How To Can Grape Juice
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
Homemade Grape Juice: A simple how to can grape juice step by step guide. Simple and natural way to make your own grape juice at home!
- 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!
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
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!
We were also gifted quite a few pumpkins from my mom’s garden! Some for decorating and some for pie! I may need to make some of my healthy pumpkin muffins or my crustless pumpkin pie! Soo good!
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!
Quick question a friend of mine made hers this way as I have for years now. When she checked her lids they all had bubbled and when she went to release the pressure they fizzed. Has that ever happened to you or your mom? Thank you for your time.
I’ll ask my mom cause she’s the real canning guru, but I would say it sounds like they didn’t seal. Maybe next time make sure the top is wiped well and rings are nice and tight. Also, that she’s always using new lids.
Can you use the grapes for anything or do you just drain them off?
I just drain them off and toss. If you find something to use them for I’d love to hear it!
My grandchildren love to eat them after they have had their juice (I don’t strain for them). I haven’t tried it because it just doesn’t appeal to me.
Michelle, after I’ve made grape juice, I put what’s left in a colander & extract “pulp.” It makes great grape leather when dried. In fact, I sometimes freeze it & use to make leather in the winter.
I love this juice canning method and have used it with grapes and wild grapes. Wondering if you think putting elderberries in a jar using this method would be safe as well?
Hey Val! I’ve never canned any type of elderberries, but I checked my ball blue book of canning and they do have a recipe that is similar to this one. So yes it is safe! You can get the exact recipe here: http://amzn.to/2hxX40j
Thanks for the info we can only eat so much jelly and the grapes are in good supply this year.
You are absolutely welcome!! My kids adore this grape juice!
I just made 27 quarts of this this weekend! 🙂 it was a recipe passed from my grandma! Happy canning!
I canned some fresh grape juice about 3 years ago. I just opened a jar, it was still sealed, and drank some of it. It tastes just as good. I am not sure why we must throw away perfectly good juice after a year! Why do the recommend that? And is it dangerous to drink? My husbands grandmother use to cook butterbeans out of the freezer 5 years old and it never hurt anyone. Why now, is canned and frozen foods so bad after a year when it didnt use to be?
Hi Terrie! So honestly this is a health code thing and the recommendation from the FDA. And while your Grandma (and mine too!) never experienced botulism their still were incidences of sickness caused by home canning. Many home canned products CAN last longer than a year, but I suggest staying within the 1 year guideline and using your brain. 😉 If your grape juice smelled “off” or had any kind of puncture or dent or mold growth of course don’t consume it. I’ve definitely eaten older canned items and lived to tell the tale, but generally try to can only as much as my family can consume in a year. Happy canning!!
this recipe seems to be same or similar to what my mother did in the 60s and 70s. My new home has concorde grapes and I want the anti-oxidants from grape juice. However I am now diabetic. Do you have information on doing this recipe with out sugar or a sugar substitute. We use the Stevia (green) bags of sweetener from Aldi, and it is a mix of maltodextrin and stevia.
I appreciate any input on this.
Joe Sherman Grand Haven MI
I don’t add sugar to my grape juice using this method, however, it takes some getting used to because it is a bit biter. After a bit though, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Joe, you may can just fine without sugar at all. I do it all the time. When you open the jar, if you (or anyone) wants it sweeter, just add the sweetener/sugar as you desire. If the grapes are fully ripe, they make yummy no-sugar juice. Careful, though, as they are high in carbohydrates (& vitamins!).
Do we re-process the juice after removing the grapes in order to keep the shelf life?
No. I do not. Leave the grapes in and simply strain them out when you’re ready to enjoy.
Do you have to open all jars and remove grapes after two weeks or just take out grapes as you use the juice??
No! Take the grapes out when you serve it.
Would this work for cherries too.
I’m really not sure.
This works for cranberries too. I add 1/4 – 1/2c of sugar to quart jar, with 1 1/2c cranberries, and the rest of the quart jar with boiling water. Process 25 minutes. Let “marinate” for at least two weeks before using to infuse flavoring before opening the jar. Really good!
I have done this same method with whole cranberries. And I have even added Apple’s in with the cranberries. It is really good
That sounds delicious!!
Why does the juice escape from the jars? Seems the water bath water is darker than whats in the jars? I’ve followed this recipe to a t and still some of the juice escapes. Any suggestions?
Is this an approved way of canning grape juice? Is it in the newer Ball Blue Book? I’d really like to try it.
I don’t like to be the final say on that –you’d have to double check that on your own against Ball Blue Book or your local Home Ec office. Fruits like grapes are naturally acidic so they are safe to process using the boiling water method. My blue book has a slightly different recipe, but the processing time is similar.
A similiar recipe is on the usda website. Check it out.
I plan to can grapes like this now. But I think it would be fine to purée the canned grapes with the juice and use to make grape preserves. If the seeds do not break down enough they can just be removed.
I just do not have time right now to food mill grapes and then can the juice and pulp – this method sounds much easier so I can do what I want with the grapes as I have time. I use very little sugar and am lucky our local vineyard in TN has pick your own Concord grapes for just $1 a pound!!
Do you preheat the jars or just use the clean room temp jars with grapes and hot water?
I do not preheat the jars.
I have also just put the grapes through my KitchenAid food grinder with the juice & made grape jelly or preserves, or sometimes just the grapes, if I open enough jars at once.
In order to get all the nutrients from the grapes keep the seeds and the skins! Blend them into the juice, make jam/jelly/preserves or even vinegars with them! I waste nothing of a grape, it is the most healing fruit on earth. 😉❤
Totally your choice to do that as well.
My good friend told me about canning this grape juice after I tried hers and loved the flavor. She did say it tastes best after waiting three months from the time you canned – more flavor. Thank you so much for your website. Easy instructions.
I have bottled concord grapes by picking and stemming them for years. Over the years I have saved 2-quart jars. I am learning to leave the 1″ space and by tightening “finger tight” so air can escape when boiling them in a water bath. After you bring them out of the bath, then tighten the lid more. As they cool then they will seal. I only have 4 grape vines, but half way through the summer, I prune long vines and any new growth of clusters and the remaining clusters have larger grapes. If you are able and the birds leave you alone, wait until cold weather or even a 1st frost to make the grapes sweeter. The bottles of juice seem much tastier if they have been in the fruit room longer.
I have fresh grown green grapes from a neighbor and plan to use your recipe. Any reason it wouldn’t work with green grapes? They are Pinot Grigio grapes, but I don’t want to make wine. They are very sweet and yummy.
Yes! It should work just the same. Sounds really tasty!!
We did 12 quarts and added the sugar. While the jars are cooling we noticed the sugar had settled and somewhat solidified in the bottom of the jars. Is this normal?
It should be fine. Some sendiment will settle at the bottom naturally, Just stir or shake before serving. You can also strain it through a cheese cloth if you want a juice without any pulp when you serve.
I just tried this method for the first time, but in a pressure canner (10 lbs pressure for 10 minutes). In some of the finished jars the grapes are floating on top, and in some the grapes are at the bottom of the jar. Does this mean anything?
It should be fine. They will most likely settle.
Mine did not float either. I googled it and sugar makes grapes float,so I guess it’s from not having much sugar in them.
I just made 8 pints of this grape juice – I did water-bath and cut ingredients in half – so easy and satisfying! We will see how it turns out in a few months! Not sure if I can wait that long!