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Discussion in 'Beginners' started by theguyyouknowtaxidermy, Apr 10, 2013.
Can I keep re-using my pickle if i monitor it, and maintian the a good ph level?
Many of us just use a fresh batch. A "dirty" pickle contains extraneous material that you can't be sure of. The pH is but one part of a larger process and matching cost versus worth, pickle acid is pretty cheap.
It pickle is cheap compared to customers capes. I have been sending my stuff out, but it is fun to go back to the basics of tanning every now and then when I have nothing else going.
I did a little testing with some of my own capes this year with Ultimate Acid this year. Mixed up a batch, and the pH held steady for 4 days without additions, for the first cape. Brought the pH down and added the second cape. This time it took 2 adds in 5 days. By the time the 3rd cape was done, I had to add more acid than it would have taken to make up a new batch. Back to making a new batch for each cape for me.
I reuse it all the time with no problems. I put about 75 hides in it a year and make a new batch each year. My pickle is about 50gal.
My pH will stay good as long as I don't add a hide to a batch that is all ready in the pickle.
I do wash and degrease all my hides after skinning and be for salting keeping my pickle clean. Then I wash off the salt and put it in the pickle.
Add Alum to your pickle and it will last for years.
WHAT? That's a crop of crap. This is a prime reason to have your hides professionally tanned. NOTHING will make a pickle last "for years" and using a pickle on "75 hides" makes no sense either. A gallon of acid is 128 ounces and with an ounce to a gallon of water you could make one helluva lot of strong pickle baths that wouldn't be contaminated. If $40 a gallon for acid is too expensive to insure quality work, you aren't charging enough to begin with.
If you want to wast time and money, go for it.
Well I'm hardly "wasting time" as a clean, clean, fresh batch would seem to permeate a hide better than a dirty/used one. As for "cost", it doesn't cost me anything. Each customer is paying me for it.
I deal with acid on a daily basis. Not the piddly stuff like Safety Acid, or Ultimate Acid; I don't even use gloves for that stuff. I deal with 2000 gallon tanks of some serious acid. The biggest thing to remember is that there is a difference between "free" acid, and "total" acid. As your free acid drops, your pickle will not work as well. When you are measuring pH, you are measuring total acid. A fresh batch will ensure you have plenty of free acid to do the job well. In my test mentioned above, I not only monitored pH, but have the means to measure total acid. Not only do I think a fresh batch for each hide works better, the results of my test show that it is cheaper in the long run.