Why might the Calcium ethanoate and Ethanol react this way?
The mixture instantly becomes a white, clear gel. When the beaker is turned upside down, the mixture stays solid and remains at the bottom of the beaker.
Calcium ethanoate (also called calcium acetate) is the calcium salt of acetic acid and can be written as (H3CCO2)2Ca. It is a very hygroscopic solid, meaning that it absorbs and coordinates with water very readily. When ethanol is added to a saturated aqueous solution of calcium ethanoate it causes a white gel to form immediately. This is because the calcium ethanoate is relatively insoluble in ethanol as opposed to water thus it precipitates as a solid. But instead of forming a powdery solid it coordinates with both the water and ethanol present to make a very moist, gelatinous solid. This is why it sticks to the bottom of the beaker instead of pouring out with any liquid.