HGV Nutrients are delivered in a dry form for many reasons. The main reasons are to save you money on freight and storage space. However, there are certain storage requirements to keep the product from absorbing or adsorbing moisture and becoming a wet, sticky mess!
The raw materials used to create the finished product are all “HYGROSCOPIC” or literally “water seeking”, meaning they readily absorb moisture from the atmosphere in which they are stored. This creates some issues with storage of the dry material and extreme case cause deliquescence. “A hygroscopic material will become damp and may stick to itself or become caky, while a deliquescent material will liquefy. Deliquescence may be considered an extreme form of hygroscopy.” I have heard from several customers lately that they are finding bags “Leaking bluish liquid” when they get them out of storage. When I asked these customers how they were storing the product, they all said in an uncontrolled environment. Storing in that type of environment exacerbates the problem greatly due to the fact that changing temperature and humidity levels will increase or decrease the actual moisture content of the product. Absorption (increase in moisture of the product) occurs at any temperature when the surrounding air contains more moisture than the product. Adsorption (release of moisture) occurs when the surrounding air contains less moisture than the product. To complicate this even more, you have to take temperature into account as it determines the actual water content of the air. Warm air holds a lot more moisture than cold air. For every 18-degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature, the moisture doubles. So if your storage area fluctuates temperature over a 24 hour period, the product will absorb or adsorb moisture. When the product absorbs moisture from the air it will cake and can become hard as it sits. When it adsorbs moisture, the bag can sweat causing the product to dissolve inside the bag and “leak” out. For these reasons, holding the product in a stable environment is crucial for storage, even short term.
Our manufacturing area is kept between 60-65 degrees and 35-40% rh and we have tested storage times at these ranges and found them to be relatively indeterminate. While a lot of facilities will not have this tight of environment, you can still minimize the affect by keeping the temperature as stable as possible. When there is no way to store the product in a stable environment then I recommend turning it into a liquid concentrate as quickly as possible. The advantage of this is that when a liquid concentrate is sealed tightly it will not absorb (dilute) or adsorb (evaporate) moisture from or into the air even with temperature and humidity fluctuations. While I do not recommend extreme ranges, it’s far more stable than the dry form. If you want to learn more about any of this, a Google search will lead you down a long rabbit hole of information!
Making a Liquid Concentrate
So now for those of you that need to make a concentrate, here is the simple recipe! The maximum solubility at room temperature for HGV is 2.5 pounds per gallon of water so a 25lb bag will be dissolved in 10 gallons of water. Using hot water greatly speeds up dissolving the powder. If your bag(s) are wet inside, be sure to rinse all the liquid from the bag into your container!
If we do the simple math, 2.5lbs is 1135 grams. 1 gallon of water is 3785ml. At that rate, 1 gram of powder will be equal to 3.3ml of the concentrate. So, if you multiply the grams of dry powder you currently use per gallon by 3.3 you will know how many ml’s of the solution it will take to reach the same ec you get with the dry form. For example, if 7 grams of the dry powder in one gallon of water gets you an ec of 1.8 then 23ml of concentrate in one gallon of water should get you to an ec of 1.8! Don’t panic if you see a little variation as it’s very simple to adjust by adding a little more or a little less concentrate or water to hit the target ec you are after. An ec of 1.8 whether from powder or concentrate is identical in elemental levels.