Wow it's been forever since I made a blog post! My life since we closed on our house on July 15th has been absolute, non-stop, balls to the wall madness. So many things have been going on, been done, and after the fact I think "wow that would be a great blog post" but by the time I sit down at 9-10 o'clock after working all day, and then working around the house, I just don't have the energy to get it on the site. But, fall is upon us, winter is just around the corner, and although the to-do list hasn't gotten any shorter, the fact that it's dark at 6:30pm gives the illusion I have more time. My dad used to make grape juice when I was a kid and I loved it. I grew up in Northwest PA, where grapes grow quite well thanks to the climate the Great Lakes create. So, when I moved into my house in July I was quite excited to see that there were multiple Concord grape vines loaded! Now there are different ways to make grape juice whether you use an actual juicer, boil them in water, etc. But I prefer the old fashioned way which is just whole grapes with some sugar hot pressed in jars. Albiet there is a waiting period with this method, but for me it only builds the anticipation!
3. Using another funnel (or dry off the first one) add 1/2 to 1 cup of sugar to each jar ** if using quart sized jars use 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar. The natural sweetness/tartness of the grapes varies from year to year, so I tend to go on the low side of the sugar so I don’t end up with an overly sweet juice.
4. Working with one jar at a time, add boiling water to jar leaving an inch of headspace and stir to dissolve sugar. Wipe the brim and quickly cover with lid and screw on ring to tighten.
5. Once all jars are filled, prepare water bath and boil half gallon jars for 25 minutes, and quart jars for 15 minutes. Remove jars from bath, place in an area and leave undisturbed until fully cooled down and ensure they are sealed.
6. Once jars are sealed and cooled, move to a cool dark space (root cellar/basement) and let sit for at least 8 weeks before opening. Grapes will sink to the bottom and fall apart, while liquid will be deep purple. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher, pressing down to expel any juice and enjoy!
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