View Full Version : Radical Vinegar

solomon levi
11-14-2009, 10:40 PM
There are many names for this menstruum which make it a little
confusing, but all we're talking about here is very strong vinegar, known
nowadays as glacial acetic acid (GAA).
Other names it has been known by are:
acor aceticus, acidum aceticum, aromatic vinegar, spirit of venus (because
it was often prepared from copper acetate), hydrated acetic acid, aerugo,
aerugo aeris, spirit of verdegris, radical vinegar, spiritus veridis aeris...

It is quite possible that when this item is properly prepared, it could also
be a Philosophical Mercury, the acetum acerrimum.

Here's a good book on the preparation of radical vinegar. A couple of the
items do not require distillation apparatus.


Here's another interesting source:


If the dry distillation of acetates seems like a scary endeavor (vessels can
explode - do not take this lightly) try one that doesn't require distilling.
And remember, you're just trying to rid vinegar of its phlegm/water. If
you study the various methods, you'll see they often employ aquaphiles
to pull the water away from the vinegar, such as strong acids or alkalis.
Pure alcohol is also very thirsty, and you'll often find it combined with

One proposed method would be to freeze your vinegar several times
and then continue by distilling it from calcium chloride several times.
This should make a very strong vinegar.
(calcium chloride is found in products like DRI-Z-AIR, used to remove moisture from... anything)

WARNING - do not breathe the fumes of strong vinegar; do not get it
in your eyes; it will blister the skin as well!!!

Nota bene: the old chemistry books mention the production of acetone
by passing the vapors of radical vinegar through an iron pipe heated to a
dull-redness. This also produces carbonic acid; be sure you prepare for
the gases that are also released.

Nota bene: distillation of radical vinegar and SV produces di-ethyl ether.

solomon levi
11-15-2009, 01:10 AM
Regarding the Philosphical Mercury, Ripley describes a vision in which
he sees a toad drinking the juice of grapes until it bursts.
As Philalethes explains, the toad is gold and the juice of grapes is
the acetum acerrimum. He's really describing the opening up or
incrudation of gold in the Philosophical Mercury.


Is radical vinegar that Philosophical Mercury?
Well, let's just say that one of the names for copper acetate is
"vert en grappes" for those of you who are green language enthusiasts.

Note also that it is a green lion that swallows the sun.
Note also that in the periodic table of elements copper is positioned
in column 1b directly above silver and gold.

But this is just an argument. I wouldn't exclude the possibility of lead or zinc.
Especially as zinc is positioned in column 2b above cadmium and mercury. ;)

Another possible green language: if you take the first and last letters of each of these
two words, lac virginis, and switch them around then read it backwards, you get
vinigris lac.

solomon levi
11-15-2009, 06:08 AM
Well, I just found another item that makes zinc a strong candidate.
In the old days, calamine was often collected from chimneys at copper
smelters because there was often zinc in the ores but it got deposited in
the chimney in various manifestations, one of which was zinc botrytis
which means "bunch of grapes" because that what it resembled.

Another form was called zinc ostracitis and resembled a sea shell.
Maybe has something to do with St. James??

I often wondered why some of the old pictures portrayed Cadmus instead
of Mercury. I used to think they were the same, but now I suspect cadmium/zinc
played an important role in some paths. ;)

solomon levi
11-15-2009, 11:01 AM
I should correct myself - not all the mixtures of acetates create
merely a strong vinegar. As it says in Das Aceton,

"... the Spiritus Aeruginis is not a pure acetic acid because it contains O17,
a flammable acetic spirit because of its volume ..."