I was brain tanning until the mad cow disease came along, now they don't sell brain,, or i'm told. So now i'm switching to alum. I'm understanding that aluminum sulphate hydrate is no good,, But isn't all alum today hydrated? or is there an old style of alum that I should be looking for,, such as the alum that was made from potash?
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Van Dyke's sells Potassium alum. You can buy alum at a lot of places, even some aquarium supply shops sell it for something or another. You can buy all the pig brains you want. Brains are brains. Buy em at the butcher shop or get them from the brain tan folks. www.braintan.com, I think. Braintan used to sell frozen pig brains.
Tried to buy pig brains from brain tan, they can't ship it out in time i'm told. UPS next day takes 3 days, the american way. I'm in Oklahoma and cannot find a processor for pig brains. I've got 80 lbs of free aluminum sulfate hydrate but afraid to use it unless i find out i'ts the same as aluminum sulfate, not sure what hydrate means. I might try Van Dykes tho, thanks.
Aluminum sulphide (Alum) is used in some tanning processes. Potassium Aluminum sulphate (Sold by Van Dyke's) is commonly called Potash. These two compounds are anhydrous. Aluminum Sulphate Hydrate (Aluminum Hydroxied) is used as a fire suppressor, among other things. Alum and Potassium alum are completely dissolvable in water. Aluminum hydrates will not dissolve as readily and eventually converts to sulphuric acid at the end of the chain.
Now, you can either check local supermarkets and Wal-Mart's for pig brains or you can order pottash from Van Dyke's. The hydroxide is useless for your purpose. The only other alternatives you have are:
(1) Strip bark from oak trees and soak to obtain tannin liquors.
(2) Build a bon fire and recover the ashes, slake and make pottash.
(3) Order supplies from Van Dyke's or WASCO or Rittel's.
(4) Kill and decapitate a neighbor or stranger to obtain brain.
(5) Buy Aluminum sulphate from an Ace hardware store.
Out of the five choices, ordering supplies from a vendor seems most practical to me. and just for your information, the little orange button listed a similar answer about the hydrate when I checked it a bit ago.
I could use the wifes brain I suppose, she always says she's the one with it anyway.
my lesson in alum has been pretty eventful,, this chemical name may not look correct in this font but here is aluminum sulfate- A12(so4)3
here's aluminum sulphate hydrate a12(so4)3.h2o , hydrate meaning the h2o, which didn't make sense, however, not anhydrous. but it's where the hydrochloric acid comes in, so I understand the difference.
Good thing for the internet, i almost used hydrate. I considered all of the suggestions with very much appreciation, I really want pig brains, but I have ask every butcher in oklahoma, kansas, and texas with no luck. I ran across the state inspector here in oklahoma who told me about mad cow and chronic waste, so no brains. Why I can't find pig brains I don't know, but i have ask all over. Tried to buy from braintan.com, but they can't ship due to the time frame of delivery, they had to cancel my overnight order.
I like my neighbors and i'm not sure if the wifes brain would be that great of an idea, she can cook a little.
I broke down and bought alum from Van Dykes, tried to save a buck, but it's cheap stuff anyway.
I know of a few guys using mayonaise and egg yolks in replace of brains,, for the lecithin? Seems to work like buckskin should, however I noticed an odor like hellmans before smoking.
Thanks for you help, it's been fun.
My wife's brain would only be enough for a small rat. Larry