Making homemade grape juice can be a very involved process. Over the years I have tried many different methods- crushing, steaming, juicing, but all were very time consuming and the end product wasn’t satisfactory. I have developed a method that is much quicker, easier to do and the end product tastes wonderful. Here is my method. Follow the steps in the photos at the bottom of the post. I hope you give it a try. Let me know your results, I would love to hear from you!
Always follow good general canning practices. Check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation- http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html
1. Select clumps of grapes that are fully ripe. Concords are great but I have used other grape varieties also. (This method also works wonderfully for preserving cane berry juices.)
2. Prepare your jars, lids & rings. Keep them hot.
3. Boil water in a kettle for adding to the jars.
4. Place grape clumps in a colander over the sink and rinse them off with cold running water.
5. Pick the good grapes off of the stems and drop them into the jar. Fill the jar 1/2 full with the grapes. Mix grapes from different clumps to get the best flavor. Stems and culls go into a bucket to feed to the chickens. They Love them!
6. Pour 1/4 cup of sugar over the grapes in the jar. More or less as you prefer.
7. Fill the remainder of the jar with boiling water leaving a 1/2″ headspace.
8. Wipe the jar rim with a clean cloth.
9. Secure a boiled lid & band to the jar. Don’t over tighten.
10. Place jars in your canner. I use a pressure canner but you could also use the waterbath method if you prefer.
11. I process the jars for 10 minutes @ 5#’s pressure. Follow the canning procedure and times for your canner.
12. When processing is complete allow the jars to cool undisturbed for 24 hours. Store in a cool dark place.
13. To Serve- Place a funnel and fine mesh strainer over your chosen serving container. Shake the jar of canned grapes hard. Pour the contents of the jar into the strainer. Allow the liquid to passively drain into your serving container. If you press on the pulp your juice will become cloudy. Taste test. You may wish to add more water &/or more sweetener to your taste preference.
14. Serve cold or over ice.