I experienced a "gotcha" when trying to mix up my first batch of Vincent Amendola's PVA/Guar/JLube Juice
When I added the PVA solution to the guar gum slurry, a discrete gel ball (about 5 ml big) formed in the slurry after a minute or two.
I tried to mash it up with two forks, but that didn't work. It wouldn't break up and it wouldn't dissolve with stirring. I waited 10 minutes to see if it might dissolve or soften on its own. It didn't! After about 10 minutes, I decided to try something else. I warmed the slurry VERY briefly in the microwave (20 seconds on partial power) and stirred it for a minute. It seemed to get smaller. I repeated the warm and stir process a few times, and the ball mostly dissolved, but there were still a few bits of discrete 'hard' gel.
While still warm, I combined it with the JLube/Detergent slurry and continued as described in the recipe.
So far, I have only tested with a small plastic wand, and the juice worked great for that. I got more than 10 bubbles per dip (easily). When I blew bubbles and held them on the wand, they lasted a very long time. The first bubble lasted 6 minutes 54 seconds and the second one lasted five minutes. By comparison, bubbles I blew with another 20:1 juice were lasting about 90 seconds. The temperature was 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% or a bit less humidity.
Granted, these were very informal tests without an adequate control, but I feel that the results indicate that some serious testing should be done. I haven't had a chance to try this with a big bubble rig yet. So, I don't know if those small wand results will bear a relation to big bubble performance.
I any case, if you are an experimenter and optimizer, this recipe deserves some exploration.
An observation: I noticed that the bubble walls were thicker than I expect with a 20 to 1 solution. Here are a few photos of bubbles held on the wand with comments. There was a considerable band of "black film" (the transparent non-glossy film that indicates a super-thin film) for quite a while before the bubble finally popped at 6 minutes 54 seconds.
This is the recipe version currently on the wiki (but subject to adjustment). Note that there are a couple of slight departures from the recipe which I have called out in bold.
- Slurry together 1 gram guar gum and propylene glycol to cover
- Add 50ml glycerine to slurry and mix
- Add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) homemade 10% PVA solution (instead of a commercial preparation)
- Stir and let rest 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. There was a glitch here. See note at beginning of this blog entry. A gel ball formed which required heating and stirring to mostly dissolve.
- In another container, slurry 1/2 gram J-Lube (NOTE: I actually used 1 gram since the J-Lube I have is very old and lost a lot of potency before I discovered that it should be kept in the freezer for long-term storage) with glycerine, propylene glycol or isopropyl alcohol.
- MIx J-Lube slurry with 50 grams Dawn or Fairy
- Mix in 50 grams (ml) of water
- MIx all slurries together
- Add 1000 grams (or ml) water
- Add 1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder.
(Nov. 1, 2018). While the small bubbles (3-inch to 4-inch diameter) blown indoors and held on a wand (what I call static bubbles) from this batch had great longevity, when I went outside and used the mix to make giant bubbles under good conditions (65F and 85% RH), the juice did not seem to perform very differently from the basic PEO-based juice that I had on hand.
I have mixed up a few variants of the Amendola mix. The mixes worked well but so far have not seemed noticeably different from a basic PEO mix. I will continue to test.
It must be said that I do not have the same PVA source as Vincent Amendola and this might be important.