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Protein saturation of pickle

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by shopkins94, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. shopkins94

    shopkins94 New Member

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    Has anyone experimented with the fact that your pickle could become saturated with protein and no longer remove the protein from the pelts as they sit in the pickle? I did.

    I put a few small pelts into 4 gallons of pickle made from salt and saftee-acid. I let them sit a week. The water turned brown and when I would stir the pickle you could clearly see something stir up in the pickle.

    I then created a new pickle, briefly washed the pelts in tap water and placed them into the pickle. I stired them in, and the pickle looked the same. (i.e. I did not see any residue swooshing around). BTW, the color of the old pickle compared to the new pickle was MANY shades darker.

    I let them sit for 24 hours and then stired them. You could clearly see residue now coming off of the pelts.

    Moral of story, change pickle every few days until it doesn't turn and no residue comes off?
     
  2. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    What did you do to the hides before you put them into the pickle? Did you Flesh? Salt? Re-hydrate? Wash?
     

  3. Laurier

    Laurier Active Member

    was the skins full of blood , old dried blood ?
     
  4. shopkins94

    shopkins94 New Member

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    I did two batches. The first I rehydrated, degreased, and then into pickle. The second batch I rehydrated, and then put into pickle. Both acted (are acting) the same way. What is interesting is that now, the water in one of the buckets is completely clear until I stir it up. Then it goes completely cloudy to the point where you can't see the hides.
     
  5. Uncle Harley

    Uncle Harley New Member

    I change my "pickle" out everytime i mix up a new batch of krowtan ROFLMAO!
     
  6. Uncle Harley

    Uncle Harley New Member

    heck if i have a cape starting to slip before it goes in it will just turn everything and forget about fleshing and put it in a couple days pull and then flesh and mix up a NEW batch to put it in to finish out it's cheap insurance @ less than 5 bucks a batch i don't know why anyone would want to reuse the stuff?
     
  7. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Guess I'm the "tight wad" of the bunch...I'll pickle up to half a dozen ( 1 or two at a time) or so deer capes through the same pickle. Yes, I add acid and salt as needed, but I never see any brown funk...I do see some cloudy near the end of the pickles' lifetime...

    I am very picky about what goes into the pickle, however. I spend a lot of time during the re-hydration process beaming the cape to remove a lot of the untannables. Glycosaminoglycans if you will...I wash with dish detergent and water before going to the pickle..rinse very well. Once in the pickle I stir often and check the pH 3 or 4 times the first day....

    I believe that the most of those untannables can be removed through proper re-hydration.
     
  8. Bruce_Rittel

    Bruce_Rittel Consultant Services

    I have to agree with Laurier - it sounds like leftover blood is causing your problems - not normal protein saturation. Blood is protein, but having soaked skin samples in a Saftee Acid pickle for up to 12-14 months - it still remains clear.
     
  9. shopkins94

    shopkins94 New Member

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    Tried this with different types of animals. One bucket has red & grey fox, rabbit, muskrat. Second bucket has skunk, nutria, and possum.

    I can take some pictures of beofre and after stir.
     
  10. Bruce_Rittel

    Bruce_Rittel Consultant Services

    Somethings wrong in what you're doing if it keeps happening to you! Sorry - 12-14 months - and mine are still clear. I'm still waiting to use them on the next test product I recieve. No Browning!
     
  11. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    What kind of acid? salt? What type of container? Covered or open air?
     
  12. shopkins94

    shopkins94 New Member

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    I see it with both saftee-acid and pickling crystals. I've always seen it happen, but this time I paid attention to it and change the pickle and post about it. I've used table salt, both with and with out iodine. The container is a 5 gallon pail. The same type paint or drywall mud would come in (never had paint though or mud though, it was new). It is open air.

    I can't see how the water would remain clear if the pickle is removing protein from the pelts. Basically the pelt is liquidfying and going into solution. The pelt is not transparent so it would have to cloud the water. Bruce, are you sure that protein is being removed from your pelts? =)
     
  13. shopkins94

    shopkins94 New Member

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    Oldshaver thanks for the kind words above. I try to be very fact based. From what I have seen in tanning, there is a lot of, "It's done this way because... Well... Because it's always been done that way!" I'm not saying that is wrong, or any recipe is wrong, but if something is done one way, I ask can it be done a better way? I'm on the ultimate quest to be able to beat a tannery in making soft leather. I think it can be done. I think though that home tan recipes are so wide in their range and instructions that just like making a perfect cake, you can't say add between 4 and 8 cups of flour you must be exact.
     
  14. shopkins94

    shopkins94 New Member

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    Here's pictures. The first is the pickle sitting there over night. The second is right after stiring. This is after changing the pickle once.
     
  15. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Once neutralized, are you getting a soapy like or greasy ring in the bucket?


    http://www.ch.ic.ac.uk/rzepa/mim/domestic/html/stearic_acid.htm
     
  16. shopkins94

    shopkins94 New Member

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    I will check when I neutralize. I have some stearic acid so I will see if I can compare them.
     
  17. Bruce_Rittel

    Bruce_Rittel Consultant Services

    If you are refferring to the collagen of the skin - I hope I'm not removing it. Otherwise my finished skins will be weak and tear like paper. In my case, I've never had that happen. Why would I want to do that? A Pickle is a temporary preservative allowing the Taxidermist to shave and degrease the piece prior to tanning it. Why do you want to remove protein from it, or weaken the bonds?
     
  18. shopkins94

    shopkins94 New Member

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    I'm just teasing bruce. I'm just trying to get to the bottom of pickling. It either does something or it doesn't, What I see in my pickles is that stuff comes off the pelt into solution. As some point that solution is maxed out. Changing the solution gets more stuff out. The question is now, does it matter or not? If it's just a temporary preserative it's easier just to toss in some rittels bactericide in some water and forget about the pickle.
     
  19. Dang, OS. Did you take your blood pressure pill this morning?
     
  20. Monte

    Monte Missouri fur-Limited hair-tanning

    our pickles are always going to be cloudy and brown. They don't sit still without agitation long enough to clearify. The fresh pickle will start to get cloudy within an hour.
    The pickle acidifies the pelts to positive charge the collegen. Most, if not all tanning products offered to taxidermist through suppliers require a positive charge for the tanning agent to be attracted to the hide matter. Once the tanning agent is there it is neutralized to the manufactures reccomended pH range. This fixes the tan