Sounds like you have been slaking it.
Slaking is good for hydrated lime, makes it better from what I hear from my expert.
Low quality hydrated lime is slaked for years in water,
to improve the calcium to magnesium ratio, I think.
I have a bucket of slaking lime in my basement.
If you mix lime with clay and bake it in a kiln again it makes cement/concrete.
It is then cured by water and sets much quicker and is then cured by water.
Whereas lime is cured by air/CO2 and can therefore take a long time to set and get increasingly harder for a hundred years.
Also can self heal cracks using the minerals in rain.
If they build a brick wall using lime mortar I don't think they build much more than 3ft a day and let it cure.
So even though lime is better in many ways; takes less energy to make and improves over time
it has mostly been replaced by concrete because it sets faster.
There are different types like type S but I can't remember the difference.
Some are for mortar and some are for surface plaster.