View Full Version : another menstrum

solomon levi
06-08-2009, 10:32 AM
From Agricola:

"I took 1 lb. of salt of tartar, optim. rectified. Upon it I poured drop by drop the same amount of oil of vitriol. I let it effervesce, then put it down till it had settled. I decanted the liquid and gently dried the residue. I dissolved the latter in the phlegma of the vitriol, poured the pure off and filtered it. I distilled the liquid to half, then put the rest in a cold place. Now beautiful clear and transparent crystals sprouted, which I took out with a wooden spoon, letting half of the remaining water steam off further; set it back in the cellar, let it sprout, poured the liquid off, mixed the crystals with the previous ones. When I had dried and weighed them, I had obtained 2 lbs. from these 4 lbs."

note - up to this point, it sounds like all he's done is create potassium sulphate - Glauber's sal mirabile. So you may be able to skip all that if you have some potassium sulphate.

"On these crystals I poured some good rectified spirit of wine - which the author calls the "vegetarian blood" - set it to digest, as otherwise they do not easily dissolve, till they were completely dissolved. Then I distilled them according to the Art. When I had driven over 2 lbs. of the spirit, I changed the receiver, added another and increased the fire somewhat. Now a beautiful fiery spirit went over. I removed the Death's Head, enclosed it in a retort and reverberated it well. I also extracted its salt with distilled rainwater, added it to the distilled spirit,...

note - I would imagine after he evaporated off the water....

let it circulate for 8 days, and drove it over again. Thus I obtained a wonderful menstruum with which one can not only extract the Soul of the gold but also that of all metals, minerals and precious stones. It dissolves and extracts exceedingly well, and if it does not take everything over the alembic the first time, it must be cohobated and will work very well."

Is this aether? If so, why wouldn't he have just made it with the original sulfuric acid he used? Potassium sulphate is a neutral salt, so would not have cause any ebullition, but I can't imagine that is the reason he avoided making aether by simply adding the acid to the alcohol. Maybe this produces something other than aether?