Fill the Bucket to overflowing
outdoors and let it stand for an hour. This should make swimmers or corpses
out of any Insects
or Spiders that think they're going swimming in your Grape Juice! Then
drain the water off. Keep the Grapes wet between this step and the next
Now in your Kitchen, use a large
Strainer(preferably) or Collander, for a Grape Washing Machine: Put the
Strainer in a Pot or in your Sink and add warm water until the Strainer
is half full. Then pick a quart of Grapes
into it. No stems, no Raisins, no worm holes or bad spots; just choice
Then use your hand for an Agitator,
and swirl the Grapes against the sides of the Strainer, in one direction,
then the other. Your hand and the rough Strainer and the Grapes rub each
other and remove any foreign matter.
If you don't care, then matter
doesn't matter; just leave it on the Grapes.
Most of the matter will be washed
into the standing warm water, but lift the Strainer and rinse the Grapes
with running water to be sure. Then put the quart of clean Grapes in a
2-quart pot. With the back of your fingers or a Potato Masher, crush
all the Grapes. You can lick your fingers if no one's LQQKing. You should
have about half Juice and half pulp at this point.
Put the pot on a burner set
to medium. Let it simmer
for 15 minutes. Then put a fine Strainer in a 1-quart bowl, dump the cooked
Grapes into the Strainer and put the covered dirty pot aside for later.
Take a 1-quart Zipper Freezer Bag and fill it with water. Lay it on the
cooked Grapes to press the Juice out. See
You can put this assembly in
the refrigerator, or leave it out for the Fruit Flies. How do those tiny
rascals get into the house?! The next morning, or whenever the Strainer
stops dripping, pour the Juice into a Measuring
Container so you know how much you have.
Then put the pulp from the Strainer
back into that covered dirty pot and add as much water as you have Grape
Juice. Stir this mixture
vigorously, and pour it through the Strainer like you did the Cooked Grapes.
Put the Plastic Bag on for 10 minutes. Then use the back side of a knife
to scrape the pulp from the outside of the Strainer into the Juice;
this is flavorful stuff !
Now you have a container of
Grape Squeezin's and an equal amount of Grapish water. Pour the two together.
Add 2 teaspoons of Granulated Sugar for each Cup of Blended Juice. Stirr
to dissolve the Sugar.
If you don't like it, change the amount of Sugar. Or drink something else;
send me the Juice.
5 gallons of Grapes will yield
about 1 gallon of Juice. The Blending Water will increase that to 2 gallons.
If you plan to freeze the Juice, add the water and Sugar AFTER it is thawed
for use. Frozen Juice should keep for 6 months to a year.
Pressing the Juice from the
cooked Grapes (Step 5, above), can also be done by putting the cooked and
crushed Graped in a container with a spout or hole in the lid. Invert this
container in a pot with a thin object underneath to keep it from sealing
to the bottom. Gravity will press most of the Juice out in a day or two.
Concord Grape Juice is a determined
on utensils,clothing, and counter
(1) - It is easiest to work with
a pint or quart of Grapes at a time. If you are processing large amounts
by hand, wash and crush a pint or quart of Grapes and then add them to
a larger container to cook
them. It is also easier to see debris among fewer Grapes.
(2) - Grapes will release from
the stem easier, if you "Roll" them off the stem instead of pulling straight
out. This will usually tear a piece of skin from the stem area (if they
are dead ripe), making it easier to crush them later on.
(3) - You can strain a quart
of cooked Grapes for only 10 minutes with the Zip Bag on top, then save
the wet pulp in a larger container to further strain it later. Or just
add the wet pulp to the Blending Water in step 7; this will produce a stronger
(4) - After you simmer and strain
and remove the pulp, that pulp can be washed and the resulting Grapey Water
used for the Blending Water in your next batch. When you have removed every
last bit of flavor, put the pulp in your Compost
(5) - The very best Juice seems
to come from Grapes that are just past their prime for eating. They will
have lost their shine and firmness and become just a tad soft. At this
stage they are much easier to stem and crush, too. Here in Pennsylvania,
that's about September first for Concords.
At Garden Grapevine, we say:
"If you walk past the Grape
Arbor and smell the pleasant sweetness of ripe Grapes; they should have
been picked yesterday, but today will do."
Questions? - Send an E-mail HERE