Notices
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Beechams powder, milk and microwaves

  1. #1 Beechams powder, milk and microwaves 
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    3
    I've got a cold at the moment, so I've been taking Beechams powders. I like to dissolve them in milk rather than water, because for some reason I seem to enjoy milk with a chemical flavour. Sometimes I'll use cold milk, sometimes I'll heat it in the microwave and then add the powder.

    Yesterday, I added the powder to a mug of cold milk, and then stuck it in the microwave. The result was unexpected and impressive. When I came back to get my hot mediciney milk, I found about a half inch of thin, opaque yellow liquid in the bottom of the mug, and all around the rim and, outside edges of the mug, and all over the microwave, was a thick, white, aireated semi solid that tasted almost exactly like cream cheese.

    I *Think* that whatever reaction the Beechams powder caused made the milk explosively seperate into curds and whey, but why would this happen? I'll say now, I know little of chemistry, I'm just kind of fascinated by this apparent unexpected episode of cheese making I seem to have indulged in.

    NOTE - the "curds" tasted kind of nice, but I don't reccomend trying this yourself - it made a big old mess.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,795
    It does sound like superheating. This can happen with any liquid you put in the microwave. Sometimes it will just boil normally, but other times it gets superheated and the whole cup boils explosively, scattering stuff all over the inside of the oven. Other times it can blow up in your face right after you remove it from the oven, so be careful.

    I'm not sure how superheating explains the thick, creamy consistency, though.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    3
    I've heard of liquids in microwaves causing superheating/explosions, but the weird sudden seperation into solids/liquid dosen't sound like the result of that to me. I just googled up some stuff on making curds and whey and was reading this site - (EDIT - I can't inclue the url apparently ) - and found this -

    With an adult’s help, heat one cup of skim milk in a microwave or on the stove. The milk should be very warm but not too hot. Observe and describe the milk. Add one tablespoon of vinegar and stir gently with the spoon. Observe and describe again. The milk will curdle and separate into white blobs and a clear yellowish liquid.

    Thin yellowy liquid, white blobs. Sounds like the stuff that was in my mug - and all over the microwave. I defiently didn't have any vinegar in there though. And the process describled here defiently sounds less violent than what went down in my microwave. So could the active ingredients in the beechams powder - caffine and asprin, according to the box - have acted as a substitute for vinegar? I wouldn't have thought asprin and vinegar were similar at all, but I am neither a chemist or a cheesemonger. Did I make *medicinal* curds and whey?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,795
    Maybe there are some inactive ingredients, like lemon perhaps?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Apocalyptic Paradise
    Posts
    6,613
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    If you boil milk does it separate? (I don't know I can't stand the stuff).
    What's not to like about the fatty secretions of bovine boobs?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    Aspirin. Otherwise known as acetylsalicylic acid.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    3
    Thanks everyone! This is fascinating.

    Haha, so I accidentily discovered a new recipie for making Curds and Whey? That's kind of awesome. Would the aspirin still have its pain killing propeties and all? Because the curds were pretty tasty - they tasted just like cream cheese, and had a rich buttery texture. If they have a pain killing effect too, I could totally market this stuff. Delicious, calcium rich, and sooths what ails you! :P
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,331
    Quote Originally Posted by seldompie View Post
    Thanks everyone! This is fascinating.

    Haha, so I accidentily discovered a new recipie for making Curds and Whey? That's kind of awesome. Would the aspirin still have its pain killing propeties and all? Because the curds were pretty tasty - they tasted just like cream cheese, and had a rich buttery texture. If they have a pain killing effect too, I could totally market this stuff. Delicious, calcium rich, and sooths what ails you! :P
    I think it would still work, because what you will get, I presume, is the calcium salt, i.e. calcium salicylate. This will probably get turned back to the acid at the prevailing pH in your stomach, I'd have thought and go on to do its job as normal. However I'd expect it to be a good chelating agent, so it may form a fairly stable complex with Ca and take a while to get unhooked from it again.

    As a matter of fact calcium alkyl salicylates are widely used in lubricants for big diesel engines, in which they form colloids with calcium carbonate, used to neutralise the sulphuric acid produced in combustion of heavy fuel oil, and also "peptise" some of the tarry byproducts of combustion of this stuff at the same time, keeping the engine clean. So salicylates are very surface active and aspirin itself may well disrupt the colloidal suspension of fat in water that milk consists of. Hence the curds and whey effect.

    Anyway, I'm sure aspirin must be terribly good for you, in all sorts of ways!
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. form after microwaves
    By e-c1 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: March 4th, 2011, 05:47 AM
  2. Using microwaves to cure disease.
    By mmatt9876 in forum Personal Theories & Alternative Ideas
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: July 29th, 2010, 04:23 PM
  3. Warm milk and cold milk
    By Heinsbergrelatz in forum Chemistry
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: March 23rd, 2010, 05:05 PM
  4. San Lu milk powder contamination
    By jamison364 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: September 22nd, 2008, 03:46 AM
  5. a question about microwaves
    By theQuestIsNotOver in forum Physics
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: September 6th, 2008, 12:33 AM
Tags for this Thread

View Tag Cloud

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •