September 25, 2014

SteamJuicerI am in love with my steam juicer. I got it last year and I did not rave enough, so I am raving again. It’s a tidy grape juice making tool. I have juiced 50 pounds of concord grapes and my hands are only vaguely stained. In years past, I would have had purple paws for a week or two.

25PoundsBeyond that, it’s so fast and efficient. It takes 2 hours from washing and packing the fruit to steaming and siphoning the juice. The yield has been much improved over the hanging bag method (an extra three quarts per 25 pound lug), and the juice is clear and not the least bit murky.

PurpleStainSteam juicers are a little spendy, but just wait until you taste the juice. I’m going to do apples next and then some apple, cranberry, pear combos.

12PoundsSteam-Juiced Grape Juice

Makes 10 to 12 quarts

1 lug (25 pounds) Concord grapes, rinsed

Pack the top of the steam juicer with as many grapes as will fit. There is no need to stem them.

Fill the bottom of the steam juicer with 3 quarts of water.

Assemble the steam juicer. Check that the siphon tube is pinched closed. Turn the heat to high until you hear the water begin to boil, then reduce to medium, so the water is simmering actively.

The fruit will have collapsed like deflated balloons after about 90 minutes. Siphon off the juice into a large 10 to 12 quart stainless steel pot.

Compost the grape skins. Fill the upper section of the juicer with more grapes, check the water level and add more if it has dropped more than one-third. Turn the heat to high and begin again.

When all the juice has been steamed, reheat it and boil hard for five minutes. Ladle into jars, cap and process for five minutes in a boiling water bath.

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35 Responses to “the steam juicer and concord grape juice.”

  1. V R Shriver

    How do you prep apples for steaming the juice out? I don’t have access to grapes for this sort of thing. But apples are another story.

    Reply
    • Cathy

      To prep apples, just quarter or halve. No need to stem, core or anything. Some seeds may go through the holes, so strain the juice before canning.

      Reply
    • Debra L Bellerud

      Mine is a Polaris. It is made in Finland. It is spendy but it is awesome! Just made concord grape juice, made jelly and now canning the juice. I love it.

      Reply
  2. Susan

    I bought one last year and I can’t believe how wonderful they are! It has saved me so much time and energy compared the old way of mashing and using cheesecloth to strain. My husband and I picked a huge tote bag of free crabapples in our area and used this steamer. We canned several jars of juice and then had a hand mill which made awesome pink applesauce. We made beautiful crimson apple jelly and syrup for winter. I also spread applesauce on parchment paper and baked several hours on the lowest setting in our oven and made pure apple fruit leathers. His co-workers enjoyed these very much. It’s my best thing I bought ever -since I love making jams and jellies!

    Reply
  3. Lynn Miller

    I was ready about the steamer you use for grapes. Do you add any sugar to your juice? If this juice then concentrated so you add some water when being served?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Lynn Miller

      Thank you for responding. I apologize and should have proof read my message. When I went back and read what I had written I was terribly embarrassed. My new steamer will arrive tomorrow and I can’t wait to get started. Thank you for responding and advising that you do not add any sugar. Will I need to dilute the juice any when serving?

      Reply
    • Fran Eickbush

      I sprinkle about 3/8 cup sugar to each batch of grapes and the taste is wonderful. I also mix part flavored water purchased at WalMart (Clear American white grape) to two parts canned grape juice when mixing for serving in a pitcher. This adds a little zest to the juice and everyone loves it.

      Reply
  4. San

    I’ve had my steam juicer for about 14 years now. When I steam
    raspberries for juice, I clean my canning jars in the dishwasher, then place the jars in the oven at 200 degrees. Each jar
    is placed in a saucepan so I can hold the handle and fill the jar. then it’s sealed with hot canning lids and rings.

    Reply
  5. Sue

    I learned of the Mehu Meiji from an Amish woman near where we live in Ohio. For many years now I have canned the juice the way she told me–wash and keep quart jars warm, then fill with juice leaving 1/4 inch head space, wipe top edge of jar, add lid and ring, hand tighten. ( While filling I set the jar in a large plastic measuring cup or saucepan because the jar gets so hot from the juice) You can add a tablespoon or so of sugar to the jar if you want a little more sweetness.
    After the lid is on, grasp the jar top with a jar tongs and swirl (jar is still sitting in my large measuring cup) to drive the air out of the small headspace. The lid will bulge slightly and then seal as it cools. No further water bath needed!! This process is a great time saver and yields well sealed jars.
    If the juice leaks when you swirl your jar, take off the lid, wipe the top, dip lid in hot water to clean it, and try again. A small leak is enough to prevent a good seal on the jar.
    I am steaming grapes today and the juice is delicious!!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Armerding

      I tried your sealing method and it worked like a charm! Thank you. Christmas presents for my kids’ teachers are well under way. I’m going to add the corny tag, “I’m grapeful for you because…” to each quart jar and have my kids write a few words to each teacher.

      Reply
  6. Cayce Weber

    I place my lids and rings in a separate pan, boiling, and pull them out to set on jars to seal. Bottles in oven at 225*. I have never steamed the juice after sealing the jars.

    Reply
  7. Hannah

    My extractor book says 45 minutes for grapes, you say 90, that seems like a big difference. What do you think?

    Reply
    • Cathy Barrow

      I always follow the book’s advice because that timing may be specific to your equipment.

      Reply
  8. Shelly Elftman

    I have never heard of a “steam juicer”! I must say, you had me as soon as I read, “There is no need to stem them.” (haha) I am SO sick of having to stem them, then separate the pulp from the skins, then having to deal with the seeds… It seemed like no matter what method I was trying, I’d swear half of the yield seemed to be getting tossed with the cheesecloth? I figured there’s got to be a better way, and I just recently stumbled upon “food mills…” And then I was thinking that maybe THAT was what I have been looking for?! Well, I am just happy that I found this post before I invested in something else! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  9. Lois Overholt

    I did a bushel of Concord grapes today. Got 14 qt.of concentrate. We delute with 1 qt of water before drinking and sugar to taste. A steamer sure makes it simpler. I’ve had one for 35 years.

    Reply
  10. Kyla Hubbard

    When I finish juicing in my enamel steam juicer, the water left in the reservoir is dark and nasty, with some particulate. There is limescale in the reservoir too. Does this happen to anyone else? Is my juice still safe to drink?

    Reply
  11. Kim

    We steamed grapes for the first time for juice. It was a slick process, however the juice tastes nasty. It tastes like stems. My booklet says is all caps “DO NOT STEM” grapes. Why would that be? I would much rather do the extra work of stemming them and have good juice. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Cathy Barrow

      Hi Kim, I’ve never had that problem. So sorry you did. If you want to stem, you should stem!

      Reply
  12. Wally

    What’s the shelf life on these when finished canning? Seems to me it would turn to wine especially adding sugar and fermenting would take place. How long has anyone stored canned juice?

    Reply
    • Cathy Barrow

      I found a jar that was canned in 2015 and it was still just juice, not wine. I think that heating it kills the fermenting.

      Reply
  13. Anne Klagge

    So happy to find your post! I’ve been making juice and jams w my steamer for several years now. It was a happy accident when I discovered NOT to mash anything but to just throw it in the pot. I use an 1930’s stove that has metal soup tureen on one side that I pour the hot juice into and let cool. A full pot of grapes yields 2 quarts of juice. I add about 1/4 c sugar if using grapes other then ripe Concords. I also use Aronia berry juice ( considered a super food) for coloring when using Delaware grapes to make it look like Concord. Cheers to all of us for feeding our families the very best!

    Reply
  14. Val

    Hi there I have the Mehu Liisa steam juicer just love it ,I have been using it for a few years now,to steam my grapes I don’t add anything to my juice just put grapes in the pot and steam away 45 min to an hour then I take off juice 2-3 times and pour it back in a couple of time then I drain it all into a big pot boil 5 mins then into my half gallon jars seal I don’t even process as it’s for our own use when ready to serve we like it just the way it is no sugar or no added water even ice cubes we don’t use find it waters it down ,haven’t tried anything else in the steamer yet any ideas would love to hear
    Thanks Val

    Reply
  15. Lourdes Tollette

    I have question. I bought juice steam and I love it. My question is how much add water to 1 quart of grape extraction if I want to drink.

    I have 24 quart jars of grape juice.

    Reply
    • Cathy Barrow

      That’s a personal decision! I drink the juice straight, but a lot of people dilute with water or sparkling water.

      Reply
  16. Suzi LaMourie

    I recently bought a steam juicer and have 14 quarts of the most delicious Concord grape juice, some sweetened (following juicer direction) some NSA. I also have a row of unidentified grapes, but have been told they are Zinfandel. I’d like to make wine using the steam juicer juice.

    Reply
    • Cathy Barrow

      The heating of the grape juice in the steamer kills the fermentation option. It’s either steamer juice or wine, but never both.

      Reply
  17. Kathryn Yoder

    Cathy Thank you for your post! Your guidelines turn a long drawn out process into an efficient, quick and reasonably stress free experience. Yesterday I made 23 quarts of grape juice, in about 5 hours, but it all has a bitter edge. Why? I moved just as the harvest was coming in, and rather than leave the grapes for the birds, I decided to freeze them until I was more settled. This is the only thing I’ve done differently to previous years and have always had great results. The grapes were in the freezer for about 6 weeks. Do you have any advice?

    Reply
    • Cathy Barrow

      I can’t imagine what might have caused the bitterness, except the freezing. I’ve always processed the fruit immediately. If you froze, then defrosted, the grapes may have begun a fermentation process in the defrosting. That is just a guess.

      Reply

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