Pickling question

Submitted by Dan R on 8/20/99. ( )

Ive been studing the tanning process and Im getting mixed statements. To be specfic rittel EZ says that pickling is the same reguardless of the tan used (I think). It says to pickle for at least three days then shave and pickle for another 24 hours. In the instructions for Lutan F it says to pickle for 24 hours then shave and put it back in the pickle for 3 hours. That is a BIG difference. So if Im using Lutan F should I pickle for the longer periods of time ? If Im reading these things right I can leave my capes in the pickle for two weeks with no side affects, Right?

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Another question

This response submitted by Dan R on 8/20/99. ( )

I forgot, I've got one more question (for today) Lutan F said to rehydrate the cape with one capful of lysol to 2 gallons of water. Rittel's instruction say to rehydrate with 2 pounds of salt per gallon of water. Very confusing? Dont you guys and gals get too up set with me for asking all these questions. Im just trying to learn and I want to be able to do it right. OKAY?

It never hurts to ask!

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 8/20/99. ( rittel@ici.net )

It never hurts to ask - only if you don't!! You have some good questions. As to how long you soak a cape or skin in the pickle before removing it and shaving it - I ALWAYS recommend 3 days. I want to be sure the cape or skin is thoroughly pickled. When it is, it is usually firm, nice and plump and shaves well. I can also be sure that the hair or fur is set well and can withstand my shaving, degreasing, washing and rinsing. The only time I've had people tell me that they have problems pickling - is when they try to take it out too soon. I dont agree with those that say take it out earlier. Why do I want to risk the chance it has not yet thoroughly accepted the pickling acid? I can usually always depend on the fact that after 3 days - ITS READY! As for putting it back in - after you've shaven the skin, you've shaven away some material like fatty tissue which may have restricted penetration of the acid - so place it back into the pickle for 24 hours to evenly acidify the tissue throughout. 3 hours hardly seems adequate. Using Lutan F, EZ-100 or Alum - the amount of time in the pickle does not influence the tanning agent. All the pickle is, is a temporary preserving solution allowing you to prepare the skin for the tan. After you neutralize the acid - it should have no effect on the tan you use. As to how long to leave skins and capes in the pickle - as long as you keep checking the Ph, you can keep them safely there for 4-6 weeks. Its probably as safe as your freezer. I do it a lot with my own skins. Customers come first - so I throw them in my Saftee Acid pickle, and as I get free time, I'll pull something out, drain and shave it, and then throw it back in until they're all shaven - then I'll neutralize and tan them. This could be over a period over 4-6 weeks, one at a time. I've never had a problem with them. One thing I want to add. Do some skins pickle faster than others? Yes - some are thinner and pickle quickly, some thicker, and take longer! But why be so picky? Accept a general rule that in at least 3 days you can be sure - and you wont have any problems. Keep your tanning system consistent.


This response submitted by Dan R on 8/20/99. ( )

Thanks a bunch for that very informative answer. I really do appreciate all the info I get on this forum and I respect your opinion. I'll definately take it to heart THANKS AGAIN!!!!!

Hey Bruce

This response submitted by Dan R on 8/20/99. ( )

Thanks again for your answer on pickling. How about the rehydration process. Do you use the lysol or only the salt?


This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 8/21/99. ( rittel@ici.net )

I am not a believer in the "amazing" qualities of Lysol. For one thing it has an extremely high Ph of 9.0! And since its safe for humans in their kitchens around food - I find it hard to compare it to a commercial Bacteriacide intended to kill bacteria in the Tannery. I simply think its over used and over rated in our business!!!! And I dont think its as effective as people think! Instead - if I were to recommend a Bacteriacide - I would say buy one thats intended for tanning and the bacteria that we encounter in tanning - not cooking! But to get to your last question - you could either soak your skins in a solution of plain water and a "good" bacteriacide, or use the salt brine method using 2 Lb. of Salt per each 1 gallon of water. The water and bacteriacide bath is faster - but you must be careful not to overdo it or you may have problems with the soft tissue areas. The salt brine may take longer, especially on salted skins, but its safer if some of your skins require a longer soak to soften them up. A salt brine will safely keep skins up to 2 days. Whereas in the Water and Bacteriacide bath you should pull them as soon as they loosen up. Another option is to use a commercial relaxer like our US-609 or BE-639. Both are excellent "wetters" and I'd recommend the US-609 for normal use and the BE-639 if you are working with bloody skins - it is SUPER on removing blood!!!! And relaxing too! You make the choices - I'm only offering you your options.

using lysol and thanks to mr. rittle

This response submitted by shep on 9/18/99. ( )

absolutly forget about using lysol with any rehydration. as bruce said high ph. of 9-10. this will give you problems with slippage and or loose hair. i recently ran into this prblem with some of my customers and their capes. those who used lysol consistantly had slippage prblems. those who used plain water have none i figued this out with the gratly appreciated help of bruce rittle. a nitemare i will never forget. by the way thanks again to bruce. shep

production manager

This response submitted by le thi thu nga on 8/30/01. ( hatchando@hcm.fpt.vn )

I want to make frozen pickled vegetable, please tell me some technique or tips

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