Rock candy

For Halloween this year, I was inspired to transform myself into Walter White, the protagonist from the Breaking Bad television series.

In my mind, the most important part of the costume would be the blue crystals.  As a trained chemist, I knew that I would not willingly purchase a costume prop that I could make myself.  So I embarked on a quest to grow blue-tinted rock candy crystals.

The first step is to prepare a saturated solution of sugar in water.  I was surprised to discover that about 2 cups of white sugar dissolve into 1 cup of water.  Don’t forget the blue food coloring!

The second step is to cool the solution very slowly back to room temperature.  I recommend performing the cooling step over 2-3 hours.  I used nested pots to control the temperature: the larger pot contains water and the smaller pot contains the saturated solution.

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The third step is to remove the crystals from the saturated solution and wash off the syrup to yield the dry, brittle final product.  It took me a hammer and a few screwdrivers to get the biggest crystals out, and then an overnight air drying before the rock candy was ready to go.

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Boom!  Instant meth!

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