Read all instructions carefully…

August 25, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Posted in saltpeter | Leave a comment

When it comes to directions there are two types of people: those that read every single step before starting, and those that sort of glance through until they’ve got a good idea of what’s going on. I will admit to being in the second category.

Why am I telling you this? Because I realized I’ve been doing the saltpeter wrong all this time. Here I’ve been complaining that the last stage before refining takes forever, that I hate waiting for all of the liquid to evaporate so that I’ll have crystals. Well….it turns out that I needn’t have been waiting. I read the sentence that said to let it sit “for three or four days”, which frustrated me since it was taking so much longer than that, and I read the sentence about taking the crystals out. Somehow, however, I missed the sentence in between that says “pour out all the water that has not congealed and save it to cook again.” Basically the process that has been taking me months and months could have been accomplished in a week or two. Sigh. Next time I’ll be more careful. I only caught the mistake when I was making handouts for the class I taught at Pennsic, so I guess it’s a good thing I committed to sharing my experiences!

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