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Seraph
12-14-2009, 01:37 AM
I need suggestions for work to do in the plant realm, for practice. I do not have access to good alcohol (tequila and flavored vodka), and I'm pretty sure those are alchemically dead, or at least not very amazing.

I have a very simple distillation train made of a hot plate, two 500 ml pyrex flasks and a cup of ice.

I have made spagyrics of basil and lemon balm with moderate success- namely, I'm not certain if I did everything right, but it seemed to work out well. On a tangent, for example, making the Salt of the Caput Mortem was pretty amazing- It burned down to black, and sat there for about half an hour appearing dead. Suddenly, it burst from the center as red, and spread into white in a spidery, flowery pattern all across the black ashy plant matter. I have a video of it on my phone. Not sure if that's how it's supposed to work, but it looked mystical.

What good projects can I do with simple, inexpensive ingredients? I'm hoping to start on a Vegetable Stone this summer, when I can legally buy alcohol and distill it to myself (Nowhere within 2 states of here sells everclear) and I'm looking for something to keep my skills up and produce an interesting result.

Thank you.

-Seraph

solomon levi
12-14-2009, 02:01 AM
Well, you can use vodka. It's alcohol and water basically.
Comes in 40% and 50% concentrations.

For most plant work, you want water and alcohol, because
these each dissolve different things.

You'll want Everclear for the ens and to keep as tinctures.

You can "dry" your vodka with salt of tartar, potassium carbonate.
(This makes it like Everclear) But it drinks alot of tartar. The tartar
can be retrieved via evaporation. When tartar is mixed with vodka,
it absorbs the water - eventually, after adding enough sal tartar
(shake each time), you'll see the water split from the alcohol in two
distinct liquid layers. You can simply decant your alcohol (which floats
on top) or you can distill it for greater purity.

You can make your own sal tartar from ashes or buy it at wine
making supply stores, but it's much cheaper at clay/pottery
supply stores in greater bulk.

The ens is a simple procedure - you'll need that sal tartar for it.
Any alkali will do, but potassa-carb is the true salt for the plant kingdom.
Lye or lime (calcium carbonate or oxide) are strong alkalies.

http://books.google.com/books?id=BPWDrnEJ7UsC&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&dq=melissae+ens&source=bl&ots=aSMZcRUVNe&sig=o8VERL9wamK1ASHR4lXpK1yw8II&hl=en&ei=IZ8lS93fI4mcsgOSm_zgDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CCcQ6AEwCTgU#v=onepage&q=melissae%20ens&f=false

horticult
12-14-2009, 09:56 PM
Move from that inhospitality country

or

redistill several bottles of vodka, if you took the first 1/5 it will be cca 80%.
The rest rest drinkable. :D

Seraph
12-15-2009, 04:12 AM
How do I make Potassium Carbonate? I've tried making it from wood ash before, but got confused halfway through. I put the ash in a bucket and poured water into it, stirred with a stick and strained it through a filter into another bucket. Here's where I was confused- What now? Do I want to keep the water and evaporate it? I'm fairly certain that was what I was supposed to do, but are there any steps after that, or does it just evaporate into white powdery lye?

horticult
12-15-2009, 09:57 AM
I simply bought it; and Paracelsus wrote that both potash and alcohol must be the strongest to reach the results of the ens melissae.

My advice: buy potash and proper alco, plant yourself melissa.

Fireball
12-15-2009, 12:39 PM
How do I make Potassium Carbonate? I've tried making it from wood ash before, but got confused halfway through. I put the ash in a bucket and poured water into it, stirred with a stick and strained it through a filter into another bucket. Here's where I was confused- What now? Do I want to keep the water and evaporate it? I'm fairly certain that was what I was supposed to do, but are there any steps after that, or does it just evaporate into white powdery lye?

From my experience, self made potash have much better vibe than store bought.
here is a good information about calcination of potash :
http://www.alchemywebsite.com/steve_kalec.html

k89
12-15-2009, 03:57 PM
What now? Do I want to keep the water and evaporate it? I'm fairly certain that was what I was supposed to do, but are there any steps after that, or does it just evaporate into white powdery lye?

If you evaporate the water, you will get a mixture of calcium and potassium salts.


This (http://www.cavemanchemistry.com/oldcave/projects/potash/) page describes a technique for isolating potassium carbonate from this mixture.

A relevant thread http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=477&highlight=potash

Seraph
12-15-2009, 04:07 PM
I would rather make it myself, for practice.

Thanks for the links.