December 30, 2016 at 10:21 pm | Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

img_20161230_202807.jpgI finished reading Mark Kurlansky’s book Salt: A World History. Who knew that an almost 500 page book about salt could be so fascinating? I was inspired to try creating salt in one of the traditional methods: by boiling sea water. While elaborate systems of naturally evaporating ponds were used in many places, and is the method many are familiar with, areas without the requisite climate boiled the seawater instead. This is faster, but requires a lot of fuel.

Since I live near the ocean obtaining sea water was not difficult. I filled up a five gallon bucket and brought it home. My first attempt failed because I was unwilling to leave it boiling overnight, and when my roommate found what appeared to be a pot of water just sitting on the stove he poured it out. My second round I made it very clear what I was doing. I should have timed exactly how many hours it boiled, but I didn’t keep good records, in part because I mostly turned the stove on when I thought about it. It took a few days of coming home from work and turning on the stove for a few hours. But eventually the salt precipitated out just as described. I’ve got it on a tray now, waiting to fully dry. I’ll wait to measure it until it’s completely dry. I’m miserable at visual estimates but I’d say I have at least 3/4 of a cup, possibly more. I might have managed to extract even more by continuing to boil the vessel dry.

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