The importance of straining sediments from juices??

ellen_inmo(6)August 11, 2012

With a grape crop heavily bearing for the first time in 20 years, I've been canning quarts of grape juice practically daily. I follow strict BBB instructions. I buy the overpriced cheesecloth in the packages at the grocery store. Works fantastically. My question, what are the reasons for eliminating the sediments? I can't seem to find a good explanation. Is it a quality issue or a safety one?

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Beats me, I'm just a rookie canner. However you can buy cheesecloth by the yard at the fabric store for a LOT less.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:26PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

They taste gritty. I use old sheets or whatever I have. I don't buy expensive cheesecloth. If I need to buy something I get something from the thrift stores.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:26PM
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I was going to search for and ask if cheesecloth at fabric stores was the same and/or approved for using on food. I do not like spending $2.50 for a yard of it prepackaged at a grocery store. I live in a town 30 miles in every direction from a Wal Mart and an hour away from fabric stores, so I'm limited on options. I love to hear of other options than buying it altogether. While I'm on the subject of the grapes, because I'm swamped with canning to do and can't possibly keep up, I went ahead and froze several gallons of grapes. The idea is, in a month or two, I will thaw out those grapes and juice them. This way I won't have to use up a lot of jars that, in a couple months I will be using and emptying many and will not have a jar shortage right now. Anything I should know about the quality of those frozen grapes?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:55PM
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I await the experienced to comment. However I don't see why cheesecloth from the fabric store or walmart wouldn't be fine. I'd wash it first, with some bleach. I guess if you were really worried you could boil it or even put in the pressure canner at 15 pounds. That would kill anything, right?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 12:32AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

You can use any suitable (I mean a tighter as opposed to a looser) un-dyed fabric. That would include cheesecloth and muslins.

I grew up on home-canned grape juice. It wasn't strained to the nth degree and I liked it that way. The main issue is the possible formation of tartaric acid crystals, but that's an aesthetic thing. It isn't a safety issue.

If you find you're going through a lot of cheesecloth, then you may want to order it online. There's really good cheesecloth available at sites for cheesemakers. I also really like the cheesecloth from King Arthur Flour which is worlds better in quality than what you get in the store. You'd pay more but use less because it's a tighter weave. None of those fuzzies either.

If interested you might want to get on King Arthur's mailing list and keep an eye out for free shipping or 20% off offers. Cheesecloth is something I always stock up on when the opportunity arises. It doesn't deteriorate and I use it for straining stocks, fruit vinegars, jelly, all kinds of things.

P.S. If you're a baker, their parchment paper is also far superior to what you get at the grocery store. Costs more but can be re-used many times.


Here is a link that might be useful: King Arthur Flour Cheesecloth

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 2:32AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Depends on how fast you will be using it. Like Carol said the main reason is the tartar acid that can form with time if not strained. That leads to off flavors and possible fermentation - what my grandpa used to call "the GOOD stuff" and grandma called "medicinal grape juice". :)


PS: we just buy cheap plain unbleached muslin by the yard in the fabric store and run it through the washer once before using.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 11:56AM
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This year I bought some cheesecloth at the fabric store, but last year I used squares cut from an old pillowcase as my strainer cloths for juices. They turned interesting colors as I switched from berries to apples to grapes and then more apples and pears.

We have a lot of fruit, and I freeze much of it in clean, rough-cut condition for making into homemade wine later in the fall. Right now the fruit flies are getting started, so rather than worry about them (they can ruin a batch fast), I freeze and wait. Freezing is also the best way to get raw juice from dry fruits like apples and pears. Freezing and thawing breaks so many tissues that you can squeeze out quite a bit of juice from the thawed fruit.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 8:32AM
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