Making Your Own Grape Juice

Making your own grape juiceAs the grapes are getting ripe, I thought this would be a good time put  on a recipe for making your own grape juice. It’s a fun do-it-yourself homesteading sort of thing, and it sure  tastes good!

Making your own grape juice at home produces one of the tastiest  beverages around. As an added bonus, if you grow your own grapes, you know exactly what’s going into them (and more importantly what isn’t, like pesticides!)

Ingredients

  • Grapes
  • Potatoe masher
  • Colander
  • Cheesecloth
  • Two large pans

Choose your grapes. My personal favorites for juice are concords,  but any sweet grapes will do. Sort the grapes, weeding out the bad ones  and placing the good ones in the colander. When the grapes are sorted, wash them well.

Dump the grapes into one of the pans and completely crush them with the potato masher. Placing the colander over the second pan, dump the mashed grapes into the colander  letting the juice strain into the pan beneath. Use the potato masher to  increase the amount of juice that is squished from the grapes.

Set the colander full of grapes aside, but don’t discard them yet.  Rinse the first pan clean, then cover it with two layers of cheesecloth.  Use a rubber band to secure them to the pan. Pour the pan of juice  through the cheesecloth. This will catch any large particles that may have worked their way through the holes in the colander. (At this point, I usually can’t resist sampling the juice, as it is at its sweetest point.)

Set the cloth covered juice pan aside. Dump the remaining mashed grapes from the colander into the empty pan and cook them on a stovetop  at low temperature. Allow the grape mash to simmer and bubble for ten  minutes, periodically crushing it with the potato masher. After ten  minutes, more juice should have seeped from the grapes. Dump the entire  pan of hot grapes onto the cheesecloth and allow the juice to drain through it, mixing with the juice below. The resulting product is a much tastier and healthier juice than is found in most stores today.
Originally published September 25, 2009 by Amber Reifsteck

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