Homemade Grape Juice

Late September and early October is Concord Grape season in California’s central valley. Every time I walk under our grape arbor in this season, just the smell of those ripe grapes conjures up memories of childhood – wolfing down a PB & J, slurping a rapidly melting frozen grape juice bar (mom was way more into those than neon popsicles), or greedily munching on a grape flavored jelly bean, lifesaver, or any of those turn-your-mouth-purple candies that we loved. We used to make Grape juice from Welch’s frozen concentrate; sometimes the lid didn’t come off so easily and splat there went a purple goopy mess all over our shirts.

If you have never had fresh, homemade grape juice, I assure you, you are missing out; it’s nothing like anything you can buy in a store. It’s more like nectar than store bought juice, thick and smooth. We like to dilute ours a bit with sparkling water. Over the years we’ve learned that our homemade grape juice doesn’t really freeze well; it just doesn’t taste nearly as special upon defrosting. So when it’s in season, we drink it up.

This recipe uses Concord grapes which, according to my friends in Concord, Mass, still grow wild around those parts. I’m pretty sure you could use this grape juice recipe with any kind of sweet grape you like.

Homemade Grape Juice Recipe

Ingredients

Equipment needed

  • A colander for rinsing the grapes
  • 1 large, 12-quart pot
  • 1 large 6 or 8-quart pot
  • A very large fine mesh sieve, or cheesecloth

Method

1. Pick the grapes. Get a large basket, wear long sleaves and a hat, bring clippers, and fill up the basket with grape bunches. Keep in mind that a pound of grapes will yield a little less than a cup of juice.

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2. Wash and de-stem the grapes. Put grapes in a basin filled with water. Then rinse the individual grapes, picking them away from the stem, collecting the grapes in a large bowl, and discarding the green unripe and old shriveled grapes.

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3. Mash the grapes. With a potato masher, mash away at the grapes so the juice begins to flow. If you have picked a lot of grapes, you may need to work in batches. We have found it easiest to mash about 4 lbs of grapes at a time.

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4. Cook the grapes. Put the mashed grapes into a large stockpot. Slowly heat the grapes and juice to a simmer on medium heat and then simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally so that the grapes don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Halfway through cooking mash some more, breaking up as many of the remaining grapes as possible.

5. Prepare sieve or cheesecloth. Get another large pot, place a large fine mesh sieve over it. Alternatively you can cover it with two layers of cheesecloth, secure with a rubber band. Make sure pot is sitting on a plate to catch any juice that may run over.

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6. Strain grape mixture. Ladle grape mixture over sieve or cheesecloth to strain. Let sit for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator to strain completely.

7. Finishing. Remove sieve or cheesecloth.* Note that sediment will have formed on the bottom of the container. Rinse out the sieve or cheesecloth and strain the juice again, to filter out some of the sediment. Pour or ladle juice into containers. Enjoy your juice!

* Note that the grape mash can be composted.

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160 Comments

  1. Robyn

    If the juice is a bit tart can sugar be added?

  2. elise

    You can add sugar if you need to, but if you are using sweet ripe Concord grapes, you won’t need to. The cooking also helps release some of the sugar from the grapes.

  3. Robyn

    You are right about the sugar. I just made some and it tastes great! It seems to get sweeter as it cools.
    Thanks!

  4. Anne

    How long can you freeze the grape juice? And, do you need to worry about Botulism?

  5. elise

    Hi Anne,

    This grape juice is meant to be consumed fresh. If you do freeze some, I guess it would last as long as any other frozen juice – 6 months or so, not longer than a year. Regarding botulism, I’m no expert here, but I think that botulism is a concern when you are canning things and letting them sit out at room temperature. We never worry about it with frozen foods.

    An added note about the juice. After we make it we put it in the refrigerator. We drink it up pretty quickly, but if we don’t, after several days in the fridge, sometimes the juice begins to ferment and you can feel the natural carbonation causing the juice to bubble when you drink it.

  6. Allen

    Don’t mash too hard or you can split the seeds. That imparts bitterness.

    FWIW, botulism is a disease caused by the toxins produced by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. It is mostly foodborne, germinating and growing in anaerobic (lacking oxygen) conditions such as those created by improper canning of low acid foods.

    There have been outbreaks of salmonella poisoning from improperly pasturized apple juice. I think staph aureus and e.coli food poisoning is usually traced to ignorant people who don’t follow simple hygiene steps (cross contamination from not washing hands or using dirty utensils/containers).

    If you don’t abuse pesticides, and rinse and sort the grapes, I don’t think there’s much risk of poisoning. Nothing I could find associates food poisoning with freshly made grape juice, or even fermented grape juice if it sits in the fridge too long. BTW- fermenting will occur with an open/refrigerated bottle of Welch’s Grape Juice, too. Actually, it’s kinda tasty (and my grandpappy would be proud of me putting one over on parasitical federal “revenuers”, even to the tune of a few pennies!)

    P.S. – Don’t throw away the pomace (skins/seeds). It’s all organic so stir it into the compost pile.

  7. elise

    Hi Alan,
    Thanks for the clarification on botulism and the suggestion about the pomace for the compost pile. I too like the slightly fermented grape juice. Yum!

  8. Sandi

    Can you can this grape juice?

  9. elise

    Hi Sandi – I’m definitely not an expert on canning. Perhaps if you put the filtered juice in a pot and simmered it for a while and then put it into sterilized jars it would work, but don’t take my word on it.

  10. Brigitte Busby

    My mom made jelly for many years in germany. She had a large pot with a cover that had 2 parts, in the bottom part you pour water and the top part was like a strainer where you put the berries. In other words the berries are steamed. It has a spout on one side of the pot made of rubber glass and metal which is clamped off. When the juice is ready you could see it in the glass part of the spout you loosen the clamp and let the juice flow into a container. It was so much easier than using the cheesecloth etc.. Did you hear or see something like that here. If so let me know.

  11. karen mayhue

    why do you wait until late september, early october to pick your grapes. I was always told to wait for the first frost? Is this true?
    Thanks for your time, Karen

  12. elise

    Brigitte – that sounds like a wonderful contraption! I’ll keep my eyes open for one.

    Karen – Where we live the first frost doesn’t come until December when the grapes have already dropped. We pick the grapes when they are ripe and sweet. For us that happens to start in late September.

  13. Handyman Gardener

    Here in central Pennsylvania,
    Sept. 1 is about the time Concords ripen.
    Niagaras are a little later.

    When you walk by the arbor and smell Grapes,
    you should have picked them yesterday,
    but today is ok.

    I never use cheesecloth; it drinks too much :)

    Health and Happiness,
    Handyman Gardener

  14. John Reid

    Do you think I could use this same recipe for a green grape here in the UK. My vine here is laden with grapes, which I believe are a German variety, but thats about all I know about it. They are ripening well, but are bit tart to the taste. Do you know if anyone has tried this with green grapes before.

  15. Lee Strawn

    What are your thoughts about squeezing the cheesecloth with the skins and seeds in them?

  16. Sally Lanza

    Does anyone know how to make Grape Seed Extract? I am hearing alot about manufacturers are now including this healthy part of the grape in their juice?

  17. elise

    John – We only have a Concord grape vine, don’t know how it would work with another variety. If you try it, please come back and tell us how it went. You may have to add some sugar if the grapes are still tart.

    Lee – Haven’t tried squeezing the cheesecloth. It would be a little unwieldly and messy with the size of batch we do.

    Sally – Great question. We buy grapeseed oil, don’t know about the extract.

  18. Pat

    Thanks for all the helpful tips. Our grape arbor is full of beautiful purple concords–you can smell the grape perfume rising off of them. Finding this recipe was terrific. My 5-year-old granddaughter and I are going to go out and pick today and make juice. Thanks again.

  19. Winnie

    I have a steamer such as described. The steam is added to the juice and dilutes the juice, so I don’t use it as I want juice and only juice.
    Have been canning grape juice these many years, as an acid food, use water bath method for all the extra juice one can get in a good year. You can freeze the juice in plastic bags if you want, I run out of freezer space so can my extra.
    What I want to know is: the tartaric acid crystalizes out into the bottom of the jar after a period of time. Is there any way to precipitate it out before canning?

  20. Ebbie

    To, say, a pound of grapes how much juice does this recipe yield? Some homemade grape juice recipes use water. What does water do? Why doesn’t this one call for it? The juice on the website looks dark and strong. Is it the cooking of the skins that makes it this dark? Does this make a nice, flavorful juice. This is the best instructional I’ve found on the net and was thinking about trying it.

  21. elise

    Hi Ebbie – You know, since we just pick the grapes that are growing on our vine, we never weight them. The next time we do this (the grapes aren’t quite ready yet) I’ll pay closer attention.

    In this method, a lot of moisture is lost through evaporation from the steam of the cooking grapes. The result is pretty concentrated. I like adding a bit of sparkling water to the juice. I suppose it is the skins that make the juice dark, as the grape inside of the skin is a very pale yellow color.

    The juice you get depends on the grapes that go in. We use Concord grapes, which by their varietal nature are quite flavorful.

  22. Damien

    I have a green grape growing in my garden and for the past two years I have tried to make wine, with very little success. So this year I have plumped for trying to make grape juice instead, so I picked all the grapes, washed them and put them through a juicer. The juice, in its pure state, is now in containers in the fridge. Firstly, do you think it is safe to drink (i.e contaminants, bacteria etc) or is there something I can add to neutralise any such bugs. Secondly, is it best to freeze the juice before consumption?

  23. elise

    Damien – my method calls for simmering the grapes in their own juice. This would kill any harmful bacteria. Why don’t you try heating up your juice and simmering it for 15 minutes if you are concerned? Then let it cool and refrigerate. No need to freeze before drinking.

  24. doreen

    I was given some beautiful, plump green grapes. I think they might be pinot noir. Can I use the same process to make white grape juice as is used for the concords?

  25. elise

    Hi Doreen,
    I’ve only tried it with Concord grapes, but it wouldn’t hurt to try it with other varieties. Why don’t you try and let us know how it went?

  26. Brian

    Im making grape juice for a high school project. Im wondering if the juice can fement into alcoholic “wine” if its kept too long? I dont want to get in troble if it has alcohol content.

  27. Elise

    Brian The grape juice should be fine for a week if you keep it refrigerated. We usually notice the beginnings of fermentation after the 2nd week refrigerated, but nothing to get worried about. You might want to look up “wine making” in Google to learn more about the process.

  28. Dion

    Normally, alcohol is only produced under anaerobic conditions (without oxygen). This will happen if you leave your container tightly closed for extended periods of time because the oxygen will be consumed by the aerobic (with oxygen) fermentation process. You could try transferring the juice from one container into another periodically to replace oxygen, but there still are a couple of problems. One, there will be a very small amount of alcohol produced, but it is likely less than that of a non-alcoholic beverage (like beer 0.5%). And two, eventually all of the sugar in the juice will be consumed, which will leave you with a tart or bitter juice. Better to just drink it quickly or preserve it somehow.

  29. Shirley

    I have both purple and white grapes vines that my Grandfather brought with him from Italy. I need to know when it is best to pick them. I have no idea what kind of grapes they are.

  30. Elise

    Hi Shirley, we only grow Concord grapes which are quite sweet. I think grapes in general are ready for harvest in the fall. But depending on where you are, that could come earlier or later in the season. You might want to just go on taste. When the grapes taste good, they are ready to juice.

  31. john allen

    when you make this juice will it become fermented?
    thank you. Some one told me if you mash grapes they will ferment in to wine?

    thank you for your answer.

    john allen

  32. John

    I like the juice without cooking it. Will I die if I just make the juice and put it in the refrigerator? I like the cooked juice too but it doesn’t taste the same at all.

  33. Elise

    Hello John Allen – Eventually, yes, the juice will ferment, though how to make wine instead of vinegar is a whole different question. I recommend looking it up on Google.

    Hello John – Freshly prepared juices go bad pretty quickly, even if you put them in the fridge. Just drink it up within a day or two and you should be fine.

  34. Elliot

    We have a large Concord arbor in upstate New York and we are about to make juice — probably this weekend.
    We have seen that in the wine regions of France the grapes are stored in huge containers, stems, skin and all, before they are crushed. We have been tempted to try it, but are also considering dipping them first in boiling water to maybe kill off some bacteria before crushing.
    Have you tried leaving the stems on? Do you know if it affects the flavor if you crush them that way?
    This is a fabulous website.
    EH

  35. Elise

    Hi Elliot – I would suppose that if they did it that way in France that it wouldn’t affect the taste too bad, would it? We haven’t tried it with the stems on as our cooking pot isn’t that big. If you do try it this way, come back and let us know how it turned out!

  36. Jenny

    I want to preserve grape juice now to use for making grape jelly later. Any ideas/recipes available for how to do this? Would it be better to can it or freeze it? Either option is OK.

  37. Glenda May Hogfat

    We are going to St.James Mo. to pick up Fredonia grapes. I want to eat as many as I can (luv them ‘lil rascals) and also want to make juice to bottle. What’s the best method? How does Welch’s do it? Enlighten me ‘ol grape god!

  38. Anonymous

    WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF LEAVING THE GRAPE MIXTURE OVER THE CHEESECLOTH ON TOP OF JUICE AND LEAVING IT SIT OVER NIGHT.

    THANKS PAUL.

  39. Elise

    Hi Jenny,
    Our juice never makes it to the jelly stage – we drink it up first. But we do freeze some so we can have grape juice after the season is over. It isn’t nearly as good as fresh though.

    Hi Glenda May – no idea about bottling the juice. You would probably need to boil it for a while, after you’ve filtered it through the cheesecloth, to kill any bugs.

    Hi Paul – you leave the grape mixture over the cheesecloth over night to give it the time it needs for all the juice to drain out.

  40. franklin macdonald

    Hi:
    I just followed your recipe for making Concord grape juice. I then poured it into mason jars and sealed them. Will this keep and for how long? Also, do I need to refrigerate or freeze them? Can they last at room temperature? Thanks in advance.

  41. Elise

    Hi Franklin – these instructions are not for preserving grape juice, so I wouldn’t try it. Do not store the juice at room temperature. It will keep for about a week or so in the refrigerator. We freeze some of ours, but it doesn’t taste nearly as good as fresh.

  42. KT

    Does anybody know if cooking the grapes that long and to a boil destroys the antioxidents like vitamin c?

  43. Kathy / Utah

    I have concord and red grapes and a few green grapes. Can I mix them in the same batch? There isn’t enough of any one kind of grape to make a significant amount of juice?

  44. Elise

    Hi Kathy,
    As long as all the grapes are sweet, it wouldn’t hurt to try. It would probably end up tasting as if you mixed concord grape juice with white grape juice. Who knows? I would experiment. :-)

  45. Keri

    “sometimes the juice begins to ferment and you can feel the natural carbonation causing the juice to bubble when you drink it”

    Does that mean the juice is bad and to throw it away? My juice did that and there is still half left. Is there a way to reverse it and how can I prevent that? Does this occur for both homemade and store bought?
    Sorry I have so many questions.
    Thanx ^_^

  46. David Lebovitz

    Here’s another tip: You can use your KitchenAid standing mixer to stem and crush the grapes. Simply wash the grapes and put them in the mixer bowl, still on the stem. Attach the dough hook, and turn it on to low speed. The hook with pull the grapes off the stems, which will eventually rise to the top, and they’ll be easy to pluck out.

  47. Andy

    I have been making wine for several years, I discovered this site through Google search looking for new wine recipes and posting recipes of my own. There were a lot of questions on if the grape juice itself would become wine. Technically the answer is yes. It would become a grape wine of course, with an alcohol content maybe as high as 12% Alc./Vol. This is under specific circumstances and would be considered rare to happen. Even if the juice would properly ferment and become wine it would probably not be suitable for anyone to drink. After consuming a full glass, it will probably cause a severe stomach ache followed by overactive bowels. It is most likely to become grape wine vinegar. Especially if kept in the refrigerator, and air sealed.

  48. M.R. Schafer

    I have a recipe for grape juice…filling jars with concord grapes, adding sugar, filling with boiling water…sealing and processing. Has anyone tried this????

  49. Mary C

    My mother (who is no logner around to consult) used to make grape juice that kept pretty well, and I’ve followed her instructions with good results:

    Fill a sterilized quart jar with grapes, add enough sugar to fill the spaces between them, and then fill the jar to overflowing with boiling water, screw the lid on lightly, and tighten it once the jar has cooled.

    As for the risk of botulism, it’s my impression that it’s pretty slight for canned foods with a high acid content, but someone better versed may want to comment. I don’t remember boiling the jars after they’re filled, but again, someone more up on the subject can probably advise.

  50. Shirley C.

    What makes grape jelly not jell? I took 5 cups of fresh juice, 4 cups of sugar and 1 pack of pectin and thought I followed the instructions right but the jelly is not firm. I looks like juice instead of jelly. What went wrong?

  51. Imogene Jones Cloar

    Thank you so much for thinking of this website. I actually had my first grape juice simmering on the stove for the ten minutes after coming to a boil when I decided to try on the net for a recipe. Your recipe and pictures are a perfect match to how my mom made grape juice when I was a child. The recipe in her family had to have come from Switzerland several generations back. Not wanting to wake Mom at this hour, I would have forgotten the cheesecloth straining if I hadn’t found your site. It makes sense that the cheese cloth was conveniently available in an old Swiss kitchen. Thanks again for being available online with such concise instructions.

  52. John

    I will be thankful for help with this question: if i kept fresh grape juice in a room with 40°C temperature when I should expect the fermentation proccess (alcohol production) to start to take place (hours or days)?

  53. thomas chmura

    Great ideas,my vine is in its second year and I have about 30 bunches of concord grapes here in western pennsylvania today aug.27 and they are all purple, are they ready to pick?

  54. Anonymous

    Thanks so much for these directions – not one of my cookbooks has anything about making grape juice. My husband planted concord grapes about 5 years ago, but this is the first year with a decent yield. This was so easy! I am straining the mixture as we speak and the entire house smells heavenly.

    Thomas, I am in mid-Michigan and our grapes are all purple or dark red, and I picked both today. The reds were a little harder to mash, but I have heard this adds to the tartness.

  55. gloria

    We have just moved into a house with a lot of concord grapes growing in the yard. When we tried to eat them, it made our tongues feel strange…like a little bit numb or itchy. We are not allergic to grapes and drink the juice from the store and eat the grapes from the store. Even our friends had the same reaction. We have never sprayed the vines either. What is going on?

  56. Cathy

    Just found this URL for easy grape juice canned. I’m going to try this with ours – would sure beat the mess of cheesecloth!
    http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/kelley41.html

  57. Kathleen

    I just processed 18 pounds of cleaned grapes.
    The grapes filled an 8-quart pot to 1″ from the top and it yielded almost 4 quarts of juice.
    I spit it into the 8-quart and a 4-quart pot for simmering and used two colanders for staining.
    It took 1 hour to destem the grapes.

  58. Nina

    Hi, You are able to can your grape juice for long term storage.

    I just made grape juice for the first time this year for my self using a steam juicer as decribed by elise above.. While it was still hot I poured the juice into canning jars and tightened fresh canning lids that had been sitting in boiling water on top. All of the lids sealed beautifully and you can store your sealed jars in your basement for about 1 year. My parents have been doing this for years and only had a problem with one jar that didn’t seal. (They caught it before the jars went to the basement) We placed it in the fridge for a week before drinking the sweet bubbly mixture. All six of us are alive and well:)

  59. chris

    I agree with Kathleen, My family has had a grape plantation for years and as long as I can remember they have been canning grape juice. There is probably 500 jars in the basement as I sit here today. I like to add a little sugar to mine to get it a little sweeter. Very nice Website.

  60. Dee

    I am so greatful for this site. I just bought a bushel of concords and was given several more. My husband is diabetic so I need to control the sugar amounts. With all the questions everyone has already asked, all mine have been answered. Am bookmarking this site for future referance and also sending it to several friends and family members.
    Thanks so much for caring and sharing. Dee

  61. Walt Petker

    We have been making juice from all kinds of fruit over the years. The process is virtually the same for all fruits. Prepare the fruit, for grapes, wash and crush. Bring to a boil in a large pot. (Our is about 20 liters). Strain off the juice, Cheesecloth, pillow case etc. Bring this juice to a boil again using a formula of tree parts juice, two parts sugar and one part water (prevents it going to jelly). Pour boiling mixture into preheated jars, Welches juice jars work great if the rubber seal in the lid is intact. We have used the same jars and lids for many years. The product is quite concentrated and one liter of this concentrate makes up to 6 liters of table juice depending on your taste and sugar limitation. This also makes a delicious hot drink by pouring the concentrate to a depth of about an inch into a mug and then filling the mug with hot water. Concentrating the juice solves some storage space problems and the sugar acts as a preservative. We have used some juice up to five years after it was made.

  62. Julie Patterson

    Thank you so much for this recipe!!!!! I picked some concords today and the juice is now going thru the cheesecloth overnight. It was so easy to do. Do you have a recipe for Flame seedless grapes? Mine are ripe now and there’s so many, I was wondering about making juice with them.

  63. Kevin

    This recipe is amazing! Thank you for all the tips. We recently moved into a new house that had two healthy concorde vines, and they started turning purple the week we arrived! This will make an excellent addition to our family’s holiday traditions.

  64. Katherine Swisher

    Isn’t there anything I can do with the wonderful quart of “stuff” that didn’t sieve through to become juice? It smells so good, I would really like to use it for something other than giving it to the birds!

  65. Elise

    Hi Katherine – There are probably some uses for the grape gunk, but we just put ours in the compost pile. Concord grapes have seeds, which makes it hard really to do anything pleasingly edible with the leftover grape mash. If you are juicing seedless grapes you may have more options.

  66. lydia

    We were delighted to discover Concord grapes growing wild on our Rhode Island property when we bought our house. We also have wild grapes that look more like champagne grapes. Whenever we use them, we take the grape gunk out to the compost pile, too. Haven’t yet found a better use for it.

  67. Brys

    Wow, that’s a stunning picture, Elise. Makes me crave California!

  68. Mar

    My mom makes this every year! It makes AMAZING popsicles.

  69. Jim

    Man, after yesterday’s entry this is the perfect recipe for me to come across. I’m on a bit of a grape bender this week!

    Only problem is, where on earth do I find a vineyard in Chicago? :(

  70. Peggasus

    We had concord grapevines in our yard in the Chicago suburbs for a number of years. I would prepare them for juicing mostly as you have described, except instead of the cheesecloth method, I used a bag of sorts, simply sewed up on three sides from two (clean) cotton dishcloths. I hung/tied this from one of the pipes in the basement, and had it drip into the large pot that was in the laundry basin below. This is how my mother and my grandmother and the little old Italian lady next door did it too.

    What I didn’t use immediately for juice I canned and used for jelly and such later. It lasted for years after it was canned. I miss my grapevines! I used to cut the vines too, and made my own wreaths from them. I still have some small grapevine trees I made from those vines.

  71. Madison Fan

    I have made wild grape juice using the cup of grapes + cup of sugar + water method and will only make juice this way. The juice requires straining when it is opened, but will keep for a year or so and is beautiful on the canned goods shelf.

  72. Darlene

    MMMMM, the scent of grapes growing in the arbor is one of my fondest childhood memories. I made grape juice and grape jelly as a teenager from the concords and the green slip-skinned grapes that grew in our arbor. One thing I noticed when I made the grape juice was a silvery floating sediment. Did you ever see that in any of your juice making sessions? I wonder what that was.

  73. Joi

    Grape is my favorite fruity flavor – by a country mile, as we say in the south. Thanks for sharing your Grape Juice recipe, I’ll be giving this a try asap – that picture of the glass of juice is going to be in my mind’s picture window all day!

  74. Mitchell Webster

    To make Grape Juice at home we always used a cup of Grapes and a cup of sugar, in a quart canning jar, covered with boiling water, put on the cap and ring, placed all jars in the pressure canner, let vent for 10 minutes, put the weight on, and let it come to 5 lbs pressure turned the unit off and let it cool down.

    The jars sealed and you have grape juice, although it is better if you let it set several weeks before drinking.

    We most always canned grape juice in 1/2 gallon canning jars, for this we used 2 cups grapes/2 cups sugar per jar.

  75. Garrett

    This is delicious! Served with a bit of fizzy water and ice, it’s just grand!

  76. Denise

    Anyone ever tried making grape juice with a juicer?

  77. Woody Holliday

    How long does fresh grape juice last in the refrigerator before going bad?

  78. charlotte

    I have made grape juice for years following a Pennsylvania Amish recipe gotten from one of their cook books. In a sterilized qt. jar, I add one cup stemmed clean grapes, 1/3 to 3/4 cup of sugar (depends on indivitual taste), topped with hot water. I use a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Then I seal the jars and place them in a water filled canning pot–the water should cover the jars. Boil for 30 minutes. Remove the jars, cool and check to see if the lids are indented. For any lid that is not indented, refrige the juice and use in week or so. When ready to serve the juice, place a strainer on top of a pitcher and pour in the canned juice. At this point, water may be added to the pitcher if you like a milder flavor. I discard the pulp, but I am told that the Amish in some areas make a pie from the pulp. I have never tried this or tasted it on the many trips we take to the Amish country each year. This is a simple method of juice making and the family and friends love it. It is gone from the pantry shelves by next autumn. Happy juice making!

  79. Jane

    Today I made 18 quarts of grape juice using the Champion Juicer. I used the large-hole screen yielding a thick juice. I then tried straining the juice in a nylon straining bag and there was too much juice and it was too messy. I wanted to be done with it all, so I simply put it in quart jars in my freezer. (I have great luck grinding the grapes-or other fruit in the Champion for making wine using the juicer-blank, instead of the screen mashing pulp, seeds and juice together) I ended up with about a gallon of pulp (skins & broken seeds). It would have been good material for some more wine, instead the lucky chickens on our farm devoured it in minuets. I did not detect any bitterness from the seeds being broken and hope this adds a trace more of nutrients. I think it is more nutritious processed without heat or added sugar. We drank what did not go to the freezer – diluted with lots of ice. Thick and cold, it is more like a smoothie, packing a punch of flavor you will always remember. Even if the frozen – thawed out – is not as impressive as fresh, I am sure it will be a healthy alkaline beverage this winter.

  80. Phyllis Guindon

    We have grapes that look like concords but ripen in Michigan in the beginning of August. Does anyone know what they are?
    We tried the juice recipe with the cheesecloth this year and liked the juice so much better than putting whole grape in the jar.
    I made fruit leather out of the pulp. Its a good snack and I think woud be a good flavoring for baked goods, kind of like dried blueberries. I pressed the pulp through a food mill to get rid of the seeds, then spread it very thin on saran wrap. Then I dried it at a very low temperature in the oven. Be careful not to melt the saran wrap. Then, I rolled it up, saran wrap and all. To eat, just unwrap and enjoy. It stores very well in the freezer.

  81. Karlene

    Discovered this site while seeking recipes for wild grapes. They are very plentiful this year. I have found that if I mix wild grapes with domestic grapes (Concord, in this case)to make jelly, I don’t need any pectin for it to gel. Any recommendations for mixing wild grapes and Concord grapes for the best tasting juice? Gleaned some very helpful information from all the responses here.

  82. Stephanie

    Like Darlene above, I followed the procedure outlined and juiced about 20 pounds of early muscat grapes, and put them through cheesecloth. I then put the juice in the fridge overnight to let the sediment settle. What I got was cloudy juice with silvery crystal like sediment all over the top and stuck to the sides of the bowl. What is this? I’m not sure if I want to drink it. At the same time I don’t want to waste the grapes. It’s a enormous vine that yielded about 300 pounds of grapes this year! Anyone have any ideas?

  83. Elise

    Hi Stephanie – the juice is definitely going to be opaque, at least it is with our Concord grapes. We get sediment stuck to the edges of the container as well, what I do is just run it through the fine mesh sieve, or in your case, several layers of cheesecloth, again. As for the silvery stuff on the top, I notice that too once in a while, I don’t worry about it. This is just boiled, strained grapes. As long as you’ve rinsed your grapes well before processing, and simmered them for 10 minutes, it’s fine.

    200 pounds of grapes? What fun!

  84. Susie

    I have only made grape juice once and am getting ready to make it the second time. The first time I made it I mashed and boiled the grapes.
    Afterwards I put the mixture through a hand food mill to separate the pulp and juice from the seeds and skin. This worked well. I was/am a beginner and didn’t know what to do and was just trying things out.
    I strained the liquid through a cheese cloth and canned the juice after adding some sugar.
    I couldn’t bear to throw away the pulp (I did put the seeds and grapeskins in my compost) so I decided to make jam with it.
    Jelly is made with the juice and jam with the pulp….at least that is what “I” thought.
    The jam turned out so well that my neighbors and children have begging for more.
    I hope that I can reproduce my first year’s wonderful results….as I did not write down how I made it all.
    So….for all of you who want to know what to do with the pulp…if you can put it through a siev or a food mill to separate the seeds and skins from the pulp….then you can make jam with the pulp!

  85. Jessica

    Elise, we had a gleaning party at my mom’s vineyard today, ending up with a BIG plastic tub of ripe cabernet grapes (the harvest was a little over a week ago). I came home with two huge bags weighing about 12 pounds total. I’m going to make David Lebovitz’s grape sorbet with 3-1/2lbs and then try out your juice recipe with the remainder. Or MAYBE I’ll make some jelly too. We’ll see. I’ll let you know how it tastes!

  86. Jean

    Just to let you know, I fill my quart jars up 3/4 with grapes that have been washed and picked thru. I put a light syrup over them and can them according to fruit recipes. When I open a jar, I strain it right then into a pitcher. It is a heaven sent taste and EASY.

  87. Bob

    I have one grapevine that I keep trimed over an arbor on my back porch. I started it from a clipping from a very large vine at my Dad’s house. As close as I can tell so far it is a Grenache or Malbec grape. I made some juice the other day but did not steam or simmer the grapes. What is the reason for the cooking? I am considering trying a juicer to remove the juice. Has that been tried? As with other people I need to thin the juice by about 30% to cut the sweetness.

    Note from Elise: One reason to cook the grapes is to kill any microbes; in a way you are pasteurizing the grapes. The juice will last longer in the fridge. Also, cooking them brings out more of the flavor from the skins, and makes it easier to mash the grapes.

  88. Bob

    I answered my own question (see above) about using a juicer. It made quite a mess. It also cut up some of the seeds. I did use a Braun small blade mixer and that worked very well. I had been smashing the grapes in a pot.

  89. Anne P

    Thanks for help with sediment. We have some sediment in our jarred grape juice. I think we will restrain it.

  90. Rose

    Hi, I’m very interested to make this grape juice recipe! However, I’d like to add sparkling water. I understand one pound of grapes equals to about one cup of juice. How much sparkling water should be added to the juice? Also, will sparkling water extend the refrigeration life of the juice due to being deluted? Thank you in advance for your comments!

    Hi Rose, I would add the sparkling water as you are serving it. The bubbles will definitely not last if you try to store the juice combined with the sparkling water. Add just as much water as you want. It really is a matter of personal preference. ~Elise

  91. Jennifer

    Hi,
    I have been using regular juicer and drinking the grape juice that way. Is there something wrong with doing it that way?

    There are probably lots of ways to make juice from grapes, this is just one of them. ~Elise

  92. Sandy

    I use the pulp left from the juice to make grape jam.It’s better than
    the jelly. I use to throw it away and a friend thats been canning for
    years told me thats the best part of the grape. So now we have jam and jelly.

  93. Mary Ann Whitely

    I made grape juice this morning using this posted recipe. Tastes good. Just have one question. I was using green grapes so expected the juice to be whiter but is sort of a brownish green. Is that normal and OK to drink?
    thanks, Mary Ann

    Hi Mary Ann, I’m assuming that you tasted the grapes first and they were good? If so, the juice should be good too. Also, if you cooked them as instructed in this recipe, then that should kill off any potential baddies. As for normal, I have no idea, as we only make grape juice with red Concord grapes. ~Elise

  94. jen

    An old fashioned way to preserve grape juice is to cook it down into more of a syrup and then dilute it a lot when you drink it. I used your recipe for grape juice last year and did that, and it worked like a charm – lasted months and months. Here’s the place I found out about how to do that:

    http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/books/wine_in_the_bible/3.html

  95. Autumn Hofer

    I have a recipe for canning grapes.

    Disolve 1/2 cup sugar with 1 Cup water and set aside. Pour 1 1/2 cup grape into 1 quart jar. add 1 1/4 cup sugar solution and fill remainder of jar with water. place lids on jar and process. I use a pressure canner and process for 8 minutes at #5 of pressure.

    The recipe came from my husbands grandmother.
    Enjoy!

    • judy brown

      I wouldnt recommend anyone make grape juice this way! I wasted 32 quarts of juice using this method because it tasted more of sugar than grapes. I tried to salvage it, but it was too sugary to drink or use for jelly.

  96. Jamie

    Jennifer, will you share your recipe for the jam using the leftover pulp? I just picked 34 lbs of grapes from the one vine that I have in my backyard. It was a very good year :)

  97. laura

    I have been using all of the methods mentioned. I like them all. I have just tried using a victoral strainer to get fresh juice….I mixed some ripe and not so ripe grapes and it is soooo good! We have merlot grapes and it came out taisting almost kiwi-ish! YUM!

  98. Jeannie

    We have all the crushing equipment for wine. Can we use that instead of crushing by hand? If so do we still have to cook it can’t we just crush, press and freeze?

    No idea. I think what you’re asking is can you just not wait for the wine to ferment, but drink it as grape juice as is. I think the answer to that is probably yes. As to freezing, we’ve frozen grape juice and it just isn’t nearly as good as fresh, so we don’t do that any more. We drink up what we make fresh. What I like about the cooking part is that it kills any harmful bacteria that might be hanging around. And the process I’ve described here works fine with concord grapes. ~Elise

  99. Marguerite

    Be sure to use a stainless steel pot, not aluminum. The tartaric acid in the grape skins is great for removing stains in aluminum pots, but you don’t want that stuff in your juice or jelly!

    You CAN save the skins after extracting the juice and use them to clean your aluminum pots by adding water to the skins and boiling for a few minutes.

    I’ve made jelly from both Concord and green grapes, and they both work fine. I would assume that the same would hold for juicing either variety.

    When I make jelly, I go 1 cup of sugar to one cup of juice, up to 4 cups of each per batch. Bigger batches don’t work. No added pectin. Just cook the batch until it “sheets” off the spoon and/or reaches the “boil that cannot be stirred down.” If you want to be more precise, use a candy thermometer and cook to the “soft ball” stage. Then I bottle and process the jelly.

    A word of caution: Don’t try making jelly on a damp or rainy day or one with a falling barometer. It won’t jell because the sugar concentration in the jelly is so high, it constantly draws water from the air. If you keep cooking it in an effort to defeat this effect, you wind up with a sticky, overcooked mess (tasty, though!), not a nice batch of jelly.

  100. Terra

    I have inherited a steamer juicer from my mother! I remember her using it 30 years ago. Alas it has come without instructions and I cannot find the company that made it. Are there some basic instructions for making grape juice? I’m assuming the process is similar to the cheesecloth strianing except with the juicer you don’t have to strain… but I don’t know how long I should steam the grapes before putting the juice into the hot jars to seal… any ideas?

  101. Dorothy

    I make my grape juice 2 ways. The first time I made juice I did it the grapes/sugar/water in a quart, canned, way, and while it was wonderful and easy, it was too sweet. So now I do the washed/boiled/strained method as well, freeze it without sugar in ice-cube trays and then transfer the cubes to a bag. When I serve the canned grape juice I add water and a few grape cubes. It cuts down on the sweetness, looks great, and tastes great.

  102. Davi

    What a wonderful blog this is! So much information…thank you! For the last few years I have steamed gallons of grape juice and turned it all into jelly. I am going to try to juice to drink this year. maybe mix it with cranberrry. YUM!
    I also have a QUESTION: I’ve noticed that in some NON-GRAPE jelly recipes (for instance, blueberry or raspberry jelly), a suggested alternative for sugar is using concentrated grape juice. Has anyone tried the fresh grape juice for that purpose? If so, how much do I use?

  103. Melissa

    Terra-
    I also inherited a steamer juicer from my mother and made grape juice for the first time the other day. My mom told me to let it go as long as there is juice coming out, so that’s what I did. Some batches took all day, but once it went an hour or more with no juice, I figured it was done. A couple things to watch on these old juicers: Check the water fairly often (At least every hour or so) as it does tend to boil away. On one batch I fell asleep with my baby, and the water all boiled away. The juice is fine, but does have a slightly smoky aftertaste. Also, don’t be surprised when it takes a couple of hours for the juice to start flowing. I left the burner on med-low and the water simmered great, but it does take awhile for the grapes to let their juice go. Once it starts, drain whenever you can, since the pot doesn’t hold a lot of juice, and drain into plastic pitchers first since glass can break from the hot liquid. Oh yeah, you don’t have to mash the grapes because the steam splits them and they mash naturally in the all day heat. I like this method, because I can just leave it on the burner all day, and it doesn’t require much maintenence or any stirring. Pretty easy, just space consuming. If you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me at: melissabrown77 AT comcast DOT net. I’m no expert, but after eight batches, I’m catching on pretty fast :)

  104. Ginnie B

    I have just extracted 5 gallons of concord grape juice, I want to can it in quart jars at full streanth, I know I have to bring it back to a boil and then put the lids and rims on the jars, but do I need to water bath them or use a pressure cooker to process them. I have understood that most fruits can be water bathed for processing, if this is ok then how long should I leave them in the water bath before removing and putting them into storage for winter and how long will this juice last?

    • judy brown

      Water bath is recommended. I believe I processed them 15 minutes in the bath. I didnt add any sugar and the juice was great straight from the jar. I have one half gallon left on the shelf, so Im off to pick more grapes. As for the length of time theyll last on the shelf, other canning sites recommend a year. You dont want to put up more than youll use.

  105. Mary

    I made two batches of jelly and didn’t want my remaining grapes to go bad so I made the juice as for jelly, put it directly into jars and water bathed it for 5 minutes only. Was this long enough to store on the shelf or should we consume this within 2 wks? I did this before i found the site… Thanks!

    • judy brown

      I believe it is recommended to process grape jellies for 15 minutes in the water bath to guarantee a good seal. Dont be afraid to reprocess again if one doesnt seal.

  106. Judy Guedes

    I have been using a juice extractor for a few years now. (I bought it at a garage sale!) It is great for extracting juice, especially from my green Concord grapes of which I always have too many. I have tried for about eight years to make good wine out of them, with varying degrees of success or not. I take them off the stems, pick out the bad ones, break the skins with a potato masher, steam them and drain it into a glass carboy. It comes out grey green. What I do to make wine is add about half a bag of a good wine concentrate like chenin blanc, chardonnay, anything white I can find. Right away the juice changes color and smells wonderful, like commercial white concord juice. Then I use my hyrdometer to measure the specific gravity and add sugar to take it up to 1.095. That is the starting point for wine. That might be a little high for juice. The concentrate may sweeten it enough to taste. To round out the taste, I add pectic enzyme (to break down the pectin–it just wants to become jelly), yeast nutrient, acid blend to .65% tartaric, (which this year may be no acid blend) and grape tannin, and yeast.
    But this year, because I am not happy with the white wine of previous years, (still tastes like green concord), I am sticking to making juice. I have it in the steamer right now. This year was cool summer, a hot September and we got plenty of grapes but they aren’t sweet and they are dropping to the ground. (We live on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada.)
    Of course, I won’t add the yeast, and the sugar level will probably be good at about 1.060 on the hydrometer, but the taste will be good, and clear yellow color like Welsh’s Grape Juice.
    As to canning it, I can my apple juice, in a water canner for 15 minutes for quarts, timing after the water comes to a boil.
    I hope this helps someone make better juice or wine. Thanks for all the tips on this blog.

  107. Judy Guedes

    Well, here I am, waiting for the last jars of juice in the canner. They went in green grape and came out a nice amber. I am satisfied. Of course, that was only a third of the juice. The other mysteriously became 10 gallons of wine. Oh well, maybe I will can more juice next year. Ha!

  108. cerridwen

    Doreen – if the green grapes you were given are Pinot Noir they are not ripe. Pinot Noir is a red wine grape, therefor when ripe they are a deep red colour – almost black – and about the size of a large pea. Pinot Noir grapes also make a very tasty and refreshing grape juice, but you need to pasturise if you want to keep it, which destroys some of the flavour.
    Pinot Noir is so well regarded and sought after for wine making that it is far too valuable (expensive) to make commercial non-alcoholic juice.
    Whilst Pinot Noir is a ‘red wine variety’, white wine is also made from red grapes. The red colour in wine comes from leaving the juice in contact with the skins after they are crushed. To make white wine, remove the skins immediately after crushing the grapes.
    Pinot Noir is one of the ‘better’ grape varieties used in making ‘champagne’ style wines.
    The best thing you can do with unripe grapes of any variety is to make verjuice, which has recently regained popularity for ‘trendy’ cooking.

  109. JEJE KOLAWOLE

    Can I add preservative to prevent it from fermenting? If I can, what type of preservative can I use?

    No idea. ~Elise

  110. Susie

    We have had a bumper crop of small purple grapes in our French garden this year. I don’t know what type they are but taste a bit too tart for eating. So I’ve just tried the juice recipe with four big bunches and got a pint of really lush juice. Not too tart and not too sweet. A really easy process.

  111. Bruni

    We have green grapes, lots of them, around our patio. They taste delicious, if I ever get to pick them when fairly ripe before some animals. We believe they must be racoons. How can I protect my grapes or make them anti-racoon proof?

    I have been making the most delicious jelly out of them every year, but we like to eat them fresh even more.

    We live in the Chicago area.

  112. bernie

    I live in Bulgaria. Have just tried this recipe with 2 different grapes given by our neighbour. It is absolutely delicious. I may try freezing some. Would be really wonderful on a snowy winters day. Bringing back memories of summer.

  113. nancy

    1. Ok to freeze in glass to avoid plastic contamination?

    2. Does heating grapes until skin pops and color/flavor intensify destroy nutrients?

    I do not recommend freezing because it changes the flavor of the grape juice (not for the better). But if you do, I would use glass, just leave at least an inch head room at the top of the jar so that as the liquid expands as it freezes, it doesn’t break the glass jar. Cooking the grapes destroys bacteria and mold, no idea about nutrients. ~Elise

  114. Sara- Blue Zones Albert Lea, MN

    We just make grape juice from 14# of concord grapes. We used a strainer for one batch, which is more tart and cheesecloth for the other. I am going to try making fruit roll ups with the pulp. I use date fines for all my sweetners, so will see how that tastes instead of sugar.

  115. Liz

    I picked some of my grapes today to experiment with making juice. The grapes smelled strongly just sitting out on the vine and have dark purple skins but I noticed that the insides of some of them are still green. Do I need to wait longer to pick the rest of them? I live just outside of Boston.

    The insides of grapes are green, even with a dark purple skin. I would do a taste test. If the grape tastes sweet and ripe, it is. ~Elise

  116. valorie

    My grandmother and mother always used what they called a jelly bag to strain the grapes (or berries) after cooking them down. I found that a clean pillow case works great for straining the grapes. I alow the fruit to drain over night. I heard that squeezing the bag makes cloudy jelly, but I have never had that problem.

  117. Eve Breckenridge

    I picked Cabernet grapes with my friends today I live in the Napa Valley and have friends with grapes… We put them through a small press. Since I have done this several times I sort of have a routine. I take it home in a 5 galleon jug… like a water cooler bottle… Let it settle overnight…. then siphon off the juice with a clear tube the next morning.. and I freeze what I can’t drink right away. Mix it with Calistoga Water. Heating completly changes the taste and color. I have made Juice using heat to extract the juice and it was good but different… and the color turns dark

  118. Tesni Cigfralonnau

    I recently made some grape juice from homegrown, pesticide free grapes. I put the concoction in an old wheat germ jar I found in a cupboard, after rinsing the jar out with soap and water. After a couple days in refrigeration with the lid on, I found sparkly deposits on the sides of the jar, and some floating on the top. What could be causing this? I did use quite a bit of sugar…could that be it? Or is it bacterial growth? Either way, any elucidation on this subject would be appreciated. I would like to know if my juice is okay to drink.

    Sounds like the sugar has crystallized, which could happen if it wasn’t completely dissolved into the grape juice. Boiling the grape juice would help dissolve the sugar completely if you are adding sugar, by the way. ~Elise

  119. Lafenmom

    Found some WONDERFUL wild concord grapes today, picked about 4 pounds and cooked them down to make jelly.

    I found that crushing them with my hands was wonderfully satisfying and stress-reducing BUT… my hands stung like the dikens for about a half hour afterwards. Any idea why, or even better, how to MAKE IT STOP?

    I’ll be looking for more wild grapes tomorrow – want to try the home made juice ideas here.

    thanks,
    LafenMom

    I have no idea why your hands stung after crushing grapes, that’s a new one! I’ve actually crushed grapes with my bare feet for some fun winery event without a problem. ~Elise

  120. Janet

    Lafenmom, I did the same thing -picked and cleaned the grapes and crushed them with my hands and it really made me itchy , can someone please tell me what makes the glittery or shiney specks in the juice?

    • judy brown

      Use a potato masher instead to mash those grapes. Also, if you have a juicer, its so much easier. Then you get the benefit of using all the fruit, with the seeds being extracted. The juice comes out foamy, but when it settles youve got some mighty fine juice. Place in kettle to heat and then process in water bath canner for 15 minutes. Juice will last 1 yr.

  121. Michelle

    I left some washed grapes in water in a container overnight in our home–not refrigerated and they do have a strong smell to them. Is it still safe to use these for grape juice to be canned in a boiling water bath canner?

    Strong smell? I would say don’t use them. ~Elise

  122. Nancy

    I’m really glad to have read all the posts while I was trying to figure out what to do with 2 buckets of white grapes that came from my neighbor. She said they were a white concord. Well I was able to make white grape juice, using your recipe, from straining one pint of liquid off the boiled grapes. The leftover boiled-mashed grapes were then pressed through a food mill into puree and set in the refrigerator until the next evening while I decided what else to do with them. The next day my cooled puree was divide into 2 layers. The beautiful clear liquid was on top and the pulp-puree was on the bottom. I used a large gravy syphon to get the clear juice and put into a 2nd pan which I later made into clear jelly following the instructions in the Pectin box. I put the prepared jelly into cleaned hot jars, capped them and set aside to cool. Those get refrigerated since it’s not processed. The rest of the puree is very green color but I used the jam instructions in the Pectin box, then put the hot prepared jam into jars, capped and set aside to cool. This should also be refrigerated as it is not processed. After 3 days chilling, I tested all of them and it is good. The Jelly was a nice light amber color and it jelled beautiful and taste great. Juice was good. The greenish jam was a little more runny, stronger taste, but Excellent on bread or cracker first spread with cream cheese, then jam, then thin cucumber slices. Yum. My neighbor liked the greener jam on pound cake. I also spread tortilla with cream cheese and then jam then cucumbers then rolled it up. Yum. So Yes, White grapes can be a success. They are a grape after all!

  123. Richard Brown

    Good day from London. I have a red grape vine growing in a sheltered spot along the side of my garage at the bottom of the garden. I have picked most of the crop, leaving a few bunches to see if they ripen a little more but got a bucket load. I have them cleaned up and de-stemmed ready for the cooking process. Exciting. :) Red grapes tasting sweet in London, who would have thought that!!

  124. Kelly LeClair

    John,
    I do squeeze the pulp. It adds even MORE flavor to the juice. I wear cotton gloves under surgical gloves to ward off the heat.
    I am making a huge batch tomorrow and storing it in mason jars in my fridge.

  125. Maggiemai

    I used my crockpot, had it on all night and right now the grape juice is in the frig. First time I ever did this. I had black and red grapes. The black ones were more on the tart side. Did not add sugar, only a small cup of water to the crockpot..I can’t wait to taste this. Salute. The pulp was kind of sad looking but smelled like raisins.

    Hello Maggiemai, I would not have recommended the crockpot. In general you want to cook fruit only enough to kill the bacteria and help it release its juices. Which is why the instructions say to cook for only 10 minutes. Otherwise the taste is going to be quite different. ~Elise

  126. Fleur

    Hi from South Canterbury, New Zealand…have just read thru your recipe for grape juice..I havnt made juice for a few seasons..I used to bottle it and save for a good winters drink from June onwards…I have only been successful with 1 batch of juice, the others fermented in the bottle…how can I avoid that? I filled the bottles up to the very top, but still had to tip them out a few months later as they were not drinkable. My small vine is laden with black grapes, rearing to go!! :-)

    Don’t know what to tell you. We drink our grape juice as soon as we make it. We might store it in the fridge for up to a week, but no longer. ~Elise

  127. donald gibbons

    Maggiemail, in order for fermentation to occur, yeast is needed. The outside of the grape skin has a white coating which is the natural yeast of the grape. Wine makers always wash their grapes with a sulfite to kill the natural yeast and then add their own brewers yeast in order to assure the proper alcohol content. It seems to me that if you wash the grapes in a sulfite solution and then not add the brewers yeast you will prevent the fermentation you are concerned about.

    If the yeast is left on the grapes the juice will ferment. If air is present, the result will be wine vinegar. If no air is present, alcohol will be formed. I am a little surprised but evidently the boiling of the grapes does not kill the yeast.

    Hi Donald, I know, weird, eh? We always boil the grapes, for at least 10 minutes. Yet, after a week fermentation begins anyway. Maybe there are just enough spores in the air from where we are doing the work, that manage to get into the juice as it’s cooling. ~Elise

  128. t vallier

    i have concord grapes, after making juice into qt jars, how many qt jars when making wine, i use 20 lbs of grapes to make 5 gallons of wine, so what i am asking we want to take the canned juice to texas and make wine, so how many qt jars of juice would i need to make 5 gallons of concord wine. hope you understand. thanks

    I have no idea. This is a recipe for juice, not wine. ~Elise

  129. Rick

    I have a bunch of grape vines next to my house, they are loaded with red grapes . I thought how good would it be if I had fresh juice. There are too many to consume all at once. I wanted to run them through my champion juicer and then freeze the juice in plastic or glass jugs. I did not want to sweeten other than naturally will this taste good after it thaws and is it safe. Please help

    Hello Rick, all I can recommend is to follow the recipe as written. ~Elise

    • Alethea Skinner

      Rick, this is 2014 and I am just reading your post. I have run several different types of pesticide-free grapes through my Champion juicer and I have enjoyed the fresh juice, frozen it and enjoyed it thawed. I prefer the fiber that remains in the juice, although, if I wanted to I could scoop it off after it settles and have the clearer juice that settles out. I have it frozen in Mason jars and gallon-size plastic bags.

      Since this is the first year I’ve done it…so far, so good.

      My friends grow several grape varieties and use the steam container mentioned by several posters. They heat sterilized jars in the oven so they don’t break when the boiling juice runs directly into them. (They’ve already done 400 quarts this year.) They reuse ANY jar that has a rubber seal inside–fruit, spaghetti sauce, other juice bottles. The County Extension office reportedly says they can be used up to 3 times. The heated juice seals them. Should one FAIL to seal, it goes into the refrig and gets consumed quickly.

      I have between 25 and 30 quarts that I have frozen. When my own vines become heavy bearers (flame and a concord-type) I may try cooking the juice. I just prefer the taste of the fresh squeezed.

      I DO remove all of the bad grapes, and RINSE WELL. I figure, since I rinse and eat them fresh and the family is still alive and well, cleaning them the same way before I juice them should be just as safe. I don’t remove ALL of the stems–the champion spits out the few that remain with the skins.

      I just had two cups of a red and green combination. Very concentrated, but Yumm-ohh!

  130. Bruce Prosser

    I know that this blog is a bit dated, and I did not read all of the comments, but one lady described a grape steamer from Germany. Here is a link to one of many on amazon.com.

    Bruce

    http://www.amazon.com/Cook-Home-2-Quart-Stainless-Steel-Steamer/dp/B001KB9KCW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315212512&sr=8-1

  131. Toby Seiler

    I make and can concord grape juice and find that a longer boiling time helps with disolving the inner pulp. I like the mouth feel of the inner pulp, so I use a course collander to strain it. Also, since I can it, I do not add as much water, The thick liquid must be stirred continuously when putting into jars to avoid having some thick mixture and some thin.

    I put it in the jars boiling hot to 1/4″ and can in a water bath immediately. I’ve never had any go bad, which would be obvious if the lid is not down. Never had enough to see how long it lasts…drink it up too soon. So now have 30 more vines just beginning to produce.

    I think I should have stock in Ball.

  132. Margaux Kuhagen

    A neighbor behind me was dating my friends mom for a while so we got to know him a little bit. We went to his house quite a few times because he just lives right behind us. (A lot of grass between us though) I asked him if I could come over some time when it’s time and pick some macintosh apples. He told me he had them and red delicious, but I could choose whichever I wanted. My little girl and I went over and he picked us a garbage bag full of yummy apples! That’s when I noticed the concord grape vine that went down the whole width of the back of his yard, on a 3 wire high barb wire fence. I asked him if I was right by saying that those were concord grapes and he didn’t know because he didn’t plant it. It was there before he moved in over ten years ago. The neighbor is no longer dating anybody that’s trying to pick and use the yummy fruits growing in the backyard, so he said that I’m welcome to all of the grapes that I can use eat or get rid of. I will not watch any of them rot like the lady next to me’s tomatoes do all the time. what all should I do with them? I have like twenty pounds and more to go and pick. I love concord grapes! Cant even buy them in stores, and the one time I did see them in a store, they were more than I’ve ever seen cherries cost per pound. Jam was first, lots! what next?

    Well, you can eat them straight (spit out or crunch on the seeds), make juice to drink or freeze (though fresh is best), or make jelly from the juice. Any pectin package will have instructions on the jelly making for grapes. ~Elise

  133. Elizabeth Deanna Morris

    FYI: Pour half grape juice and half club soda over a tall glass full of ice and you have grape soda! It’s refreshing and delicious.

  134. paddy wallbouncer

    I followed this recipe somewhat.

    I had a five gallon bucket of grapes. Some were not yet ripe (about a quarter of them) the result was about 12 pounds of grapes

    I mashed this around with a ladle and a screen strainer to end up with a mash that I then strained through the cheesecloth to end up with about 10 cups of juice.

    I added a little water to the mix and heated it to 160 degrees. My thought was this should kill any bacteria without really affecting the sugar content.

    After it cooled, I added the juice with two grams of red wine yeast and a cup of sugar to a one gallon bottle with a one hole stopper and a check valve.

    I went to another website (I think it was wikihow) which explained how to make cheap wine. Instead of using juice concentrate, I figured this would yield a better, more wholesome moonshine…

    Now it’s bubbling like crazy in my closet which means it is fermenting! Yippee.

    I hope the post by Andy on July 11, 2006 4:38 AM is incorrect. and if I will truly be writhing in agony after I drink it.

    I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  135. Lia

    I remember my uncle attempting to make wine a few years ago. He had a few sealed bottles in one of their kitchen cabinets. I vaguely remember them turning out bad and he didn’t try again. I was probably in second grade then though so I don’t really know

    Thanks for this! My dad buys lots of seedless grapes but they only ever get eaten when my brothers come over and remember they’re in the fridge. I usually put them whole in the freezer, since they’re delicious and maybe just a little bit healthier than juice lollies (and you can eat them like candy!)
    Anyway, will try juicing them for jam instead.

  136. Linda Moore

    Glad to hear someone else has seen the silvery floaters on top of refrigerated juice. I have searched over a year! Something similar happened to my frozen juice-there were silvery slivers in the bottom of the jar that formed while frozen. I strained a quart of this juice and had a quarter cup of flat,thin, silvery shards. I crushed them between my fingers, they were brittle and hard.
    I tried to find info from Health Board,etc. All said didn’t know what it was but don’t consume it.
    Same juice left in fridge formed brown, rust coloured brittle stems all joined together as they grew and the silvery pieces were gone. Now i’m really freaked out….help! I have a freezer full of juice I am scared to use…and this year’s grapes are doing the same.
    I will post photos when I figure out how to do that.

  137. Douglas Gray

    Best way to make grape juice is blend them, then put them inside a 5 gallon paint strainer, then squeeze and squeeze!!

    You isolate the mass with your hands, and then eventually, you “milk” the residue try.

  138. Julie

    I just canned 2 bushels of Concord grape juice yesterday using a steam juicer, similar to the one described above by Brigitte. This one is less expensive aluminum, but there are fancier stainless steel ones available too. It is a time consuming process, but not hard. It works great but you do get sediment in the juice as you get to the end of the batch. This is a must have if you have Concords.

  139. Wills

    Don’t compost that wonderful grape mash! It’s full of good nutrients. Put it in a smoothie along with some other fruits, milk, yogurt, etc.

  140. Sue

    How long will it keep in the refrigerator?

    • Elise

      About a week and then it begins to ferment. The problem isn’t the fermentation so much as you have to watch out for mold.

  141. JDub

    Elise – I’ve been making Kombucha for about 3 months now and find that Grape Juice makes the best flavor to date! :)

    Thanks for all the info on your blog/recipe site.

    John

  142. Karen

    Thanks for posting this recipe, Elise. I have a Sodastream seltzer maker and occasionally enjoy making sodas with fruit juice, seltzer, and if necessary, a spoon of simple syrup. I’m going to have a large crop of red grapes this year that I’ll juice and freeze, and am looking forward to homemade grape soda and juice over the fall and winter. I’ll be very miserly about it, though, since as you note, it takes a lot of grapes to make a little juice.

  143. Lori

    I was told I could make grape juice by pouring hot sugar water on grapes and letting it sit for a week or two then strain it
    Has anyone done this and skipped the cooking step?

  144. Patricia Schukay

    I was planning to make grape jelly. After getting the grape juice , I was unable to finish and put the juice in the refrigerator. It will be two weeks, is this safe to use? The juice is in a closed container. Thank you

    • Elise

      Hi Patricia,
      There is so much natural sugar in grapes you should be fine. If anything they may have started to ferment. To make jelly you need to boil the grape juice and add pectin and more sugar, so anything (mold is the most likely) bad will be cooked by the high heat of the jelly making.

  145. Harry

    I picked a couple pounds of concord last evening, crushed them thru a fine sieve, chilled the juice about two cups and placed overnight in the fridge. Drank it today, incredibly sweet, a bit thick but easy to drink. Why do all the comments say to cook the grapes? I eat them all the time without cooking, and they could not be tastier.

  146. kathy

    last year I just ran the grapes thru a juicer. tried this and boy is this juice strong! will mix with some sparkling water. not sweet tho and that could be the grapes..got them at very end of season. hate to add sugar. hoping it will sweeten as it cools.

    • Elise

      Hi Kathy, you shouldn’t need to add sugar. If you do, it’s because the grapes weren’t ripe enough or sweet enough. We do usually dilute this juice a bit with either plain or sparkly water.

  147. Alethea Skinner

    Elise, this is a WONDERFUL blog! I enjoyed the input of posters from around the country and across the ocean. GREAT tips and encouragement! Thanks to the poster who suggested using the mash in smoothies. I hadn’t considered that! It was either going to the garden or my friends’ chickens!

  148. Glenn From CT

    Just thought I’d mention… Saw alot of people ask about uses for the leftover skins. If you remove some before boiling, you can use it to make a sourdough bread starter. I’ve done this a couple times with wild concords from my yard. there are a couple different methods, some involve whole grapes, others use crushed grapes… I’ve had both work well. Big secret is to use bottled water with the starter… Tap water (chlorinated) will kill the very fragile fungus that will become the starter.

  149. Robert

    I bottled my fresh juice in clean steral wine bottles. How long do you think it will keep if kept in a cool dark space?

  150. Tammi

    I had picked some Concord grapes and only got to clean and wash some of them. The others have been sitting waiting but now they smell like they are fermenting slightly and may have some mold is it safe to use if they get boiled. Will it kill all bacteria? Hate to see them go to waste.

    • Elise

      Hi Tammi, boiling the grapes for 10 minutes will kill the bacteria and any yeast that is causing fermentation. The taste might be a bit off though. Can’t hurt to try it!

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