I got my 1 lb package of citric acid pickling powder from Van Dykes...want to skin out my badger and get him in it before he gets too bad...As i understand it it is 3 tblspoons to 1 gallon of water? I want to make sure to do this right, also if Stop Rot is applied while skinning its not going to cause the hair to slip in the pickle is it...also how long is a good enough time to pickle? I can plan to apply
Dixie-Tan to the hides when done pickling...am doing a fox, a badger,a raccoon and 2 skunks this weekend.
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Stop Rot is s great product and it will not cause hair to slip in the pickle. The whole idea behind Stop Rot is to keep things from rotting. Secondly, I've never used the acid you speak of but no matter which acid you use the PH needs to be the same... between 1.0 and 2.0. So check your PH and worry less about ratios as you should about the PH outcome. As far as how long in the acid? You can only go too short, but not too long in the pickle, so go ahead and leave them for a couple few days until you get the hang of pickling. As long as your PH stays within the tolerable ranges you can leave your skins in there practically forever. Check your PH periodically. I've also never used Dixie-Tan, so Im not familiar with the process. Just be sure to neutralize your skins properly before tanning.
I see you wrote 3 tblspoons to 1 gallon of water for your pickle. It should be 3 ounces citric acid crystals, 1 pound of salt/ gallon of water. The reason I mention this is, you need to get your pH down to 1 or 2. Weigh your crystals out, if you don't have a scale you can get one for a couple of dollars at Walmart. There called a Portions Scale that folks use to weigh out portions. There in the cooking section.
So that is 3 ounces of citric acid...1 pound of salt...1 gallon of water...sucessful formula? and then 2 days in pickle for all hides...
what is the neutralization process before tanning? and can the hides be re-frozen AFTER pickling and before tanning without damage?
Yes, that is the way you use citric acid crystals. Now after you mix it you may notice that after a day the hide may raise the pH, in which case you just add a little more citric acid to bring the pH down to 1.0.
When is a hide pickled? When you take your finger nail and press it into the hide and the impression remains. This may take 1 day or 3 or 4 days depending on the thickness of the hide.
To neutralize, I use 1 oz of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to one gallon of water. I will leave it in the neutralizing water for 15 to 30 minutes. Stir the hide around frequently. I then will rinse the hide off with plain water. Neutralizing is important so that your tan will penetrate the hide, instead of just the surface.
I will put a hide in the freezer after it is tanned, but would not recommend putting a pickled hide in the freezer for keeping. I believe it is much safer to just keep in the pickle solution till it can be tanned. As long as the pH is 1.0 your hide should be fine. Few bacteria can survive at such a low pH.
Ok i think i have it correctly, now I am needing to do several skins at once...a raccoon, 2 skunks, a fox and a badger...can they all go in to the pickle bucket at once with the same formula amunt for all at once?
Yes, I would make about 3 or 4 gallons of solution. Check the pH in about a day, keep it at 1.0 and you should have no problems. Usually if a problem is encountered it because the pH was to high or the hides where improperly cared for in the field or unsatisfactory prepared by the taxidermist.