This past weekend we went down to my parent’s house to get a lesson in how to can grape juice. Late summer to my mom = extreme canning season. It’s kind of her hobby.
So when she asked me if I wanted to do some canning there where she
1. Provided the produce
2. Provided help
3. Provided most of the canning paraphernalia– how could I turn her down?
If you thought that making grape juice involved stopping grapes barefoot in a large vat like in I Love Lucy, you’d be mistaken, but entertained nonetheless. Actually making it is easier than you might expect!!
How to can grape juice:
First you pick some grapes.
Then you wash your grapes, pick them off the stems, and remove all the yucky ones.
Next, you scoop them in clean jars.
Add a bit of sugar. (Unless you don’t want to then you-do-you-boo!)
Top with hot water.
Finally, can in a hot water bath canner.
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How To Can Grape Juice
- Concord Grapes however much you are ambitious to do!
- Sugar 1/4 cup per quart
- Hot water
- Wash and de-stem grapes, discarding any bad grapes (over-ripe or buggy).
- Add 1 1/2 cup grapes to clean 1 quart jar.
- Pour in 1/4 cup of sugar.
- Fill jar to the top with hot water, leaving an inch of headspace.
- Wipe tops of jars. Top with lids and rings.
- Place in hot water canner. Cover with water, just enough to cover the jars fully. Bring to a boil. Process 20 minutes in hot water bath.
- Turn off heat after 20 minutes. Let jars "rest" in the canner an additional 5 minutes.
- Store in a cool, dry place. After two weeks open jars, drain off grapes and enjoy grape juice!
Do you dilute the juice?
You can dilute with water to your liking or drink it as is. It is also delicious to make sparkling grape juice with by mixing it with carbonated water or sprite.
Can you make this without sugar?
Sure! This grape juice can be made without any added sugar, but it would be a bit sharp, not quite sour, but a bit biting–I prefer just a little sugar in it. But if you prefer not to have the added sugar–go for it!
You can always add a little bit of sugar or artificial sweetener (this one’s my fav!) to your cup if needed.
How long does homemade grape juice last?
It is best to use all home canned items within a year and drink the juice once opened within a week.
Fermentation can easily happen with grape juice left out too long! So unless you want to open your own winery–drink up!
What is the hardest part of canning this juice?
The most time consuming part to me is cleaning and picking the grapes off the stems.
But it is truly worth the effort and now we are all stored up for grape juice for the winter.
My original intent was to do 8-10 quarts, but then my mom convinced me to do more and we ended up with 24 quarts of grape juice!!
I always seem to bite off more than I can chew with canning! So in an afternoon we did all that grape juice, plus 18 pints of tomato sauce. I was TIRED by the end!
But the tomato sauce was SO delicious–better than ever! It makes me hungry for spaghetti and pizza and everything Italian.
And the juice will be great this winter! I love grape juice with popcorn at night for a snack and Layla LOVES it (what kid doesn’t?)!
We had a great time at my folks. Layla loves the farm and always asks when we are coming back!
We are coming into my favorite season, fall and the Midwest just does fall SO right!
Hope you enjoyed this step-by-step guide for canning grape juice at home!
Let me know if you have any questions about the process-I’d love to help! The comments section has lots of helpful tips as well!
Have you ever canned? Are you ready for fall?
If you like this recipe be sure to pin it for later here!