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.