Went to Pine Hill on 11/5/11 (Ciderday this year). Arrived about 10am
and no trouble getting juice although I made the stupid mistake of not
taking into account the fact that I wanted to hear a 10am talk. Oops.
$4 per gallon if you buy over 10-15 gallons...what I was getting. Less if you buy over 50. I picked up 18 gallons; three carboys and three plastic milk jugs. I picked up four glass 1 gallon growlers at Strange Brew later in the day for single gallon fermenters. This year I'm doing the single gallon extra ferments for topping the larger carboys off. I'll blend the results afterward, although the acidity and sugar content is nearly the same in all three.
This year's strategy is to do one of each blend with the same yeast and sugar and see what kind of base blend we prefer. Sugar is lower and pH is high. I'm adding enough sugar to bring the alcohol content up to about 8% and very little SO2...I probably could have done none. I'm doing 2:1 ratio of cane sugar to light brown sugar, which wasn't my original thought but I just had some of Todd's which was solely brown sugar and that was tasty and found organic light brown for the same price as the organic cane at Shaw's ($2.50/24oz bag) so what the heck.
Malic acidity is about 5 g/l. This figure coupled with the pH of around 3.0 is really weird and doesn't fit Claude's graph (http://cjoliprsf.awardspace.biz/Documents/Acidity-pH.pdf) so honestly I don't know what's going on. My pH test strips kind of suck but I thought I did the TA tests reasonably well, double checking on each cider sample.
The three extra single gallons I bought were plenty for doing the various tests, topping off the carboys, and filling the growlers after 8oz of sugar was added to each, with a fair amount left over. Too bad it's sulfited. Good thing I realized that before drinking some.
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