Making the most of the fall harvest...Homemade Grape Juice from fresh picked Concord Grapes.
My Grandfather's childhood home is just down the hill from where I currently live. It's a great old home with a huge barn, lots of pasture and an amazing garden. My Great Aunt and Uncle raised their family in the house and it is still in their family. It has always been a favorite place to visit
Last weekend I went down to harvest grapes. These grape vines have been around for years and produce huge Concord Grapes. Once the grapes are ripe, it's always a race to pick them before the raccoons get them! Those darned raccoons are grape eating predators. During the night, they can eat every last grape and then we are left with none!
Luckily this year, the raccoons have found better eating and hadn't yet touched the grapes. My sister, on the other hand, found the grapes first! She picked all the humongous grapes that were on the top of the vine. No bending...no crawling. Just nice easy picking.
I had to crawl on my hands and knees under the vines to find the grapes. Still fairly easy picking and a little mud on my knees doesn't cause me any worry!
These grapes were quickly turned into grape juice which I then canned and will store in my pantry until needed.
I used a steam juicer to make juicing fairly easy. One warning about these grapes and the juice, the color is intense and will leave a beautiful stain on many surfaces.
I mix equal parts of water with this juice when I'm ready to drink it. Sometimes the juice needs a bit of sugar. Just stir in a bit if needed. I like it a bit on the tart side and sometimes the grapes provide just the right amount of sweetness and no sugar is needed.
Equipment used for making Homemade Grape Juice
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Homemade Grape Juice
- 20 pounds concord grapes
- Place washed grapes in the top of a steam juicer. You do not need to remove stems.
- Place water in bottom of steam juicer.
- Steam grapes for 1.5 - 2 hours until juice stops flowing.
- Place juice in canning jars and process with a hot water bath or freeze juice.
- Mix with equal parts water and juice before drinking.Add sugar to taste if too tart.
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