Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Grapes! Grapes! and more Grapes!

My dad has Concord grapes in his back yard and every year we pick them and juice them.  I have been juicing for 3 days!  But my house sure smells good :-)

Last year at this time I was juicing the grapes and making my famous secret "Brain Freeze" out of the juice for my brothers wedding reception.  In case you are wondering it is kind of a cross between Italian Ice and a sorbet.  Anyway because I was going to turn the juice into my brain freeze pretty quickly after juicing it I did not want to bottle it.  I decided to freeze it instead.  I looked it up on google and I saw that others do that so that is my new way of storing it!

So this is what I do.
first rinse off your grapes of all the dust and spiders and anything else undesirable you don't want in your juice. 
Next you will need a juicer.  I have my moms old juicer.  It looks like this.

If you don't have a juicer I know that there are other ways of doing it.  Just google Juicing grapes and it will take you there.
The kind of juicer I am using has 3 levels.  the top is the basket (Kind of like a big colander) this holds your grapes.  The middle level is where the juice drips into.  The last level is full of simmering water.  you bring the bottom pan with water to a boil and then turn it down to a simmering boil. This steams the grapes that are up in the top level. As they soften the juice seeps out into the middle pan.  Then the  drains out of a spout in the the middle level.  You attach a rubber hose onto the spout and you can place the hose into whatever container you are wanting your juice in.  As   you can see from this picture I have mine draining into a gallon milk jug that I have cleaned out and sanitized.

So as you can see the juice is happily draining in there.  I leave some space on top because once it freezes it swells up some.

So there you go!  This juice is ready to cool and go into the freezer.
I pull the jugs out of my deep freezer when I need them. I let it thaw in the fridge and I can make about 4 pitchers of juice from this gallon of concentrate.

How to mix your Grape juice concentrate

1 quart of grape juice
1 quart of water
1 cup of sugar (I like to do 3/4 cup)
stir and enjoy :-) 

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