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Mold growing in pickle pot


#1

In between jobs I normally leave everything set up in my workshop,
including the citric acid pickle which is in a crockpot covered with
the crockpot lid. If I leave it uncovered it evaporates. The last few
times I’ve gone into the shop after a few days ‘off’, I have found
mold growing on the surface of the pickle and up the sides of the
crockpot. It’s really disgusting, so every time this happens I have
to dump the pickle, rinse out the crockpot, and mix up a new batch of
pickle. What’s up with the mold, and how can I prevent it? I wouldn’t
have thought that mold could grow in/on acid…

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry
http://www.fgemz.com


#2

I get mold in the rinse container I use citric acid as pickle
regular pickle should be way to acidic and pure to mold should it
not?

Your acidity level doesn;t sound right at all

Teri
Silver & Cameo Heritage Jewelry
www.corneliusspick.com


#3

Kathy, are you really sure it is mold? I often have green stuff
growing in the Sparex pot, but it is crystalline. I just add more
water and mix it in, until it gets so green that I choose to make a
new batch.

M’lou


#4

Hello Kathy,

I haven’t had the actual citric pickle grow mold (even when it’s
been unused for a month), but the water bath for rinsing grows globs
of “snot” in just a few days. Wikipedia states that citric acid is
produced by Aspergillus niger mold on sucrose. Perhaps your citric
acid has some mold spores in it. Try mixing your pickle a little
stronger and initially heating it to boiling - might kill the spores.

On a similar note, I’ve had household vinegar grow a really thick
"snot" that looks disgustingly like animal tissue, so microbes do
grow in acidic conditions.

Judy in Kansas


#5

Kathy. What kind of pickle are you using? If it is sparex, it might
not be mold but it is the brown gunk that seems to be a problem with
sparex. If so, no need to discard the pickle–just skim it off with a
paper towel.

You might want to change to using sodium bisulfate—cheaper,
cleaner, and easily obtainable at any pool supply place. I think one
of the products is called PH Down.

Alma


#6

Kathy -

Mold (& other forms of “low life”) can grow anywhere! When I was
flying helicopters, we had to put an algicide additive in the fuel
to prevent algae contamination. Citric acid is a lot more attractive
to life than kerosene (JP4).

I found this at:

History 

The discovery of citric acid has been credited to the 8th
century alchemist Jabir Ibn Hayyan (Geber). Medieval scholars in
Europe were aware of the acidic nature of lemon and lime juices;
such knowledge is recorded in the 13th century encyclopedia
Speculum Majus (The Great Mirror), compiled by Vincent of
Beauvais. Citric acid was first isolated in 1784 by the Swedish
chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele, who crystallized it from lemon
juice. Industrial-scale citric acid production began in 1860,
based on the Italian citrus fruit industry. In 1893, C. Wehmer
discovered that Penicillium mold could produce citric acid from
sugar. However, microbial production of citric acid did not
become industrially important until World War I disrupted Italian
citrus exports. In 1917, the American food chemist James Currie
discovered that certain strains of the mold Aspergillus niger
could be efficient citric acid producers, and Pfizer began
industrial-level production using this technique two years
later. [edit]Production 

In this production technique, which is still the major
industrial route to citric acid used today, cultures of
Aspergillus niger are fed on sucrose to produce citric acid.
After the mold is filtered out of the resulting solution, citric
acid is isolated by precipitating it with lime (calcium
hydroxide) to yield calcium citrate salt, from which citric acid
is regenerated by treatment with sulfuric acid. [edit]Krebs cycle 


Main article: citric acid cycle 

Citric acid is one of a series of compounds involved in the
physiological oxidation of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to
carbon dioxide and water. 

This series of chemical reactions is central to nearly all
metabolic reactions, and is the source of two-thirds of the
food-derived energy in higher organisms. It was discovered by the
Sir Hans Adolf Krebs. Krebs received the 1953 Nobel Prize in
Physiology or Medicine for the discovery. The series of reactions
is properly known as the tricarboxylic acid cycle, but it is also
known as the citric acid cycle or the Krebs cycle.

Even acetic acid/kerosene/vinegar can wind up being a great growth
medium for Something! They’ve all got carbon atoms in the molecules.
Sparex (sodium hydrogen sulfate) and nitric acid (HNO3) are not as
conducive to the growth of most life that we know, which is why you
won’t run into this type of problem. (Environmental issues, health
issues are another story…)

I would recommend the next time you need to mix new pickle, first do
this:

  1. Empty the crockpot & rinse well (really, really well).

  2. Use a dilute solution of bleach to fill the crockpot to the
    rim…let the cover soak in a similar solution.

  3. Let crockpot & cover soak for at least a half hour.

  4. Rinse crockpot & cover (really, really well).

  5. Put absolutely fresh acetic acid into the crockpot.

If the crockpot gets contaminated again, then you have the little
beasties growing in crevices you can’t clean out. Time for a new
crockpot!

To the chemists out there, please correct me if I’m off the mark!

best regards,
Kelley


#7

Kathy,

I got the same thing except in my Ionic cleaner. I got that Speed
Brite machine and the 'Gem Sparkle" liquid you buy with it, but with
it grows mold in the machine after a little while. I think it’s an
alien invasion from Mars, completely unknown to mankind. Aliens are
disgusting.

Cheers, Hans Meevis.
http://www.meevis.com


#8

Thanks to everyone who replied to this! I never considered that mold
could grow in acid… maybe I should have paid more attention in
biology class.

Perhaps it’s not mold, but whatever it is, it’s disgusting and
slimy, If I put anything into the pickle pot, the goo sticks to it,
requiring a good scrubbing to remove it. Judy, your description of
"snot" is an unfortunately accurate description of whatever is
growing in my pickle pot.

Kelly, special thanks for the detailed reply. I think I will wash
the crock pot well and then run it through my dishwasher with
detergent (which contains bleach) before I mix up any more citric
acid
pickle. And when I mix the next batch, I’ll start with boiling water.

And Hans, when I’m not using my ionic cleaner, I put the solution
into an empty jar and close it up until the next time I need it. That
Speed Brite liquid costs too much to waste it by letting it grow
aliens

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry
http://www.fgemz.com


#9
I get mold in the rinse container I use citric acid as pickle
regular pickle should be way to acidic and pure to mold should it
not? 

That “mold” is called a mother. It’s harmless, though gross. Google
"mother of vinegar"


#10

Good idea, and I’d just add to be really sure you’ve completely
eliminated any acid before adding the bleach and the same before
adding new Sparex.

Acid + Bleach = Chlorine gas which is really nasty. It killed lots
of guys in WW1. The amount of chemicals you’re dealing with are
small and not super concentrated but better to be on the safe side.

Harry


#11
before I mix up any more citric acid pickle. And when I mix the
next batch, I'll start with boiling water.. 

Just an idea, rather than boiling water, when I’ve used bottled
distilled water, little to no mold/snot formation. That’s DISTILLED
not drinking water (bottled “drinking water” can be no more than
filtered tap water), and distilled water still is only $.50 to $.60
USD per gallon (Midwest).

Ed Wales


#12

Oh yeah I use distilled water in pickle pot and rinse also in
investment etc hmm its CHEAP lol

Teri
Silver & Cameo Heritage Jewelry
www.corneliusspick.com


#13
That "mold" is called a mother. It's harmless, though gross.
Google "mother of vinegar" 

Funny story about that:

I wanted to make a salad dressing with red wine vinegar. So I asked
my ex (physician, also of Italian descent) how to spoil red wine to
make vinegar.

Turned out he excelled at chemistry through med school; he LOVED
chemistry. After ten minutes of the chemistry of acetic acid and
electron exchange, etc, I finally asked, “How do you spoil wine to
make vinegar? How did your mom do it?!”

His reply = “She never did…she just added vinegar to the wine.”


#14
Oh yeah I use distilled water in pickle pot and rinse also in
investment etc hmm its CHEAP lol 

I buy distilled water in 5 gallon jugs (with a handy dispensing
spout even!) at the local grocery store for mixing investment. I
guess
I can spare a gallon or so for the next batch of pickle if it might
keep the ‘snot’ out of my pickle pot!

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry
http://www.fgemz.com


#15

Hello Orchidian Ed Wales,

You suggest using distilled water to mix up the citric acid pickle.
I’m thinking that the water collected from a dehumidifier would work
quite well. It is in actuality distilled - being condensed from water
vapor in the air… am I right John Burgess??

Judy in Kansas


#16

Judy:

You suggest using distilled water to mix up the citric acid
pickle. I'm thinking that the water collected from a dehumidifier
would work quite well. 

I’m afraid my experience with dehumidifiers: the water on the
condenser works as a great air cleaner, the water trap and drains off
all sorts of dusts, pollens and mold spores, it really grows a mess
if left undrained. Dehumidifiers, I’ve found, actually are a fairly
effective air cleaner, not a source of clean water.

Ed


#17

Judy -

I wouldn’t use the water in the dehumidifier, even though it’s been
’distilled’ (free from dissolved salts). Main reason: commercially
distilled water is (very probably) made in clean conditions, with
equipment designed to reduce or remove organisms, and it’s put into
(very probably) clean containers. I doubt anyone’s dehumidifier is
that clean. Just imagine all the stuff that might grow in
there…it’s open to the atmosphere, never gets disinfected, etc.

It isn’t clean enough to drink, so I wouldn’t use it in a pickle
pot. The plants might love it, though!

best regards,
Kelley


#18
You suggest using distilled water to mix up the citric acid
pickle. I'm thinking that the water collected from a dehumidifier
would work quite well. 

WRONG! the dehumidifier sucks humidity and microparticles of all
kinds of things out of the air, unless you are distilling it after
collecting. the water in your collection unit -probably not sterile
to begin with- is perhaps as impure as tap water, if not more so due
to the mold spores, pollen granules, charged particulate matter of a

  • or - nature, and other seasonally related components of what you
    breathe in, or simply exists in a closed household or workshop, etc.
    that makes it through whatever the filter your dehumidifier has…
    Invest the 89 cents in a gallon of distilled water if you’re after
    consistent results, or boil your water at least 9 minutes ( once it
    comes to a boil) and filter it -through an activated carbon type
    filter at the very least ( there are quite sophisticated water
    filters available or that you can construct yourself that utilise
    charcoal, ceramic/tourmailine compounds, silver and other components
    that purify water as close as you’ll get to demineralized/distilled
    without adding chemicals or organic additives to assist in killing or
    neutralizing foreign matter and micro-junk in your water but don’t
    effectively remove all the minerals as well.

R.E.Rourke


#19
You suggest using distilled water to mix up the citric acid pickle.
* I'm thinking that the water collected from a dehumidifier would
work quite well. It is in actuality distilled - being condensed
from water vapor in the air... am I right John Burgess?? * 

G’day; Yes, quite right of course, but it will contain anything that
had been airborne in the room; mainly bacteria and volatiles. If you
have a supply of unchlorinated mains water that will be OK, or rain
water (thats all we have at my house) However, citric acid is not so
expensive that throwing it out when it starts to get scungy is a bad
idea. I’ve always used battery acid, diluted a bit.–

Cheers for now,
JohnB of NZ


#20

Just a few words I would like to interject here — The vast majority
(I can’t really guarantee “all”) of the “Distilled” water you buy in
stores and from dealers is not really distilled – it is just
deionized.

Margaret, the chemist – who found this out the “hard way”)