One thing you will never regret learning is how to make grape juice from fresh grapes. Not only does juice made from Concord grapes provide antioxidants for optimum health benefits, but it is also a burst of pure flavor.
Things you’ll need to make grape juice from fresh grapes:
- Fresh grapes
- Large, clean bucket
- Canning pot
- Potato masher
- Clean gallon jugs
- Sugar or other sweetener, optional
- Canning jars and lids
- Gather the fruit. Choose firm, well-colored, fresh grapes. Pick or purchase two pounds of grapes per quart of juice you wish to make.
- Wash the fresh grapes and carefully remove the stems. If you find that you need to wash the grapes in batches, place them in a clean bucket.
- Dump the grapes into a large canning pot. Smash them a bit with a potato masher. Pour in enough boiling water to cover the fresh grapes. Return to a boil; then lower the temperature and simmer until the grape skins are loosened.
- Pour the juice through a strainer lined with cheesecloth into a clean bucket. Make sure you get every last drop of juice from the skins and pulp.
- Transfer the juice into jugs, using a funnel. Refrigerate for a couple of days, then either pour the juice off or strain through cheesecloth again to remove the naturally-occurring sediment—do not mix the juice. Discard the sediment.
- If desired, strain the grape juice a second time through a paper coffee filter. This will “polish” the juice for a clearer end result, according to an information bulletin by the United States Department of Agriculture Extension Service.
- Return all of the juice back into the canning pot and add as much sugar or other sweetener as desired. Bring the juice back to a boil to dissolve the sugar. If you want unsweetened juice, skip this step.
- Remove the grape juice from the heat and store. You can leave some in the refrigerator for immediate use, and preserve the rest in quart or half-gallon canning jars using a hot-water canner.
Concord grapes are the most health-beneficial to use for juice. Purple grapes have certain compounds that reduce plaque buildup in the arteries.
Fermentation can begin during the fifth step, which will spoil the juice.