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Help me perfect caffineated water

  1. Nov 2, 2005 #1

    ShawnD

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    Also tell me if I made a spelling error in the title :biggrin:


    Caffeine pills are much cheaper than coffee beans, so that's where my attention is at the moment. The problem is that these pills are made of calcium carbonate. I don't know if calcium has a taste, but I know carbonate tastes like crap because it's a fairly strong base; it readily turns into bicarbonate, which also tastes like crap. On top of that, caffeine is an organic base and it too tastes bitter.

    First idea was to add acid to the mixture. First to come to mind? HCl. This did not work at all. It made the solution fizz a lot (carbonate leaving as CO2), but it made the solution taste very salty, and it was still bitter as all hell.

    Second idea was to add vinegar. This makes the solution fizzle, as expected, but the resulting acetate mixture still tastes pretty crappy. Mix baking soda and vinegar and you'll know what my mixture tasted like.

    Third idea was to add lemon juice (citric acid). Fizzle fizzle and I get a mixture that taste a lot better than before, but still extremely bitter. I could add lemon juice until the cows come home and it still won't get rid of that bitter taste.



    I was thinking next I could try a solvent extraction, but caffeine only seems to dissolve in things that are poisonous. According to CRC 84th edition, caffeine is slightly soluble in water and ethanol, insoluble in ether (damn it!) and carbon tetrachloride, and is soluble in chloroform (toxic) and pyridine (toxic).
    A friend suggested I try to steam distill it, but I've looked into this and it doesn't look like a great idea. Caffeine melts at 238C, and the boiling point isn't even listed; crc just says it has significant sublimation at 90C.

    What should I try next?


    *edit
    I put this in general discussion because coffee drinkers or other drugies would probably have some kind of suggestion a chemist wouldn't even think of.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2005
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  3. Nov 2, 2005 #2

    matthyaouw

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    Have you considered just swallowing the pills?

    Alternatively, grind up the pills before putting them in a drink. they way, they don't have to dissolve so long as they remain suspended in the liquid. You could add them to pretty much any drink you care to name as long as it has a strong flavour and it should mask the flavour of the pill.
    You might want to watch where you do this though- most employers wouldn't look on you favourably if they caught you grinding pills into your glass of coke.
     
  4. Nov 2, 2005 #3

    ShawnD

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    I won't take the pills because that isn't socially acceptable. I know when I see somebody take a pill I immediately assume the worst.
    I don't plan to actually mix anything with caffeine since it's just a pick-me-up. I put 80 x 100mg caffeine pills in a 600mL bottle, so it's basically 80+ cups of coffee compressed into the size of 1 big cup. If I drank the whole thing I would most likely die, or at least come pretty damn close. It's a drink meant to be sipped. I just don't want to always make the "i just drank moonshine" face after taking a sip. This liquid is as bitter as you can imagine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2005
  5. Nov 2, 2005 #4

    Astronuc

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    I thought caffeinated water was "coffee". :biggrin:

    Rather than lemon juice, one could try orange juice, or carbonated water (seltzer).

    Check the ingredients of Mountain Dew, a soft drink with high caffeine content.
     
  6. Nov 2, 2005 #5

    ShawnD

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    Mountain dew only has 48mg of caffeine in 350mL. My mixture is about 97 times as strong :D

    I'll try these and see how they work.

    ps. coffee is just black piss. It isn't drinkable unless you add about 10 sugar packets, then your friends ***** at you saying "that's not coffee any more with all that sugar in it hurrr"
     
  7. Nov 2, 2005 #6
    how about dissolving a bunch of these (Foosh caffeinated mints) in water. 100 mg caffeine /mint. I bet it would taste a lot better than trying to dissolve straight caffeine pills. Don't know how the cost compares though.
     
  8. Nov 2, 2005 #7

    ShawnD

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    That would probably work, but those are very expensive. $11 for 4x12 mints. Caffeine pills are 100 for $7, no shipping.
     
  9. Nov 2, 2005 #8

    Astronuc

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    Be careful with high levels of caffeine - too much could be damaging to the heart- cardiac arrhythmia (Tachycardia) - or worse fibrillation, which could be fatal.

    I like the taste of coffee (without sugar) - and I like Brussel sprouts, asparagus, collard greens, spinach, beets, turnip, parsnip, too! :biggrin:
     
  10. Nov 2, 2005 #9

    GCT

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    also keep in mind that caffeine is light sensitive
     
  11. Nov 2, 2005 #10

    DocToxyn

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  12. Nov 2, 2005 #11

    Moonbear

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    How about just sticking them in a breath mints tin so it just looks like you're eating a mint? It would be safer to get a known dose out of a single pill than trying to drink some indefinite amount from a bottle of concentrated caffeine.

    You may have simply exceeded the solubility levels for the caffeine. If bitterness is the problem, did you try just adding lots of sugar or maybe an artificial sweetener would work better...more sweetness and easier solubility.

    Or maybe you just need to find a better way to stay awake, like getting more sleep at night or eating more healthy foods.
     
  13. Nov 2, 2005 #12

    brewnog

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    I did a module in Food Science a few years ago, one of the topics was caffeine extraction (for decaffinating coffee and tea)! If only I had my notes around....

    As I recall, there are three main methods. One of them involves dissolving the caffeine into an acid. There are advantages and drawbacks with this technique, I can't remember what they are though... The second technique involves crushing of the beans/tea, and passing superheated steam through them. I seem to recall that this was the preferred method for removing as few things which aren't caffeine as possible. The third method I have no recollection of.....

    Always helpful!
     
  14. Nov 2, 2005 #13

    ShawnD

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    Third way is supercritical CO2

    All of these are great ideas. Thanks guys!
     
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