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Followers of the blog, may recall that I am interested in super-concentrates (like eGoo). If they can be made to work, they are very convenient. In the same amount of time as it takes to make a gallon of "fresh" juice, you can make enougn concentrate to make tens of gallons of juice, and they take up relatively little storage space.

So far, PEO-based super-concentrates are the only ones that have been succesful for me. I have made concentrates for HEC and guar-based mixes but nothing that I would call super-concentrated. (Guar super-concentrates tend to result in a separate guar layer that becomes increasingly hard to re-incorporate as time goes on).

SBF's scorpiochickie mentioned that she has had success making a guar-based concentrate that is her bubble juice's detergent, guar and baking powder mixed together with no water. I am not sure how useful these waterless concentrates will be as guar and HEC both take some time to become fully-hydrated. So, it may be that these won't turn out to be mix-n-go concentrates.

I've decided to explore this as it would be nice to have some guar and hec-based mix ready to go on days when those would be the right juice.

I will update this entry as the experiments progress.

2017 Note: even PEO needs some extra water. The PEO in a waterless WSR301 concentrate (with Dawn Pro) falls out of solution into hard clumps (though they will receive if water is added and the solution is left over night). See this blog entry.

Jan. 11, 2013

So far, I have mixed up 4 or 5 variations of waterless guar concentrates and one HEC concentrate.

The guar concentrates so far are:

  • guar, isopropyl, Dawn Pro - the guar was slurried with just enough isopropyl to cover the guar powder. Dawn Pro was added to it. The mix was clump free after initial mixing.
  • guar powder stirred into warmed Dawn Pro -- there were some lumps but they resolved over night
  • guar, baking powder, Dawn Pro - the guar and baking powder were combined and a bit of the DP was added. This became a paste. The rest of the detergent was added a bit at a time and I ended up with a lump-free bluish white liquid that was very thick.
  • guar, salt, Dawn Pro - 3 parts salt were added to the guar powder (as a dispersant) and the combined powders were added slowly as the Dawn was stirred. The result was a lump-free thick mix that become a stiff, coarse, barely translucent gel-like mass overnight.
  • guar, Dawn Pro - Dawn Pro added to the guar powder a bit at a time to create a lump-free mix.

The concentrates have 80 grams Dawn Pro and 3 grams of Bob's Red Mill guar gum. They are intended to be diluted with 2 liters of water.

Within a couple of days, all of these concentrates has shown stratification EXCEPT for the guar/salt/Dawn Pro mix. The guar/salt/DP mix has not seemed to change. 

20130112 3618 guar waterless resize forblog

5 variations on waterless, guar-based super-concentrates. Clockwise from top-left: guar/baking powder, guar/salt, guar-only, guar-only (added to warm DP), guar/isopropyl (lower-left)

 

Only time will tell if this stratification has any infuence on the efficacy of the juice.

HEC waterless. The HEC concentrate (made Jan. 11, 2013) is 50 grams Dawn Pro, 2.3 grams Natrosol HHR and 1 gram baking soda. Dilution will be with 1 liter water and 0.5 grams citric acid. Within 24 hours a coarse gel layer formed on top. It remains to be seen if that layer will re-incorporate or not on dilution.

Jan. 12, 2013

I just mixed up some juice from one of the guar/salt/Dawn Pro concentrates. The concentrate was a bit of a paste/gel. I dumped into into 1 liter hot water. After quite a bit of stirring, there were still some lumpy bits which I suspect won't resolve. I added this to 1 liter warm water and then added 1 rounded teaspoon baking powder. Next time, I will try to add very hot water to the the gel to see if that will result in a lump-free mix.

A few hours later, there is some sludge visible at the bottom of the container though it isn't a gel layer. With a small plastic wand, I am getting 5 to 12 colorful bubbles per dip when blowing with my mouth (rather than using my mechanical testing rig).

The next day (2013/01/13), the appearance is the same. There are a few lumps visible when disturbing the sludge. Not pretty, but my guess is that it will work pretty well -- though it is so cold I am not likely to go outside to test.

Jan. 13, 2013 - Test Salty Guar

20130113 saltyguar 2crop2

30'+ tube

 

The temp was 48F when I went out and sunny with only 35-40% humidity according to both my humidity gauge and the nearest weather station on Weather Underground. This juice worked really well. I had at least one 30'+ tube from a 48" top-string loop (webfoot microfiber top and two-strand Rubbermaid Rayon mop yarn bottom) and some 4-foot diameter bubbles lasted 30 seconds which surprised me with humidity this low.

Jan. 13, 2013 - Dilute the waterless HEC concentrate

HEC waterless montage web

HEC waterless concentrate at various stages of dilution.

 

A coarse gel layer had formed on the top. To dilute, I stirred the concentrate to evenly distribute the gel. After stirring, the gel 'grains' (a few times larger than large sand grains) were uniformly distributed. I then add some very hot water (about 100 ml) a bit at a time to try to dissolve the gel. I poured this into 400 ml of very hot water and stirred off and on for 10 minutes. I add this to 500 ml of warm hot water that had been mixed with 0.5 grams citric acid and stirred periodically over the course of 10 minutes. There were still some ghosts and a few larger lumps. However, an hour or two later, the solution was clear with no ghosting.

This amount of work wouldn't be acceptable to me for a concentrate to use. However, I think that it shows that there is potential for a highly concentrated HEC solution although it will require tweaking the concentrate recipe. I will start doing that because it would be nice to have such a concentrate if it can be made easily dilutable.

Jan. 19, 2013 Dilute Guar/BP Waterless Concentrate

20130119 1 waterless guar before stirring

Concentrate has two distinct layers.

The concentrate was mixed up on Jan. 9, 2013. The guar/baking powder had settled into a distinct layer that mixed back in easily with the  detergent layer when stirred with a stirring rod. I warmed the slurry slightly (probably not necessary) and then stirred it into 500 ml very hot water. I stirred occasionally as it cooled then added this to 1500 ml water.
 
20130119 2 waterless guar after stirring

The layers recombined easily with a stir or two.

20130119 3 waterless guar after dilution

After dilution with 2 liters of water.

 

Jan. 21, 2013 Test the Jan. 19 dilution

20130121 juiceB pop crop

Chiffon-like ghost after more baking powder added

20130121 crop juiceApop

'Vapor-pop' of the initial dilution.

20130121 juiceA crop

Both versions of the solution made beautiful bubbles.

I tried out the juice from the 2013 01 09 waterless guar concentrate (Dawn Pro, guar gum, baking powder). It worked pretty well, but I found it a bit harder to close bubbles than I expected, and I noticed that it didn't ghost the way the guar fresh mixes do. I went inside and added some more baking powder and waited 15 minutes. The juice seemed much improved, and the ghosts were the chiffon-like ones that I am used to.

Check out the video here: http://youtu.be/kl9IzYtYmOI?hd=1

Make sure to watch it at the highest possible resolution and size in order to see the ghost details.

I couldn't use the tripod for shots after adding the baking powder due to a mis-hap that rendered it useless.
 

Jan. 22, 2013 I mixed up another waterless concentrate (to be diluted with 2 liters of water and 2 grams citric acid)

3 grams guar gum 4 grams baking soda 4 grams salt

The powders were mixed together and stirred into 80 grams Dawn Pro

By morning, separation had started with the detergent layer on the bottom which is the opposite of the guar/baking powder/Dawn Pro waterless concentrate. I'll let it sit for a week before trying to dilute it.

Jan. 27, 2013 Dilute the Jan. 8 guar/dawn pro/isopropyl concentrate

20130127 3759 0108 guar isopropylDP forweb

While there was some separation, it mixed up well.

The guar was in a "fluffy" layer that was easy to shake up. The density of that layer has not changed much in the 19 days since it was originally mixed up. To dilute, I shook up the jar and added its contents of 1 liter microwave heated water and stirred off and on for a few minutes. The mixtures was 100% clump free, but the clumps were inconsequential. I added this to 1 liter water and and added 1 teaspoon baking powder. The mix worked well when I tried in on Jan. 30. I would say that it worked as well as a "normal" guar mix.
 


Jan. 31, 2013 guar/salt/baking soda/DP concentrate

20130129 3796 waterless guar preshake forweb

Stratification of two waterless mixes compared. On left, guar/salt/baking soda/DP. On right, guar/DP/baking powder

20130129 3797 waterless guar postshake

The concentrates after shaking

This mix showed more intense stratification than the other mixes. The layer did break up when the jar was shaken, but when diluted there were more chunks than desired. 12 hours after dilution, there is some some viscous sediment -- though not much. With a small wand, I am getting about 5-8 colorful bubbles per dip.

The jar was shaken and added to 1 liter microwaved water. There were obvious chunks. The mix was stirred off-and-on for 20 minutes then added to 1 liter water and 2 grams citric acid.

The concentrate was created on Jan. 22. It was 3 grams guar gum, 4 grams baking soda, 4 grams salt stirred into 80 grams Dawn Pro.

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