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A new Madder Lake experiment. EASY grinding.


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Hi MikeC (post 19)-  do what I described  in post 25 but use iron sulfate instead of alum. The difference when using iron is that it makes a very hard curd, unlike alum, lead or zinc which is soft, so you have to treat it with more heat to melt it to get out trapped water. When you add the iron you have to really stir vigorously the reaction is so quick to make sure all the soap and metal combine. It is a lot easier to clean because it makes such a hard curd, it is like hard wax. I went back over my notes (1970's) trying to figure what iron salt i used and I'm pretty sure it was Green Vitriol, ferrous sulfate, but most likely i doubt if it makes any difference what iron salt you use. Hope you try it. fred

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Franciscus, in fact I have a vacuum filter setup that I bought on eBay seven years ago at the recommendation of Fiddlecollector, and had never used until the last couple weeks with my new madder experiments. I mentioned using it in another thread.

WIth this espresso-made batch I used the vacuum filter to filter out the tiny madder sediment that makes it through the espresso machine filter unit before I mixed the madder dye and the dissolved alum. I used it again to filter off the water after the last washing.

The vacuum-assisted filter flask/funnel is worth its weight in gold for these experiments, but one do it with coffee filters set in a strainer, plus a lot of waiting. My vacuum system uses a cheap plastic hand pump to draw the vacuum.
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Btw, the vacuum filter kit I bought 7 years ago has a larger flask than this one, and a different colored plastic manual vacuum pump, but it's more or less what's seen in this auction:  vacuum filtration kit


I know it's just more money, but it was money I'd already spent 7 years ago, so I've been using the heck out of it.  As I said, while drying the lake sludge, or filtering the madder liquor prior to precipitating out the lake, this filtration system is worth its weight in gold.  The vacuum causes things to filter incredibly fast compared to gravity feed through a coffee filter in a strainer.

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