4 October 2020 Concord Grapes (Processing)

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Durgan, Oct 4, 2020.

  1. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    4 October 2020 Concord Grapes (Processing)
    Posted on October 4, 2020 by Durgan
    4 October 2020 Concord Grapes 4 October 2020 Concord Grapes

    The concord grapes are now in season. I get a bushel from a commercial site for $20.00 and process into pressured canned juice. A bushel of fruit makes about 20 liter jars of juice. A bushel of fruit weighs about 40 pounds. Grapes make a great juice but require processing.
    Removing the pits and substrate holding the berries can be tedious. My method is pick without excessive substrate. Process in 20 pound lots. Wash several times.
    After washing swipe across a frame of chicken wire to remove as much substrate as possible.Place in cooking pot and cover with water, juice is too thick without water.
    Cook until soft (About 20 minutes). Hand blend into a slurry.
    Run through a 5 mm mesh strainer to remove seeds and substrate. Pressure can at 15 PSI in liter jar for 15 minutes for long term storage at room temperature.

    Add water for cooking since grapes juice can be quite thick, cook until soft in about 20 pound lots, half a bushel. Blend into a slurry. Put the slurry through a 5mm strainer. The substrate and seeds are removed. Place in liter jars and pressure can at 15 PSI for 15 minutes for long term storage at room temperature.
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  2. Joan L NW

    Joan L NW Member

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    Very interesting way of doing it! I have 2 grape vines in my back yard; one marechel foch and one gewurztraminer, yielding about 120 lbs. total each year. I made a small batch of gewurtz wine this year just to see if I could do it, but decided that it's far easier to just buy a wine kit than to fuss with cold-extraction of the juice.

    For the past 10 years or so, I've used these grapes to make jelly/jam, mostly to give away as gifts. For the first several years, I would pick them, wash them, remove the stems, add water and cook them, beat them with a rotary blender, then sieve them to extract the juice. As the vines got more prolific it was clear that I had best can the juice to make into jelly later, or I'd have a mess of grapes all over the ground, and have nocturnal visits from every raccoon in the neighborhood. Because I only keep the juice in jars for a month or less, it seems to work to just heat process the jars of juice for 10 minutes in a hot water canner.

    About 3 years ago, my teenaged son convinced me to process the grapes with the ninja blender before cooking them, which resulted in much easier sieving and less cooking time required, presumably destroying less of the vitamin c in the process. I remembered from somewhere that you don't want to cut the seeds, so I use the plastic dough blade to beat them up, then pour the lot into a big stainless steel pot, and I only need to heat them for about 5 minutes in order to extract the juice. Last year, I bought a big round stainless steel deep fryer basket with 3mm weave, which works amazingly well. It can support the weight of a lot of grape pulp better than a wire sieve, and more of the pulp goes through, but virtually no seeds.

    I've started calling my final product "grape jam" instead of "grape jelly", but anything that cuts the amount of work and time involved is a bonus!
     
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