Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids, and a wife to a great husband. Needless to say, there are a lot of daily messes to clean up around our house. Daily Messes is my blog to share ideas on things to do with your kids, snack and meal ideas, crafts, and holiday fun. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Homemade Grape Juice

About five years ago, I planted Concord grapes. My husband and I had bought them for an event we were putting on and I didn't want to just throw them out afterwards, so I planted them in our backyard. I didn't really expect them to grow, but they thrived. The first year, we didn't really get much out of them since they were still growing. Since then we've made juice and one year we made a ton of grape jelly. Last year, the plants were mad at me and didn't produce anything. (I had to rearrange some of the vines because the support system was failing.) This year, they started producing again and the kids were super excited to be able to pick grapes again!

We got a large bowl worth, so we ate some and used the rest to make grape juice! It's a little time consuming, but super easy to make your own juice.
Grape harvest 2012

You will need:
  • Grapes
  • Water
  • Potato Masher
  • Large Spoon
  • Fine mesh strainer (metal is best)
  • Colander
  • Large Pot
  • Large Bowl
  • Medium Bowl
Directions:
1. Take the grapes off the stems and set in the colander. Run cold water over
    grapes. Set in large bowl and let set in water. Drain. Place back in bowl, cover
    with cold water and let soak. Drain again.


2. Place grapes in large pot and mash with the potato masher.

3. Cover grapes with water. You don't want a lot of water, just enough to cover them.
    Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Mash at least once more while cooking. (If wanted,
    add sugar while they are cooking.)
4. Place the colander in the large bowl. (I use a small fine mesh strainer and set that
    inside the colander since mine has larger holes.) Pour cooked grapes into
    colander and let the juice run into the bowl. You can help the juice out of the
    grapes by squishing them with the large spoon (I used a soup ladle, but a large
    metal spoon would work great.) If you a smaller colander/strainer, you will want
    to pour the grapes out a little at a time.

5. When there is a layer of grapes in the colander, take them out and set aside in
   another bowl. Keep working through your cooked grapes.
6. When you are done with the cooked grapes, rinse out the colander and strainer
    and put them back in place over the bowl. Fill with the already squished grapes
    and squish them again to try to get more juice out of them.
7. Rinse the pot and the strainer out. Set the strainer over the pot and slowly pour
    the grape juice through to catch any remaining pulp. Depending on how pulpy
    you like your juice, keep straining until you reach the desired level. Make sure to
    rinse the strainer in between pours.
8. Store the juice in the fridge. You may notice the color is a lighter purple than you see
    in the grocery store, but it does darken in the next day or so.

9. Taste test the juice. If you don't like a super strong grape juice, you may want to
    cut it with water before drinking.

TIPS:
  • You could also use a cheesecloth instead of the fine mesh strainer during the final straining (step 7).
  • 10 pounds of grapes usually make 1 gallon of juice.
  • Add the cooked grape left overs to your compost pile!


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