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Old 08-14-2018, 06:36 PM
 
1,300 posts, read 635,961 times
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It is Concord grape season! Most years I pick a few 5 gallon buckets worth of wild grapes, and then put them up as Concord grape jam.

But this year, there will be a time gap between picking and canning. I've got one patch that is ripe enough for picking now. Most of my other patches won't be ready for a couple more weeks. My experience in the past has been that the grapes lose quality VERY rapidly when stored at room temperature, and only somewhat less rapidly stored in the fridge. But I need to keep the grapes ready for the day I can can them.

So, what to do? Should I clean them and freeze them? Or should I just stick them in the fridge. Or -- what? I did a little research on freezing them - and this can be done, but apparently they tend not to freeze well. All the websites talking about freezing grapes are looking at a time-consuming process to wash them and separate them on cookie sheets while freezing. All VERY time consuming, and best with small batches only. I'm handling GALLONS of wild grapes. Forget time-consuming! Putting them up is hard, time-consuming work already! I don't want to do MORE!

But I want to hear what others think. How do you handle a large amount of grapes to put up?
Would you:
  1. cook in small batches and freeze the mush?
  2. wash them and freeze them whole?
  3. wash them and refrigerate?
  4. just refrigerate without washing?

BTW, I can't imagine NOT cleaning them before freezing, or refrigerating, being a good method - but if it is for some reason, let me know.

Thanks!

Last edited by hiero2; 08-14-2018 at 07:23 PM..
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Old 08-16-2018, 02:02 PM
 
Location: McAllen, TX
2,901 posts, read 1,928,267 times
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A quick search turned this up. If you vacuum seal them in a food saver they would not get freezer burn. Freezer paper might also work. Bag them in ziplocs, then wrap in freezer paper (aka butcher paper).

https://www.sun-world.com/how-to/freeze-grapes
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Old 08-16-2018, 02:25 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
20,999 posts, read 25,737,156 times
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You are going to have to clean them at some point, so clean and de-seed and have them all ready to use when they come out of the freezer. Yes, they should be frozen in a single layer on a cookie sheet (line with a silicon mat to make removal a snap)

If you are using them for jelly, go ahead and juice them and just freeze the juice.

I've had frozen grapes in a commercial mixed fruit medley. Granted, the big boys have better equipment than any of us have at home, but the frozen grapes were fine. Softer than fresh, but they are going to be soft after canning them, anyway.
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:46 AM
 
1,300 posts, read 635,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gguerra View Post
A quick search turned this up. If you vacuum seal them in a food saver they would not get freezer burn. Freezer paper might also work. Bag them in ziplocs, then wrap in freezer paper (aka butcher paper).

https://www.sun-world.com/how-to/freeze-grapes
Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
You are going to have to clean them at some point, so clean and de-seed and have them all ready to use when they come out of the freezer. Yes, they should be frozen in a single layer on a cookie sheet (line with a silicon mat to make removal a snap)

If you are using them for jelly, go ahead and juice them and just freeze the juice.

I've had frozen grapes in a commercial mixed fruit medley. Granted, the big boys have better equipment than any of us have at home, but the frozen grapes were fine. Softer than fresh, but they are going to be soft after canning them, anyway.
I'm pretty darn good at googling, and I have to admit, gguerra outdid me! Typically, for jamming, I clean them, then pop the skins. Then the first cooking, after which the seeds are removed using a food mill. Soft I really don't care about - they get well cooked when making jam anyway!

The ticket here is that I was trying to get others involved - and that means doing things on a schedule - like making a date. Well, the wild grapes don't work well with schedules, so I've always ended up doing the work alone. I was hoping I could freeze a bunch of the work and let others pitch in. I'll just give it a try.

Thanks!
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