1. Six hour old lime juice is the best.
2. 1-3 day old vacuum-sealed lime juice is passable, though never quite as delicious on its own to our American palates as the six hour fresh juice. Even the vacuum sealed four day juice was alright, but it was beginning to go bad.
3. If you squeeze lime juice at your bar at 3pm every day, then your lime juice will be usable from 3pm-9am the next day, and it will peak around 9pm-12am that night. If you squeeze lime juice at 3pm every three days then strain and vacuum seal it in glass bottles with Vacu Vin wine stoppers, upon opening those bottles right up to three days, you'll always have just post-perfect lime juice, and you'll have to juice/waste way less.
4. The acidity level of fresh and desirable lime juice hovers around 2.28ph, and as it begins to near the 24-hour mark, it drops to around 2.24/2.23ph. Every vacuum sealed juice over 24 hours old showed the same degradation, but without the milky, funky taste of the ph-degraded fresh juice. Maybe that's why none of the sealed juices tasted like the wildly-preferred 6hr old lime juice? This implies, most importantly, that there are two separate reactions occurring: a.) There's a reaction driving the ph down independently of vacuum sealing, which does so after 21/24hrs. b.) There's a separate degradation that brings the milky/funky taste that can be staved by a lack of air in the juice.
FINAL: By vacuum sealing fresh lime juice, you never get the few hour window where the lime juice is perfect, but you always get it right afterward, and you can juice every two or three days. We found that there are at least two separate important reactions happening, and we can only push one of them back. Most of your guests will be getting off-peak lime juice (except for the lucky people in that few hours window), but now we know we can see it slightly off-peak for much, much longer.
-purchased three cases of limes at the same time to ensure as much consistency as possible and kept them all in my home refrigerator at a constant temperature.
-Each day at 3pm for seven days straight, I juiced enough lime juice into a quart container such that post-straining through a Cocktail Kingdom Coco Strainer it weighed 150g on a gram scale. I funneled these daily portions into brand new, washed 187ml champagne splits and Vacu Vin sealed them. I labeled them with the date, and put them in my refrigerator-- knowing that they'd been squeezed at 3pm each day.
-On the seventh day of this, after the ritual 3pm juicing, I began to juice the same 150g every 3 hours until 3pm on the eighth day. I overslept one of my alarms by an hour, so I have a wonky time figure in there for the every three hours segment of this "show". You’ll see it in the below spreadsheet along the top as a 3hr, 6hr, 7.5hr, 12hr kind of inconsistency. Luckily, as you’ll also see, this was the time to screw up if there every was one. There wasn't any drastic change during those times, and if anything, it proved that the sweet spot for lime juice is at least a little smaller than my planned intervals would've proven!
-At 3pm on the eighth day, I invited two barkeep friends over and we tasted through everything together and took notes.