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My tremendously supportive husband & I have 3 wonderful children, 1 dog, 12 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 bee hives, and a 2000 sq foot vegetable garden on a small 1/4 acre lot in the city. In the center of it all is our small 1,000 sq foot house purchased in 2008 as a foreclosure that we fully renovated to host our growing family, home school adventures, and small home business (CozyLeaf.com). We have a desire to learn a path to self sufficiency finding ways to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to learn to live with less as we laydown roots to our little homestead.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Marechal Foch Grapes into Juice for Wine, Juice and Jams

So the time has finally arrived and we have had the opportunity to get our hands on some wine grapes! With 240 lbs of grapes we have ended up with 10 gallons of wine, 14 quarts of canned grape juice, 8 pints of jam and 9 half pints of jam. This was quite a bit of work and even more mess, but so much fun!!



This crusher is intended for a 55 gallon barrel, but all we had was a 6 gallon primary fermentor so we set the crusher on top of that. I highly recommend using one of these if you have the opportunity, it was very easy and very fast. We did all our grapes in less than 30 minutes.



They enter the crusher and one person holds on to the crusher and the other cranks the handle.

All crushed!


Grapes in the primary fermenters to set for 1 day and extract the juices!


Add Potassium Bisulfite to break down the natural yeast in the grape skins so you don't end up fermenting your grapes before you are ready to...especially if you are making juice for the kids!! (follow directions given on the back of the container)

The next day you will see a big difference in the amount of juice to pulp ratio!



Crush down your grapes to get one last squish out of the pulp. (I used a sterilized wooden rolling pin...but if you have a fancy wine crushing rod that would work good too.)

Grapes are ready to be filtered into juice! We started by scooping out as much pulp as we could and squeezing the juice out.
Then we lined a 6 gallon bucket with organza fabric and poured the remaining pulp and juice into that so we could easily gather the top of the fabric and squeeze the remaining juice away from the pulp. We talked to someone who prefers to crush their grapes directly into a bucket prepared with fabric like this and then they never have to transfer buckets since all the fermenting and straining can take place in 1 bucket...smart idea!

 Pour and gather!

JUICE!! We did this 3 more times with 3 more buckets and ended up with 15 gallons of juice... With that we made Wine, Canned Juice, and Jams.



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