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Harmalas: Degrading when kept in HCl for long ? + How to test ?

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2 Questions about Harmalas:

1.) Sadly I am totally stuck with the filtering problem. Yes: I know you can speed up the process by doing any kind of vacuum. But sadly NO solution which I tried for a vacuum has worked. I even bought a Büchner-Funnel + Büchner-Flask to make a vacuum-apparatus with an air pump which you use for camping and your bikes, but there are totally 0ml/minute coming through my apparatus ...

Yeah, I don't wanna discuss this issue now, but according to this I had to keep my Harmalas in pH ~ 3-3,5 in a bottle for 1-2 Weeks now. The temperature has ranged between 7 - 20°C (sometimes Fridge, sometimes just a dark place elsewhere).

As H+ Ions are often the way to go to catalyse reactions in organic chemistry I now have the fear that they may not be stored in this milieu for longer.

So is this the case and I may have converted my harmalas or have partly destroyed their efficency ?

2.) How can I test my Harmalas either if they work at all or if a special amount works just as strong as it should for the weight ?

So Harmalas produce a special feeling on their own. Can you give me a rough number how much I should ingest (also smoke ??) and check if I feel something, to know if they have been worth the work ?
That would really fade any fears who came up now, as I had to store them so long in this HCl-milieu.

Sadly if you tell me any exact number of any exact corresponding effect I will also have to hope they'll be as pure as they should be for this effect-measurement ;P But that will be up to me ...

As for the filtering problem: I use round glass funnel stuffed with cotton wool instead of the Buchner funnel. This works miracles although I have to be carefull about pulling too much vacuum, the glass funnel is quite fragile. Buchner funnel works great later in the process when there are less impurities.
If its pH 3-3.5 I'd almost bet its fine.
People routinely make brews that pH and store them for a while before use, with no ill effects. Harmalas are quite stable in neutral to moderately acid environments.
Some oxidation might happen, but people regularly consume oxidized harmalas with no problems.
The next reaction that could happen, probably only at a much lower pH, would be partial conversion of harmine and harmaline to harmol and harmalol, respectively. The latter two are the major human metabolites of the former two, your body does that reaction to pee them out, so no worries there.
Do a few consecutive manskes and all should be well.

Grinding the seeds makes filtration hell. Whole seed extraction takes an extra boil or two, and lots of plant gunk still precipitates when you concentrate the solution, but its nowhere near as bad. The precipitated starch protein stuff also stays suspended in solution far better than harm[al]ine crystals so on my last extraction I filtered the whole seed through a t-shirt, concentrated, and mansked. I poured off and saved the milky brown suspension and filtered just the crystals at the bottom. To be thorough I reheated the combined solutions and slowly re-cooled to manske out any crystals that got caught in the suspension. The additional quantity recovered was trivial compared to the first yield and over all my no-filtration-until-second-manske extraction yielded as well as my last whole seed extraction where I fought to filter out the suspended plant gunk.

Its possible I may be loosing a quarter of my potential yield by doing whole seed boils but even if I am I'll take that loss over the hell of harmala filtration any day!
I'd bet they are fine, but you can always test with TLC to assay for any degradation.

As for filtering, the best is decanting as much as possible first, and only filtering the bottom where your harmalas are.

You can also use a spoon or similar to help moving about the harmalas that are in the filter, this can help filtering

You can also pour out the liquid that isnt filtering and use yet another filter to filter it

Another possibility is that you have a filter with an exceedingly small pore size, which makes it harder to filter.
Avoid filtering SR all together in the first stages, better to depend settling + siphoning off the top layer for a few A/B transitions, only then start to filter, no issues that way.
Filtering SR has given many people nightmares. Things can be done differently without trouble :thumb_up:
New and possibly last Question regarding Harmalas:

To check if they are active, I would just solely smoke some in a Bong.

How much would you recommend for me to check if they are active?

They have become a little greyish, so I'm just a bit worried and therefore would like to make an experiment to check it.

So a large hit of regular Changa would be in my opinion:

100 mg Changa = 40 mg Spice + 40 mg Herbs + 20 mg Harmalas

So if this is definetly heavy, then would it be a good idea to smoke ONLY 20 mg of Harmala and I would have to notice a strong harmala-only-effect, if they are working?

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