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pickle problem need fast help

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by nelsonstaxidermy, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. I mixed the pickle with 5 gallons or water 5 pounds of salt and the right amount of pickling crystals and the ph is around 1 do I need to get it around 2.5 and if so do I just keep adding the crystals?
  2. If you keep adding crystals the pH will drop even further. Add your skins and check pH again.

  3. What makes the ph go up then?
  4. Baking soda. Do not add too much at a time though. Maybe a teaspoon to the 5 gals.
  5. Ok thanks ill try adding a little
  6. duxdown

    duxdown New Member

    Nothing wrong with a ph of 1 i start out that way all the time it will raise to 1.5 to 2 after the cape has been in there for a day or so, well on all my deer capes it does anyway.
  7. x2 a 1 ph is no problem even better than a 2.5
  8. ok thanks guys on a 5 gallon pickle how many deer, or coon can i put in one before i need to make a bigger one?
  9. brigham boy

    brigham boy "if it's horny, mount it"

    I would only do 1 cape @ five gallons. Adding the capes will bring your ph up from 1. I recommend doing larger pickle baths say 20 gallons your ph levels are more stable and you can do more then one at a time.
  10. Mark in IL

    Mark in IL New Member

    My pickle is 30 gallons. I use Saftee Acid and ALWAYS keep the ph at 1. Adding a couple of deer capes to the pickle will cause the ph to rise. Just check it and stir it n the morning when you get up and before you go to bed - add acid if needed to get the ph back to 1. It should stabilize in two - three days. Once my pickle is stabilized I just agitate it once every day. I would also recommend to keep a cover or lid on the pickle - that will help out a lot in keeping it stable also.
  11. i was given a box of the Vandykes pickling crystals so that what i used since they were free for now, is the saftee acid better or does it not matter as long as its mixed right?
  12. Mark in IL

    Mark in IL New Member

    I have no experience with the pickling crystals so I don't really know. Different people on here use different types of acid pickles - some use the crystals, formic acid, sulfuric acid, safetee acid, etc. I guy I know uses the formic acid and really likes it but it can be dangerous to work with and (he says) it will start to curl hair if the ph gets down to 1.
    I started with the Saftee acid and it provided a low ph, it is very safe, it pickles fast, it gives a nice plumped up skin that's easy to shave, and it's incredibly stable once the hides are thoroughly pickled.

    I didn't see any reason to try anything else.
  13. Can't remember the PH as I have not tanned my own hides in years, but the best a I used for the same reasons you stated was hydrochloric acid (very dangerous) but gives a great plump easy to shave, salt was also added with it then the hide had to be neutralized in water and baking soda before shaving. I never had good luck with the way we were taught in school with pickling crystals and those pressure tanners. Plus they said you didn't need to salt the cape 1st? After I learned more and got to work for a really good taxidermist I learned how important the salting process is. Guess the teacher must have relied too much on what the pressure tanner (SALESMAN) was telling him to make his product sound like the best thing since sliced bread.
  14. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Pickling g crystals is just fine. Its been decades since I've used it so I forget the type acid it is. Whoever said formic acid would curl hair is FOS and correct at the same time. It is nearly impossible to get formic acid below 2.0 . I love to get my pickles down to 1.0.
  15. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Six gallons of water to one deer cape will hold pH a lot better than a five gallon will. I always had to tinker with a five gallon bath, six gallons is about right that will hold a good pH that you will not need to chase. To small of a pickle bath is not big enough to do the job.
  16. when i went to school we could handled the capes right out of the pickle with out latex goves and such, i used gloves with the little pickle i made and itturned them yellow is that just beause of the type of acid i used or a maybe a chemical reacted to the latex i didnt want it to turn my hands yellow lol
  17. josh s.

    josh s. Active Member

    Re: Re: Re: pickle problem need fast help

    getting the pickle on you at one time or another is ok i suppose but constantly putting your hands in the pickle is not. Im pretty sure it will start breaking the epidermis on your hands down. Maybe I worded that wrong....but its not a good idea anyway....it may be called safety acid but its still acid.
  18. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!

    Mr. T, and George, touched on two important points, in my opinion.

    As T said, making a larger pickle will eliminate adjustments an the un-wanted rises in pH of a small pickle, and you can also re-use that pickle.

    George also touched on the fact, that every acid had its "bottom limits". George refered to formic.

    The acid in question is probablly oxalic acid. Too toxic for my blood.(no pun intended)

    I am hoping that Cyclone can explain the following 8), because I can not, without alot of reading.

    After an acid "bottoms out" , what happens if you keep adding acid? I used to think that just adding water and salt, would suffice to raise a pickles pH. I learned better.

    Here is my personal experience with "too much acid".

    A Lady using citric acid in her pickles, called me complaining of curling hair on her deer capes. In my personal opinion, curling hair, is caused by too my acid, removing all the natura(protective)l oils from the animals hair. After one failed attempt of solving her problem, I told her to check the pH of her water supply. It was 4.5.

    By adding 3oz of citric acid to "regular" tap water, you will get a pH of 1.5.

    I told her to cut her citric acid from 3oz per gallon, to 1.5oz per gallon, and guess what? Problem solved! The kikker is, the pH was 1.5 with BOTH solutions. Three oz per gallon was 1.5, and 1.5oz was a pH of 1.5!

    The pH was the same, but the ACTUAL acid concentration was changed?????

    Cyclone, hook a Brother up!
  19. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I'm with you OS. CYCLONE WHERE ARE YOU!
    I THINK adding more acid only is effective until you bottom out. At that point the pH will boy change but the CONCENTRATION will. But that's from memory of a 1964 Chemistry class. We need Cyclone.
  20. brigham boy

    brigham boy "if it's horny, mount it"

    Now she is saving money too lol. That's weird