Those of you who are lucky enough to live in California and have access to these oak apples-- well, let's just say, I'm green with envy! Aleppo galls are considered the Rolls Royce of oak galls, but I was delighted and surprised at how well this ink turned out.
This is very black on bleached papers (such as copy papers), but only a medium gray on cotton rag papers (it does darken some on cotton rag paper, but rather slowly). The above was written on Sugarmade (sugarcane/bamboo) paper. It went down pale and darkened to black within a few seconds as it dried. This ink is highly waterproof. It stays black after soaking and does not shift to brown once wet.
California Live Oak Iron Gall Ink
9 parts California Live Oak Apples, crushed (Quercus agrifolia)
2 parts iron sulfate
1 part gum arabic
30 parts distilled water
Several whole cloves
This is the amount of oak apples I had, so these are the ingredient amounts I followed:
192 gr (6.78 ozs.) California Live Oak Apples (Quercus agrifolia)
42 gr (1.48 ozs.) iron sulfate
21 gr (.74 oz.) powdered gum arabic
1892 ml (64 ozs.) distilled water
Several whole cloves
Combine the crushed oak apples and distilled water into a glass jar and allow to ferment 2 months. (If the jar has a metal lid, use a Saran Wrap barrier between it and the ink when you screw it on.)
Strain through a couple of layers of cloth, squeezing every last drop of liquid you can. Cover and bring the liquid to a boil in a non-reactive pot for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add more distilled water if necessary to bring it up to the original amount of distilled water, 64 ounces.
Add the iron sulfate, stirring with a wooden spoon until dissolved. Add the gum arabic and stir well. Add several whole cloves (for a preservative). Let it set overnight in a clean amber glass jar. It’ll take about this long for the gum arabic to totally dissolve.
Stir again. Make a writing sample. It should be a dark gray or black, depending on the paper. Yields approximately a half gallon (1.8 liters) of ink.
Aleppo oak galls (left) and California Live Oak Apples (right)
The crushed oak apples fermenting...
Edited by fiberdrunk, 04 December 2012 - 05:06.