Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Bottling Grape Juice
We inherited a very productive grape vine when we bought the Lucky House; I wasn't sure how much we'd get from it, but after a few harvests so far, it's obvious we're in it for reals. Thankfully the majority of the grapes grow in the neighbor's yard, and we're just getting some of the leftovers. Otherwise I don't know what I'd do with all of them! That being said... if you want some grapes...
I picked a grocery sack's worth of grapes last week and decided to try making grape juice. Zjani said she used a really easy recipe, and when I looked online for more details it honestly seemed so simple I thought I must be missing something. We'll know in a few weeks if I did it right (the juice has to ferment for a little while).
To can concord grape juice you'll need:
Quart-sized mason jars/lids/rings
Grapes (approx. 2 C per jar)
Sugar (aprrox. 1/2 C per jar)
I don't have any fancy canning stuff, so I just do my hot bath in a big lobster pot. It works fine, except it only fits 4 quart jars at a time. Also, when it comes to the sugar, you can really play around with the measurements. I read lots of comments about using only 1/3 C or none at all, and then sugaring to taste after the jars had set.
To bottle the juice, wash the grapes and remove stems. Add 2 C grapes to each quart jar, followed by 1/2 C sugar. Add boiling water to each quart jar, filling up to 1/2 inch from the top. Put the lids on and bathe the jars for 25 minutes in boiling water.
AND THAT'S IT!
After the bath you'll want to listen for the jars to pop, ensuring that they're properly sealed. My understanding is that you can bathe the jars again if they don't seal. I left mine on the counter top to cool and heard them all pop before going to bed, so hopefully that means I'll have tasty grape juice in a few weeks.
I'll let you know!
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