Krowtann Nightmare (George you may be right)

Submitted by Paul on 1/21/06 at 2:05 AM. ( )

I am beginning to wonder if this stuff is pure DANGER. I thought Krowtann 2000 was a sure way to expediate my operation so I bought some. What a mistake! I have tanned three capes in the stuff and have had nothing but trouble. The first cape Lost hair in the brisket area. I thought it was ticks. I managed to salvage it. The second cape lost most of the hair on the ears. I thought I goofed on the first cape some how in mixing or timing. So I was extremely careful with the second batch and the cape preperation. I watched it like you would a small child. Nutralizing the cape in 2 gal of water with 1 oz sodium bicarb letting it set for 5 min adding 1 oz sodium bicarb letting set 5 more min and adding another 1oz of sodium bicarb and letting the hide set in the solution for 20 min. I pulled it Wash the skin in Liquid Tide and rinse well in clear water. Then let it drip dry for 2 hours with the hair out. I test fitted the cape it shrank. Not only did it shrink but it lost most of the hair on the ears. I was concerned but had a remedy to fix that. After altering the form to fit the loss in size I proceeded to mount the speciman. While taxi the skin I was loosing hair. When I started tucking the lips and forming the eyes the hair sluffed off with even the gentlest touch. Even the flesh area around the eyes wouldn't stay in tack. I applied stop slip but that didn't help. I am going to have to scrap the whole thing: cape, form everything. I have always used Bruce Rittels ez100 tanning system with great results. The third hide I'm not sure what I will have. It seems to be fleshing weird on my fleshing machine. I already have cut two quarter size holes. I know it's not the blade because I worked some other stuff up on it. they were hides tanned in ez100 and they turned out fine. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG? Wish I could get my money back and the time and hides this stuff ruined. Maybe it was just a bad batch. I don't know, but This has been a nightmare from HELL! Has Anyone else had these problems. If recourse is at hand or available I'll give my address and phone number with no problem. I could really use a new 22" cape to replace the one this stuff ate up whoever wants the mess I have, I'll ship it to you.


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sorry to hear Paul, but...

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 1/21/06 at 2:39 AM. ( )

I just dont think you can blame this or any tan for the loss. As I always say, tan doesnt slip skins. Theres just too many variables such as skin prep, etc, to blame things, even water. The logical thought would of course be, you did everything the same, with the same prep, water, etc, and no problems before. One wonders two things, then...why did you switch? And, what did the tan do? I wish you well, but I just dont think Keowtann is to blame for slippage. Its a possibility I guess on the shrinkage, but not hair loss.

Bill is right

This response submitted by Frank E Kotula on 1/21/06 at 5:09 AM. ( )

Tanning does not cause hair slippage especially Krowtan. It has way to much alumn in it to do that. It does nothing but set the hair tight.
I've used the product in the past and I didn't care for it but I had no problems with any hair slippage at all. It did what it said it would do but didn't care for an all alum tan which after reading about alum and it's problems it can have long term I went back to what I enjoy doing, using EZ-100 or Liqua-tan on my hides. I have no problems with these tans and it won't wash or leach out in time.
Sorry to hear the problems you have had with it but it's not Krowtan that caused it.

Bill YOU

This response submitted by Paul on 1/21/06 at 7:55 AM. ( )

Skin Prep with Krowtann? Please explain more than Rough flesh, turn lips etc... and submerge in the stuff. Nutralize, finish fleshing and mount and "walla" you have a quick tan a mount and a fist full of dollars. My experience says different. However if I did something wrong I'll be happy to openly explain my fault and still be out a complete mount. Please explain to me if you will: The deer is shot within 2 hours it is brought to me the outside temp is between 32 and 37 degrees. I remove the skull wash the hide in water and a cap full of lysol rinse. I maintain a temp of 42 to 45 degrees in my skinning and prep room. I proceed to turn lips eyes etc on the cape. I go over it quickly with my flesher to remove any dirt and membrane so I have a clean smooth hide to tan. I tan the hide as instructed and as I explained in my above post is the result. To answer why I switched, I didn't I was curious how well Krowtann worked and like anyone else believe, "TIME IS MONEY AND MONEY IS TIME." That is suppose to be one of the benifits of Krowtann less time good tan. I agree with you in most cases tanning does not cause hair slippage. Pickling can, bacteria can, show boating your buck around town for hours in the back of the truck can, the list could go on. I intetionally was extremely careful not only because it was my first time to use the stuff but the warnings that are posted here and on literature advise you to be. I'm not tring to degrade a product others like, but have concerns, and would highly recommend it instead of lye if you want buckskin. George please give me your opinion of what went wrong. Bill can you see a mistake? What is your schedule of events when you use krowtann? I have enough to do one experimental hide from a doe. She belongs to me. Before I come to a solid conclussion I would like to give Krowtann the benifit of the doubt. Doesn't seem like much of a request after the sugnificant loss. If anyone else wants to stand up to the plate and bat feel free. Bruce Ritell should really share his thoughts on a professional level. I Would love to hear what George has to say he usually pulls the right rabbit out of the hat.


Paul, you probably won't like what I say

This response submitted by George on 1/21/06 at 9:46 AM. ( )

I have to agree with Bill and Frank. Even a straight alum tan doesn't do those things. Alum is an astringent, and a good one and if anything would truly lock the hair in. (My gripe with alum goes way back and those effects only showed up down the road from the initial steps). Slipping is almost 100% caused by improper field care and handling of the animal up to the point where it enters the solution. (I'm hedging that a little because foxes and bobcats are just so bad at slipping you almost have to exclude them). The ONLY thing you did that I'd never do is add that cap of Lysol, but I don't think even that would have led to what you've described. And just to correct one statement, slipping isn't caused by a pickle. If the pH is low enough, that hair is going to lock in very tight. That's why pickling was added as a separate step over the years. Pickling alone (the old "pickle tan") had terrible problems as well. That's why we neutralize and then tan it now at a slightly elevated pH over the pickle.

I just don't have an good scientific explanation to the situation you encountered.

I was wondering

This response submitted by Becky P on 1/21/06 at 10:09 AM. ( )

the same thing George. I use Krowtann for all my in-house tanning (may regret it later), but I have never had problems with it. The only thing I do different from the instructions is I do all my fleshing at the beginning then tan. I do not use Lysol. I don't understand why people still use Lysol when the key ingredient is no longer in it.


This response submitted by Glen Conley on 1/21/06 at 10:15 AM. ( )

there are obviously those that can diagnose a problem from afar and tell you what went wrong where. But I do not have that talent. When someone calls or e-mails me with a problem, and they are looking for an answer, I can usually only come down to two or three factors. Before I can get accuracy, I have to prepare slide specimens. By all means, regard that as a tongue-in-cheek remark.

As an outside observer, I noticed two things in your above post that they alone could well cause you the grief.

Number one is the use of Lysol. I've made a couple of remarks on the use of ammonium chlorides in the past few days alone. I have made micro-photographs available of chemically induced hair slips on Pa chimed in on one of the post and also pointed out that the formulation as it once was no longer exists. That doesn't mean that the ammonium chloride wasn't reactive with acids all along, but probably only that there has been an increase of "pickling" skins in an acid solution. Do yourself a favor. Read bottle labels. Ammonium chloride. If in doubt, leave it out.

Number two. Liquid Tide.
Does anyone have any idea as to what it is? Hell no. Reason being, they never bothered to take a look. What is sad, it only takes minutes with this very technology that just brought us all together.

A Google search using liquid tide msds had the results back before I could blink my eyes.

Relevant copy and paste from the MSDS:
Ingredients/Chemical Name: Biodegradable surfactants (anionic and nonionic) and enzymes.
Hazardous Ingredients as defined by OSHA, 29 CFR 1910.1200

Chemical Name-Ethyl alcohol Common Name-Ethanol
Chemical Name-Sodium borate Common Name-Borax
Chemical Name-2-Aminoethanol Common Name-Ethanolamine

I might focus your attention on the word "enzymes" above. Then I will ask, "What do enzymes do for a living?".

Bear in mind, the above is a proprietary formulation, and they have declared only what the law requires. I was told a couple of years ago that there were over 1,600 different enzymes commercially available at that time.

Ever hear of a Ford or Chevrolet? They've each been around for a few days, name is the same, but the product has changed. Get my point on this thing of trade names?

The chemical industry has been "HOT" for a good number of years now, and on one heck of a roll. R & D money is dumped into that industry EVERY day. Anyone that hits a home run stands to make a bundle.

Along the very lines that I just wrote about above, you might want to check out this information, scroll down towards the end of the article and you will find where it says, "We used a common laundry detergent enzyme called alkaline protease to break down the chrome shavings," Taylor explains. "Our initial product was a low-value gelatin protein that can be used in fertilizer and animal feed."

By the way, I have also done slides of formic acid pickled skin that was then washed in Liquid Tide. Has anyone else done that? Shame if you haven't, that was what I thought to be an amazing eye opener. It is so much easier to work with or around facts than what it is B.S.

If anyone can produce results of original research works that can prove any of my statements wrong, I will be more than happy to make web space available to them, but they will have to be statements that can be proven to be correct.
Glen Conley


This response submitted by Mark on 1/21/06 at 11:18 AM. ( )

Didnt add something else to hold your hides under did you? We saw that happen here and it added to the ph fluctuation.

I am simply no good at Chemistry. yet

Good luck

its a total of 20 minutes

This response submitted by paul bunyan on 1/21/06 at 12:48 PM. ( )

I have been using this product on everything. Sound like you may have over neturalized, taking too much time turning when the cape is wet. A big no- no from my stand point. Water heats up quickly from the body heat of you hand grasping, causing bacteria growth.
Shrinkage should not be a problem if you thin properly, if anything you'll get more that you orginally had when it was green.
heres my run down
rough flesh
rinse with water
Degrease if necessary
mix and add hide to krowtann
4 days later remove rinse with cold water
add 6 oz by volume baking soda to 2 gals of water
put in cape for 20 minutes
pull rinse and wash with tide
hang out for a few hours
Final flesh and thin
then measure for your form If thinned enough you will exceed your orginal neck measuremnet.
hope this helps you
If you have any questions Im sure brian harness will help you out
call him

Paul Bunyan, what am I gonna do with you?

This response submitted by Glen on 1/21/06 at 2:31 PM. ( )

You just made my point on trade names.

TIDE has at least ten different products. Which specific Tide did you use?

time in netralizeing

This response submitted by anthony on 1/21/06 at 4:09 PM. ( )

If you read the post he states he had the cape in the solution 5min then 5min then 20min a total of 30min 10min longer than the dirrections call for doing that in itself will cause the hair to slip . The new directions no longer have the split up amounts of sodium bicarbonate because of people makeing this very same mistake. There was a post on this sort of problem about a week ago.

view from a different paul

This response submitted by paul k on 1/21/06 at 7:36 PM. ( )

I've used krowtan on squirrels and small mammals in the past and even a deer cape. Ill tell you this, used as/directions you will not get slippage. It's worth having a bottle of this stuff around just for those iffy capes. It will lock hair on things im sure that couldn't make it through the salting pickling process. On another note, Uncle George once made the comment concerning the intelligence level of Taxidermist's in general on a post I had made in the past, at which time I took personal, after sitting here in the shadows most of the time and hearing the redundancy of some of the questions and issue's the last couple of yrs. I must admit, I've sided with George.


This response submitted by paul bunyan on 1/21/06 at 9:55 PM. ( )

orignal or cold water have not had no adverse effects with either one.

to the original Paul

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 1/22/06 at 1:19 AM. ( )

Sorry guy...I started reading your post directed to me about your steps, and right away, I saw flaws, for ANY method. Here goes...

Glen will varify that I have had questions concerning what I refer to as a sort of shock slippage in deer. I have seen where deer die of capture myopathy and start slipping by the time it stopped kicking. I mean loosing hair in chunks. Glen has his suspicion, as do I. So, for the sake of this conversation I bring this up as NO SKIN IS SAFE. They dont all do it, but Ive seen it. What I mean is, we cant count that as a constant, rather as a variable.

Next, the second thing you said you did was wash the cape. Big no-no in my opinion. There is absolutely no reason to wash it at that stage. Sorry, but nobody will convince me otherwise. I dont take a shower to go work out (ok, I dont workout either) Im going to get that cape off the animal, split out and rough fleshed as fast as I can, and for me, into salt.

Also, Im not saying this is the key, but I dont use my shaving machine to flesh stuff. I think it heats the skin up, and its faster to just knock the meat and fat as well as that thin membrane off with a big curved knife, real quickly.

So, sorry again, but I feel youve left variables open for the chance of slippage. You can see my point I hope. I personally dont use this product on my deer, but there seems to be many folks out there that do so with good results for them. I think Brian believes strongly enough in his product to be very willing to help you if youll contact him. Paul I hope you work it out and save the money youre looking to. I feel I save my money by salting, pickling and eventually tanning.

One other probably wont see Bruce respond in here on this thread, as its in poor taste professionally. I think anyone with a tanning product or tannery should step aside when talking about possible problems with anothers tanning product. Just my opinion.

Try this . . . . .

This response submitted by PMVRWC on 1/22/06 at 3:02 PM. ( )

take a peice of scrap pickled skin and leave it in your nuetralizer and try to get the hair to slip and see how long it takes . I have done it as a possible alternative to lime in the dehairing proccess to make leather. The hair held tight until I could no longer keep the solution in the shop and even then it was a chore to remove it. After that what I had was a backhalf of pickled deer skin that stunk so bad I never could remove the stench even after vegetable tanning it. Just food for thought about hair slippage. I brought it into the thread because I believe, as has been stated , hair slip is usually a product of what happens before the taxidemist sees the hide. I found the worste animal to be a grey fox , very touchy.

ok Guys

This response submitted by Paul on 1/22/06 at 4:16 PM. ( )

Well I will stand down a bit. I very well could have over nuetralized the skin and the lysol and tide issue could be a concern true. I'm going to use the last batch with the directions posted above on the doe cape I have and see what happens. I have talked with some of the guys who hunted with the guy who took the buck and they tell me this was his first buck. I am betting this deer had quite a roadtrip before arriving at my shop. Could be the main problem! Tanks for the opinions and mine are not as negative now. Brian I believe I will visit with you before tanning the doe. And I do have respect for your product no offense. Thanks again guys.

Paul, thats the key

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 1/22/06 at 11:26 PM. ( )

You know, I say this either in print or at least to myself, every time I see a how to question about krowtann...Why not ask Brian? Paul, youll find Brain approachable, as he wants to make his product useful to others. Ill bet that if you reasonably follow his directions, any trouble with slipping you ever have in the future isnt the fault of the product.

Paul, thats the key

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 1/22/06 at 11:27 PM. ( )

You know, I say this either in print or at least to myself, every time I see a how to question about krowtann...Why not ask Brian? Paul, youll find Brain approachable, as he wants to make his product useful to others. Ill bet that if you reasonably follow his directions, any trouble with slipping you ever have in the future isnt the fault of the product.


This response submitted by Bill Yox on 1/22/06 at 11:28 PM. ( )

Its bad enough I spell Brian as Brain, then I double post it for good measure. Sheesh.

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