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Indicators for salting

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Esteemed member
Can we use indicators like phenolphthalein to aid in salting mescaline? I’m not familiar with using indicators so I have no idea how they work or if they are super accurate. In the past I’ve used my ph meter to salt mescaline sulfate to a ph of 7 from xylene, the problem being that the small amounts of xylene present in the aqueous phase destroy my ph probe casing. I guess I could be more patient and careful…. I’d like to convert some of my citrate salt into sulfate with a little a/b. Perhaps I can do this on a stir plate with the right kind of indicator in solution?
I don't know about phenolphtalein, but in general, use of pH indicator is very convenient method, I personally use DIY indicator from red cabbage for mescaline. Super easy to make, can be stored frozen in cubes and it works perfectly.

Go for pink colour with some violet tones :)
Red cabbage is pretty versatile as an indicator, going from yellow red in low pH (20% acetic) to blue, green, and then yellow as alkaline pH increases - almost like an inside-out universal indicator. [Corrected - thanks Dd]

Another natural indicator is sunflower seed anthocyanin made by soaking and filtering sunflower seeds with water. That one still needs the pH/colour response documenting but playing around with it demonstrated some useful colour changes. The sunflower extract seems amenable to preserving with alcohol (EtOH/IPA) too.

Attached is a picture of the cabbage juice but it sets me wondering whether the yellow is the high pH or the low. I'd best do some systematic tests with proper notes, then I can throw in some results for beetroot too, which has a simpler colour profile (red/yellow) more akin to phenolphthalein.

It's probably best to avoid phenolphthalein itself if you're intending to consume a product since it's a powerful laxative.


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Hey that’s great! I had no idea thanks for the heads up. I imagined with phenolphthalein that it would remain in the acidic water once a neutral ph was reached and the sulphate would crystallise in the water while the indicator would not.… Laxative does not sound like a great admixture however 😂
doubledog said:
Red cabbage indicator shows red colour for low pH, yellow for high pH.
Thanks for the reminder, the red area on one side was indeed from 25% acetic acid, the turquoise from sodium carbonate (solid) and the yellow was one prill of sodium hydroxide.
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