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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Qualls

    BTW, you can extract tannins from oak bark, too, just as from the leaves. There are manys streams in the northeastern United States that look like tea as they flow in their beds, due to tannins picked up from oak roots and leaves. I'm guessing those aren't popular to drink from...

    Donald;

    I don't like the idea of extracting tannins from oak bark as it can be more destructive to the living tree. Using leaves or acorns is much better, and in the case of acorns can yield a tasty food.

    Just watch out for acorns with holes. They have worms.

    PE

  2. #12
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    I do agree with not removing the bark, though if I find a felled tree, it's not too bad to take the bark

    I do have a few gallon freezer bags full of acorns from about a year ago when they were collected (who knows why), so perhaps those will be useful.

    Someone mentioned fermenting the oak galls ... how is this accomplished? And I'm assuming that acorns could be used instead / as well?
    Last edited by htmlguru4242; 02-15-2006 at 02:44 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by htmlguru4242
    Someone mentioned fermenting the oak galls ... how is this accomplished? And I'm assuming that acorns could be used instead / as well?
    I think that was me. I'm not sure acorns would be a suitable substitute for galls. They are not the same.

    Galls are irregular plant growths which are stimulated by the reaction between plant hormones and powerful growth regulating chemicals produced by some insects or mites. Galls may occur on leaves, bark, flowers, buds, acorns, or roots. Leaf and twig galls are most noticeable. The inhabitant gains its nutrients from the inner gall tissue. From: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Entomology/ent...rees/ef408.htm

    My understanding is that any plant material will release tannins as the material decomposes, but there are some things, like the galls, that are higher in tannins and that's why those sources were preferable.

    As to the definition of inexpensive, I go by the motto, "Time is Money". If it takes me a lot of time to accomplish something that I could have just gone out and bought, then I see that as a possible bad use of my time. And the money it took to use that time...

    But I too remember those days in college, like when we tried to make rocket engines from a couple pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and suger, or the time we made SCUBA diving weights from a gallon bucket full of wheel-balancing weights. (I actually still use the diving weights for things like keeping the Xmas tree from falling over, or light stands. I think I've almost recovered the time expense from that project after 20 years.)

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by htmlguru4242
    how is this accomplished?
    Oh yeah - I almost forgot. I think you simply soak the galls in water and cover them and then let them sit. They will start to mold eventually. I suspect the mold helps to break down the lignin in the woody material and release the tannins.

  5. #15

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    If you can find a copy of "The Silver Sunbeam" by J. Towler 1864 (it was reprinted in 1969 by Morgan and Morgan) there are complete directions for making Tannic Acid from oak galls using ether. You can also make gallic acid from decomposed and moldy nut galls, but his takes about 3 months for everything to get good and moldy. The gallic acid can then be made into pyrogallol by heating it in oil This evidently was the best method in the 1860's and was widely used. I suppose I could copy the instructions if anyone is interested. This book is a very interesting look at the state of the art of photography in it's early years. Boy, do we have it easy!

    Richard Wasserman

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by disfromage
    If you can find a copy of "The Silver Sunbeam" by J. Towler 1864
    THAT'S IT! The book I mentioned earlier. No need to scan it, it has already been done. See: http://albumen.stanford.edu/library/monographs/sunbeam/

  7. #17
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    Oak leaf galls are little balls or bubble like structures, usually found at the base of the leaf where it joins the stem. It is caused by an 'infecton' of the leaf stem. If you squeeze them, they pop. They usually appear to be empty, but there are small 'thingies' living in them.

    PE

  8. #18
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    OHH - that's where that is; I knew that there was some old photo manual out there, but not what or where. That is good to know; their idea about using ether for tannin extraction sounds good.

    Now just to find the ether - I'm imagining that that won't be a hardware store find ... does anybody here in the US know of where to get ether other than a chem. supplier?

  9. #19
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    Be very careful. I have been involved in more than one explosion with ether. It is very flammable and dangerous. If it is kept on the shelf too long, it forms peroxides which can explode just by moving the container.

    The vapor travels for dozens of feet remaining flammable and liable to explosion and that is what caught me unaware. I was carrying a beaker of ether past a hotplate (about 5 ft away in a hood) and the draft from the hood drew the ether vapor across the surface of the hotplate igniting it and causing an explosion. Friends told me I was surrounded by a blue flash of light like an aura, and I lost a lot of hair including eyebrows. From my standpoint it looked like a flashbulb had gone off and I felt a burning sensation over all of my exposed skin. I was lucky!

    PE

  10. #20
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    Ah, i realized that tehre were dangers, but I didn't realize that much. These experiments will probably be conducted out of doors, so I have the ultimate ventilation ...

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