My son received a chemistry set for Christmas and we've been working through the experiments over the last few weeks.
One of them involves boiling white vinegar and adding baking soda to produce sodium acetate. After boiling this down it is supposed to result in some crystals forming on the pan. However, after trying it a couple times we haven't been successful in producing any crystals. What are we doing wrong?
Our process is:
- Add 4 cups of distilled vinegar to a pan. Boil it on the stove.
- Stir in 4 tablespoons of baking soda. Do this 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring gently to dissolve each spoonful before adding more.
- Keep at a high boil until it is no longer fizzing.
- Reduce to a medium heat and boil until only 1 cup remains. This usually takes about an hour.
At this point our booklet says that crystals should be forming around the outside of the pan. However, both times we have no crystals - only a liquid that looks like weak tea.