At the end of summer, everything seems to ripen at once. With the extra dry weather we’ve been having in the Midwest, fruits and produce all seemed to give up early and be ready for picking. The grapes were no exception. Even with no rain, the grapes have (thankfully) done quite well. Time to make some grape juice concentrate and can it for use this winter and early spring!
I hope some of you were able to make a batch of the grape butter from the other day and will enjoy it throughout the coming year (if you can restrain yourself from eating it all at once). And making this grape juice concentrate is much the same process as the grape butter. If you still have some grapes left to use, homemade grape juice concentrate is like no other! The deep and robust flavors will leave your mouth watering and make you wonder why you ever bought it at the store, even though it is easier to buy.
This may sound like a lot of work. But start with one batch and try it out! As you become more comfortable with the process, you will be a speedy canner in no time. Have a canning party with friends!
Also, when you make this recipe, leave me a comment and a recipe rating (with the stars) to let me know how it turned out. Tag me in a photo on Facebook or Instagram too!
Watch how to can this grape juice concentrate
Canned Grape Juice Concentrate
- 4 qt stemmed grapes washed
- 2 qt water separated
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- Place the 4 quarts of grapes in an 8-quart stockpot on the stove and pour in 1 quart of water. Bring the grapes and water to a boil then turn down to medium-high heat and cook for approximately 20 minutes. When the grapes have cooked down into what looks like all liquid, it is ready to strain. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until are able to handle, about 1 hour.
- Pour the cooked-down grapes into a heavy-duty cloth bag. The bag should be sitting in a bowl to catch all the juice.
- Start squeezing and twisting the bag to bring out as much juice as possible. The debris left in the bag should be dry.
- To the juice, add 1 ½ cups of sugar and an additional 1 quart of water. Stir and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the sugar is dissolved, 5 minutes.
- Pour into quart jars, leaving ¼-inch of headspace. Wipe the jar rims with a clean cloth and fit with lids and rings prepared according to the manufacturer's instructions. Place the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes to process, adjusting for altitude following the USDA guidelines.
- Once processed, remove jars from the water bath and let sit 12-24 hours. Remove the rings and check the seal. Store at room temperature for up to 1 year.
- To prepare the juice to drink, use ⅓ concentrate to ⅔ water or other liquid.
- To strain the juice, a heavy-duty cloth bag works extremely well. If you are feeling adventurous, you can make your own out of feed sack cloth material. You want a heavy-duty bag since you will need to squeeze and twist it to get all the juice out.
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When you use the concentrate, how much water do you add to reconstitute it? 1qt of concentrate to 3 qts water?
I’m wondering the same question. Did you figure it out?
Hi Susan! There isn’t a set ratio as each batch can turn out differently and each person likes it slightly different, but roughly 2 quarts water to 1 quart juice is what I start with!
If you measure/weigh everything before and after cooking, you should be able to figure it out. Start with a gallon total, for example, and cook it down to a half gallon, your ratio is 1:1. Cook it down to a very concentrated quart, and it’s now 3:1, water to concentrate to reconstitute. Or you can just keep track of how many pounds of grapes you started with and make wine. 2.6 pounds per bottle, or 10.4 pounds per gallon. Try squeezing 10.4 pounds of grapes in a gallon vessel without concentrating the juice.
What is the ratio for reconcentration?
Can you use Splenda or other sweetners in recipe
Is the four qts of grapes after they have been picked off the stems or before?
Why is a hot water bath necessary, when jars are sitting in hot water and juice is boiling,is this not hot enough to keep the bacteria down.haven t processed in years
kaleb this was a question if you have jars sitting in pan of boiling water and juice is boiling,fill jars and seal do you still need to hot water bath
Love you way of thinking. I’m all for knowing how things were made. But sometimes I combine old techniques with new. I own an electric juicer (originally $400, bought for $45 at a thrift store). This would alow for juicing and removal of stems and seeds. Just a thought. Love ya!
I used Muscadines instead of grapes.
Worked wonderfully. I normally freeze the juice but I like this better.
Enjoy watching you and trying recipes you post.
Like you I have canned my entire life. Learned from my grandmother and mother. Love it.
I tried something new with my Muscadines this year. I bought a Squeezo. The juice comes out one side with some pulp and the skins and seeds come out the discharge. I canned the juice like this recipe says except the juice was only heated once, right before canning it up. Then I dehydrated the pulp and seeds. Ground them up and filled some pill capsules so I could enjoy all the benefits of wonderful muscadine! Waste not want not.
I made grape juice the other day, firt time, then i was wondering if you can can it, and i saw your video and was pleased, You explained very well, and your cute, hahahha It’s a mom thing, thanks again colleen
I made your grape juice concentrate this past weekend, the results is PERFECT. Thank you for the recipe and instructions.
I tried this and it turned out delicious!! So easy to make!!!
Wet your bag before you start! That way you are not waste the juice that is absorbed by the fabric.
Hey Kaleb- we have similar childhoods! I think it would be helpful to have ratio of juice/sugar during prep. I have more grapes than 4 qts unprepared grapes, and I had some juice already prepared that was leftover from grape jelly, so I winged it on the sugar/juice ratio.
The juice is so yummy!
Hello. I made a batch of your grape juice. Easy enough process. However, the final product in the jar seemed sufficient enough for taste. We both liked it. Thus, when I diluted it 50/50 in a glass it tasted too watered down. Should I have boiled it longer to make it more concentrated? What are your thoughts? Jeffrey
I believe I just answered my own question. My last post I said I diluted it 50/50 when served in a glass and it tasted too watered down. I now have diluted it 2/3rd juice and 1/3rd water and it has a much more pleasurable taste. Much better than store bought. Jeffrey
This is the best and easiest grape juice. Thanks so much for the recipe.