When grapes ripen, they usually do so at the same time, leaving you with a large harvest and only a limited time during which the grapes are usable. Whether they're from your own garden, the farmers market or they were on sale at the store, make the most of grapes when they're at their peak. You can make great-tasting, all-natural grape juice from fresh grapes. Each 1 pound of grapes will make slightly less than 1 cup of juice. You might find more intricate and detailed processes, but a basic method still gets the job done.
Things You'll Need
Cheesecloth or jelly strainer
Remove the stems from the grapes, rinse the grapes in cold water in a colander and let them drain well.
Put the grapes in a large bowl and mash them well with a potato masher.
Put the mash into a large pot and add just enough water to cover the grapes. Heat on medium-high until it reaches a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Constantly stir so no grapes stick to the bottom of the pot. Add sugar to taste, if you wish. Add 1 tablespoon at a time, then stir and taste each time.
Empty the mixture into a piece of cheesecloth and strain it directly into your serving pitcher. Put the grape juice in the refrigerator to cool.
Use this juice within 24 hours. Concord is the classic grape variety for juice, but you can also use muscadines and scuppernongs.