My pickle solution turned to gel!

Hi all, I am a beginner metalsmith and have a small workshop here in
my home. Something happened the other day that has had me wondering.
For some reason the pickle solution I am using turned into a gel
like substance. I cleaned it out today and it had dried up into
crystals. I have heard of metals being discolored if you put in iron
or steel objects. But I have never heard of this. Anyone have any
ideas what could cause this? The only thing out of the ordinary to
happen was that my wife dipped a small brush into the solution, the
brush has a small tin “collar” around the bristles. Could that have
caused this?

Just would like to know in order to avoid this in the future.