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Thread: Pickling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    18

    Default Pickling

    Hi All,
    I have just tried my hand at pickling for the first time and managed to get myself into a bit of a pickle with it (arf arf), so need a bit of a hand getting straight ...

    I'm using "Vitex" Safety Pickle Salts from Cooksons. They came with two pages of safety instructions, but the only instructions on how actually to use the things was on the sticker on the side of the pot where it said "Use 50 grams per litre at 30-80C". I carefully weighed out 50 grams and put it in a (previously washed and cleaned with bicarb) 1 litre plastic bottle which I then filled to the top with warm water.

    I used a quite old small electric slow cooker (never used for food) which was a sort of metal tin that rests over a sort of hotplate affair. It just had a little dial, with 0 - 5 on the front. I had no idea how to get it to 30 - 80 C so I whacked it at 3 and hoped for the best.

    I put my pieces in (using copper tweezers as I gather steel tweezers can make it all go pink) and let it bubble away there for an hour. When I took it out however, all my bits had gone sort of a dull red tarnished colour. I subsequently barrelled them for 4 hours, but they're still dull redsville USA.

    My questions are :
    1. What have I done wrong?
    2. Having gone wrong can it be fixed or are these pieces lost to me now?
    3. Should a pickle be at a hot enough temperature to bubble or is that too hot? I have no real concept of how hot 30-80C is.
    4. How long should I leave items in the pickle?

    All advice gratefully received.


    PS Am loving this forum .... where would I be without you guys??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    108

    Default

    hi I think the broblem might be the metal tin Try finding a slowcooker with ciramic pot thats what I use

  3. #3
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    Jul 2009
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    Milton Keynes and London
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    Default

    If the pickle is directly in the metal container then that is your problem, you need glass or ceramic (ie non reactive). sounds like your piece has been plated, similar to if you had put steel in there!
    to get it off, not sure, acid or a alot of sandpapering I'd imagine!
    E

  4. #4
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    Jul 2009
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    Default

    Ps bubbling too hot- that means it is boiling...ie 100 degrees. Won't hurt the piece, but fumes probably not very nice lol!
    colder won't hurt, just works much slower! exact temp not too important. I use cheap slow cooker from argos (ceramic insert). fill with boiling water for kettle if in a hurry! then put it on 2 (it has one two and auto lol!), works great.
    Em

  5. #5
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    Jul 2009
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    Default

    oh- that is with lid on too! slows evaporation, keeps heat on. lid is glass
    E

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    278

    Default

    could be pickle contamination ??? The easiest way to sort this problem out is to make fresh pickle, and then anneal your piece followed by a good pickling i use a cheap slow cooker on the lowest setting not sure boiling it is a good idea

  7. #7
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    Jul 2009
    Location
    Romsey
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    Default

    Sounds like plating from the description of your pot.

    Check this - http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/nena...ling-notes.htm
    The last paragraph suggests 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and pickle to remove copper flashing. Bog standard 3% or so is plenty.

    Another vote for the Argos cheap slow cooker.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Market Deeping
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    Default

    And if you but a cheap crock pot with a glass and metal lid, make sure that you either elephant tape the metal or remove it from the lid (or it can eventually corrode and drop bits of metal into your nice clean solution)
    Nic x
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  9. #9
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    Default

    oh Nic, never thought of that! thanks! (though it hasn't happened yet!!)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    East Sussex
    Posts
    61

    Default Slow cooker

    I buy my slow cookers from car boot sales the best ones are white and only use the warm setting. Always have a window open when its on.
    Paula

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