Following the hard work that our Year 13 chemists have undertaken in the last 6 weeks, Team Chemistry wanted to give them some fun, thought provoking and insightful chemistry lessons.
We decided to focus on the chemistry of wine, where we investigated fermentation, distillation of ethanol, and did a titration to test the acidity of newly opened wine compared to wine opened two years ago.
We then investigated the chemistry of chocolate, looking at how crystal structure can affect taste, bloom and shine and learning how to temper chocolate to produce type 5 crystals, responsible for that ‘snap’. We also investigated the toxicity of chocolate and how, in particular it affects dogs.
Mrs Hammett was instrumental in acquiring a donation of cocoa butter, cocoa mass and 1kg of swiss chocolate for tempering from Bachmanns, Weybridge. We are enormously grateful to Chris Bachmann for his generous donation and all the advice he gave us.
To end the week we have been investigating the chemistry of curry, but more specifically chilli. We have extracted capsaicin, the chemical responsible for the ‘burning’ effect of chilli, via steam distillation, researched the use of chillies in pepper spray and been brave enough to taste test some chilli pastes with some crunchy poppadoms.Categories: Senior School