My garden produces a lot of grapes every fall and I'd like to make juice, but I've discovered grape juice must be pasteurized. Is there a way to do this at home?
This is not my area of expertise, but during the pasteurization process heat is used to kill harmful bacteria. I would imagine that after you press the grapes and strain the juice, if you bring the juice to a boil then hold it at a gentle simmer for 4 to 5 minutes you should be successful in pasteurizing it. But I would also bottle it in sterilized jars, then process them as is done in canning. Put the jars in a deep pot, cover them with water and let the water simmer for 20 minutes to make sure the juice will be safe.
If you're open to another suggestion, you could make a grape syrup as they do in the Mediterranean where it's used as a sugar substitute. You could add water or soda water to the syrup to make a drink, use the syrup as you would honey, or use it as a sauce. You would crush the grapes when they're really sweet then simmer them (with their skins) until they're syrupy and reduced by about half. Strain the syrup, sterilize it, put it into jars and process in a simmering water bath.
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