making grape jelly

keepitlow(6)September 19, 2009

Was thinking of buying some concord grape to try making jelly. Don't have a grape press. what is a good way to get the juice out?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Well for best results you will need some sort of food mill, something that will mash and strain.

The Villaware/Victorio food mill or a Foley or something similar to get the juice out and remove the skins/seeds works well. Then there is always a steam juicer. Some can the grapes in quart jars and boiling water and process as for grape juice and then strain out the seeds and skins to make the jelly.

If you don't have any of that equipment then the boiling/jelly bag type of set-up will work and is detailed at the link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: How to extract juice from fruit

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 8:40PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Prior to this year, I always used the following method....

Heat grapes in boiling water until outer skin cracks. Remove grapes from water with perforated spoon, and place them in the center of a piece of cheesecloth. While a helper holds the bundle directly over a clean bowl, squeeze the juice from the "bag" with 2 pieces of cleaned 2x4's (about 2 feet long), that is hinged across one end. The hinge can be picked up at a hardware store pretty cheap. After each good squeezing, new cheesecloth will need to be used.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 11:48PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Villaware/Roma food strainer as mentioned in many recent posts. To extract the juice, you should use the OPTIONAL grape spiral, as it will not jam when passing seeds out the end of the conical sieve. Its the fastest, most efficient way to get juices out of grapes and many other berries, as well as seperating seeds and skins from tomatoes. There is absolutly NO prepping needed to do it in the Villaware food strainer. The jelly bag method is just too slow and messy. If you want to deal with a 24 hour or longer dripping jelly bag, then use that method, but if you want ALL the grape juice from a big batch of grapes and cant deal with the waiting and slow dripping, go with the Roma food strainer. I use it for red raspberries and use the optional berry screen which prevents all the raspberry seeds from getting into the juice. There is more info, if you simply do a search within this forum for the key word "Villaware'. It will bring up hundreds of posts and is much more efficient in getting juices from most any berries, and requires NO COOKING or mashing beforehand. It also works well for making apple sauce and, also a finely minced tomato for salsa.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 12:04AM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

You can make it easier yet and buy bottled grape juice.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 1:14AM
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Thanks to all!

Re bottled juice?

Prefer to make my own juice nowadays. I tried Welch's and it tasted like it had chemicals in it. Walmart's brand doesn't say where it was made. The new labeling laws can send food from China over here and as long as it is processed food, the country of origin doesn't have to be labeled. It only says marketed by Walmart.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 8:42AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Welch's has several types, some have added corn sugar and only 10% juice. The frozen concentrate that states its 100% juice has nothing added, and only the water is extracted. I find its good to add to fresh grape juice without adding the water. It gives a stronger flavor and adds more natural sweetness. The last batch of jelly I made was so good, people wanted more, so I put it up in pint jars. I like it to be low to no sugar added and used both the frozen concentrate as well as the refrigerated bottled type which was a mix of purple and white grapes. Once its brought to a boil, it will change taste a little, but thats normal.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 11:23AM
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Any reason I can't make jelly with white grapes? I can't find a recipe anywhere, but was able to pick some Niagra this weekend.

I was also thinking about making a 50-50 white grape/pomegranate jelly. I think it would be tasty and a great color. Any ideas on that?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 5:26PM
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I always mix the white grapes I have with the concordes when I make jellies. You're in my zone, so you probably aren't referring to white table grapes. They'd be too bland and cloying.

I had a very ancient true red grape, the extension agent said was so old the variety may not even exist anymore. It didn't ripen until right before frost and made the most beautiful jellies you'd ever want to see. Like rubies. I always double or triple strained it to clarify it and I know it would have taken prizes at the fair. A friend of my DH's came over and talked my DH into the pair of them pruning it when I was away. I was devastated, as they killed it. I found a sprig of it growing out in the field where they had dumped the cuttings and it had taken root. LOL. My poor husband was so crushed at my reaction to killing my red grapes, he was afraid to even dig it up to transplant it. He built an arbor right where the grape rooted. People sometimes wonder why I have a grape arbor with one vine on it out in the middle of a field. That's why. It has been there two years now and hasn't born yet, but it was always temperamental. One day, it shall and then I'll take a jar of it to the fair. LOL.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 5:49PM
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Good idea to mix them, though I already processed the purple grapes (Steuben Variety--bluish like Concord, but they were much tastier), half of which I put through a mill for some pulpy juice for jam, and the other half are dripping for jelly. If I have more than 4 cups, I'll save the rest of the juice to make a blend with the green.

Niagra is the green I was asking about, they're a wine grape (used for white wines, which are usually too sweet for my tastes). They taste great. Funny that I live on Long Island, with thousands of acres in grapes, yet had to go upstate NY this past weekend to find grapes to pick. The ones here are all used by the wineries. I'm sure the wine varieties would make great jellies, but they are all spoken for.

That's not the first story I've heard of someone else pruning grapes to "help out". My friend's Dad decided to prune their grapes this spring. I thought he was going to die. Luckily the grapes did not! I bet your grape bears fruit next year.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 7:21PM
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When I prepare fruits for making jelly & need to extract just the juice...I use the old cone shaped collander (sp?) that sits in a metal frame and a wooden pestal type tool to squish the fruit. I also put the fruit in cheese cloth before putting it in the collander to make clean up easier.
Picking seeds (raspberry/blackberry) out of those holes is NO fun! You just need to set a larger pan under the metal frame to catch your juice.
When I do plums (small red ones), I put them in a pot w/just enough water to cover & simmer them till soft (seeds & skins & all). Then I let them cool a bit, put cheese cloth over my collander and pour the mess in. Then I let it sit over-night to drain/drip down. That is easier for me and works fine.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 9:52AM
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I'm making grape jelly tonight, I tend to do minimal prep.

Last night I washed the grapes, pulled them off the stems and added some water. Bring to a boil, siimmer 10 minutes, then mash 'em up hard with the potato masher. When everything is all mushy, pour the whole mess into a clean pillowcase (that's all I use it for, I never slept on it, LOL) set inside a large plastic food grade bucket. I tie up the end of the pillowcase with a piece of clothesline rope and hang it from the back of a kitchen chair and let the juice drip into the bucket. Several hours of hanging and I squeeze the last of the juice from the pulp in the bag and make jelly.

I'm told that squeezing the bag makes the jelly cloudy, but I do it anyway.

I'd love to have a mix of grapes available to me, but I just have seedless concords at this point. As has been mentioned, the local wineries tend to buy up all the grapes, and it's hard to find any for jelly anymore, I only managed to get what I've grown myself this year.

I think the white Niagara grapes would make a beautiful clear jelly....


    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 1:04PM
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I've made grape jelly before with regular refined sugar turned out great. My husband loved it. But I don't like the idea of all of the 'refined sugar' in it. Does anyone know of a recipe that uses agave nectar? One other question as I'm still a newbie to jelly making...........can the grapes be blended in a vitamixer without having to be strained?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 6:50PM
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The directions in the Ball no sugar needed pectin says you can use 3/4 - 1 cup honey, so my guess is you could use a similar amount of agave. I made some Concord Jelly myself this summer for the first time and used the no sugar needed pectin and cut down on the sugar and it came out great. I used the Victorio food mill with the grape spiral attachment, so I don't know about the Vitamixer.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 2:50PM
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