Monday, October 17, 2011

The easiest (and hardest) grape juice

Disclaimer: This blog is NOT about to become a canning/bottling blog. It's not going to happen.

However, this post is about bottling. I know that the picture shows grape juice AND peaches, but I'm only going to blog about the grape juice. It's wonderful, and it's simple (for canning/bottling).
A few bottling tips:
  1. One batch is usually seven bottles. Don't prep more than that at a time.
  2. Begin your next batch as soon as the last one is processing. It saves a lot of time.
  3. The grapes are sweeter if you let them sit in the box or bucket for 2-3 days after picking. Much longer than that and you'll find yourself handling a lot of fuzzy, growing stuff.
Enough of that.

2 C concord grapes per bottle
1 C sugar per bottle
6 quarts boiling water
1 canning/bottling lid per bottle
1 canning/bottling ring per bottle

Wash bottles and rings in dishwasher. Don't remove them from your dishwasher until you are ready to put in the fruit. Seriously. Throw away any bottles that have chipped lips. Seriously. They won't seal, and it will drive you nuts.

Fill your canner a little less than 1/2 full of water. Start heating on high.

Place 1 C sugar in each bottle. It's best to use a bottling funnel so that the sugar doesn't spill all over your counter.

Wash the grapes. Remove them from the stems. Discard any withered or green grapes with the stems and leaves. Put 2 C grapes in each bottle. It's also best to use a bottling funnel for this step so that the grapes don't go everywhere.

Heat water and put one canning/bottling lid per bottle in the hot water. This is to sterilize the lids.

Fill bottles with boiling water to 1/4 inch from top. With a damp cloth, wipe the lip of each bottle. Place a lid, rubber side down, on each bottle. Screw on one ring per bottle.

Tighten the ring as much as you can. Then shake the bottle until the sugar dissolves. You may need to shake each one two or three times.

Place the bottles in your canner rack. Lower rack into the the canner. Add enough water to cover the top of the bottles but don't fill the canner all the way. Cover and bring to a boil on high.

Once it is boiling, reduce heat to medium high (if your stove dials have numbers, between 6 and 7). Boil for 10 minutes. Remove from rack and place on a cloth you don't care about. It's more than likely going to get stains on it. Allow to finish sealing. This can take anywhere from 1 minute to 12 hours. Be patient with them.

Allow to sit in your food storage room for 3-6 months.

For serving, strain water from fruit into pitcher (keep the juice, not the fruit). Add one quart of cold water. I usually pour it over the fruit in my sieve. Throw used fruit away. Chill juice. Drink. Enjoy.

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1 comment:

  1. I bet that's amazing! I'm new to canning but I understood your directions as I read them. That's a good thing.


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