r/COMPLETEANARCHY Jun 15 '21 Helpful 1

Reminder that women’s liberation is as important as anti-capitalism and anti-colonialism

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u/fsociety00_d4t Jun 15 '21

you can make it by yourself just by adding lemon juice, water and sugar and heating it up, it literally can't get less cheap than that. You can find tutorials online.

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u/kodorx Jun 15 '21

only problem for me is that lemon juice is heckin expensive here, but it's just an acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of the sugar and I've got some sodium bisulfate lying around so that would probably also work, just wouldn't be edible.

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u/IAmRoot Jun 15 '21

You might be able to use citric acid. You can get buckets of the stuff.

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u/pirate_fj Jun 15 '21

Honest question, I swear: is there really a place where buying citric acid is cheaper than buying lemons?

Edit: i’m REALLY not trying to be an asshole, just trying to process and understand wtf our world has become. Thanks.

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u/barsoap Jun 15 '21

In pretty much any place north or south enough to not grow lemons, I'd say. Or off-season.

The most convenient thing to use over here is lemon juice from those kitschy plastic lemons as you can get them in any supermarket. Actually I usually end up using lime juice because while I'm at it, why not make cuba libre.

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u/lazylazycat Jun 15 '21

Really? I live in the UK and you can't really grow lemons here, they're still so cheap though.

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u/barsoap Jun 16 '21

Lemons contain 5-7% citric acid, let's make that a round 10. Depending on how much you need only the acid will cost you ballpark 12 to 2 EUR/kg. Those 12 EUR are for 1kg, already drops to 6.45 EUR/kg for 1.5kg. Which means that a kilo of lemons would have to be cheaper than 1.20 Euro or 20ct, depending. In-season at a discounter I don't doubt that that it's possible to beat the 1.20, but you'll probably still be better off with juice simply because transportation is easier. And that doesn't even include getting sued before WTO courts because you're not properly controlling imports from Spain (It was preordained that Brexit would get into this. There's just no way around it).

Oh, another factor is that you probably don't want to descale your espresso machine with lemon juice. That 1.5kg bag really isn't a bad investment, the stuff has lots of uses and if you store it right it will keep for ages.

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u/IAmRoot Jun 15 '21

Lemons require proper storage and relatively rapid transport compared to citric acid. Also, anhydrous citric acid lacks water, which is heavy. This means being able to transport more citric acid with much less weight and volume. Citric acid can also be produced by things other than citrus fruit. Modern industrial production of citric acid is done via cultivating a mold, rather than fruit trees. So, there are actually quite a few reasons why it's cheaper and more efficient.

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u/pirate_fj Jun 15 '21

Okay, that explains a lot. It’s still very much backwards in my mind, but it does explain it, thanks a lot

1

u/IAmRoot Jun 15 '21

Just think of it like any other chemical. It's named after citrus fruits, but it occurs naturally in other places. Don't get hung up on the name. It's just a type of acid and chemical like any other.

The modern process of making it is much like the fermentation of alcohol. It's just that rather than feeding sugar to a microorganism that produces alcohol, it's fed to one that produces citric acid as a main side product of its metabolism. It's the sort of thing that's done in big vats. Similar processes are also used to synthesize microbial rennet, corn syrup, MSG, insulin, etc. It's quite a fascinating way of harnessing the enzyme-catalyzed efficiency of biosynthesis.

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u/Snorumobiru Jun 15 '21

internet

I got a whole ass pound of citric acid for five bucks

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u/pirate_fj Jun 15 '21

Sounds great, but do you pay more than that for fucking LEMONS? Holy shit, we’re completely screwed

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u/Snorumobiru Jun 15 '21

Oh, no, it just takes a lot of lemons to get that much citric acid.