We need to get more directions out on acids

Submitted by David M. on 1/29/02. ( bdtax@hotmail.com )

Once again after reading the post by Ant about the ph level rising on his pickle I thought to myself "we need more directions on some acid products". As we all know ph going out of control and raising high enough can cause serious problems with capes. I too once had this problem and finally figured it out with the help of Phil Helms from McKenzie. I love the products available these days and I use Saftee Acid if I tan some of my own. HOWEVER, if we read the directions and follow them to the T it may not be enough. I live in Illinois where body size may be larger and hair may be longer during the cold. If you mix a pickle up using the 4 gallons per cape rule this may not be enough. Place a large, or very large, cape in it and the cape soaks up what acid is in the solution quickly. Once it is soaked up then the ph jumps up. If your not babysitting it your in trouble. I know we should watch it closely but with a few added instructions a lot of headaches could be saved later, as well as capes. There is nothing that can make a guy, or gal, sicker than loosing a 23"-24" neck deer cape and were only following the directions. If you have a large deer cape then the amount of solution should be increased. I use 7 1/2 gallons per cape. I place two capes in 15 gallons of pickle in a barrel. The ph remains as steady as a rock. I have left them in for almost two months and with no problems. If you live in the southern U.S. were the deer are generally smaller in body size and hair length the 4 gallons would work fine. I just did a deer that was killed in Mississippi and used the 4 gallons and it worked fine. So.........why can't we get a little more added to the directions to reflect that if you have a larger deer you may want to mix a larger pickle to keep your ph stable! If you don't know this little secret, which I didn't at the time, you can suffer some severe consequences.
As I said I have read this post over and over again about guys not being able to keep the ph stable. I know also that it is one that has been addressed several times so why can't we get it on the directions. Mr. Rittle what is your advise?

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Who is ?

This response submitted by Paul B on 1/29/02. ( taxidermst@att.net )

Mr. Rittle? Why not ask Bruce Rittel? He has the answers.

Who is ?

This response submitted by Paul B on 1/29/02. ( taxidermst@att.net )

Mr. Rittle? Why not ask Bruce Rittel? He has the answers.

Directions not needed, basic thoughts.

This response submitted by John C on 1/29/02. ( )

The measurments on acids in never going to be the same from my house to yours because of the hard water facts. A little common sense and litmus paper is all it takes. under 2.5 and you are good to go period.

Common sense, common sense thats what tells you. Bacis chemistry, high school level at that. I dont work for NASA but I figured it out.

many things can change your ph

This response submitted by b bishop on 1/29/02. ( bishops@newnorth.net )

from not rinsing well enough between steps to different water hardnesses to contaminated containers. This is why the PH paper as John suggested is soooooo important.
Also, just having the papers does'nt mean your safe! you need to check the solution frequently, turn it over every day or twice a day would even be better.

just a note

This response submitted by Ant on 1/29/02. ( wilsonam@bellsouth.net )

I ended up adding just a smidgen of saftee acid (not even a 1/2 teaspoon) and got the PH level to drop back to around 1.5. I guess a little common sense does the most..... I just didn't realize the importance of a low PH until reading some of the posts on this site. As far as the directions from Mr. Rittel's direction, they are pretty good even to us beginners. Just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents worth.


You did the right thing Ant!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 1/29/02. ( rittel@mindspring.com )

I like to keep my Saftee Acid pickle at a 1.5! Or at least below a 2.0 since anything below a 2.0 kills all bacteria. If for whatever reason the PH creeps up - add more acid - but remember that it only takes a little bit to drop it. Stir it every day and you should be fine. However, since it did go up once - I'd also check the PH too. Ordinarily its pretty stable and once set it should stay solid at 1.5.


This response submitted by curious on 1/30/02. ( )

why are you guys leaving a cape in a pickle solution so long?(2 months)Seems like a labor intensive,ineffecient way to store a cape.Why not just freeze it.Why flirt with disaster?

I like keeping it pickled!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 1/30/02. ( rittel@mindspring.com )

I'm a bit different than most Taxidermists - I keep a lot of pickled skins on hand to experiment with (new products, etc.) - so I keep them pickled sometimes for up to 4-6 months - with no problems! I also consider it safer than keeping them frozen - no electrical problems to cope with! And I have more room for Deer meat! I also do this with my own skins and capes! Since the customers skins are a priority - mine have to wait for a free moment. Pickling keeps them ready and waiting!


This response submitted by Amy on 1/30/02. ( taxidermygirl101@yahoo.com )

Upon reading this post, I think I may be doing something wrong..

I just recently pickled a deer cape (a small doe). I thought the amount of pickle you made had to do with whether it covered the cape completely! I mixed up two gallons of Safetee acid, which covered my cape quite well, and I thought that was fine. I didn't notice the PH levels rising.. so does this mean that 2 gallons is ok?

I did that a few days ago. Now my cape is tanning.. in two gallons of EZtan! I hope that's ok, too.. like the pickle, 2 gallons submerges it quite well..



This response submitted by David M. on 1/30/02. ( )

Mr. Rittel, I didn't mean to spell your name wrong. As for the others you are very correct about alot of different factors. In fact that what Phil Helms thought may be wrong with mine until we started discussing my cape sizes. Bingo! that solved it. I think that cape sizes can be a MAJOR cause of the ph level flexing. Amy I think you are OK as long as your ph is what it should be. Does capes are pretty small so a two gallon mixture may be fine. I am like Mr. Rittle I like to keep capes in the pickle for some time. I always have capes in the pickle, when they are are done I then I am replacing them and if needed the pickle too.

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