Crystals Can Grow    
Growing Sugar Crystals
    Cochise College   

    Geology Home Page               

    Roger Weller, geology instructor
    last edited:  12/22/15   
    copyright 2015-R.Weller


       Growing sugar crystals is a common experiment that involves a nice common,
   safe, non-poisonous material, sugar.

        I followed the directions and mixed three cups of sugar with two cups of boiling
   water in a heat-resistant glass bowl.  I made sure that all of the sugar had dissolved. 
   According to the directions, I hung a string suspended by a pencil into the bowl.
   I waited.  I waited 4 weeks for evaporation.

   sugar solution crusted over

        Something happened that was not mentioned in any of the articles on how to
   grow sugar crystals.  The top surface of the sugar solution crusted over and
   prevented evaporation.  The sugar solution stayed at a constant level.  In order to
   encourage evaporation, I removed portions of the crystallized crust, but it crusted
   over again, preventing evaporation.

   sugar solution poured out of bowl, leaving crust of sugar

    close-up view of sugar crust

        I finally gave up and poured out the sugar solution and retrieved the string that
   had hung in the solution.  There were some sugar crystals on it, but not nearly as
   large as I would have liked to have found.

    string with sugar crystals

    close-up view of sugar crystals on string

        I have had great luck at growing many other types of crystals, but not sugar. 
   Maybe you might be luckier.  Here are some links on growing sugar crystals.

 sugar crystals
     Growing Sugar Crystals  (Fair)
     Grow Sugar Crystals-Make Your Own Rock Candy
     Rock Candy Recipe  (weak)
     Rock Candy Wikipedia  (weak)
     How to Make Rock Candy  (good)
     Rock Candy Growing Kit  (expensive)
     Sugar Crystal Growing Problems  (good)
     Growing Sugar Crystals-The Exploration Station
     Details on How to Make Rock Candy  (sugar crystals)  (best)
     VIDEO: How to Make Rock Candy-Anne Marie Helmenstine very good
     VIDEO: Sugar Crystals
     VIDEO: Sugar Crystals Growth 2
     VIDEO: Sugar Crystals Growing Under The Microscope

        The best sugar crystals that I ever encountered was a cluster of pale, yellow-
   brown, three inch long crystals more than a foot across.  It was discovered in a
   vat of maple syrup that had been sitting around for more than a year.