To retailer contemporary eggs for the long run with out refrigeration, an alternative choice to the normal technique of submerging them in water glass (sodium silicate) is to make use of lime water (calcium hydroxide). Each are extremely alkaline saturated options, with a pH of about 12.4. Each seal eggshell pores to forestall evaporation from throughout the egg, in addition to penetration by micro organism.
Lime water is slaked or hydrated lime made by dissolving meals grade lime in water. Meals grade lime is a white, odorless powder bought as pickling lime, typically discovered within the grocery retailer canning division. One of the best identified model is Mrs. Wages pickling lime.
At one time, pickling lime was used for pickling cucumbers and watermelon rinds. It’s now not advisable for that goal, as a result of improper use can neutralize the vinegar that makes pickles secure to protect. Nonetheless, when utilizing pickling lime for egg preservation, you’re not pickling the eggs, so no vinegar is concerned to neutralize the lime.
The way to Use Lime Water
Simply as you’d for preserving eggs with water glass, use solely same-day contemporary unwashed eggs. Candle them to verify the shells haven’t any cracks and the eggs comprise no unappetizing blood or meat spots.
To retailer the eggs you’ll want a big container, akin to a gallon jar, stoneware crock, or meals grade plastic bucket. One gallon will maintain about 3 dozen eggs. The container ought to have a tight-fitting lid.
To combine the lime water, carry water to a boil, then let it cool to room temperature. You’ll want about 2 quarts of water for every one-gallon of eggs. In a glass jar or different non-corrosive container, mix 1 ounce of pickling lime by weight to every quart of water. Though weighing is extra correct than measuring, one ounce of lime is roughly 2 heaping tablespoons.
Shake or stir the lime water to create a brilliant saturated resolution. It is going to seem cloudy or milky, which is regular. A number of the lime will settle to the underside, which suggests the water has absorbed as a lot as it could actually.
Fill your jar, crock, or plastic bucket with eggs, pointy finish down. Slowly pour within the lime water to utterly cowl the eggs to no less than 2 inches above the topmost eggs.
Tighten the container’s lid to forestall the lime water from evaporating. Retailer your eggs the place the temperature stays above freezing however ideally under 40°F.
When mixing lime water, don’t use an aluminum bowl or utensils. The excessive alkalinity of lime is caustic to aluminum.
Calcium hydroxide is a high-quality powder that, if inhaled, can irritate your respiratory system. And, if dealt with immediately, will dry your pores and skin. Whereas mixing, you would possibly need to put on disposable, watertight gloves.
Unused or left over calcium hydroxide could be safely disposed of by pouring it down the drain. However don’t dump it on the bottom, as it’ll “burn” grass and different vegetation.
If you’re prepared to make use of your eggs, completely rinse the shells to take away the lime. In any other case, if you crack the egg, lime may have an effect on the flavour.
The longer you retailer your egg, the thinner can be each the albumen and the yolk. Ageing eggs may also develop a barely stale taste. Earlier than utilizing any egg, even one contemporary from the coop, a good suggestion is to verify it seems to be and smells proper by cracking it right into a cup or small bowl earlier than utilizing it.
Is Storing Eggs in Lime Secure?
Kansas State Extension, amongst others, doesn’t advocate preserving eggs in lime water. Their cause is that “Salmonella enteritidis can contaminate the eggs as they’re being fashioned contained in the reproductive organ of the hen and there’s no approach an individual can know it’s there or not.” One other concern is that lime water “may seep via the egg shell. The danger of storing eggs for lengthy durations of time embrace lack of vitamins, a number of oxidative reactions, modifications in protein performance, and a robust bitter style from the lime.”
Oregon State Extension suggests waterglassing as a most well-liked technique of preserving eggs. The identical supply says: “Eggs saved in lime water are of poor high quality.”
Alternatively, quite a few preppers use lime water for preserving eggs.They declare the eggs stay contemporary and attractive for so long as two years.
As for minimizing the possibility of Salmonella contamination, buy solely disease-free chicks from an NPIP supply akin to Cackle Hatchery®. Management rodents in your coop to forestall the unfold of Salmonella micro organism. Retailer your eggs-in-lime-water the place the temperature stays cool.
And that’s immediately’s information from the Cackle Coop.
Gail Damerow is the creator of Storey’s Information to Elevating Chickens.