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View Full Version : How should I handle excess salt in tinctures



Brian
12-28-2015, 04:50 AM
So, this is kind of a follow up to this post (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?4582-Is-a-reddish-tint-to-a-salt-a-problem) but since I have a different question I wanted to start a different topic.

I put those reddish ashes into distilled water and let it sit at room temperature, filtered it and allowed it to start evaporating as I performed another extraction of the mineral salts with distilled water. I evaporated them together and scraped up the salts and recombined them. I have a lot of extra salt sitting at the bottom of the tincture.

Does this happen with many spagyric tinctures / herbs in other people's experiences? I couldn't find any posts on here about excess salt and always got the feeling that salts most of the time can be completely reabsorbed back into the tincture.

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I've got it sitting in a sand bath on top of a seedling mat right now and am shaking it every day. I would like to perform a circulation on it next but need to get the right equipment. I've read about volatilization of salts (http://www.levity.com/alchemy/steve_kalec.html) and am wondering if I can attempt this to get more of the salts to go into the tincture. Anyone have any experience with that?

Also, in reference to the volatilization of salts, I see Steve Kalec uses a retort to do that. I have a pelican I purchased for circulation and was wondering if I could achieve this through circulation in the pelican. Is the retort just a better device for doing this than a large pelican?

zoas23
12-28-2015, 06:58 AM
Does this happen with many spagyric tinctures / herbs in other people's experiences? I couldn't find any posts on here about excess salt and always got the feeling that salts most of the time can be completely reabsorbed back into the tincture.

Well, this isn't the case.

My English is vulgar and poor, but you'll understand it:

Imagine that you have SUGAR AND WATER...

If you add some sugar to the water, you'll get as a result "sweet water".
If you add even more sugar, you'll get an even "swetter water".
If you keen on adding sugar, at some given point your solution will become completely saturated and the water won't keep on getting "sweeter", you'll simply have non dissolved sugar at the bottom of your glass.

Same thing happens with any other solution, when you reach a "saturation", it does no longer accept the substance you are adding (i.e, Salt in your case).

That's why it's a good idea to repeat the process of lixiviation to separate the soluble salts many times, because unless you have a very small amount of potash or a HUGE flask for your distilled water, it's likely that you won't extract ALL the salt you had (i.e, your caput mortuum will still have plenty of soluble salts).

The problem with your elixir seems to be as simple as: you have included a LOT of salt, much more than what your elixir can accept.

The idea that salts can be "completely reabsorbed into the tincture" isn't true.

A way to fix your problem would be to filter the elixir and you'll get rid of the "extra" salt. You probably have included much more salt that your elixir can "accept".

Once you filter it, you'll be able to recover the salts from the filter. You'll be able to use them for a second elixir or for making a vegetable stone using the same plant... or try methods to volatilize the salt... or whatever you want.

But the elixir won't "magically" absorb the "extra" salt even if you circulate it for months.

JDP
12-28-2015, 08:15 AM
So, this is kind of a follow up to this post (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?4582-Is-a-reddish-tint-to-a-salt-a-problem) but since I have a different question I wanted to start a different topic.

I put those reddish ashes into distilled water and let it sit at room temperature, filtered it and allowed it to start evaporating as I performed another extraction of the mineral salts with distilled water. I evaporated them together and scraped up the salts and recombined them. I have a lot of extra salt sitting at the bottom of the tincture.

Does this happen with many spagyric tinctures / herbs in other people's experiences? I couldn't find any posts on here about excess salt and always got the feeling that salts most of the time can be completely reabsorbed back into the tincture.

935
938
936
937
934

I've got it sitting in a sand bath on top of a seedling mat right now and am shaking it every day. I would like to perform a circulation on it next but need to get the right equipment. I've read about volatilization of salts (http://www.levity.com/alchemy/steve_kalec.html) and am wondering if I can attempt this to get more of the salts to go into the tincture. Anyone have any experience with that?

Also, in reference to the volatilization of salts, I see Steve Kalec uses a retort to do that. I have a pelican I purchased for circulation and was wondering if I could achieve this through circulation in the pelican. Is the retort just a better device for doing this than a large pelican?

I notice that your pictures do not show the salt to have a reddish "tint", so whatever it was it is not soluble. Probably some iron content from the plant that got oxidized.

Kiorionis
12-28-2015, 04:52 PM
I notice that your pictures do not show the salt to have a reddish "tint", so whatever it was it is not soluble. Probably some iron content from the plant that got oxidized.

I agree:

Rich in iron One hundred grams of Irish moss contain 49 grams of iron, which is high even when compared to other sea vegetables.

source:
http://spiritfoods.net/health-benefits-of-irish-moss/

Brian
12-29-2015, 01:41 AM
Thanks for the response zoas. I do understand what you are saying, and am familiar with the concept of saturated, unsaturated and supersaturated solutions. Fortunately I did perform the lixivation twice, but I feel like I could have done even more after seeing the purified salt I had recovered. Next time I'll try a third! I assumed that I'd just end up having to filter it, so I will do that and preserve the remaining salt.

JDP, I had the same suspicions about the iron oxidizing. And Kiorionis thank you for sharing that link; I couldn't find anything through my Google searches on the mineral content of Irish moss. I think that definitely supports the iron hypothesis for the redness in the salt as well as the amount of salt recovered.

Guess I'll be filtering! Thanks once again for your guys' responses. So glad to be a part of this forum :) Can't really get this kind of feedback or even interest anywhere else I've looked.

Salazius
12-29-2015, 09:31 AM
Just add enough tridistilled water in the elixir until everything is dissolved. Then, put to digest at 40C for a week, and then filter.

zoas23
12-29-2015, 01:11 PM
Just add enough tridistilled water in the elixir until everything is dissolved. Then, put to digest at 40C for a week, and then filter.

An interesting way to fix the problem.
I would like to know how you are thinking and why you think that this way of fixing the problem is better than mine (I am asking because I do consider yourself to be by far more experienced than I am... and if I had to choose between an advice given by me and an advice given by you, I'll certainly pick yours).

Why not simply filtering???

Considering that he has plenty of "extra salt", wouldn't the water needed to incorporate that "extra salt" into the elixir end up creating a somehow "weaker" elixir because it would, of course, reduce the concentration of mercury and sulphur to incorporate the salt???

I'd love to understand how you are thinking, mostly because I learn a lot when I read your ideas.

Kiorionis
12-29-2015, 03:12 PM
An alcohol tincture and potash don't readily mix.
Water needs be present to dissolve the two together as a medium.

zoas23
12-29-2015, 05:42 PM
An alcohol tincture and potash don't readily mix.
Water needs be present to dissolve the two together as a medium.

I was assuming that there was an essential oil in the mix (which mixes well both with alcohol and with potassium carbonate).

When I look at this picture:
http://s12.postimg.org/6vs4hq931/920809_10102812066273598_3197553220779318562_o_m.j pg

... and I am comparing it to the other pictures in which the size is easier to determine, I assume that this a 250 ml flask.

Dissolving the amount of salt I see there... I assume it may take from 1 to 2 liters of water (I don't even think that the flask I see can take that amount of salt without leaving a "residue" even if it was completely full of distilled water).

That's why I asked about Salazius' idea... it can be done, but I think the result would be a 1 or 2 liters Salt + water solution with some alcohol and some oil; thus I thought that it was better to sacrifice some salt (i.e, filter it and use it for something else) than making the elixir become too "weak" or with so much water (i.e, I perceive it as a strange lack of balance in the amounts or salt, mercury and sulphur).

... but that's why I am asking Salazius, because he's far from being inexperienced or silly... So I want to understand his way of thinking (and learn from him).

Brian
12-29-2015, 09:47 PM
There should be some essential oil that was extracted during the maceration, but I'm not sure of the essential oil content in Irish Moss. Could be next to nothing, and for all I know perhaps there was none the herb that I purchased. A quick search found a site (http://www.enchantedessences.com/ecommerce/pure-essential-oils/seaweed-irish-moss-1-2dr.html) selling essential oil from Irish moss so I assume there is some.

I am also interested in the suggestion to add the water. I had the same assumption that adding water would 'weaken' the tincture. However, I can also understand that perhaps with more of the salt in solution, maybe that aspect would actually make it stronger than if I just filtered it out. Any thoughts?

zoas, there are approx 157 mL of alcohol tincture in that picture. I performed 2 lixiviations on the calcined plant ash with about 250mL each to get that much salt, so I could probably dissolve it all if I added that much water into this alcohol tincture.

zoas23
12-30-2015, 01:59 AM
There should be some essential oil that was extracted during the maceration, but I'm not sure of the essential oil content in Irish Moss. Could be next to nothing, and for all I know perhaps there was none the herb that I purchased. A quick search found a site (http://www.enchantedessences.com/ecommerce/pure-essential-oils/seaweed-irish-moss-1-2dr.html) selling essential oil from Irish moss so I assume there is some.

I am also interested in the suggestion to add the water. I had the same assumption that adding water would 'weaken' the tincture. However, I can also understand that perhaps with more of the salt in solution, maybe that aspect would actually make it stronger than if I just filtered it out. Any thoughts?

zoas, there are approx 157 mL of alcohol tincture in that picture. I performed 2 lixiviations on the calcined plant ash with about 250mL each to get that much salt, so I could probably dissolve it all if I added that much water into this alcohol tincture.

O.K... my advice was given without a good understanding of the situation.
(I thought that the flask contained a tincture created following an absolutely different procedure -i.e, working the salt, mercury and sulphur in a separated way and only then mixing the three things).

The advice that Salazius gave now makes sense to me.
The two problems you have:

1) that's really too much salt for that flask, even if it was completely filled with distilled water, there would probably be an amount of non dissolved salt.

2) there is nothing in that flask that can actually dissolve the salt you have... so you'll need water as Salazius suggested.

Working with essential oils is very nice, but you won't really get them from a maceration (though if you have the "color of the plant", it is impossible to deny that you have its sulphur anyway).

Investigate the threads related to essential oils for the future, they are hard to create (no big secrets involved in their creation, it's just that they are hard to create till you get used to doing it)... but if you use them, you can create elixirs which can be a bit more elaborate.

Anyway, yes, you need a medium to dissolve the salt... and water is the most obvious option.

Another tip that comes to my mind for the future: the proportion of salt you have used it "too much" for probably any kind of elixir. Try to use less salt.

P.S: I am not completely sure of the steps you have followed, except for the salt, where you have given a lot of details. I don't know the details of your maceration process, but I got a bit paranoid about it after witnessing an incident with an elixir that was given to several persons at a party and it contained methanol (thankfully the dose was small so it did not produce much more effects than horrible headaches and people acting as if they were very drunk, even if they had not really drunk much -I refused to drink because the person got confused with something as simple as the salts and he had thrown into the mix the whole of the potash without performing any kind of lixiviation... so I suspected that such a grotesque mistake was a sign of several other mistakes). I may be saying something that you know, but just in case: Methanol evaporates around 65c... Ethanol evaporates around 78c. Methanol is toxic, Ethanol isn't.
If you are unsure about the presence of Methanol in your preparation, it is a good idea to heat it to more or less 70c once you consider that it is "finished" and "ready for consumption"... as to make sure that you are getting rid of the (possible) presence of Methanol.
Pardon me if I am saying something that is already obvious for you... I am a bit paranoid with safety.

Salazius
12-30-2015, 11:35 AM
There is several options.

1. Take out the tincture of the salt, distill off the alcohol as much as you can without burning the sulfur, add more alcohol to the syrup then filter, then take the salt and tri distilled water together and make a conjunction (water salt + tincture).

2. Add water to the solution, quick, easy, efficient. Make cook. If there is a precipitate, filter.

3. Take out the the tincture of the salt, dry gently the salt and keep it off humidity. Distill off the alcohol of the tincture, as much as you can without burning the sulfur, add more alcohol to the syrup then filter, then take this concentrated tincture and imbibe your dry salt with it. Make evaporate slowly the alcohol. You have a Vegetable Stone. Then, add a 70% spiritus vini to the Stone, as much as necessary to dissolve it. This is the best method.

Brian
12-30-2015, 11:23 PM
Zoas, my fault for not explaining more as well. I was using the method detailed in Manfred Junius' book for spagyric tinctures through Cold Maceration. This is a project for a class and we were given some 95% wine spirits to use for it. It is a Vitalistic Healing course that combines Buddhist practices for energy with Vedic astrology and alchemy. I'm very happy with the Buddhist and astrology I've learned but I'm looking for much more than it had to offer in the way of alchemy, which is part of why I'm here! Thank you for your suggestion to be aware of what I'm consuming. I'll be safe in this case. But I agree safety is of utmost importance when experimenting with our bodies.

Salazius, thank you for the suggestions. I will try to do #2 and if there is enough reserve a bit and do #3 as well.

Thanks guys! :)

zoas23
12-31-2015, 12:10 AM
Zoas, my fault for not explaining more as well. I was using the method detailed in Manfred Junius' book for spagyric tinctures through Cold Maceration. This is a project for a class and we were given some 95% wine spirits to use for it. It is a Vitalistic Healing course that combines Buddhist practices for energy with Vedic astrology and alchemy. I'm very happy with the Buddhist and astrology I've learned but I'm looking for much more than it had to offer in the way of alchemy, which is part of why I'm here! Thank you for your suggestion to be aware of what I'm consuming. I'll be safe in this case. But I agree safety is of utmost importance when experimenting with our bodies.

Salazius, thank you for the suggestions. I will try to do #2 and if there is enough reserve a bit and do #3 as well.

Thanks guys! :)

I don't know about your institute, but there's several "alchemical institutes" in my city. None of them offers something of worth... and all of them are mostly designed for persons who won't buy the basic equipment (they don't even tell them which one is this equipment)... so they entertain their audience giving them stuff like some salt, some spiritus vini, etc, etc...
And simply make them "combine" these things at home.

I know several persons who studied there, also one of the former teachers of the biggest one completely repented from the "fraud" in which he participated and is nowadays a friend of mine.

Most people here will tell you: "AVOID THE MANUALS!!!! STUDY THE CLASSICS!!!!!".... there is a good point there, but my experience has been to begin with "the manuals"... it's not easy to go straight to the classics.

I don't know why Junius is so popular, but his manual is (in my own subjective opinion), one of the worst ones. I don't judge Junius himself, just this specific book by him... it is so vague and basic that it does not make much sense.

Try to learn the basics:
-Making a spiritus vini by yourself... and get familiar with distillation.
-Making an essential oil by yourself.
-Making a salt of sulphur.
-Making a fermentation of a plant in water to create alcohol.
-Etc.

If you get familiar with these basic procedures, you will gain a lot of freedom and you'll be able to "relativize" what the manuals say... or even understand that quite often they suggest very stupid things... or that your experience at the lab will show that what the manual says and what actually happens at your lab have a lot of differences.

Brian
12-31-2015, 03:21 AM
I think our feelings are similar. I've attempted to study the classics with difficulty. But, after studying the manuals, then applying those methods to the lab, I find I can go back to the classics and they make much more sense based on my experience.

Junius' book was assigned for the course. After reading some other manuals I was happy to see that they were a bit easier for me to understand. Sure, now I go back and read it and each part makes more sense, but it definitely wasn't the best beginner choice.

I'm looking forward to experimenting. I love to brew beer, and boy oh boy did I experiment with my brewing. Now that I am starting to learn alchemy I can tell that I will have an even more experimental attitude towards it :)

zoas23
12-31-2015, 07:44 AM
I think our feelings are similar. I've attempted to study the classics with difficulty. But, after studying the manuals, then applying those methods to the lab, I find I can go back to the classics and they make much more sense based on my experience.

Junius' book was assigned for the course. After reading some other manuals I was happy to see that they were a bit easier for me to understand. Sure, now I go back and read it and each part makes more sense, but it definitely wasn't the best beginner choice.

I'm looking forward to experimenting. I love to brew beer, and boy oh boy did I experiment with my brewing. Now that I am starting to learn alchemy I can tell that I will have an even more experimental attitude towards it :)

I never understood why this book by Junius is so popular (I have nothing against Junius himself, but I am not a fan of his "famous" book).

If you enjoy brewing beer, you may also enjoy brewing red wine... it is slightly more complicated and expensive, but a LOT of the things you have to do to brew wine can be used for spagyrics in a very direct way... it is possible to learn from beer too, but you won't find many persons talking about the "Spirit of beer", whilst a Spiritus Vini or a "Spirit of Wine" is something that you'll find in probably any text related to alchemy or spagyrics.

I am planning to do it and I don't even like wine (I mean as a drink... I appreciate all the uses it has, but I don't really drink wine).

The manuals are good to begin, because they teach some very basic issues that the classics assume that the reader knows (i.e, it is possible not to know something as simple as how to distillate water)... but after these first issues, they are somehow useless.

I recently visited the house of a Rabbi because he's the publisher of the complete works of Philo of Alexandria and he sells them at his house. He was confused when he saw me (I look a bit "punk", even if I don't consider myself a "Punk"). So he told me that he was completely surprised to see a person like me being interested in Philo. I told him that I like neo-platonism and I also like the influence that Philo had in the development of Qabalah. He was surprised by my words and told me that he was reading the Zohar and didn't understand a single word. I explained him that the Zohar is the result of a previous tradition and a somehow complex book as to read it without having read ANYTHING on the subject before... So I suggested him a few books which offer an "user-friendly" introduction to Qabalah. Probably the same thing happens with Alchemy, an "user-friendly" introduction is good... though it has to be taken as a "step" towards being able to understand better other books which are more difficult to read and will probably be quite impossible to understand without having any previous experience.

elixirmixer
01-13-2017, 01:56 AM
I have a different viewpoint on whats happening here.

How did you re-combine your salt and tincture? Just pouring it all in, all at once? Because, while some plants wish to readily give out their quintessence and conjoin, others want you to court them like a lady, and stick it in slow....

Also... adding water... Are you sure about this? In my experience, adding water to a spagyric elixir is all your work well wasted. It doesn't belong there. What I have noticed water doing, is having a preference of creating a hydro-sol with the oils. Separating them back out of the alcohol, and not dissolving the salts. This is what I have experienced anyway and no longer use any water in my preparations.

I also believe, that allowing your salts to cool between calcination is not the correct method. Salts should remain hot all the way until they are added to distilled water. This is said to be rather important, and could be another reason you did not have a complete re-combination.

Much like the rest of alchemy, spagyrics is better performed, when performed philosophically. Once the 'winging it' to try to fix a 'problem', there seems to be little chance of success.

Best way is to do it well the first time.