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!
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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