Beryllium chloride reacts vigorously and exothermically with water with the evolution of acidic, steamy hydrogen chloride gas. This is typical of covalent chlorides. In the first instance, it reacts to give hydrated beryllium ions, [Be (H2O)4]2+, and chloride ions. But the hydrated beryllium ions (called tetraaquaberyllium ions) are quite strongly acidic. The small beryllium ion at the centre attracts the electrons in the bonds towards itself, and that makes the hydrogen atoms in the water even more positive than they usually are. If the solution is hot and concentrated (as it is likely to be if water is added to solid beryllium chloride - a very exothermic reaction), chloride ions can remove one or more of these hydrogen ions to produce hydrogen chloride gas.