Sunday, October 13, 2013

Creating Grape Juice

The steps to making grape juice is not too difficult. It does require quite a bit of work though.

1) First harvest your grapes, in my case I used Concord grapes. I then soak the grapes in a large 5 gallon bucket to get rid of bugs and other debris.

2) Next the good grapes need to be removed from the stem and placed in containers.

3) Once the grapes are separated, wash them and them place them in a container to be crushed. I used a large metal bowl. You want to separate the skins from the inner pulp while at the same extracting the sweet juice from the grapes.

4) Dump the crushed grapes into a large metal pot for cooking. Cook the grapes on low medium to help extract more juice. Do not let them boil though. Stir and crush some more grapes to maximize juice production. Heat for 10-15 minutes on the stove.

5) Obtain another large container. I metal cooking pot and strained the heated grape pulp with a wire mesh strainer.

6) The mesh will get clogged with pulp so it needs to be cleaned out from time to time.

7) Have another container to discard used grape pulp into. I composted the grape pulp when I was done.

8) I used a 64 ounce (8 cup) Pyrex measuring bowl to collect the grape juice.

The 10 gallons for grapes picked ending up producing about 150 ounces or about 1.2 gallons of organic grape juice. I consider them organic since I did not use fertilizers or pesticides on the grape plants. It took two people about 30 minutes to pick the grapes. Another two people about 2 hours to clean and de-stem the grapes. It probably took one person about 90 minutes to extract the grape juice and clean up the kitchen.

The grape juice was stored in the refrigerator in three containers and consumed over a 3 week period. There was some sediment settling at the bottom of the pitchers during this time.

The juice produced was a little murky, for a clearer juice like one finds in the store, a cloth strainer might be used.

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