Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Easy grape juice

I used to make grape juice by cooking the grapes then filtering through cheesecloth. It was a long process but it made great grape juice. Then someone told me about a way to make juice with a LOT less effort and a LOT less time. In a nutshell you put the grapes in the jar with a little sugar (or none if you want) filling up the rest of the way with hot water, and processing in a water bath canner for 25 minutes. THAT'S IT, you are done! I've been making it this way now for about 10 years now, and don't plan on going back to a longer, harder process.
I grow concord, Catawba and Thompson Seedless but use the Concords and Catawbas for juice.

Ingredients per jar:
1 1/2 to 2 cups of grapes (I use 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar (I use 1/4 cup)
Boiling water to fill jar the rest of the way.

First wash your grapes well, I do it in the kitchen sink. Remove grapes from vine, and sort out bad grapes, stems, leaves, leaving just the good-quality grapes.

Prepare a pot of boiling water to use to fill the jars. You will need a little less than a quart for every quart of juice you are going to make.

Prepare your lids by boiling in water. I heat my washed jars in the microwave by placing a half inch of water into each jar and microwaving until the water boils. Then I use my 'hold warm' function on my microwave to keep them warm until ready to use. Or you could microwave them for a minute every few minutes to keep them hot.

Pour 1 1/2 cups of grapes and 1/4 cup of sugar into each jar.

Now pour the boiling water into the jar, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace, and place in water bath canner.

Process in boiling water bath for 25 minutes and you are done. This is so simple and makes great juice. When serving, pour slowly and usually the grapes will stay in the jar. Or you could pour over a strainer to keep the grapes out.


  1. I am interested in trying this. Do you dilute this when you drink it? Does it taste better with age? Do you know if this works if you slightly crush the 1-2 cups of grapes before putting into the jar? Wondered if it would give a stronger taste- sooner?? Thanks.

  2. Diluting it is not necessary, it tastes just about right, right out of the jar.
    I don't think crushing the grapes slightly would have any advantage, but I am open to someone experimenting and letting me know. Most of the flavor in grape juice comes from cooking the skins, and that happens when the grapes are processed in the jars. I also think you would get a cloudier juice, and it would be harder to pour off just the juice without getting sediments into your drinking glass. With the grapes kept whole it is very easy to pour just juice out of the canning jars.
    Again, I welcome testing and feedback.

  3. Thanks so much. Sorry for all the questions. I picked a bushel of 2 kinds of grapes yesterday and will be doing lots of experimenting. Concords and white grapes. I was only able to get seedless concords-so we'll see how that works. I also will be trying white grape juice doing it your method. We love white grape juice and thought I'd give it a try-at least once and see what happens. I do have a question-how long do you let the juice set to ripen or age? Or does it matter? Thanks so much.

  4. Graceful,
    I apologize for just now getting to this. I just got married and this summer has been a blur. I hope to get back to posting very soon, as soon as I get my new wife's things moved in and organized better.
    I don't age the juice before using it, I use some of it right away. So I dont think it matters if you age it after canning or not.
    Sorry again

  5. THIS IS AMAZING! I have always made the grape juice with a juicer that I let run ALL DAY for a few quarts of juice. this seems so much easier!

  6. Hi Marty thanks for the great info. is this grape juice concentrate enough that I can use it for making jelly?