Homemade Grape Juice made in a steam juicer from fresh grapes produces a full-bodied, flavorful grape juice. If you have been wanting to make your own grape juice we walk your through each step of our method for making delicious homemade grape juice your family will love. We also show you how to water bath can the jars to keep them food safe.
Is Homemade grape Juice Good For you? Homemade Grape Juice benefits the body in many ways. Grape juice is heart healthy and offers many nutrients. It also supports your natural immunity system.
Grape juice made at home is a wonderful drink for cold and flue seasons as the antioxidants assist your body in warding off free radicals, support cell regeneration and so much more.
When you make your own grape juice from fresh ripe grapes you control all aspects of what, or what does not, go into your juice as well as the process that the grapes undergo. Our steam juicing method brings the juice up to pasteurization temperatures but does not diminish the health value of the grape juice.
We do not add anything extra to our grape juice. Store bought juices contain extra sugars, stabilizers and low fruit concentrates that have been robbed of some of their vitamins and nutrients.
Every year our enormous concord grapevine grows over its Grape Arbor and crawls over the roof of our shop. That old vine is pushing 80 years old and still produces scads and scads of beautiful Concord grapes. For weeks we eat them fresh off the grapevine.
We invite friends, family, and neighbors to come over and harvest from our huge grapevine, the ripening of the concord grapes usher in Fall. They need a good frost to get the sugar up in the grapes. Then it’s time to juice!
What Grapes are Good for Juicing?
You can juice either green, red or purple grapes. They all offer a different flavor and nutrient profile.
Red grapes are the sweetest grapes. Concord grapes will give you a sweet flavor for your juice but it will have some pucker power. Green varieties such as Thompson seedless will present a slight tanginess that some folks prefer.
Concord or purple grapes are fantastic for juicing as they have the highest concentration of antioxidants than any other grape variety. Certain research suggests that purple and red grape juice may promote cardiovascular health as much as red wine.
Juicing with a Steam Juicer
Grapes have a rather thick skin, and straining them through a cheesecloth can result in a good deal of wasted juice. Ideally, you should use a steam juicer, linked below, and follow the method I outline for a truly easy method of producing a beautiful pasteurized juice with little waste.
Mehu-Liisa 11 Liter Stainless Steel Steam Juicer – Made in Finland (Affiliate link)
How long will Homemade Grape Juice last?
If you are making a small batch and you are not canning it, your juice will need to be stored in the fridge and consumed within 5-7 days. Canning will allow you to make large batches of juice and store it long term without the risk of it spoiling or fermenting.
Juice always need to be refrigerated and kept cold. If you are canning juice, it can be stored in a cool, dark storage room. But once it has been opened, but sure it stays in the fridge and is consumed within a week of opening.
What are some other uses for a juice steamer?
A juice steamer can quickly become a versatile and valuable tool in your kitchen. I have made juice from all my tree fruits from it, including apple and pear. It also works great as a blancher or large steamer. Put a bunch of apples into the top receptacle, out comes a lovely apple juice. What’s left in the steamer top is a wonderful applesauce, apple butter, or pear sauce.
In a steamer, you just load up the steamer top section with the grape bunches, stems and all. Heat the steamer and set the timer. The juicer does all of the work for you, without losing the precious juices that you are working to collect.
You don’t have to worry about stems, skins or seeds falling into the juice. They are separated in the juicing process and the solids stay in the top of the juicer. The juice will fall into the belly of the juicer and is easily poured from the plastic hose into a receptacle.
Steam Juicers also pasteurize the juice which saves you another step of having to boil your juice. Once the juice cools, it is ready to drink.
How to Make Homemade Concord Grape Juice with a Steam Juicer:
To make grape juice with a steam canner like ours, follow these steps.
- Gather or purchase perfectly ripe juicing variety grapes such as Concord.
- Wash the grapes in your kitchen sink filled with water and a cup of white vinegar.
- Add water into the base of your steamer and set it on high on your stove.
- Add the grapes into the top part of the steamer.
- Fit the lid tightly onto your steamer.
- Set a timer for 30 minutes, checking the water level in the base. It’s important it doesn’t run dry.
- Once the juice is made (the tubing will start to fill with juice so you can see the juice is ready to pour), set a pitcher or jar under the steam canner.
- Pour the juice from the tubing into the container.
- Allow the juice to cool. Serve.
What to Do With Grape Juice:
- Drink it straight or sweeten the juice to your family’s taste. My kids and grandkids drink it with no added sweetener but it does have some bite.
- Grape juice is a wonderful base juice to mix with other fruit juices. Apple and pear our two of our favorites. They are both natural sweeteners and add a lovely flavor to Concord grape juice.
- Make Jelly. Grape juice made at home is perfect for your favorite grape jelly recipe. You can blend the juices for the jelly as well.
- Store it for later! Once you make the juice it will hold well in the fridge a week or more. However, Grape juice is simple to can and will hold in your cool, dark pantry for years.
How to Preserve Homemade Grape Juice:
Safety Concerns-Preserving Homemade Grape Juice
I have made homemade grape juice and many other fruit juices for decades using the steamer method described in this post using the Mehu Maija Steam Juicer. It provides an easy way to make safely pasteurized juices of all kinds. Pasteurized juice will store well in the fridge a week or more.
FOR LONG TERM STORAGE: The safest way to ensure your juice is completely free of pathogens is to water bath can the sealed jars after filling them with grape juice. The complete free guide to home canning for all garden produce is available here. This guide is full of useful relevant and recent information to keep your home can products safe for your family.
If you prefer not to use a steam juicer, strain your grapes with a cheesecloth. The National Center for Home Food Preservation canning guide will walk you through the entire process of making grape juice and give directions for properly, safely, canning it.
How to Can Grape Juice:
Here is the instructions for how to can grape juice. You will need a water bath canner, jar lifter, a towel, lids, seals and proper mason jars for canning.
- Set your sterilized canning jars into a sink of hot water to temper the jars.
- Set your Water bath Canner on a large burner, fill it with water and set it to high heat.
- Place your jar lids into a 1-quart pot and set on a low simmer to soften the seals.
- Be sure you have an area close by to place your hot jars.
- When the juice is done, fill your jars to within 1/2″ of the top of the jar.
- Wipe the edge of the jar so it’s clean.
- Seal the jar with a lid and screw on a ring over the lid-hand tight.
- With your Canning Tongs lift each jar into your boiling (or hot) water bath. 7 quarts will fit into a large water bath canner.
- Bring the canner water to a boil. Set the timer for the size jars you are canning. (use the helpful table (reprinted below)to determine the correct time to boil the jars you are using.
- When the timer goes off, remove the jars with your jar lifter (canning tongs) to a soft cloth or towel to cool.
After the jars have been boiled adequately in the water bath, remove them and allow them to completely cool on a soft towel away from strong drafts.
Do NOT touch the jars of homemade grape juice until they are cooled to room temperature. Once cooled you can check the seals on the lids by ticking each lid on the top. They should be sucked down and give a ping rather than a thud when tapped lightly.
To ensure the seals set completely leave the jars on the towel 12 to 24 hours. The metal rings on the jars can be removed once the lids are completely set and the jar is sealed.
Processing times for Various jar sizes and different altitudes:
When water bath canning grape juice, the processing times for the jars vary according to the jar size and altitude you are at. Use the table below to determine the proper times for processing your jars.
|Style of Pack||Jar Size||Altitude:|
1,001 -6,000 feet
Above 6,000 feet
|Hot Packed||pints and quarts||5 minutes||10 minutes||15 minutes|
|Hot Packed||Half Gallon Jars||10 minutes||15 minutes||20 minutes|
How to Store Homemade Grape Juice: Store your canned homemade grape juice in a cool, dark storage room for up to 12 months. Be sure to write the date and label on the jar lid.
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