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zoas23
10-10-2012, 01:11 AM
Hi... !

A quick question:

Has anyone used a hot plate for (vegetable) calcination?

I am thinking of getting one, but I wanna know if it's possible to use it for such thing.

My reasons / circumstances:
The only source of gas in my house is the kitchen... and the geography of the house makes the kitchen become a very unfriendly place for calcinations... so I wanna move the calcinations to another room which would be so much better... but there's no gas there, only electricity.

D.Trout
10-10-2012, 02:20 AM
I have a hot plate I use as a heat source for distillation, (with a sandbath and borsilicate glass.) Mine was a cheap one I picked up for less than $20 (USD,) and I don't think it would reach the temperatures needed for proper calcination, but I haven't tried it, (just basing it on my experiences with distillation with it.)

You might want to invest in a ceramic crucible and a small propane or butane powered "Camp Stove"

(example: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Camp-Chef-Butane-Single-Burner-Stove/20468060 )

zoas23
10-10-2012, 02:38 AM
Yeah... my plan was to use a ceramic crucible, but I wanted to know if an electric hot plate would do the trick.

I know about the "camping stoves" that work either with gas or butane... but I am really trying to avoid them (because of safety reasons, because of practical reasons).

I am mostly trying to find out if an electric hot plate is OK.

zoas23
10-10-2012, 07:36 PM
I was checking the temperature of the cheap (electric) hot plates: 300 Celsius.

Do you think that such thing would be enough for vegetable calcination?

I was reading this other thread: http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?969-Camp-stove-heating-temperature


I saw Salazius suggesting to use a Gas Torch...

But my problem is that I wanna use a room which has a wooden floor, wooden furniture... So I really prefer not to use a Gas Torch, mostly because of safety.

D.Trout
10-10-2012, 08:23 PM
As it stands, calcination indoors, wooden floor and furnuture aside, isn't the best idea anyway. The herb will generate smoke during the initial burning. Lots and lots of it, and unless you have an industrial strength vent hood indoors, I wouldn't attempt it indoors. Now, after you've burned off the initial impurities, you can move indoors to an indoor oven, good hotplate, camp stove, etc. But I would not attempt that first burn indoors.

Krisztian
10-10-2012, 09:07 PM
But my problem is that I wanna use a room which has a wooden floor, wooden furniture... So I really prefer not to use a Gas Torch, mostly because of safety.

I think you're wise, safety always first.

Having said that, I've used Iwatani professional torch before - excellent results! . . . . Do you own barbeque?

May I also suggest that calcination can be improved when just enough distilled water is added to the salt [preferably, in ceramic dish] and evaporating liquid to dried out mass. It'll produce whiter and whiter salt. I use four tiny white candles underneath dish. Bag of candles cost $3 (US). Check photo under my 'Ora et Labora'.

thoth
10-10-2012, 11:36 PM
Hi , what I do is use a heating mantle, some of them go up to 450c

If smells are a problem you can use a flask on your mantle which has a silicon stopper with a glas tube on the top, leading into a bubbler, ie the fumes pass through water, but make sure you disconnect bubbler right after you turn off your mantle, as your flask will start sucking inwards after its pressure drops.

Worth getting a large capacity mantle at least 1 litre. If you only using a 250ml flask you can have tin foil with sand on mantle for a snug fit of smaller flask
(http://alchymie.ca/basicprocesses.htm see pic of bubbler in the drawing)

zoas23
10-10-2012, 11:44 PM
I think you're wise, safety always first.

Having said that, I've used Iwatani professional torch before - excellent results! . . . . Do you own barbeque?

May I also suggest that calcination can be improved when just enough distilled water is added to the salt [preferably, in ceramic dish] and evaporating liquid to dried out mass. It'll produce whiter and whiter salt. I use four tiny white candles underneath dish. Bag of candles cost $3 (US). Check photo under my 'Ora et Labora'.

I live in a flat / appartment.

I feel a bit uneasy about bringing a torch here... and I really rather wait 48 hours instead of 30 minutes if such thing means I can avoid the torch.

I don't have a barbeque (I was going to add that I'm vegetarian, but I remembered that I actually like grilled vegetables!).

I have 3 balconies, but all of them are "french style" (at least that's how they call them here... maybe they don't call them like that in France!). Like this one:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/16/Balkong%2C_Nordisk_familjebok.png/220px-Balkong%2C_Nordisk_familjebok.png
This means that they are only 25 centimeters "deep"... not really an area in which is possible to do much.

I was checking the temperature of a candle on the internet... it's something between 800 ºc and 1400ºc (depending on different websites with different informations).
The cheap electric hot platess can go to 300ºc.... and then there are other which are a bit more expensive, that work with 500ºc

... but I'm not sure if any of those would be good enough (or, actually, hot enough).

I have an electric mantle that works up to 350ºc... I guess it would be a good idea to use it a few times placing the crucible there... which is far from being ideal for that pourpose because of it's design, but I will end up finding out if 300ªc is good enough or not (go figure... I've realized that I was asking something that I could find out by myself without taking the risk of buying a hot plate and then finding out that it is pointless for what I want).

I'll post the results once I've done it.

zoas23
10-11-2012, 12:08 AM
Hi , what I do is use a heating mantle, some of them go up to 450c

If smells are a problem you can use a flask on your mantle which has a silicon stopper with a glas tube on the top, leading into a bubbler, ie the fumes pass through water, but make sure you disconnect bubbler right after you turn off your mantle, as your flask will start sucking inwards after its pressure drops.

Worth getting a large capacity mantle at least 1 litre. If you only using a 250ml flask you can have tin foil with sand on mantle for a snug fit of smaller flask
(http://alchymie.ca/basicprocesses.htm see pic of bubbler in the drawing)

Thank you.
I am currently doing it... with the electric mantle (1 liter, no problem).

Instead of a flask, I am using a cheese fondue pot made of porcelain*..

I'll see what happens. I promise to post the results.... even though it's more a "testing if it works" thing that something really important.


*simply because it had the same size that the mantle has... and I didn't want to break a flask doing a "test" (I must confess that I have never calcined using a flask).

Krisztian
10-11-2012, 12:20 AM
I live in a flat / appartment.

I see.


I feel a bit uneasy about bringing a torch here... and I really rather wait 48 hours instead of 30 minutes if such thing means I can avoid the torch.

Completely understandable. I would feel the same way.


I don't have a barbeque (I was going to add that I'm vegetarian, but I remembered that I actually like grilled vegetables!).

I am as well, vegetarian that is. A barbeque might do the trick? I suggested it because in the next coming months I was contemplating to try it out myself. A friend owns one.


I'll post the results once I've done it.

I look forward to it.

zoas23
10-11-2012, 06:56 AM
Hmmm... for some odd reason the ceramic pot just got broken with an ugly "crack" sound.
I really didn't see that coming.
I think it was probably because of the heat expansion and the fact that I was using a heating mantle in which it fitted a bit tight... hmmm... The set up wasn't really fantastic.

In some 5 hours I have arrived to a light gray ash. Similar to this color:

http://www.determineddesigns.com/about/images/smaller_gray_rectangle.gif

I can only guess, but I think it would have been fine if the pot hadn't exploded and I could have kept the ashes in the heat for several more hours (then again, I am only guessing).

boever
10-11-2012, 10:38 AM
Hi zoas23,

I have done some calcinations before. I think you need more heat. The equipment I used was a simple stainless steel pot with lid(use the lid for more heat) and a camping fire.
500 gr of herb matter turned to grey ashes in about 30 mins, white ashes in about 45 mins. I don't think calcination should take hours.

Hope this helped you
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jfjbysy5qbonrcf/clacination.jpg

zoas23
10-11-2012, 07:12 PM
Hi zoas23,

I have done some calcinations before. I think you need more heat. The equipment I used was a simple stainless steel pot with lid(use the lid for more heat) and a camping fire.
500 gr of herb matter turned to grey ashes in about 30 mins, white ashes in about 45 mins. I don't think calcination should take hours.

Hope this helped you
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jfjbysy5qbonrcf/clacination.jpg

Thank you.

I think I'm gonna give it a try to Salazius' gas torch method, whichh he said causes no fumes.

I certainly have more than a few space-related problems with calcination.

The "Camping Stove" method is probably the last option I have in mind (though I will go there if nothing else works... but I am trying to avoid it).

zoas23
12-29-2012, 06:17 PM
O.K...

I kept on trying different things.
I bought a butane torch and I've used it directly on the ashes... I must say that it's FANTASTIC for the first part of the process. I was reading a post by Salazius in which he was saying that by using a torch it is even possible to do it indoors without problem. It is true. There are some fumes, of course, but it's like the 5% of the smoke that heating the vessel would produce. Not really much more smoke than what 1 or 2 cigarettes would produce.
I could not keep on doing it for the second part of the process, because at some given point the ashes get too "light" and the torch creates some sort of wind... so it's impossible to keep on doing it without making them fly (I don't mean making them volatile, but mostly making them fly because of the wind).

Then I got myself a cheap hot plate that goes to 500ºc.... After some 30 hours I still have gray ashes. Light gray, but still gray.

I have investigated the camping stoves that were suggested... the ones available in my country are VERY cheap and they don't look as something I would trust. The equivalent to $20 dollars. That's why I didn't got one of those. I assume that it's safe to boil water there and make a tea... but I really don't wanna take the risk of keeping it burining for one or two hours. It is technically a bomb (maybe I am being a paranoid).

Of course, I have also used the kitchen stove (gas)... but the results were by far worst than the ones I got with the hot plate.

So I am considering getting a bunsen burner (maybe I should have started there instead of taking the whole road and trying everything else? ). I decided to take the "long road" beause even though the Bunsen is cheap and trustable, it involves quite a lot of $$$ to set it up (i.e, I have to call a technician to break the wall, find the gas pipe, adding a "connection", etc).

I've just added water (distilled) to the gray ashes. I am cursing myself for not having had the idea of taking a pic BEFORE doing it. It would have been a great idea as to show it to you and get oppinions on the subject.

does anyone have a pic of the ashes you use BEFORE leaching?
I wanna check if I am still not getting what I should get or if I currently have it and I am expecting to see something more white than it can be (if you know about a picture that it's on the internet, but it's not yours, then it's OK too... I simply wanna compare).

I decided to try leaching these ashes, I was gonna try to do it right now. Even though what I have looks like 100% caput mortum and I think that I didn't get soluble salts. The water is quite trasparent.

BTW: I am using Melissa.

P.S, sorry for (maybe) being a pain in the a** by asking the same thing again and again.

Susu
12-29-2012, 09:09 PM
When doing my calcination I was living in a smaller apartment also. I had many issues (melting pots, cracking dishes, etc.) but I took it as a learning experience. My joking motto at the time was "It isn't alchemy if something doesn't get blown up or destroyed".

Anyways, after you leech your salts and you let it settle try to syphon or filter out the mass from the water. Take the water and gently evaporate it. You'll see that your salts will be "white as snow". Scrap the salt off and use it as you will. Take the black remaining mass and evaporate and calcinate again. You can keep repeating this step of leeching. Best of luck!

zoas23
12-29-2012, 09:32 PM
When doing my calcination I was living in a smaller apartment also. I had many issues (melting pots, cracking dishes, etc.) but I took it as a learning experience. My joking motto at the time was "It isn't alchemy if something doesn't get blown up or destroyed".

Anyways, after you leech your salts and you let it settle try to syphon or filter out the mass from the water. Take the water and gently evaporate it. You'll see that your salts will be "white as snow". Scrap the salt off and use it as you will. Take the black remaining mass and evaporate and calcinate again. You can keep repeating this step of leeching. Best of luck!

Thank you... ! That's mostly my plan.
Though I wanted to make sure if the ashes I am leeching are "O.K." or if they are still "too gray" and need a whole more work.

I am finding a lot of pictures of the "still black ashes"... and a lot of pictures of "after leehing"... but no pictures of "before leeching" (even though I am reading that I should arrive to something almost white and I am quite far from it).
I've also seenseveral times face to face salt that has been leeched, but I think I've never seen the "before leeching" thing.

Oh... what I am doing is following Dubuis lessons... which begin with making a Melissa Salt... but I am mostly stuck there in that first lesson ! :p

Susu
12-29-2012, 10:34 PM
Thank you... ! That's mostly my plan.
Though I wanted to make sure if the ashes I am leeching are "O.K." or if they are still "too gray" and need a whole more work.

I am finding a lot of pictures of the "still black ashes"... and a lot of pictures of "after leehing"... but no pictures of "before leeching" (even though I am reading that I should arrive to something almost white and I am quite far from it).
I've also seenseveral times face to face salt that has been leeched, but I think I've never seen the "before leeching" thing.

Oh... what I am doing is following Dubuis lessons... which begin with making a Melissa Salt... but I am mostly stuck there in that first lesson ! :p

Seems like you are doing fine. My ashes seemed like yours also, as in a greyish white. I was upset at first when I put the water in and it turned black again but that is normal. The amount that you get after you evaporate the water should be pure enough. Of course, the whiter the salts are before the leeching the more you'll produce. Doesn't mean that it is a failed procedure. You can just rise and repeat with what didn't leech over.

zoas23
12-30-2012, 06:07 AM
Seems like you are doing fine. My ashes seemed like yours also, as in a greyish white. I was upset at first when I put the water in and it turned black again but that is normal. The amount that you get after you evaporate the water should be pure enough. Of course, the whiter the salts are before the leeching the more you'll produce. Doesn't mean that it is a failed procedure. You can just rise and repeat with what didn't leech over.

Thanks for the advice!

I've just finished it. Some terrible pics:

http://img546.imageshack.us/img546/7166/dscn0347f.jpg

http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/2498/dscn0348de.jpg
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/132/dscn0348de.jpg/
Does this look in some way like what I should have obtained after leeching?

Was it a good idea to do it in a glass container? Or I should have chosen a porcelain container? I am thinking about the procedure to remove the salt.... I really have no idea about how I am going to remove this salt... except scratching with a knife or a spoon?

Susu
01-01-2013, 08:26 AM
Thanks for the advice!

I've just finished it. Some terrible pics:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/546/dscn0347f.jpg/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/132/dscn0348de.jpg/

Does this look in some way like what I should have obtained after leeching?

Was it a good idea to do it in a glass container? Or I should have chosen a porcelain container? I am thinking about the procedure to remove the salt.... I really have no idea about how I am going to remove this salt... except scratching with a knife or a spoon?

Picture looks good. As to which container to use I used a glass one as well. It is much easier to see what is on it. Also, I used a knife or a putty knife to remove the salt. Before it fully becomes dry and has a little dampness to it I would start to scrap at it so it won't be caked onto the container. Also, I felt that when the salt is fully dry it becomes really light and tends to fly off easily.

z0 K
01-01-2013, 11:18 PM
Thanks for the advice!

I've just finished it. Some terrible pics:

http://img546.imageshack.us/img546/7166/dscn0347f.jpg

http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/2498/dscn0348de.jpg
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/132/dscn0348de.jpg/
Does this look in some way like what I should have obtained after leeching?

Was it a good idea to do it in a glass container? Or I should have chosen a porcelain container? I am thinking about the procedure to remove the salt.... I really have no idea about how I am going to remove this salt... except scratching with a knife or a spoon?


You can see some examples of how to prepare your ashes at the link below.

http://www.alchemylife.org/Pages/archives_and_stone_works_researc.htm

In addition you can take the salts after leaching and evaporation, and scrape them off the casserole dish with a razor blade and then calcine them again repeating the whole process and you will get even better crystals.

zoas23
01-02-2013, 10:23 PM
You can see some examples of how to prepare your ashes at the link below.

http://www.alchemylife.org/Pages/archives_and_stone_works_researc.htm

In addition you can take the salts after leaching and evaporation, and scrape them off the casserole dish with a razor blade and then calcine them again repeating the whole process and you will get even better crystals.

Thank you.
I saw a picture there:

http://www.alchemylife.org/Pages/Saga2_files/image302.jpg

The ashes I have are whiter than that. I think I was expecting the ashes to turn whiter than they can.
Thanks for all the tips and help.

Andro
01-02-2013, 11:04 PM
Plant ashes can be calcined to whiteness if the whole cycle is repeated enough times.

However, no matter how white they may appear on the outside, there will still be some blackness/opacity hidden in them.
This can also be removed, but it would require a somehow different approach, resulting in a different type of product quality, which is beyond the scope of this topic.

Meanwhile, here are pictures of some calcined salts I've made from Wine Tartar and from Melissa a few years ago, using a simple gas stove (click on the pictures to enlarge them):

Potash from Wine Tartar:
674

Potash from Melissa:
675

z0 K
01-03-2013, 02:03 AM
Thank you.
I saw a picture there:

http://www.alchemylife.org/Pages/Saga2_files/image302.jpg

The ashes I have are whiter than that. I think I was expecting the ashes to turn whiter than they can.
Thanks for all the tips and help.

That pic shows plant ashes incinerated in a furnace. The plant material was not ground up but left intact as can be seen by the pieces that still have their original form. How you handle the ashes depends on what you are trying to do with your tincture or elixir. To get white translucent salt crystals just take the incinerated ashes and wash them in distilled water for a simple spagyric tincture or elixir. Take the crystals and calcine them and grind them down while still hot and put back on the hot plate and repeat until no more lightening is observed. They will not turn white unless you raise the temp to over 1000 F. You can do this with the incineration of the plant matter but if you heat the water leached salts heat over 1000 F they will most likely vitrify.

zoas23
01-03-2013, 02:14 AM
Plant ashes can be calcined to whiteness if the whole cycle is repeated enough times.

http://forum.alchemyforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=675


Thanks a lot for the pictures. It's useful for me to see what I should expect as a result. I am certainly far from there (even though I got the salt crystals).
I will definitely get a connection for a bunsen.

BTW: I sent you an e-mail related to the questions you asked me.

Andro
01-03-2013, 02:31 AM
Thanks a lot for the pictures. It's useful for me to see what I should expect as a result. I am certainly far from there (even though I got the salt crystals).
I will definitely get a connection for a bunsen.
BTW: I sent you an e-mail related to the questions you asked me.

I forgot to add the incineration stage that z0K mentioned above. I also do this to get the white.


if you heat the water leached salts heat over 1000 F they will most likely vitrify.

I heated them up to above 1000 °C and they didn't vitrify. Other effects were observed.

I'll check my email. Thanks!

zoas23
01-03-2013, 02:31 AM
That pic shows plant ashes incinerated in a furnace. The plant material was not ground up but left intact as can be seen by the pieces that still have their original form. How you handle the ashes depends on what you are trying to do with your tincture or elixir. To get white translucent salt crystals just take the incinerated ashes and wash them in distilled water for a simple spagyric tincture or elixir. Take the crystals and calcine them and grind them down while still hot and put back on the hot plate and repeat until no more lightening is observed. They will not turn white unless you raise the temp to over 1000 F. You can do this with the incineration of the plant matter but if you heat the water leached salts heat over 1000 F they will most likely vitrify.

Thanks for all these tips.
The hottest source of heat I have reaches 920 F... So I will get a bunsen.
I'm mostly fillowing the book by Dubuis... And I'm on the first practical lesson, which is creating a Melissa salt... but the first step is to get white ashes... And I didn't want to go on with the book till I have finished that part.

It also got important for me to do it, because I I relate what I'm doing with what's going on in my life (a divorce, depression, probably the worst times of my whole life, etc). So it became very much like a therapy.

Andro
01-03-2013, 02:51 AM
The hottest source of heat I have reaches 920 F... So I will get a bunsen.

You can incinerate just by adding some alcohol and lighting it up.

z0 K
01-03-2013, 05:53 PM
Thanks for all these tips.
The hottest source of heat I have reaches 920 F... So I will get a bunsen.
I'm mostly fillowing the book by Dubuis... And I'm on the first practical lesson, which is creating a Melissa salt... but the first step is to get white ashes... And I didn't want to go on with the book till I have finished that part.

It also got important for me to do it, because I I relate what I'm doing with what's going on in my life (a divorce, depression, probably the worst times of my whole life, etc). So it became very much like a therapy.

A bunsen burner is good to have in your lab, but the heat output radius is a bit small for incinerating ashes in a vessel. To incinerate the ashes just burn them with a propane torch. Then take them and grind them in a mortar and pestle and calcine on your hot plate, leach and repeat until you get translucent salt crystals.

I'm providing a link to a discussion about Ens Melissa from an old forum. I agree with what Beat wrote there, but making the Ens is a good lab project to gain experience and insight in the alchemy lab.

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/p-meliss.html

Hang in there; things will get better: alchemy lab is very good therapy. I know from experience:D

zoas23
01-03-2013, 06:26 PM
A bunsen burner is good to have in your lab, but the heat output radius is a bit small for incinerating ashes in a vessel. To incinerate the ashes just burn them with a propane torch. Then take them and grind them in a mortar and pestle and calcine on your hot plate, leach and repeat until you get translucent salt crystals.

I'm providing a link to a discussion about Ens Melissa from an old forum. I agree with what Beat wrote there, but making the Ens is a good lab project to gain experience and insight in the alchemy lab.

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/p-meliss.html

Hang in there; things will get better: alchemy lab is very good therapy. I know from experience:D

Thank you. Very useful tips.
A friend, who's an excellent alchemist, asked me if I have tasted the salts. I just did it. What a strange taste!!! a bit like Pop Rocks ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop_Rocks ), a bit like cocaine (and, no, I'm certainly not a cocaine enthusiast)... but I was surprised by this intense taste (I expected it to taste like "nothing", no taste at all.... wrong assumption! ).

I started with Lab alchemy very "late" (I started to study hermeticism in an intensive way in 1998)... but I don't think I regret to have started late, since right now every little thing becomes huge and full of symbols.
"The process is the product"... that's one of the first phrases I've heard when I started to study hermeticism... and right not it makes perfect sense.

I was getting quite crazy removing the salts from the glass container, until I found that the tools for working with ceramic are fantastic for doing it (I forgot its English name):
http://www.artcamargo.com.br/images/ferramentas%20italianas.jpg

Ghislain
01-04-2013, 08:29 AM
Zoas

Do you not do your final evaporation in a flat dish?

Make things a lot easier.

Ghislain

Draconisnova
01-05-2013, 01:48 AM
For my calcinations i use a propane stove, with a 7kg propane bottle, very light, and easy to carry. But everything depends upon what type of calcination you want to achieve, calcination doesn't mean you will get better salts, in my opinion and by my experience in the Animal, vegetable and mineral reigns, you can get salts without the use of high heat temperatures. And a philosophical calcination is not achieved with fire or any hot flame, is achieved with very low temperatures with is proper fire.
But if high heat temperatures are your goal, so you may achieve a good results using a electric kiln, there are few good enough and small, but enough to feat a ceramic cruicble inside them. The more you kiln burn the vitrified ashes the more white they become, and stop to be salt at all.

Andro
01-05-2013, 03:04 AM
Hello Draconisnova,


Calcination doesn't mean you will get better salts

Better salts for what, if you don't mind my asking?


You can get salts without the use of high heat temperatures. And a philosophical calcination is not achieved with fire or any hot flame, is achieved with very low temperatures with is proper fire.

Are you talking about salts from plant ashes?

When we already have a salt, it can indeed be further purified with relatively lower temperatures OR with other salts.
(For example, see 'The Dew Burns The Salt (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fyaka-asso.org%2Fyaka%2Frosee%2Fp_2.php)' by Roger Guasco)


The more you kiln burn the vitrified ashes the more white they become, and stop to be salt at all.

Have you performed this operation yourself, personally? Once, I have tested to see what happens if I heat whitened plant salts to around 1200°C for a more extended period of time.

They didn't vitrify, and didn't become more white either, as it can be seen below. Here is a picture taken after the salts cooled:

http://i861.photobucket.com/albums/ab172/androgynus_album/BlueCalcinedPotash1.jpg

I've discussed the appearance of the blue color with two friends from here. I don't remember the chemical explanations or the alchemical implications.

Some of the explanations came from the Internet.

Here is a picture found on the Internet, displaying a similar effect with Tartar Salts after being calcined at high temperatures:

http://i861.photobucket.com/albums/ab172/androgynus_album/BlueTartar2_zps776ca7a0.gif

zoas23
01-05-2013, 05:04 AM
For my calcinations i use a propane stove, with a 7kg propane bottle, very light, and easy to carry. But everything depends upon what type of calcination you want to achieve, calcination doesn't mean you will get better salts, in my opinion and by my experience in the Animal, vegetable and mineral reigns, you can get salts without the use of high heat temperatures. And a philosophical calcination is not achieved with fire or any hot flame, is achieved with very low temperatures with is proper fire.
But if high heat temperatures are your goal, so you may achieve a good results using a electric kiln, there are few good enough and small, but enough to feat a ceramic cruicble inside them. The more you kiln burn the vitrified ashes the more white they become, and stop to be salt at all.

Thank you. Every tip is appreciated.
My current goal is to learn, experience... and also achieve some goals step by step.... and I'm also trying to be methodic, because I've learnt that running doesn't help... nor it helps having random goals without a method (I saw someone who got very interested in lab work, but then got distracted and started to make home-made liquors).
The other goal is to experience the mirror/speculum effect... which is probably what I am enjoying the most.
The other day when I was evaporating the water and I started to see the first white crystals there... well, it was just like staring at a miracle... and even if I knew that it was only a 0.000001% of what is possible to do, I felt truly amazed... and happy. Probably the only thing that made me smile during the last 30 days.

I already got the salts I wanted to get. I didn't get white ashes yet, though I received several tips that may help me to get them.

I was concerned with the fact that I didn't get white ashes.... So I wanted to get them and see what happens. It's not that I got stubborn, it's just that all the books I was following said that I was meant to get them... so I told myself: "O.K... something is missing here".
The idea of "more heat" mostly came from the fact that I have tested the "time" factor (it may sound silly, but I've been working with the same ashes since several weeks ago. I worked with them in an iron cooking pot using a butane torch... then they spent several nights and days in the kitchen gas stove.... then they spent some days in the heating mantle... then I got a hot plate and they spent some time there too.
So I said: "O.K.... maybe I need more heat!".

A lot of other tips were provided, I assume I am going to test them all (probably not the electric klin).

I do realize that what I'm doing is far from being perfect... and I'm sure I'm making lots and lots of mistakes (and I am aware of some of them, whilst I'm also completely not aware yet of some others).
I somehow feel like a baby learning to crawl (I was going to say "walk", but maybe that's too much)... So I assume that hitting the ground with my face is something that will happen more than a few times... and that's fine.


Zoas
Do you not do your final evaporation in a flat dish? Make things a lot easier.
Ghislain

I'm using something quite close to this:

http://dev.pyrex-coqs.tv/sites/default/files/images/Classic_Glass_Cake_dish_photo.jpg

I assume this is what you mean with "flat dish". removing the salts was not as complicated as I expected once I found the right tools (modeling tools designed for working with clay). It took me some 5 minutes.

Ghislain
01-05-2013, 06:25 AM
Yes ideal

I thought from the look of the tools in your pic you were retrieving your salt from a round bottom flask :o

what I use below.

http://forum.alchemyforums.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=490

Bigger the surface area the better IMO as evaporation time is quicker, but the you do have the
drawback of scraping more surface :(

Cant get something for nothing I guess.:confused:

Ghislain

guthrie
01-05-2013, 12:23 PM
A blue effect with tartar salts? That's interesting. Is there any chance they've absorbed something from the calcining vessel?

The old alchemists say to calcine tartar in a vessel that is glowing red, often for a day or so, but i need to do this to find out. They probably didn't expect 1200C though, how much mass did you lose with calcining at that temperature?
(I also need to get some actual wine tartar rather than the lab grade stuff)

Andro
01-05-2013, 02:57 PM
A blue effect with tartar salts? That's interesting. Is there any chance they've absorbed something from the calcining vessel?
The old alchemists say to calcine tartar in a vessel that is glowing red, often for a day or so, but i need to do this to find out.
They probably didn't expect 1200C though, how much mass did you lose with calcining at that temperature?
(I also need to get some actual wine tartar rather than the lab grade stuff)

Hey Guthrie,

In my experiment, I used home made Potash from Wine Tartar. Calcined for a little more than 24 hours in a potter's oven, with gradual heating and cooling.

Back then, I discussed the blue results with Mr. Salazius and with Mr. theFool, and here are some insights:

First, from an older thread:


[...]washing the potassium carbonate till whiteness. [...] The white salt, calcined in oven become blueish (sulfur of the salt)

You can read that Entire Post (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?539-Crude-Tartar-Distillation&p=1237#post1237) or go to the Originating Thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?539-Crude-Tartar-Distillation).

And the source of the Internet picture was brought to you by gracious courtesy of Mr. theFool,
who took the time to do some research and find the whole online alchemical resource that could be compared with my result. (Thanks, my friend!)

It's in French and basically looks like the same thing Mr. Salazius was talking about:

SOURCE (http://alchimie-pratique.org/distartre.html) (scroll down for the 'Blue Tartar' image)

theFool
01-05-2013, 09:43 PM
You can read that Entire Post (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?539-Crude-Tartar-Distillation&p=1237#post1237) or go to the Originating Thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?539-Crude-Tartar-Distillation).

And the source of the Internet picture was brought to you by gracious courtesy of Mr. theFool,
who took the time to do some research and find the whole online alchemical resource that could be compared with my result. (Thanks, my friend!)

It's in French and basically looks like the same thing Mr. Salazius was talking about:

SOURCE (http://alchimie-pratique.org/distartre.html) (scroll down for the 'Blue Tartar' image)
Thank you Mr. Androgynus for giving the credits to me. However, upon further investigation in the posts of the Originating Thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?539-Crude-Tartar-Distillation), I can see at the third post, that the first who brought the document on the "table" was Mr. Salazius! The document he posted was the "distillation alchimique du tartre" found on scribd but it is deleted now. Obviously, this is how I knew about the explanation of the blue color, however I had forgotten it (sorry Salazius!). That is why our opinions coincide too! The credit you can give to me is the one of discovering the original website SOURCE (http://alchimie-pratique.org/distartre.html) by "googling"; the credit of discovery belongs to Mr. Salazius (after all the document is French). Anyway, I hope the infomation becomes useful to the researchers of the thread :)

guthrie
01-06-2013, 02:11 PM
Thanks for the links Androgynus - looks like more reading for me.

Draconisnova
01-06-2013, 04:36 PM
Hello Draconisnova,



Better salts for what, if you don't mind my asking?

If you taste the salts extracted from calcined ashes, they don´t taste salty at all, they are more bitter then salty. But this may be your goal. In fact if you want to achieve something with those salts, you need to crush them into a mortar and pestle, and then sublimate them with a sand glass type glassware or aludel. The salts will form on the upper part of the closed vessel will have dissolving properties. This is one of the secrets of alchemy. The longer you purify the ashes, and lixiviate them from is visible salt, the more corrosive their sublimate become, you will be impressed with the corrosion qualities of this white dust, taste it in your mouth and you will see. Place it in a copper plate, or marble polished stone and you will see what is capable of (just a type mix few drops of lemon juice with it).


Are you talking about salts from plant ashes?

I don´t work much in the plant kingdom, but yes it can also be with salts from plants, all you need is the right fire to calcine and extract the salts, you may indeed get pure plant salt without calcine the plants to ashes as well. The secret is in the separation of the 3 properties.

When we already have a salt, it can indeed be further purified with relatively lower temperatures OR with other salts.
(For example, see 'The Dew Burns The Salt (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fyaka-asso.org%2Fyaka%2Frosee%2Fp_2.php)' by Roger Guasco)




Have you performed this operation yourself, personally? Once, I have tested to see what happens if I heat whitened plant salts to around 1200°C for a more extended period of time.

Yes many times, calcine them with a Kiln, then crush them into a mortar and pestle, then lixiviate them, dry them, burned them again, and repeat this process about 7 to 9 times and they will pass between many colors, till they be totally white, and indissoluble. (This is not any type Stone, since the real stone is made of dissolved silver or gold not any type of plant).

Salazius
01-08-2013, 01:27 PM
the credit of discovery belongs to Mr. Salazius (after all the document is French).

Who cares ?

Seemingly the blueish colour comes from ions of iron or any other contaminant, and they are dangerous for health, since they can cause cancer.

theFool
01-08-2013, 04:35 PM
IIn fact if you want to achieve something with those salts, you need to crush them into a mortar and pestle, and then sublimate them with a sand glass type glassware or aludel. The salts will form on the upper part of the closed vessel will have dissolving properties. This is one of the secrets of alchemy. The longer you purify the ashes, and lixiviate them from is visible salt, the more corrosive their sublimate become, you will be impressed with the corrosion qualities of this white dust, taste it in your mouth and you will see. Place it in a copper plate, or marble polished stone and you will see what is capable of (just a type mix few drops of lemon juice with it).
Hello Draconisnova. I don't doubt that sublimation makes the plant ash more "fiery" but even store bought potassium carbonate can "dissolve" copper. Store bought citric acid (lemon juice) can dissolve many metals too, not in the way acids do it but by "chelating" them, like ammonium ions do.

zoas23
01-08-2013, 08:39 PM
A silly question: the caput mortuum.... once I have extracted all the possible salt... do I still keep it / store it?

Right now I honestly don't know any reason to store it (it's not a problem to store it either), just wanted to hear the opinion of someone with more experience.

Draconisnova
01-11-2013, 07:41 PM
A silly question: the caput mortuum.... once I have extracted all the possible salt... do I still keep it / store it?

Right now I honestly don't know any reason to store it (it's not a problem to store it either), just wanted to hear the opinion of someone with more experience.

This is why no one find the stone, and never will, because you discard what is of more precious, is not the shiny salt that matters is the opposite.

"And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day."

What you do, and every one else is doing is vitrifying the ashes till they become salt, but this is not the salt of the philosophers, the salt of the philosophers in fact comes from the caput mortum, but need to be extracted by gentle calcination, you cant even call it a calcination. Only when you see the sign in the philosophical sky you will know you have the true salt, not any lifeless vitrified ash! I tell more and i stop care if i say to much or not, others may say i will cast pearls into swines, so let them say! The philosophical salt dissolves under gentle heat and coagulates when the temperatures is lower, into a gelatin mass, this is what you should look for not any vitrified ash is sign is star in fact. And look for the stone in you not in any other kingdom. There are three stages of the same operation, but only one regiment and 3 repetitions, Salt, Mercury and Sulphur is the same thing over different periods of time, but the last is when the old king die (gold) so that a new king may take is place (a living gold not a dead one) is when the Green Lion bite the Sun till it bleeds (the blood of Christ) this is the secret that the Sages hide from you all. The stone is not a stone, because is not solid,

'Depart at once, you who sedulously seek your diverse colors in your glass vessels. You tire my ears with your black crow, you are as mad as that man in the old story, who used to applaud at the theater, although he was there by himself, because he always imagined some new spectacle before his eyes. You do the same, when you shed tears of joy, when you imagine that you see in your vessels your white dove, your yellow eagle and your red pheasant. Go away, I say, and keep far from me, if you are seeking the philosophic stone in something fixed ... for the latter will no more penetrate metal bodies than the body of a man will go through solid walls...."

zoas23
01-11-2013, 10:45 PM
This is why no one find the stone, and never will, because you discard what is of more precious, is not the shiny salt that matters is the opposite.

Thank you.
You bring an absolutely different point of view about what I am doing. I appreciate it. I will see if I can apply what you say/suggest.
I've explained it before in this thread, but I know that we often skip some posts in some threads, is that I have a long experience with Hermeticism (i.e, more than 15 years), but a very short experience with Lab Alchemy (i.e, less than a year).

So I am still learning (and certainly making most of the mistakes that learning involves).

It is said that God and Nature are the great masters of the art... but experience is a very important master too (and I have no shame to confess that my experience is still very limited). So I am unable to either agree or disagree with you, I can listen and try to learn and see if I can apply what you are telling me.

It may be weird to say, but I am not currently trying to make "THE Stone"... or that's not what I do have in mind as a short-term goal. Again, I currenlty feel closer to a baby who is learning to crawl than to an athlete who is thinking about getting a gold medal at the Olympic games.
Of course, the desire must exist or everything would be pointless... but I assume it's O.K. not to run before learning to crawl (i.e, not becoming an Icarus).



What you do, and every one else is doing is vitrifying the ashes till they become salt, but this is not the salt of the philosophers, the salt of the philosophers in fact comes from the caput mortum, but need to be extracted by gentle calcination, you cant even call it a calcination. Only when you see the sign in the philosophical sky you will know you have the true salt, not any lifeless vitrified ash! I tell more and i stop care if i say to much or not, others may say i will cast pearls into swines, so let them say! The philosophical salt dissolves under gentle heat and coagulates when the temperatures is lower, into a gelatin mass, this is what you should look for not any vitrified ash is sign is star in fact. And look for the stone in you not in any other kingdom. There are three stages of the same operation, but only one regiment and 3 repetitions, Salt, Mercury and Sulphur is the same thing over different periods of time, but the last is when the old king die (gold) so that a new king may take is place (a living gold not a dead one) is when the Green Lion bite the Sun till it bleeds (the blood of Christ) this is the secret that the Sages hide from you all. The stone is not a stone, because is not solid,

'Depart at once, you who sedulously seek your diverse colors in your glass vessels. You tire my ears with your black crow, you are as mad as that man in the old story, who used to applaud at the theater, although he was there by himself, because he always imagined some new spectacle before his eyes. You do the same, when you shed tears of joy, when you imagine that you see in your vessels your white dove, your yellow eagle and your red pheasant. Go away, I say, and keep far from me, if you are seeking the philosophic stone in something fixed ... for the latter will no more penetrate metal bodies than the body of a man will go through solid walls...."

Thank you.
I think it will take me some time (experience) to understand the complete meaning of what you are telling me.

zoas23
01-23-2013, 04:18 AM
Some sort of update because a lot of people helped me with tips.

I finally got the bunsen burner and the Bunsen + Crucible combo worked perfectly well.

Andro
01-23-2013, 02:57 PM
Hey Draconisnova,

Your input is very much appreciated, but what you are discussing here is advanced beyond the scope of this thread, which primarily deals with common calcinations for simple & basic spagyrical study and experimentation.

If you are indeed willing to expand more on what you have shared here so far, maybe a specialized/dedicated thread would be more appropriate, also with a title that better represents the content.

Thank you for your input and for your sharing.


This is why no one find the stone, and never will, because you discard what is of more precious, is not the shiny salt that matters is the opposite.
What you do, and every one else is doing is vitrifying the ashes till they become salt, but this is not the salt of the philosophers, the salt of the philosophers in fact comes from the caput mortum, but need to be extracted by gentle calcination, you cant even call it a calcination. Only when you see the sign in the philosophical sky you will know you have the true salt, not any lifeless vitrified ash! I tell more and i stop care if i say to much or not, others may say i will cast pearls into swines, so let them say! The philosophical salt dissolves under gentle heat and coagulates when the temperatures is lower, into a gelatin mass, this is what you should look for not any vitrified ash is sign is star in fact. And look for the stone in you not in any other kingdom. There are three stages of the same operation, but only one regiment and 3 repetitions, Salt, Mercury and Sulphur is the same thing over different periods of time, but the last is when the old king die (gold) so that a new king may take is place (a living gold not a dead one) is when the Green Lion bite the Sun till it bleeds (the blood of Christ) this is the secret that the Sages hide from you all. The stone is not a stone, because is not solid,

zoas23
01-23-2013, 05:09 PM
Hey Draconisnova,

Your input is very much appreciated, but what you are discussing here is advanced beyond the scope of this thread, which primarily deals with common calcinations for simple & basic spagyrical study and experimentation.

If you are indeed willing to expand more on what you have shared here so far, maybe a specialized/dedicated thread would be more appropriate, also with a title that better represents the content.

Thank you for your input and for your sharing.

I agree with Androgynus.
I was mostly trying to make a "bicycle" and you are teaching me how to make a "Mars Landing Rover".
... and, well... I know the limits of what I am doing and that my "bicycle" will certainly not be travelling to Mars.

Then again, this isn't criticism... for I really loved your post and the information you gave me (I really appreciate it)... but I think I should start with "easy" practices before moving to more complex ones... and a deeper understanding.
I could invent a proverb that goes: "don't make a Mars Landing Rover if you can't make a Bicycle!"... the good news for me is that I made my first bike.

Just like Androgynus, I would also like to hear more about what you were describing, since it may help me to understand where I can move next in a new practice. Your post was, for sure, very intersting to read and made me think a lot. Thanks again.

Ciborium
05-04-2014, 04:50 PM
Hello Draconisnova,



Better salts for what, if you don't mind my asking?



Are you talking about salts from plant ashes?

When we already have a salt, it can indeed be further purified with relatively lower temperatures OR with other salts.
(For example, see 'The Dew Burns The Salt (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fyaka-asso.org%2Fyaka%2Frosee%2Fp_2.php)' by Roger Guasco)



Have you performed this operation yourself, personally? Once, I have tested to see what happens if I heat whitened plant salts to around 1200°C for a more extended period of time.

They didn't vitrify, and didn't become more white either, as it can be seen below. Here is a picture taken after the salts cooled:

http://i861.photobucket.com/albums/ab172/androgynus_album/BlueCalcinedPotash1.jpg

I've discussed the appearance of the blue color with two friends from here. I don't remember the chemical explanations or the alchemical implications.

Some of the explanations came from the Internet.

Here is a picture found on the Internet, displaying a similar effect with Tartar Salts after being calcined at high temperatures:

http://i861.photobucket.com/albums/ab172/androgynus_album/BlueTartar2_zps776ca7a0.gif

I just received my brand new Paragon Q-11A kiln. Yesterday I decided to do my first experiment in calcination of salts of lavender at 1000C. It seems that it actually peaked at around 1200C and I held it at 1100C for two hours. I ended up with the same blue as yours.

So I would suspect that I have one of two things happening:

The crucible isn't capable of handlng 1200C and something from the glaze is turning blue
As this is the first firing of the kiln, something perhaps was released from the heating elements


I luckily have a second identical crucible (and yes, these were cheap). I'm going to try to replicate the same firing today, but with simple table salt. Hopefully #2 above can be more or less eliminated by this experiment.

Ciborium
05-10-2014, 07:36 PM
The second firing, this time with ordinary himalayan salt, did not result in a blue color. Tomorrow I will try with more plant salt and report findings.