Thursday, August 13, 2015

Making Grape Juice and Jelly

I have used this method for some time now. I have read other blogs where they say to crush the grapes and heat them in a pan, and then pouring the mixture in a cheesecloth lined mesh sieve. Now, I have to say that I did try this at first. I am not sure if I mentioned it years ago, but I rather have the juice than have it absorbed by the cheesecloth.

Our grape vine. Our grape vine is supported by the bushes underneath. During the summer, we don't have to water the plants very often.

1) I rinse the grapes before plucking them off.

 Step 2) Pluck the grapes off. I use the roll method by rolling my fingers over the grapes. The ripe grape will fall off. You will get some that you don't want, but this method works well for me. Wash grapes a second time.
 Step 3) Run the grapes through a juice extractor. With the California Roger Red grapes, this method will get most of the juice.
 Step 4) Put the grapes in a sieve. Place this in a large soup pan or something else. As long as you do not let the sieve sit in the juice. You will get a lot of the juice, but as you can see, there is still more juice tucked away in the seeds, and grape skin. By using this method, you will not lose the juice in the cheesecloth. OMG! After using a crush and strain method for honey, I thought "I can use put the pulp and seeds in a paint strainer bag." The bag can be squeezed to get the remaining juice out of the pulp. I am definitely going to use this method next year.

Step 5) I like to squeeze this pulp to get the remainder of the juice out. This is really simple.

Finally, pour your juice in clean jars. My husband after all these years of juicing the grapes is finally accepting of the grape vines. He is enjoying his fresh juice. Most of the juice will be frozen. I have made jelly and also grape syrup.

For making jelly, simply follow the instructions that come with your pectin package.

UPDATE:  I learned something new today. That is that you shouldn't leave the rings on the jars when storing and also that you shouldn't stack the jars on top of each other. I have done both. This is from livinghomegrown's blog: 

Several comments suggest doing the following when storing: The theory is that stacking the jars without rings but a layer of cardboard prevents most of the issues I describe in this post. The idea is that you are gently distributing the weight without putting undue pressure on the lid. Also another read that using coconut oil on the inside of the rings: “The Art of Fermentation” by Sandor Katz and it was recommended somewhere in the book to use coconut oil on rings when fermenting to help prevent rusting. Some suggest leaving the rings on but leaving them loosely on.

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