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Canning Grape Juice- The Easy Way!

>28 September 2010
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canning grape juice

Canning grape juice is so much easier than you think it is. With this recipe there’s no juicing involved.

And it’s SO delicious.

I love making our homemade grape juice with Muscadines, though you can use any kind of grapes you want.

Canning Grape Juice (Per Quart Jar)

1/3 c. sugar

1 1/3 c. grapes

boiling water

Wash the grapes well. Using a funnel and ladle/cup, put sugar and grapes into hot jars. Fill jars with boiling water to 1/2 in. head space, then cover with lids and rings. Pressure can jars for 10 min. at 5 lbs. Allow to cool overnight before testing the seals on the lids. If any didn’t seal, refrigerate immediately.

Note: You can double this recipe when using half-gallon jars. For a weaker juice, keep the same proportions as above.

Here’s what the jars look like before processing:

And here’s how they look afterward:

The pressure from the canner causes the juice to squeeze out of the grapes and fill the jar. Most of the grape skins will fall to the bottom of the jar eventually.

You may notice that there is a layer of sugar hardened at the bottom of the jars, but this will dissolved over time, so don’t worry about that.

I LOVE how easy this recipe is! No cooking, no squeezing, no juicing; how great is that?!

Yes, there are floating grape skins in your juice. But they are easy to strain off. Besides, I kinda like the homemade look of them.

For a recipe that uses a water bath canner instead of a pressure canner for canning grape juice, check out this site.

Have you ever tried canning grape juice? I’d love to know how you do yours, or what your favorite grapes to use are!

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46 Comments »

  • Bonnie said:

    Yum,Yum, Your juice looks fab.
    Have a wonderful day.

  • Ann said:

    I made this before and it turned out great! I followed the recipe in the Kerr canning and freezing book (Kerr version of ball blue book)

  • Lanna said:

    I’ve done 1 cup grapes to 1 cup sugar, fill the rest of the quart with water. Water bath can for 20-25 minutes or so. When it’s time for juice, bring out the strainer, and add about 2-3 cups of water since the juice is concentrated. Yum, yum, yum. :D And the color is absolutely beautiful – I have seeded purple Concords.

  • Yolonda said:

    I made this recipe a couple of years ago, and it is fantastic. I followed your recipe, but I processed them in a water bath for 20 minutes. This is the best juice. Thanks again for the recipe.

  • Dene Brock said:

    This looks great! I just tried some of my Brother-in-Law’s wild grape wine this weekend and it was fabulous.. I’d like to try this grape juice recipe for my family. Thanks for the info..

  • barbara gantt said:

    I do this with grapes too. I also do balckberry and raspberry juice. All are easy and delicious, Barbara

  • Leigh said:

    Wow, easy is right! Just my kind of recipe. When we bought the place, there was one grape vine (in the shade), that has produced a couple of small bunches each summer. The birds get to them before we do. Still, I love grape juice and would love to can some myself.

  • Kelsey said:

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  • Carlie M. said:

    I steamed my concord grapes in a juicer this weekend. I grew up with grapes juice made this way, and I didn’t think I could improve on perfection :) My juice has no added sugar…which I guess could be an acquired taste, but my family loves it.

  • Felicia said:

    I found a 1 year food storage plan I thought you and your readers could use.

    http://www.sacramentograpevine.com/blog/view/id_447/title_1-year-food-storage-plan/

  • Mindy said:

    I tried this a week ago with a regular canner. I also tried a much more labor intensive method of cooking, straining, squeezing, adding sugar, heating back up, pouring in jars, then processing. We sampled some the next day and it was good, but a little weak. I wonder if it will strengthen over time? It may be more flavorful with a pressure canner, so I borrowed one from a friend and am trying that tonight. To be honest I’m terrified of pressure cookers, but here goes.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Mindy,

    The pressure canner is absolutely the way to go; it really squeezes out the juices. I’m interested to hear your comments on the difference between the water bathed juice, and the pressure canned juice. (I love experiments!!) The flavor probably does strengthen over time, though I’ve never thought our juice to taste weak at all. Good luck with the pressure canner!!! And don’t be too scared, it really isn’t hard to use, just a little intimidating at first :) You’ll do fine. Let me know how it goes!!

  • sheila said:

    Thanks so much i’ve been searching for this grape juice recipe for a long time .My cousin & I want our grandkids to have the homemade grape juice like we did as kids.Our grandmother is 91 and can not remember the recipe .so we are very thank ful to you.All the other recipes I found were made by smashing the grapes.Thanks again & I pray we get it right.Passing on these good memories is priceless.

  • amdenning said:

    This is the way my dad always made our juice. I just did this myself for the first time not that long ago with grapes from his garden. So important that these recipes keep getting passed down!

  • Emily B. said:

    My mother used to can tart cherry juice this way, and now I do as well. The only difference is that we let the juice “cure” for at least 6 months before consuming it. I think the reason is that over time more juice is pulled from the fruit.

  • Jo said:

    I have done this for years – water bath method, and you should wait a month before using the juice as it absolutely does get more flavorful (and darker,prettier) over time. I use only 1 cup of grapes and 1/3 cup sugar, but my daughter prefers to use 1/2 cup sugar – just a matter of taste. It gets plenty strong and delicious if you can let it set and allow the flavors to erupt. I would imagine it would taste very weak if used immediately after canning.

  • Cheryl said:

    I am very grateful for your pictures. I had tasted home canned grape juice a very long time ago and recall the recipe was the same but have not made it till now. I was dismayed when I pulled my jars out and saw the grapes floating at the top. Then I found your article and pictures. It helps a lot. Very reassuring to know that my results are normal!

  • Natalia @PrepUtilityVehicle said:

    This is a bit late, so I hope you still see it! :) One question I haven’t seen answered here is about seeds! I have a chance to get cheap blue concord grapes or seeded coronation grapes. Have you ever done this with grapes with seeds? Do the seeds make the juice bitter? Thanks to anyone who sees this for any input.
    :)

    Natalia

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Hi Natalia,

    The muscadines I use have big seeds in them, and my juice always comes out just fine. The seeds won’t make any difference to the taste, you’ll just have to strain them out while pouring. Personally, I prefer them with seeds. It just seems more natural, you know? ;)

  • Natalia @PrepUtilityVehicle said:

    Really? That’s great! I did read somewhere that it might make it bitter, so I’m thrilled to hear it. Thanks so much. :)

  • Matt said:

    This may sound like a silly question to experienced canners, but…Do you have to use seedless grapes? Also, other folks mention using this methods with cherries, would the cherries have to be pitted first? I can see how I’d be straining the juice at the other end to remove such things, but wonder if the seeds/pits left in would leave a bitter flavor? Any information is helpful. Thanks!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Matt,

    Great question! The Muscadines that I use to make our grape juice have several big seeds in them. I don’t remove them, but just plop the whole grapes into the jars. The seeds don’t give any bad flavor at all. In my experience, organic cherries (like the ones we’ve picked off a friend’s cherry tree) have worms in the pit. After discovering this, I’ve always cut the cherries in half and removed the pit (and worms) before eating. If I was going to can cherries, I’d pit them just because of that :) Hope that helps!

  • Matt said:

    Ok, thanks! It’s good to know the seeds aren’t a problem. I’m thinking this might work with the wild plums we have in the area as well, which make great jelly.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Oooh… maybe? Plums might be too fleshy to can like this, though. I’m seeing lots of mush in the jar, lol. Let me know if you try it!!

  • Carla said:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I just bought a home with a mature muscadine vine and will have lots of grapes this year. I picked the first ones of the season and am trying different things. I did a small batch (4 qts.) last night in the pressure canner and noticed that one of the jars had a larger headspace after removing from the canner. This jar was also bubbling. Will it be safe? Do you know what causes this? The other 3 jars have a few bubbles at the top but no visible emptiness. I think I will use the one as a sampler and see how yummy it is. :-)

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Carla,

    It sounds like that one jar probably boiled out in the canner, and lost some of its liquid. It might still seal, you’ll have to check it to make sure the lid is on good. It should be fine, but just put the jar in the fridge if the lid didn’t seal. Let the jars sit for a couple of weeks for a better flavor. Enjoy!

  • jackie said:

    How many grapes per jar?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Jackie,

    It’s in the recipe there. 1 1/3 c. grapes. per jar :)

  • Cindy said:

    I cooked my grapes down but still have some grapes in with seeds after crushing. Still good to pressure can with them to get more juice out of them? First time making grape juice

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Cindy,

    If you’ve already cooked the grapes down, they will have lost some of their juices. If you don’t pour some of that juice into the jar to can along with the whole grapes, the juice you make will be weak.

  • terri said:

    Have you ever tried this with tart cherries?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Nope. Never tried cherries. Please let me know if you try it! That sounds delicious. It would be awesome if you could use the same process to can cherry juice :)

  • Marilyn said:

    I made this 25 years ago and my kids and husband couldn’t get enough of it! I had lost the recipe. I’m glad I found this because I couldn’t remember the sugar amount.
    But, I’ve seen a few recipes that say to put in the grapes, put in the sugar and put in the boiling water. Seal jars and you’re done. No water bath! Is that safe?
    I know how to bath bath so it’s no big deal. But, if it’s safe to not have to do it, then it’s even easier!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Marilyn,

    Not sure if water bathing or not water bathing is safe, but I use a pressure canner. This method extracts the juice and makes a wonderful finished product. :)

  • joanne said:

    We use 1c concord grapes per quart jar and fill the rest with boiling water. Previously we have been using 1/2t powdered stevia to sweeten with great results, however I am now using exclusively honey in all my recipes, so this time we are going to add a tablespoon or two of honey. And another experiment – our grapes are frozen.

    I’ve never pressure canned this juice, only water bathed for 10 minutes. The results are very tasty and much quicker (don’t have to wait for the canner to heat up, steam out and cool down each time).

  • Kate said:

    I have made this grape juice many times. This year I didn’t recheck the recipe and processed them in a hot water bath for only 10 minutes. Do you think I can reprocess for another 10 minutes? Do you think it helps to break down the grapes. Thanks for your help!!!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Kate,
    Hmmm… I’m not sure if you can process them again if they’ve already sealed. Did you make a ton of it, or are there few enough jars that you could put them in the fridge? I’d be afraid they didn’t get heated adequately enough to kill all of the bacteria. :(

  • Delta said:

    Can you use the natural sugar from grapes instead of adding sugar and have it still taste great?

  • Donna said:

    My friend and I canned 32 jars yesterday! Question: all of the lids sealed but for some of the jars the grapes are floating and other jars all of the grapes are sunk to bottom. Do you know why that would be?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Donna,

    I don’t know exactly why it happens, but the floating/sinking grapes are perfectly normal. I hope you enjoy the juice!!

  • Donna said:

    Thank you for getting back to me!

  • Anita said:

    I will try this with our Muscadines. I have a steamer juicer and freeze the juice for later, however, it takes a lot of space in my freezer. Do you think this method will work with blueberries?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Anita,

    I’ve never tried this method with anything but grapes. Not sure if blueberries have enough pulp or juice to concentrate the water with flavor.

  • Shelley W said:

    I’m excited to try this recipe! My question is with half gallon jars. You say double the recipe, how long do you pressure can it? Thanks!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Shelley W,

    I pressure can it for the same amount of time. Enjoy!

  • Michelle said:

    Thank you for this post! I made 12 quarts yesterday but using the boiling water method. I’m hoping to make more but using the pressure canner next time since that way is much easier IMO and no huge heavy pot of boiling water!

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