is always better to drink the grape juice without any sweetener as this helps in retaining the necessary nutrients that your body needs. Another important thing to remember is that you need to drink the fruit juice made out of a juicer as soon as you can to avoid the juice losing its nutritional value.

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