Wednesday, April 25, 2012

SPUDSANOL, a potato developer!

I was making dinner for the boys the other day....
Traditional squarehead dinner, with boiled potatos, just like in the old days.
Most of the time we don't peel our potatos over here, we boil them unpeeled and serve them to be skinned at the table.

If you do it the other way around, save the peels and look at the end of this instalment.....

While standing there preparing food, it struck me: on a certain web-page they had a discussion on a lot of esoteric stuff as developing agents, among those sugar (don't believe that, off-hand......)

Potatos have a lot of stuff in them, mainly starchs, but the skin contains a lot of other stuff, just like fruits and berries (coffee for instance). So what is inside the water used to boil potatos?

Starch no doubt, but maybe other interesting stuff?

I saved the water it was semicloudy andlet is stand until cool.

Then I added 50 gram per litre of soda, disodium carbonate AKA washing soda.
Immediately the color changed, indicating that a chemiocal reaction took place, and micro bubbles covered the surface. I let it stand to subsidice, and measured pH, at pH 10.1
Thge color was now a light brown, totally transparent fluid, no bad smell at all.

I also noted that even if the air bubbles had gone, the surface was still covered by some mysterious stuff. It looked like SOAP. Apparently a reaction with fats or light wax in the solution had taken place, making a light soap (nothing wrong with soap in a developer boys!).

Into this I inserted a strip of fully exposed film, it blackened after 3 - 4 minutes. Developing action confirmed!

Spudswater with soda is a simple and cheap developer.............

I then added 15 gram per litre of ascorbic acid. There was effersescence, the light powder did float on bubbles and dissolved very quickly, AND ONCE MORE THE SOLUTION CHANGED COLOR.
The color was now a light light brown, and transparent.
pH was down from 10,1 to 9,2.

A strip of film inserted was blckened in half the time from the first test, I did this twice to ascertain my find. The strip blackened in 1,5 to 2 minutes.

maybe this could be tweaked a little more, for instance adding 35 gram Sodium sulfite per litre, or maybe a full battery of stuff like Trond does, but I prefer the simple alternative, with stuff that most people can find easily, so my tentative recipe will be:

Boil 6 to 8 potatos in a pot of water, save the potatos for dinner.

Save the water from and make sure the total volume is ca 1 litre.
Add 50 gram per litre of washing soda
add 15 gram per litre of ascorbic acid powder.

A restrainer to combat fog might be necessary, Postassium bromide is as always recommended.

I will test out this tomorrow with a testfilm (have to wait for light conditions tomorrow for the film)

I will start with development times a little less than caffenol, since the clip test indicated a little higher activity than Caffenol, but that might be wrong, time will tell.

So my time will be 12 minutes with Kodak Gold 100 C41 test film, with Ilford FP4 it will be 9 minutes.

Those that follow my blog or have read whats been written here before will note that the general principle here is the same as with my first experiment with LIPTONOL, a thea based developer, and later followed by Trond with BARKANOL :

Chemicals should never be extracted from (formerly) living tissue by Lye or strong organic solvents like alcoholn or Tri, this will most likely decompose the very stuff we're after and minimise activity in the finished mixture.

Use only boiling water, or if possible hot water like thea, and let it stand until cool. That should be plenty enough and has given us success so far.

This principle can be used for tests with a whole range stuff, bark from different trees, leaves, small twigs run in a blender, flowers, grass etc etc....

Now what if you peel your potatos? Save the peels from at least 8 potatos and boil them in ca 1 litre of water, use the water afyter separated from the peels, and use that as above.

Report and pictures to follow in a days time.
Since this is so easy and simple to try, give it a spin yoursel!

The raw mix with soda added, it turns purplish pH ca 10.1
The ascorbic acid added, pH ca 9.2

Clip tests came out ca 2 minutes, it will be interesting to compare this with Caffenol, Liptonol and Barkanol.....
Spudsanol has a certain RING to it, hope it succeeds!

PS I got a phone call, a question :

Do you boil your 'taters with salted water?
No I don't, first because table salt will not or to almost no degree penetrate potato skin so the salt is tossed out with the water = money down the drain. Second because salt would be a nhindrance to any developer, a restrainer where none is wanted, when testing for developing action, a restrainer is to be added only if needed.

First test, film now drying, and I have images.

I developed for 12 minutes with a C41 100 ISO film, against my better judgement, caffenol gets 16 minutes, I should have given it a little longer, like 18 minutes. Box speed thin, -1 extremely thin, depending on lightning (against the light, sidelighted, flat lightning etcetcetc)

Clearly underdeveloped, but we have developing action with water from boiling potatos, soda and ascorbic acid.

However, this does not necessary mean we have superadditivity, this might be a case of just two developing agents, and I would suggest another experiment :

Same water, soda and a little phenidone, maybe the stuff from potatos would work as an opposite to coffe, at this point I don't know..... First test now would be a simpe re-test but with 18 minutes dev. time, I know that would work.....
Posted 3 days ago. (permalink | edit | delete)

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