My initial plan was to flatten out parts of a brass ring to produce some usable flat bar stock.

I had two pieces and the first was simple, I heated it to red heat and pressed it flat in my vice.

A lot of what I saw online was saying that forging brass was not impossible, just that it was problematic.

The second piece, I heated for much longer and as I picked it up to move it to the vice, It just "fell" into 3 pieces.

Now, during heating, there was some kind of "combustion event" near to where it broke.

My first thought was that I had melted it.

I've always believed (quite correctly, it turns out) that my little foundry can handle zinc, aluminium, lead if I could get any - but certainly not brass and/or copper.

But "seeing is believing" and here I am with a piece of brass that has "melted".

So I gathered together some bits of copper, brass and misc other bronzes that I've collected with the hope of being able to melt them down "some day". (Like I said upstairs, this stuff is expensive!)

I heated it up for a long, long time, until it was glowing red but not melting, and then I heated it some more.

During this time, a lot of zinc fumes came off. Which, at first, I paid little attention to, except to increase the ventilation.

By the time I'd come to the decision that nothing was going to melt, I poured and the contents of the crucible to examine it. And to my surprise loads of the brass had been "alchemically transformed" back to what looked like pure copper.

So I'm assuming what I had was mostly alpha-beta brass and my temperatures were hot enough to boil off the zinc but not hot enough to melt the copper (and thus keep the zinc dissolved)???