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My cousin would like to know about the permissibility of making ink on Pesach. The ink recipe includes flour, fruit juice, vinegar, and a little water.

According to my cousin, it's not ראוי לאכילת אדם (edible for humans), but it might be ראוי לאכילת כלב (fit for canine consumption); while it tastes too bad for humans to eat, dogs would probably be okay eating it.

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    My feeling is that it's probably forbidden, but my cousin wanted me to ask the question anyway. – Shokhet Apr 6 '15 at 23:38
  • Regardless of what [s]he reads here, I recommend that your cousin check with a rabbi before proceeding with this project. – Isaac Moses Apr 17 '15 at 13:23
  • @IsaacMoses Oh, of course! – Shokhet Apr 17 '15 at 14:53
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Should be prohibited, pretty much the same as the Mishna Pesachim 3:1.

אלו עוברין בפסח, כתח הבבלי, ושכר המדי, וחמץ האדומי, וזיתום המצרי, וזומן של צבעים ה, ועמילן של טבחים, וקולן של סופרים. רבי אליעזר אומר, אף תכשיטי נשים. זה הכלל ו, כל שהוא ממין דגן, הרי זה עובר בפסח. הרי אלו באזהרה, ואין בהן משום כרת.

Rabbi Ovadiah of Bartenura explains:

עד כאן חמץ הראוי לאכילה ע"י תערובת. מכאן ואילך חמץ נוקשה בעיניה:

Thus:

One must do away with the following items on Passover: [food items in which chametz is a non-dominant ingredient, such as] fermented dairy dip containing some grain, or date beer containing some barley ... [and non-food items that are technically edible though not tasty, such as] dye-workers' bran-water ... and bookmakers' glue. Rabbi Eliezer includes cosmetics. As a rule: things made with grain [if they're not foods that are predominantly grain] must go away on Passover, one is prohibited from eating them, but they don't get the full punishment of Karet.

Rashi and Tosfos debate whether you must throw these out, or simply put them away and not use them on Passover; but you certainly couldn't use them or make them. I would strongly assume that ink would fall into the same category as bookmakers' glue.

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Your question asked about "making" the ink on Pesach. "Flour" was one of the ingredients. If you have unguarded flour (of wheat, barley, spelt, oats, or rye,) and you want to own it, then the problem starts as soon as you pick it up to take possession. It may have gotten wet and become "chametz"? As flour, it is not yet mixed into the other ingredients that would make it non-edible etc. So it should be forbidden to "make" it, unless the flour is kept unleavened the whole time. Furthermore, just because a group of foods (flour, fruit juice, vinegar, and water,) might not taste good as a recipe, it doesn't mean that it is called non-edible! The combining of flour, water, and fruit juices = Chametz gomur (real leavened dough) which would be forbidden on Pesach unless processed in a fast way that curtails leavening.

But, if the dough/ink is made strictly under a procedure that would follow the halachic rules for the making of matzah on pesach, then there would be no problem.

Most people don't make matzahs on Pesach, because its easy to accidentally make "chametz" out of it if you are not careful.

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