4 pomegranate peels, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
2 quarts distilled water
2 ounces iron sulfate
1 oz. gum arabic
6-10 whole cloves
If you want to make other quantities, use the following chart:
1. Mix together the peels and distilled water in a sterile glass jar. Put on the lid and keep it on. Allow it to ferment and mold in a warm room for 2 months. The mold will transform the tannic acid in the pomegranate peel to gallic acid, for a richer ink.
2. Strain through several layers of cloth. Boil the remaining liquid for 10 minutes in a non-reactive pot to kill the biological activity (this is stinky, so I recommend ventilating the room) – reduce it down by half, to approximately 4 cups of liquid (or, if you boil too long, add more distilled water to bring it up to 4 cups). Allow to cool
3. Add the iron sulfate and stir well (I use a wooden spoon for this). Then add the gum arabic.
It turns instantly black! (The white glue-like blobs are gum arabic... these take a while to dissolve-- even overnight.)Boiling to kill the ink beasties:
4. Stir again until well dissolved. Bottle in sterile (preferably amber) jars. Add the whole cloves as a preservative. Yields approximately 32 ounces of iron gall ink. This ink does not need to age a few days to become dark. It is dark as soon as it is mixed up fresh (however, you may notice it darkening a little more as it ages).
5. Make a writing sample (you should have a dark gray or light black ink-- it will look darker with a dip pen. The sample below was written with a metal dip pen):