In early autumn, the grape harvest begins a magnificent sunny berry that ripens all summer under the summer sun. People believe that it is impossible to store grapes at home for a long time. They deteriorate very quickly, so people eat the purchased bunches immediately. Except that, you can put several groups of grapes in the refrigerator for a day or two. But after all, you can adequately store grapes so that after a few months, there will be practically intact tasty bunches of this delicious and highly healthy product on the table.
The shelf life of grapes depends on the variety. The varieties belonging to the medium and late-ripening category are stored longer. Elastic fruits and thick skin can distinguish such types. In this article, we will discuss- do grapes need to be refrigerated and how long do grapes last in the fridge?
People have been growing grapes for a long time. These juicy berries are processed into juices, make excellent wines, and are consumed fresh and canned as a dessert. This berry belongs to the class of perishable foods. Therefore it is believed that we should eat them immediately after removing them from the bush. How long do grapes last in the fridge? People think that if you store grapes in the refrigerator, the berries will not deteriorate within 2 to 3 weeks. Is it so?
Proper storage of these berries can extend their freshness by several months. Experts name several grape varieties that can retain their properties during long-term storage. First of all, these are those species that have thick skin and dense flesh. These include muscat varieties, as well as grapes Lydia, Martischer, Moldova, and Dachny. Different regions have varieties that tolerate storage well. Harvesting should be done in sunny, dry weather after the dew has melted. The sugar content of the berries should be at least 16%. The higher the percentage of sugar in the berries, the fewer losses will be during storage.
Depending on the shelf life, grapes can be :
- with a long shelf life
- with an average shelf life
It is possible to reveal such properties of grapes by knowing their variety. Before buying, you need to study at least minimal information about the type of grapes that you plan to store.
The optimum storage temperature for grapes is between 0 and +7 degrees. Under these conditions, the berries can remain fresh from several weeks to several months (depending on the variety and degree of ripeness).
People store grapes in the refrigerator at -1 to +2 degrees (after removing the low-quality berries). During storage, gardeners should regularly inspect the bunches. When the first signs of rot on the berries are detected, people must remove them.
In the freezer, people store grapes for several months. The primary condition for preserving taste is the exclusion of repeated freezing after defrosting and maintaining a stable temperature level. At -20-24 degrees, berries can be stored for seven months, after which you must eat them. Otherwise, the taste and juiciness of the grapes will no longer be the same.
If there are many grapes, you can store them for several months on the balcony. As a container, you can use cardboard or wooden boxes. Do not forget to examine the berries regularly for rotten fruit.
How to store grapes
When storing grapes, it is necessary to carefully examine the brushes and remove rotten, overripe, or damaged berries. Otherwise, the rotten berries will reduce the shelf life several times. Moreover, the decay process will develop rapidly.
There are several ways to store grapes :
- in the refrigerator, in-room conditions
- in the freezer
- in dark, cool rooms (for example, a cellar, if a private house).
The nuances of storing grapes :
- in the refrigerator, place the grapes in the fruit compartment
- if the grapes are stored indoors, then they must be hung so that the grapes do not come into contact with any surface
- grapes lend themselves well to freezing (berries are placed in plastic bags or wrapped in cling film)
- grape varieties with dark skin are more suitable for freezing
- It will be fair not to wash the grapes before any storage method (moisture will accelerate the process of berry rotting).
- it is not worth storing grapes in polyethylene (condensation will accelerate the decay process)
- for storing grapes in the refrigerator, it is better to use containers without lids or paper
- hybrid grape varieties have a shorter shelf life (maximum one month)
- it is better to store grapes in bunches without separating the berries from the branches (damage to the berries will affect their shelf life)
People also use different and unusual methods to store grapes. For example, if the bunches are placed in a jar of water and then refrigerated, the berries will remain fresh for two months. The primary condition, in this case, is the complete exclusion of damaged or overripe berries. Ripe berries will get through the liquid, and their taste will change. But, do the grapes need to be refrigerated?
Storing grapes in the refrigerator
The best way to save grapes is to put them in the refrigerator. To create acceptable storage conditions, set the temperature regime to 0 – + 2 ° C. Air humidity is permissible within 90%.
Do not wash berries before sending them for long-term storage in the refrigerator. Also, the bunches can’t lie too tightly to each other. Store grapes in the fridge only in one layer. Also, do not wrap the packs in cling film, in which case mold will quickly appear on the berries.
Place the bunches in a food container and cover. So, how long do grapes last in the fridge? In this form, you can store grapes for 2-3 weeks.
Storing grapes in the freezer
The grapes can be frozen while retaining their flavor and shape.
Almost all grapes can be stored frozen, but the dark varieties tolerate the effects of cold better than light ones.
To freeze, take the following steps:
- wash the bunches in jets of running water
- after washing, dry them well, spreading them on a paper towel
- put the dry sets on flat dishes
- in this form, place the berries on the upper shelf of the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
- after 2-4 hours, the grapes are placed in the freezer for an hour so that the berries are frozen
- then they are laid out in bags and sent back to the freezer for long-term storage
Also, freeze the berries in syrup. For this, light varieties are better suited. To prepare the syrup, mix water with sugar in a 1: 2 ratio. In this state, you can store the berries for up to 8 months. The only condition is that the temperature in the freezer should not be higher than – 24 ° C.
How to properly defrost grapes
Temperature drops can negatively affect the condition of the berries. Therefore, after taking them out of the freezer, you should first send them to the refrigerator shelf. The grapes must be there for at least 16 hours, after which you can place them in cool water. After about an hour, the berries are ready to use for food and desserts. If you do not defrost them suddenly, they retain their taste and aroma and will not lose shape.
Storing grapes in a cellar
The storage area must be dry and clean. So that the grapes do not disappear and do not lose their valuable properties, observe the temperature within 0- + 5 degrees. Cellars or basements are usually humid, so place containers of charcoal or lime around the perimeter. Place the branches in a dark place, as light breaks down acids and promotes rapid decay. If the fruits will be stored in bunches, then separate them from each other. Keep grapes away from other fruits and vegetables as they quickly absorb odors.
A little advice
On average, you can store grapes for 4-5 months. During this time, the grapes lose their weight and wilt slightly. It happens as a result of the water evaporating from their fruit. If you exceed the room temperature, then evaporation will be more intense. At zero temperature, moisture from the berries may not disappear.
After that, it is instantly immersed in plain cold water or the same, but only cold, sugar syrup. We wait for the berries to cool completely. As a result, the berries will absorb the necessary water and become sweeter. This procedure can be carried out with plain water if you don’t like berries too sweet.
If you store grapes at home in compliance with all technologies, then you can feast on these berries all year round.
Experienced gardeners know how to properly store grapes for the winter to consume these vitamin-rich berries even on New Year’s holidays. If you follow their recommendations, this wonderful gift of nature, which has an excellent taste and aroma, will adorn any table until spring.