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How to mix dry ice and alcohol freeze brand

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:57 am
by JackAngus
How do I mix dry ice and alcohol for a freeze brand? And how much do I need? 8 calves total. Have some weaned calves I want to freeze brand. First time thanks.

Re: How to mix dry ice and alcohol freeze brand

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:03 pm
by OzssieDave19
Enough ice to cover the brands and then enough alcohol to cover the ice. Good luck.

Re: How to mix dry ice and alcohol freeze brand

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:06 pm
by JackAngus
Would liquid nitrogen make it easier ?

Re: How to mix dry ice and alcohol freeze brand

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:11 pm
by Named'em Tamed'em
JackAngus wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:06 pm
Would liquid nitrogen make it easier ?
Yes, when it quits bubbling its cold.

Or get the purest alcohol from like a paint store. :2cents:

Re: How to mix dry ice and alcohol freeze brand

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:13 pm
by bse
Liquid nitrogen is alot colder, you dont hold the brand on as long, think it evaporates quicker without a little different se up. I get along fine with methanol and dry ice

Re: How to mix dry ice and alcohol freeze brand

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:23 pm
by wbvs58
Have the alcohol about 2" over the brands and add the dry ice so there is plenty floating around and keep adding as needed as it disappears quickly until it pulls the temp down and then stabilises. It is ready when there is heavy frost forming on handles above the liquid, usually about 10 minutes, I buy 5kg to do about 20.

I find dry ice gives much more consistent results than liquid /nitrogen.

Ken

Re: How to mix dry ice and alcohol freeze brand

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:46 pm
by Fire Sweep Ranch
We use 99% alcohol, one gallon, and about 8 pounds of dry ice. Something we learned earlier this year, have a deep container. We have always used an old, Styrofoam fishing cooler. We tried a smaller one, and still made sure the brand was covered by several inches of the cold liquid. The brands on that group of cattle are very poor, barely show up with white hair. I think the volume of liquid in the container is important. We went back to the old larger Styrofoam one and the brands are coming in nicely on that group. The solution lasts for awhile, we did 15 head and still had lots of dry ice left in the liquid.
Something else that helps, spray the hide with the alcohol (we put it in a sprayer) before putting the brand on the skin, and then spritz the brand/hide a few times while the brand is held to the hide, to keep it wet. It seems to help a bunch.

Re: How to mix dry ice and alcohol freeze brand

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:51 pm
by JackAngus
So do most agree alcohol and dry ice make a better brand ?

Re: How to mix dry ice and alcohol freeze brand

Posted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:29 pm
by Angus Rocks
We used to use the purest form of alcohol we could get and then this year a friend said they just use gas out of the pump so that is what we did and had the best brands we have ever had. Use plenty of dry ice if that is what you are using.

Re: How to mix dry ice and alcohol freeze brand

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:54 pm
by Stickney94
For 8 calves -- I'd recommend 10 lbs of dry ice. That is more than enough, but just in case you run into issues you will have some more available. If you have to buy the dry ice say the day or evening before I'd suggest getting 2x that amount.

Some grocery stores sell dry ice (often in 5 or 10 lb packages). If you have a small local grocer they may give you dry ice that comes in on their supply trucks. Ice companies also usually sell dry ice.

I've had to resort to denatured alcohol as that is the easiest alcohol to source.

As mentioned an old styrofoam cooler works well. Be careful, plastic "coleman" coolers can have the plastic crack. A five buck styrofoam cooler is the way to go.

Place irons in cooler cover with alcohol (I like the 2" suggestion) and add dry ice CAREFULLY! 10 minutes of cooling is probably a good tip for getting the irons to temp.

Shave the brand area with a clipper. Apply a layer of alcohol (this alcohol can be ambient temp). We use an old dish soap dispenser.

Place brand on animal. Set clock to 60-70 seconds. The animal will jump at about 10-15 seconds so be ready. We put a fair amount of pressure on the iron to both hold in place and to get good hide contact.

My biggest tip is to take your time shaving the brand area and get it closely shaved with your clipper.

The next day the brand won't be really noticeable. After about 3 weeks the brand area will start to scab over. At 2 months you should have a readable brand (those are rough estimates).

Re: How to mix dry ice and alcohol freeze brand

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:54 pm
by jschoolcraft86
Here are some of the things that have helped me:

1.) make sure to wait to pull the brand out of the ice/alcohol or nitrogen until I see some ice creeping up the handle on the brand. This has always been a good indicator for me.

2.) be liberal with your application of alcohol while holding the brand on. I keep a spray bottle on hand and spray the edges of the brand while I'm holding it in place. I think this has had the biggest impact on the sharpness of the brand lines.

3.) Don't hold it for too long. I go for 60 seconds (with dry ice/alchol, I would do ~45 seconds with liquid nitrogen) and that has been fine, even in south texas heat

4.) As mentioned above, get all the hair shaved off of the area that you can and then brush it off so you have a clean canvas for your artwork.

5.) Don't worry too much if the animal starts moving around and you have to reposition your brand. I have only had one brand come out a little wonky (looks like two of the same brand slightly offset) and I just told people if you put on some of those 3D glasses the brand will pop out at you. ;P

I prefer the dry ice to the liquid nitrogen, but I am also more accustomed to using the dry ice. I do believe it makes cleaner brand lines, but that may be related to my skill level/experience when using each.

Re: How to mix dry ice and alcohol freeze brand

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:34 am
by Nesikep
I've toyed with the idea of freeze branding.. but neither liquid nitrogen nor dry ice are readily available here.
Anyone ever use liquid propane? (-45F).. not nearly as cold as dry ice.. probably wouldn't work well

Re: How to mix dry ice and alcohol freeze brand

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:15 am
by wbvs58
Nesi, you can make dry ice yourself, just get a Co2 cylinder and hose and release it into a canvas bag. My neighbour did it this to brand this year. I have no experience with it but google it for details.

Ken

Re: How to mix dry ice and alcohol freeze brand

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:54 am
by Till-Hill
wbvs58 wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:23 pm
Have the alcohol about 2" over the brands and add the dry ice so there is plenty floating around and keep adding as needed as it disappears quickly until it pulls the temp down and then stabilises. It is ready when there is heavy frost forming on handles above the liquid, usually about 10 minutes, I buy 5kg to do about 20.

I find dry ice gives much more consistent results than liquid /nitrogen.

Ken
I'll 2nd dry ice, hired a pro guy to do our heifers one year. He used LN and well they looked nice for awhile and the next summer couldn't see them. Buddy mine now comes as does our and uses dry ice. Everyone is darn near perfect.

Re: How to mix dry ice and alcohol freeze brand

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:52 pm
by gizmom
We use dry ice have tried both LN and dry ice but feel more comfortable with dry ice. We tried to reused the alcohol one year and that was an epic FAIL.

Gizmom