Monday, 29 July 2013

Rock Candy Experiment

by Claire

My sister's science experiment to grow her own crystals turned out awesome! She just mixed a little alum (found in spice section of the grocery store) with tap water.


 
What I think really rocks is edible science! We will be driving through the rocky mountains on our way to Alberta and I can't think of a better treat then recrystallized sugar.
 
To make rock candy you will need 6 tall cups, skewers, sugar, clothespins, food colouring, water and lots and lots of patience!
 
Begin by soaking your skewers in water for several minutes. Then slowly stir 3 cups of sugar and 6 cups of water together for 15 minutes and let sit to cool for another 10 minutes.  You can add flavour such as vanilla extract if you like. While you are waiting you can roll your skewers in sugar.

Next pour the cooled sugar water mixture evenly into the cups. Add food colouring and ease your sugared skewers in place so they balance without touching the bottom. We used clothespins.

Now wait one week until your Rock Candy is ready...!
 
 
Our first and second batch of rock candy didn't form.  I believe it's because we didn't let the sugar water boil long enough.  Naturally, my sister and I were crushed so my mom bought us sticks at the old fashioned candy store in Clayburn. 

 
 
This Rock Candy recipe courtesy of Reddit looks very promising.
 
2 cups water
1 cup white corn syrup
3 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Add
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 drops of blue gel food coloring

Boil the mixture and continued stirring it on the heat until it reaches 300 degrees F (use a candy thermometer to measure the temp). At that point, pour it into a tray to cool. It hardens up in about an hour and then smash it to pieces. This part sounds FUN!

Feel free to share your rock candy success photo's on our Facebook Page.  We would sure love to see them!