Homemade Grape Juice

You can use this recipe for any amount of grapes. A pound of grapes will yield about one cup of juice

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Juice straining time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 1 to 2 quarts of grape juice


  • 4 to 8 pounds fresh picked grapes (we use Concord grapes)

Special equipment:

  • 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


1. Pick the grapes. Get a large basket, wear long sleeves 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.

2. Rinse 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.

rinse grape clusters de-stem grapes

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.

place grapes in large pot mash grapes with potato masher

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.

bring grapes to a simmer

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.

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

place cooked grapes in fine mesh sieve let grapes drain of juice for several hours

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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  • Ghulam

    This is Amazing


  • Saif

    It’s great! I made it, and taste amazing and sweet, with no sugar/honey add at all! Very easy to make too! But it does take a lot of grapes..


  • Charles

    It was great. But in the middle of winter in Canada, at $6.99 a lb for Grapes.. it makes for some expensive juice.


  • Tom Borg

    Cindy, why would you even have a strainer that was not stainless in your kitchen.
    Judi, add some filtered water :)

  • judi Edwards

    Terrible… far too concentrated for grapes grown in zone 3… Please provide a solution!

  • Cindy

    Instead of using cheesecloth as we have always done, I used the metal sieve. It ruined everything. The juice tastes very strange and the sieve is like falling apart. I didn’t see anywhere that it had to be stainless steel. Was that the issue? I’m so sad as there are no grapes left on the vines. And I have about 20 gallons of this rusty tasting juice.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Cindy, that’s weird, what kind of sieve are you using? A rusty sieve will impart rust to whatever you are using it for. In general, with food, you should use stainless steel versus steel that rusts or aluminum. Stainless steel will not impart flavor to the food. Aluminum may react with any acid in food affecting the flavor. Steel that isn’t stainless may rust when in contact with water for any length of time.

  • Mark

    I did this recipe today with my green grapes. Thank you so much! It is really good. Couldn’t help but to also use it as a margarita mix substitute as well.


  • James

    We added a splash of lemon juice and simmered grapes with a few mint leaves,Simply delicious. Thanks


  • LaVon Collis

    Can juice be frozen and hold its flavor?

    What would be the steps for FREEZER JELLY?

    Thank you, Elise

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi LaVon, as mentioned in the introductory notes, I do not think that the juice holds up well frozen. It just isn’t as good as freshly made. No idea on the freezer jelly.

  • Jean

    I rinsed the sorted grapes put them in the blender. Then I strained them thru cloth overnight. I canned them and put them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Is that all the cooking that’s needed?

  • Leslie

    Delicious and so easy. Didn’t bother to strain through muslin, just through sieve and drank warm – thank you.


  • Carol

    Thanks for this step by step! It turned out amazing!


  • Daphne

    I wanted to make grape juice but the ingredients list always comes up blank and I don’t like to guess quantities!

    • Elise Bauer

      Thank you for the feedback Daphne. I’ve updated the recipe with some guidelines for the ingredients. You can really do this recipe with any amount of grapes. A pound of grapes will yield about a cup of juice.

  • Bill

    Did this last night with all the grapes I just couldn’t eat anymore off the vine!
    Took a sip this morning and Woooowwww! My grand daughter is going to get quite a surprise today when I go to pick her up from school!
    One part of this I did not do, was let the mash sit overnight… But I have more grapes coming.


  • Barbara

    I am wanting to make just plain out grape juice to put up, like in jars to canned . I need to know how long to run them in a water bath. I do know that if you do not go through the grapes after pulling them, you can end up with spiders and worms in them. I do know this. One can get sick if they do not clean and separate them and wash them. Thank you for the info and the recipe on making the juice . Have a bless evening

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Barbara, you need to water bath the juice for 10 minutes.

    • Diana

      i make jelly and jam out of my grapes and juice and puree. after i have my juice prepared i put it back onto the stove and heat to boil and put it in my canning jars right away and put the lid and ring on and invert the jar on my counter and let it seal itself. works for me and i have less work and time in it.

  • John

    Great recipe! Thank you. One tip; as I pulled the grapes off the branch I squeezed them to help get them open. Also, I couldn’t help squeezing the mesh sack to get most of the juice out instead of just letting the grapes drain overnight. And finally, even though I mashed the grapes before cooking them and half way through cooking them I found that what I would refer to as the grape meat was still intact. I doubted several of them into my mouth at a time and thoroughly enjoyed them. After they have drained over night, I’m going to put the grapes into the fridge and snack on them instead of just composting them. I’ll compost the seeds and hulls after I have feasted on this treat. Your feed back is welcome! God bless you, love, John Imhof


  • Eleonora

    Very good recipe, just not sure how long it can be kept in the fridge

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Eleonora, I find that the grape juice starts to mildly ferment (in a pleasant light bubbly way) after a week in the fridge.

  • Shelia

    Great recipe

  • Nirman

    Tested it. Great.


  • Doyley

    It’s great! We just moved into a place with a grapevine and I didn’t want to waste the grapes. Surprisingly easy and tasty.


  • Jeanne

    I use to make juice and now just found a juicer to do again I filled cleaned 1 quart canning jars and put them in pantry until needed and for a special treat poured in equal parts squirt pop Sooooooo good

  • Austin

    You can also make grape juice with a steam juicer. Simply wash the bunches of grapes. Then place them in the top of the juicer. The Steam Juicer consists of three pots staked on top of each other. The first pot has boiling water in it. The steam from the water goes through a hole in the second pot. Then the steam goes into the top pot. The top pot is like a colander. All the grapes are in the top pot. The steam ruptures the grapes and the juice goes into the second pot. Then the juice flows out the second pot through a hose into your jar. This juicer is very simple and can be used to juice all sorts of other fruits.

    • Lena

      Do you add any sugar to the grapes?

  • Theresa

    I freeze thr grapes after stemming, washing and draining well. Then I make juice all year with the frozen grapes. I think it is even tastier after the freezing! Enjoy!

  • Debbie

    How long will the juice stay fresh in the refigerator?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Debbie, oh, at least a week. After that it starts to ferment a little, so you get some natural carbonation, still good though.

  • Tolu

    Thanks for this recipie it was really nice. I will make another batch this weekend.


  • Michelle E.

    Making this today! Thanks for the pictures and step by step process. This is my first attempt and I am having to do it in batches, as I had over 3 gallons of grapes to cook down. Do you cover your grape mash with anything overnight in the fridge?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Michelle, I don’t cover the grape mash with anything, it should be fine.

  • Joe G

    I made grape juice using 3 different methods. Fist I used the potatoe masher and cheese cloth method. The second method used a fruit mill with conical strainer that fit on a mixer. The third method used a steam juicer. The steam method was the only one that didn’t result in sediment. It also didn’t need to be strained through cheese cloth. My only complaint is an odd smell noted when drinking. My grapes were primarily Reliant and some Concord grapes. Any suggestions? I put up 5 gallons using a steam bath canner.

  • carol Griffiths

    I saw a programme last week you went to a chaps place made grape juice he said not to wash the grapes as the bloom held the yeast you had you feet in the bucket left for HOW MANY DAYS didn’t boil just drained and bottled then you too it to market is that all I do

  • Nur

    Can i make white grape juice using this method?

  • Rachel

    I used this recipe to make some grape juice with some grapes we found on my property. Grapes were kind of sour when eaten raw, but sweet juice after I followed this recipe. Now my husband wants to make a whole bunch to last us the year. I’ve never pressure canned (or water bath??), but I do own a vacuum sealer and jar attachments. If I cook the grapes, would it be safe to dry can, and how long would it last?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Rachel, I don’t think there is enough acid in the juice to safely can without pressure-canning.

    • Bridget

      Don’t do it! Water canning is easy and safe. Try it.

  • Sherrie Juba

    I used this recipe and the juice turned out great. My grapes are purple but sour because I live on the prairies I need to pick the grapes before freezing, they are small and sour. I made the juice as per the recipe and added agave syrup, wanting s lower calorie drink packed with goodness and low calorie. I keep it in the fridge and add it to some carbonated water. It makes a nice natural diet juice

  • Heather

    I used a steamer the last 2 yrs. it made the process go VERY quickly and reduced the number of canning jars. However my grape juice tastes metallic. Why? It was very disappointing .

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Heather, not sure how you used a steamer in the process. I can tell you that if you use aluminum pots that at any point in the process come into contact with the grapes, juice, or jelly, some of the aluminum can leach into the juice giving it a metallic taste.

      • Heather

        I didn’t use any aluminum in the process. A friend of mine used the same steamer and had the same results. Thank you for your reply.

        • Evelyn Broeffle

          Almost all the recipes using a steam juicer says one can process “stems and all”. The more I read, the more it became clear to me the “stems” are where a lot of bitter “tannin’s” reside.

  • Douglas Gray

    You don’t need to cook grapes, this destroys many of the vitamins, and the juice is no longer fresh and raw. You just blend the grapes in a blender, then pour into cheese cloth and strain. I do this with a variety of grapes. You can also add a couple of apples at the top, or even greens if you wish. Fresh, raw grape juice is better than cooked juice.

    • Jazz

      Please advise how you handle seeds? My yummy grapes are full of large seeds.

      • Noor

        the seeds, skins etc.. will go through the cloth and you’ll be left with only the fruit juice :) I do this method with tomatoes as well.

  • Karen B

    Wow so much info. Love it. I’ve read thru all the comments. Has anyone ever frozen the concord grapes first and made small batches of juice? I love to snack on frozen grapes and so wondered if they would still make good tasting juice after being frozen?

    • Cris

      Yes sometimes too busy to put up juice so I rinse the grapes and freeze in gallon bags to be used later. Delicious frozen as snack.

  • Jenn

    I made concord grape juice this summer as I have in years past. However, I followed a different recipe this year in which I never actually boiled my product. I loaded my sanitized jars with grapes and sugar then poured boiling water over them and sealed. All of my jars sealed. Now it is January and as I go to the cellar to get a tasty treat of grape juice I’m finding that many of my jars are not sealed, but the tops seem to have pressurized from fermentation. The juice is slightly fizzy and DELICIOUS!! However, I am concerned about the safety of drinking this and feeding it to my 3 & 5 yr olds. There is no nasty film on top or signs of mold. Most of them have a little sludge on the bottom which I strain out. My research is inconclusive, some say it may have e. coli but others its on its way to wine and shouldn’t hurt. Can anyone speak to this? I really don’t want to throw out dozens of quarts of juice!!! :(

    • Kristi cooper

      Do not give it to your children. Pour it out. And use proper safe food preservation methods http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_02/grape_juice.html

    • Patty Sitter

      I always make my grape juice this way. Boil everything to sterilize ( Jars, Lids, utensils ) Add 1 cup washed grapes & 1/2 cup sugar to each quart jar. Put in canner, bring back up to a boil & then process 10 min. Done this for years and have never had any problems with seals unsealing. Everyone loves the juice! Right now I have a batch in that I am trying out with 1/4 cup sugar to try and cut back on too much sweetness.

      • Gina Matson

        I made this today, but only used 1/4 c sugar, since I did make it 2 years ago using 1/2 cup sugar and we thought it was too sweet. You must water bath the jars to get a proper seal if you are not going to drink it with in a week.

      • Mari

        How much water did you put in each qt before processing? Headspace?

    • Jeanne Dukerschein

      Hi Jenn, Same thing happened to me, same recipe. However at the time I made it I also processed some in water bath canner, with head space in jars. Much better, excellent!

    • R. Elgin

      The wild yeast has caused fermentation, thus carbonization and the production of some alcohol. What you have there should be safe to drink. You should be aware that, if left unchecked, such fermentation could result in exploding jars due to built up gas due to the yeast working.
      Read up on wine fermentation to learn more.

  • Robert

    Thanks for the heads up. Did you use one step? It’s a staralizer. I’ll take a look and let you know what I got. I also used blue bottles.

  • Preston

    Robert, watch out for little white spots of mold after ten days. Strain and reboil.
    Bottle again and keep an eye on them.

  • Preston

    I bottled 84, 15 oz. bottles of grape juice in Oct. 2014 and I am having abut 50%
    of the bottles develop a little white spot on top of the juice after about 10 days.
    I boil and sanitize everything, but I can not get away from those little white spots.
    I strain and reboil with some success. HELP! How can I overcome this problem.
    Thanks, Preston.

  • Lauren

    The cooking is a processing step, to get the most juice out of the grapes. The grapes break down under heat and release their juice. If you plan to drink the juice fresh, there’s no need for cooking, but you won’t be getting all the juice from your grapes. It’s rather like squeezing an orange in your hands compared to using a juicer.

  • 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 Bauer

      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!

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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 Bauer

      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.

  • 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 Bauer

      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.

  • 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?

  • Sue

    How long will it keep in the refrigerator?

    • Elise Bauer

      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.

  • 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.

    • Beverly Cooley

      I froze the mush last year in ice-cube
      trays and then put in zip bags. I toss a couple cubes into smoothies and frute based breads for extra nutrition. . oh I ran the mush through a blender before freezing. has worked very well for me.

      • Elise Bauer

        Great idea Beverly! Lots of nutrition and antioxidants in the peels and seeds.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.



  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Kelly LeClair

    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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.


    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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


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

    No idea. ~Elise

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Melissa

    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 :)

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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 :)

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Jennifer

    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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Elise Bauer

    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!

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Woody Holliday

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

  • Denise

    Anyone ever tried making grape juice with a juicer?

  • Garrett

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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:)

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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)?

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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????

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 ^_^

  • Elise Bauer

    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. :-)

  • 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?

  • KT

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

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • franklin macdonald

    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.

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • Anonymous



  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Elise Bauer

    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!

  • 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.

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • 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.

  • Elise Bauer

    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?

  • 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?

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • 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?

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • 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?

  • Lee Strawn

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • 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

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • Sandi

    Can you can this grape juice?

  • Elise Bauer

    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!

  • 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.

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • Anne

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

  • Robyn

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

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • Robyn

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

    • Anne

      I am in the process of making juice. it was easy and very good