It was very easy to do.
The recipe is:
- 16 parts water
- 1 part canning salt
- 2 parts food grade hydrated lime (pickling lime)
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 cup canning salt
- 1 cup pickling lime
Canning salt is pure salt with no iodine or other additives [besides potassium iodide, table salt can contain sodium silico-aluminate, dextrose (they put sugar in salt!, particularly iodized salt), and sodium bicarbonate. Sea salt contains natural minerals. It isn't recommended for canning because it can make the water in the jar cloudy (I do know this from experience). Would it make a difference for liming eggs? I don't know.]
Pickling lime is food grade hydrated lime. There are different kinds of lime, so it's important to get the correct one (for a rundown on those, see my post on whitewash, here). As an aside, I would never use pickling lime to make pickles, because it's messing with pH which is important for canning safety (more on that here).
The eggs need to be fresh, clean, unwashed, and never refrigerated. Do not use dirty eggs.
Once the salt and lime are dissolved the mixture is very milking looking. Then I added the eggs.
Can you imagine my surprise when the eggs floated? Floating eggs usually means old, unfit-to-eat eggs, but these had been laid within the past several days. The only other answer was the salt.
Gradually the eggs sank and submerged on their own
leaving tell-tale little window-like pools on the surface of the crock contents.
I dated the crock, covered it, and put it in the pantry next to my water glassed eggs.
From time to time I'll try some of these eggs and report my results. We'll see how long they last and how they taste at the end of the experiment.
The attraction to this method over water glassing (for me) is that hydrated lime is much easier to come by than water glass. Plus water glass doesn't keep forever, and because I only need a fraction of the container every year, a lot ends up unusable. Lime is powdered, lasts forever, and has other homestead uses, so I keep it on hand anyway.
Why do these techniques work? Because egg shells are porous. Over time the water content in the egg evaporates creating an air bubble inside the egg. This is why the float test gives you an approximate idea of how old the egg is (useful for when you find that egg stash the chickens hid on you). This happens faster in warm weather, which is why refrigeration helps increase shelf life too. By submersing the egg in a lime/salt or water glass solution, evaporation can't take place so the shelf life is increased without refrigeration.
Well, stay tuned, and we'll see how well this method works for me.
More on Egg Preservation: Liming © Dec 2016