Water To Grape Juice To Milk

Water consequently turns to grape juice to milk.

Scientific name: The color of the solution is changed in a number of consequent acid-base reactions.


Water To Grape Juice To Milk - Chemical Demonstration Kit

by FlinnScientific

Grape Juice to Water to Milk!

by Melissa Baker


Wear eye protection goggles and gloves. Be careful handling acid and base solutions. Avoid body tissue contact with all solutions.

Always follow general safety recommendations. Please note that conducting chemistry experiments you must comply with the relevant legal procedures in your country.

Reaction formula

2NaOH + H2SO4 → Na2SO4 + H2O

H2SO4 + 2NaHCO3 → Na2SO4 + 2H2O + 2CO2

Na2SO4 + Ba(NO3)2 → BaSO4↓ + 2NaNO3

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Prepare 6 glasses.
  2. Fill the first glass with water. Add a few drops of phenophtalein solution.
  3. Add a few drops of sodium hydroxide to glass 2.
  4. Pour some small amount (about 1-2 ml) of sulfuric acid to glass 3.
  5. Put 1 gram of baking soda to glass 4. Add a few milliliters of water and mix it carefully.
  6. Pour about 7-9 ml of saturated barium nitrate solution to glass 5.
  7. Pour 5-6 ml of concentrated sodium hydroxide solution to glass 6.
  8. Starting with the first glass pour the liquid in each glass to the next in turn
  9. The color and state of solutions will change from resembling water to grape juice, lemonade, 7-up, milk and pepto-bismol.

Scientific background

The color change, the precipitate and gas formation are caused by a number of chemical reactions which take place when solutions are mixed together. Phenolphtalein is colorless in neutral environment so the first solution is clear and looks like common water. In alkaline solutions the indicator changes its color to pink making the solution resemble grape juice. When the content of glass 2 is poured to glass 3 acid neutralizes the base and pH is shifted back to neutral.

2NaOH + H2SO4 → Na2SO4 + H2O

The solution is colorless again (lemonade).

Mixing of acidic solution with NaHCO3 in glass 3 gives bubbles of carbon dioxide:

H2SO4 + 2NaHCO3 → Na2SO4 + 2H2O + 2CO2

In glass 4 the formation of a white cloudy precipitate is observed. The fake milk consists of insoluble barium sulfate and water.

Na2SO4 + Ba(NO3)2 → BaSO4 + 2NaNO3

In glass 5 barium sulfate stays unchanged but solution pH is alkaline again like it was in glass 2. Phenolphtalein turns pink.


Published on 23 April 2015

  • Fire
  • Heating with fire
  • Explosion
  • Poisoned gas
  • Organic
  • Electricity
  • Solution
  • Oxidation reduction
  • Color change
  • Precipitate
  • Gassing
  • Catalyst