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Practical alchemy archives - Fennel Plant Stone

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Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997
From: Raymond P. Cullen

I thought yall would like reading a blow-by-blow description of the
final processes as they happen for making a plant stone.(I assume that
if you don't, you'll tell me.)

This is a second attempt in stone making. The first was an abortive
attempt with caraway. It failed because I fermented the plant mass
before separating the oil. (This was reported earlier.)

I started with about a pound of fennel seed. I ground it in a coffee
mill and macerated it in rain water for a couple of days. A steam
distillation was made, or rather a boiling water distillation was made
using an oil separator. About 20 ml of oil was obtained. The residue was
then fermented(some sugar and wine yeast were added) for a couple of
months. The oil was distilled in a 1 torr vacuum with a boiling range of
35-90. The fermented residue was distilled and rectified to about 93%
alcohol. The residue was burnt and calcined at 550. The ash was
extracted in a soxhlet with about 125 ml of the water from the
fermentation(after the alcohol was distilled.)The resultant liquid was
evaporated(some crystals present) and the residue calcined at 550. The
resultant 5 gm of salt was white.

The salt was placed in a 20ml vial with a septum cap and placed in an
incubator at 40. Today(Wednesday), a little after sunrise (6:58 am EDT),
20 ml of a 50% mixture of distilled oil and rectified alcohol was
prepared and placed in another septum capped vial. This mixture was
water white and only slightly turbid. Using a syringe, previously
cleaned and sterilized, two aliquots of 2 ml each were added to the salt
contained in the vial. This was enough to moisten the salt. No immediate
color changes were apparent. The vial was returned to the sand bath
incubator at 40.

At 5 pm EDT, a color change from white to a light straw color was noted.

Stay tuned for the next episode,

From: Steve Kalec
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 1997

Dear Raymond,

Thanks for sharing with us the unfoldment and results of
your experimenting with the Fennel Stone. Just want to let you know
that I am following it with great interest. Keep us up to date. Thanks.

Best Regards

Steve Kalec

Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997
From: Raymond P. Cullen

This is the report on the making of a fennel stone after one week.

On day 2, last Thursday, I added .75 ml additional alcohol/oil mix as
the mixture seemed to be dry on the top third. The straw color had
deepened to a dull yellow.

On day 8, today, the top third seems to be drying up again. The color
has become a darker yellow with a few isolated light brown spots.


Date: Wed, 01 Oct 1997
From: Raymond P. Cullen

The fennel stone continues to accept about 0.5 ml of the fennel
alcohol/fennel oil mixture each week. The color is still about the same
- dark yellow with a few light brown spots.

At the PON seminar on the acetates I learned from Jean Dubuis that my
efforts to prepare a "live" acetic acid from vinegar by distillation at
atmospheric pressure were in vain. He said that the 100-117 degrees
would kill the acetic life. He said that a vacuum distilllation might be
OK if the temperature was kept below 60.

So now, what to do with this "dead" 50% acetic acid?

After making some lead acetate from cerrusite and reading all these
posts on other metallic acetates, I decided to employ the remainder of
the fennel ash that was not water soluble. I have been circulating the
50% acetic acid through the fennel ash for several days now in a
soxhlet. After one day, the resultant liquid looked about the same, and
I began to loose hope of seeing any product. The second day showed some
white precipitate, which continued to increase. On the third day the
white precipitate turned pink after a few hours. This pink color
disappeared when I let the mixture cool at night. The pink reappeared
again the next day after a couple of hours and disappeared again on
cooling. In addition, the clear liquid above the precipitate is taking
on a green tinge.