D76, mixing chemicals
Old 08-21-2014   #1
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D76, mixing chemicals

I have gathered all ingredients to make some D76. It is not that I really need to use developer made by me, but I would like to try at least once all by myself.
Looking at the recipe it reads that the water in which metol, sodium sulfite and the borax should be mixed in (D76H), should be at 52 degC. How important that temperature is? Should I be dead accurate on this?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 08-22-2014   #2
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If you have a thermometer it's not hard - just mix warmer and cooler water to the required temp and tip off any excess. You get pretty close just averaging: 1/2 at 90 degrees and 1/2 at 15 degrees.

The temp is the same as required for Kodak D-76.
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Old 08-22-2014   #3
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Within a tenth of a degree

No!! It's a "cooking" temperature within 5 degrees, cooler better, more oxidation if hotter.
Dissolve a pinch of sulphite to the water BEFORE adding the metol, helps prevent oxidation of the metol. Metol can be a bit lumpy, a few stubborn bits, just crush them. Sulphite can be slow to go but a minute or two should do it.
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Old 08-22-2014   #4
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If it gets a lot cooler, say 40 degrees, will there be any serious trouble?

It goes like warm water + a bit of sulphite + metol + sulphite + borax + water till 1 lt. Am I correct?
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Old 08-22-2014   #5
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A thermometer is required.
The tips given are all good.
I preferred Ilford ID-11 as it was always cleaner and purer.
It is the same developer.
Kodak always needed filtering...
Hopefully that has changed.
A great standard developer.
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Old 08-22-2014   #6
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About filtering, do you mean that there will be precipitate after mixing that will have to be removed?
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Old 08-22-2014   #7
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In my usage there was always dust, lint, hairs and gunk.
This is about Kodak D-76, not Ilford.
I used coffee filters if i had no chemical filters.
Let solution stand awhile, before filtering.
One tip i learn't from my Lady, to get a reasonable "ph" level.
let water stand in a jar a day or two..
Better than boiling or buying distilled water(which is better).
I prefer one time use.
So I now use HC-110.
D-76 is the standard.
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Old 08-22-2014   #8
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Tell me how this goes, I'm interested for similar reasons - just to say that you'd done it.
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Old 08-22-2014   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leicapixie View Post
In my usage there was always dust, lint, hairs and gunk.
This is about Kodak D-76, not Ilford.
Quote:
Originally Posted by leicapixie View Post
Kodak always needed filtering...
Hopefully that has changed.
A great standard developer.
I think Leiecapixie is referring to the ready mixed powder from Kodak and Ilford/Harmann NOT mixing from raw chemicals.

The Kodak "kit" has extra ingredients for storage (dry) stability, anti-caking, and water "softeners" so it is compatible with a range of domestic supplies.
You will get "stuff" if you mix or store in a "dirty" container. Dirty is relative, rinse out first, "stuff" falls in from the air.
In a perfect world use purified or de-ionised water for home brew, I have but not always and would not be able to tell you from results which was which.
Richard Henry in a classic book:
http://www.amazon.com/Controls-Black.../dp/0240517881
Tested water deliberately contaminated and found a high tolerance within normal tap water limits. He also did other work debunking many myths around processing. Not all his work is perfect he was a little obsessed with roller processing which makes his results questionable in some areas to small tank agitation, edge effects etc.

Final tip, leave the fresh mix at least overnight before using it, D76 is notorious for being overactive when freshly prepared. Also don't keep it too long as again overtime the pH changes and the mixture changes to become more potent.
Don' worry, despite all these ifs and buts the vast majority have no issues with D76.
While you have the chemicals you have you may want to look at making D23 (simplest ever only two ingredients) I have used extensively particularly divided and with a few more simple ingredients TD-201 a D23 derivative from Anchell & Troop optimised for T-grain type film used as a two bath, see my Flickr link below & book link:
http://www.amazon.com/Film-Developin...anchell+trooop
Once you start mixing your own you will not look back.
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Old 08-22-2014   #10
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i can not relate to troublesome stories about mixing d76.
Easy as it gets and always great results. My favourite developer by far.
I use the small packages for 1L for convenience though.
I take 800ml hot water directly from the tap and fill it up with 200 ml cold water when the developer dissolved. I let it stand overnight before using it, also to get it.s temperature back to ca 20 C.
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Old 08-23-2014   #11
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[quote=ChrisLivsey;2382070]I think Leiecapixie is referring to the ready mixed powder from Kodak and Ilford/Harmann NOT mixing from raw chemicals.

My mixing containers were clean.
The Kodak D-76 Kit was Filthy.
I finally gave up and moved 1st to Original Agfa Rodinal, for almost 40 years.
I now use HC-110.
If one has the raw chemicals, make D-23.*
It's real easy.
Make it a two bath system. A + B.
The B can be done two ways..
Google it, i don't have my original notes..
They are stored a continent away!
Bill Pierce gave some ideas of easy developers aeons ago..
Sod.Sulphite ? in Rodinal, paper developers and D-23/2 bath.
I think Ansel Adams also gave details in "The Negative".
Personally I think ID-11 or D-76 are real easy and work good.

Last edited by leicapixie : 08-23-2014 at 01:57. Reason: spell error 78=76
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Old 08-23-2014   #12
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[quote]i can not relate to troublesome stories about mixing d76.
Easy as it gets and always great results. My favourite developer by far.
I use the small packages for 1L for convenience though.
I take 800ml hot water directly from the tap and fill it up with 200 ml cold water when the developer dissolved. I let it stand overnight before using it, also to get it.s temperature back to ca 20 C.


I agree with J Borger. I have no problem making up D76.
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Old 08-23-2014   #13
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Quote:
If it gets a lot cooler, say 40 degrees, will there be any serious trouble?

It goes like warm water + a bit of sulphite + metol + sulphite + borax + water till 1 lt. Am I correct?
Avoid a temperature over 55C but under 35C it will be much more difficult to dissolve. If you have clean chemicals and destilled water you should not need any filtering. In this receipt there is no EDTA or Fotoplex or other additives which are needed when using tap water so it is necessary to use destilled water.

The procedure is further correct and simple.
In any commercial of self made developer you can filter with a coffee filter when for some reason dirt of perticipate is still in your stock solution after 12 hours when making it.
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Old 08-23-2014   #14
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I've mixed from chemicals for years. It's easy, and much cheaper. Buy a couple of bottles of raw chemicals, and you're not only set for life, but you never have to worry about running low. You can mix your own "dektol" too, with a couple of extra chemicals--potassium bromide, which is an anti-base-fog chemical not needed for film, and Arm & Hammer washing soda from the grocery store. It wasn't necessary to buy that borax you probably bought--washing maching borax is fine.

For years I used a cooking spoon set for quantities, a method outlined in one of the 70s photo magazines, but when digital scales became cheap and easy to get, switched. For measuring the smaller quantity chemicals, take a post-it note and fold the edges up to make a tiny tray.

Temperature is not critical for mixing, but the chemicals dissolve faster in warm water. I usually use water that I'd be comfortable taking a shower in, and dissolve the chemicals in about 1/3 the final amount (1/3L, for instance), then after everything's dissolved I add cold water to get to a temp that is appropriate for processing, if I need it immediately. That usually means adding all cold water, then, having still some space short of 1L and the temp still too high, I add a couple of ice cubes to cool it down the rest of the way.

You are supposed to start with the metol/elon, which will be the most difficult to dissolve, and harder if other chems are present. Traditionally, one threw in just a little of the sodium sulfite first ("a pinch", they say) to prevent the metol from oxidizing, but that's not totally necessary. Anyway, metol in, dissolve it as fully as possible, then throw in the rest and mix well. I use a big plastic serving spoon for stirring.

Some of the sulfite may not dissolve right away and sit on the bottom. Don't worry about it--it will eventually. I never filtered, and I always have used it right away, even with some undissolved sulfite, and never had any problems. D76 is one of the best, simplest, most foolproof developers there is. You can use it straight, 1:1 as a disposable, or replenished. For years I used it 1:1, but in recent years I'm developing 4x5 and 5x7 in big tanks, so I'm replenishing. The replenisher is easy to mix, too.

The metol will eventually start to turn brown in the bottle. Don't worry about it. I'm currently using a batch that's over 25 years old that looks tea-stained, and it works fine.

When you get tired of D76, you already have the chemicals now to make D23 and split D23, both of which are incredibly simple.

Be aware that home made D76 gets a bit "hotter" (more contrast and density) after a month or so, then calms back down. If you know this, you won't be surprised and can compensate when you see it. The pre-made stuff has buffers added to prevent this.
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Old 08-24-2014   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikos72 View Post
I have gathered all ingredients to make some D76. It is not that I really need to use developer made by me, but I would like to try at least once all by myself.
Looking at the recipe it reads that the water in which metol, sodium sulfite and the borax should be mixed in (D76H), should be at 52 degC. How important that temperature is? Should I be dead accurate on this?

Thank you in advance.
Thinking of doing the same, may I inquire as to where and how you got the chemicals needed?
Thanks,
CLC
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Old 08-24-2014   #16
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Found metol through ebay. It is not cheap though. Paid 20 euros for 100grams.
The rest, Sodium Sulfite, Borax and Sodium Sulfite, I have bought them locally.
Borax has been the cheapest (2 euros for 2.5 kilos, what can I do with the rest of it :-) ).
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Old 08-24-2014   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikos72 View Post
Found metol through ebay. It is not cheap though. Paid 20 euros for 100grams.
The rest, Sodium Sulfite, Borax and Sodium Sulfite, I have bought them locally.
Borax has been the cheapest (2 euros for 2.5 kilos, what can I do with the rest of it :-) ).
Thanks,
CLC
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Old 08-24-2014   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikos72 View Post
Found metol through ebay. It is not cheap though. Paid 20 euros for 100grams.
The rest, Sodium Sulfite, Borax and Sodium Sulfite, I have bought them locally.
Borax has been the cheapest (2 euros for 2.5 kilos, what can I do with the rest of it :-) ).
Wash clothes in the extra Borax.

Again, add a pinch of the sodium sulphite first, or the Metol wil oxidize.
Other than that, filter if there is a precipitate (which I have gotten frequently).

I let mine stand overnight, then filter.
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Old 09-03-2014   #19
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We have well water here. I can see it oxidize certain solutions, so I always use the "distilled" water from the grocery store when making my stock solutions. Some plastic bottles aren't really dyed but coated and those will react with some chemicals like borax. With these precautions homebrew D-76 is great. Some say it is better than the pre-mixed formula. I always throw any left over stock after a month. I always got too high contrast when I didn't.
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Old 09-04-2014   #20
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I have tried with distilled and filtered Chicago tap water. Really large grain results with distilled. A friend has had the same experience.

Start at 125 deg F. The mixing reaction is exothermic and solution temp stays up by itself.

The amount of sulphite to start is what sticks between a thumb and finger, no more as excess will keep metal from dissolving.

After mixing, lay some food wrap over the vessel to stop oxidation as it cools. Allow to touch surface. After 2 to 4 hours, decant to small one time use bottles, glass if you can. It is perfect for 6 months if well sealed after which a slow deterioration starts. Do not use any for first 24 hours as it needs to age.

Never leave a partial bottle more than 4 to 8 hours. It become very active , then dies fast. Rates seem unpredictable. This is why I say cool, then one time use bottles.
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Old 09-04-2014   #21
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Are you talking about partially filled bottles with stock solution that last only 4-8 hours? is there a way to make it last longer? How about the D76H that lacks hydroquinone? has anybody tried it?
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Old 09-04-2014   #22
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D76H (Grant Haist) is a more stable version of D76 when you mix yourself.
When mixing yourself I would go this way and I would not make any large stock to keep over months but I would make the choice just mix what you need in a couple of weeks.

The problem of the Hydroquinone is that during the storage over more months the pH can rise and it will activate the Hydroquinone around pH of 9 and on that point D76 will creates a higher contrast.

So the solution of DIY is simple: Delete the Hydroquinone and go for the D76H version and as told just make the mix you need for a few weeks. Another advantage to delete the Hydroquinone is for environmental reasons. The material is already on the Black list of the EU.
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Old 09-04-2014   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clcolucci58 View Post
Thinking of doing the same, may I inquire as to where and how you got the chemicals needed?
Thanks,
CLC
Here you go!

http://www.artcraftchemicals.com/products/

http://stores.photoformulary.com/
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Old 09-04-2014   #24
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For Europe:

http://moersch-photochemie.de/moersc...ine%202014.pdf
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Old 09-04-2014   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikos72 View Post
Are you talking about partially filled bottles with stock solution that last only 4-8 hours? is there a way to make it last longer? How about the D76H that lacks hydroquinone? has anybody tried it?
No for plain D76. H may have different properties. I found out one time when I developed a roll of Tmax100 and it was perfect. I was given a roll by a wedding photog a week later and it was under developed 1/2 grade. I am very precise.

As far a age goes, I did an experiment with a studio set up and electronic flash. I developed a partial roll once a week for 8 weeks, then one every two weeks for 2 months, then once a month. Up to six months , all was perfect. Then a slow deterioration set in.

If H is missing hydroquinone, that makes it like D23 or Leica divided which I used to use. It was more forgiving.

You need to run your own tests with a reproducible subject and the same film emulsion. Either print or use a densitometer or project with enlarger and use an enlarging meter. Be precise, change nothing from one test to another.

Rodinal lasts 10 years. Did the very same test except yearly at the end . Low contrst startes to show around 10/12 years.

Get it out of the plastic bottle.
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Old 10-04-2014   #26
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I have mixed my own D-76 finally and a strange thing has happened. I have started by using warm water 50-60 degC and mixing the ingredients at the given order:
1g of Sodium Sulfite, 2g Metol, 99g Sodium Sulfite, 5g Hydroqionone, 2g Borax.
Everything has gone well with the solution just being clear. While I had it to cool down in a brown bottle, some precipitate had formed. What is that? Is my solution a fully capable D-76? Did I do something wrong?
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Old 10-04-2014   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikos72 View Post
I have mixed my own D-76 finally and a strange thing has happened. I have started by using warm water 50-60 degC and mixing the ingredients at the given order:
1g of Sodium Sulfite, 2g Metol, 99g Sodium Sulfite, 5g Hydroqionone, 2g Borax.
Everything has gone well with the solution just being clear. While I had it to cool down in a brown bottle, some precipitate had formed. What is that? Is my solution a fully capable D-76? Did I do something wrong?
It could be metol which suspended but didn't dissolve, or it could be contaminants in the borax. Most borax is mined and has some impurities in it.

The best way to find out is to try it. I wouldn't be concerned to do so, but I would also not use it on really important shots.

Marty
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Old 10-04-2014   #28
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Metol must had been dissolved completely. The solution looked clear even after the relatively long to dissolve Sodium Sulfite.
I have filtered out the precipitate and try it with a roll of FP4. Would you advice me keeping it if it works as D-76? Would you keep it?
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Old 10-05-2014   #29
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Mine does that too. A grey precipitate forms in the bottom of the bottle.

I just filter my D-76 -before- each use. I bought a box of laboratory filter paper, but you can also use coffee filters.

I think this is normal. But it bothers me, so I filter.
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Old 10-05-2014   #30
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I did that too. I have used a coffee filter to get the precipitate out of the solution. I have also discovered that Freakscene was correct about the borax. For sure it is not clean. I have tried to dilute a spoonful of it in a glass with warm water and discovered that it does not fully dissolve.
I have also tried my fresh home brew D-79 on FP4 (expired on 1987, EI 100). It came out with a bit of less contrast than what I got used to get out of Rodinal, but under the magnifying glass I cannot see any grain and the fog is minimal (1+3, 20 minutes, 20 degC).
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Old 10-05-2014   #31
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You can tweak the contrast up by increasing development minimally (10-20%).

Sounds like you are all set

If it sits for a while you may need to filter it again, I have found.

I have gotten into the habit of filtering it, before each use. Not a big deal.
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Old 10-05-2014   #32
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If I manage to get consistent results in every D-76 I make, I will adopt it as my all around developer. It stinks less than Rodinal too.
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Old 10-05-2014   #33
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It's my universal go-to developer for almost all my films.
Cheap and easy to make, and very consistent, I have found.
I use mine in stock solution, replenish it, and dump it after six months.
Works for me. When I develop expired film, I tend to increase developer time a bit.
I find it helps.
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Old 10-05-2014   #34
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How can one replenish it? Should I also create the D-76R? Are there any guides on replenishing it?
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Old 10-05-2014   #35
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OK, Here is what I use. Called "ADOX-Borax MQ"

Metol 4 gm
Sodium Sulphite 160 gm
Hydroquinone 8 gm
Borax 8 gm
Potassium Bromide 1 gm


Water to make 2 litres



ADOX-Borax Replenisher

20 ml per 36 exp roll


Metol 3 grams
Sodium Sulphite 80 gm
Hydroquinone 5 gm
Borax 18 gm

Water to make 1 litre

8-9 minutes at 20C with Tri-X or Double-X
Results have been excellent
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Old 10-05-2014   #36
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Thank you very much for your invaluable info. As soon as I get this make consumed I will try your suggestion and the replenisher.
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Old 10-06-2014   #37
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i know im a bit late but take a look at this:
http://wildangle.net/?page_id=4298

it is very well possible.
By the way on the same page the guys also made Rodinal, -well... they made Robinal, since it has some modifications- and they(we) also post some shots
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Old 10-06-2014   #38
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And I did my first big mistake with D-76. I have stored it next to Rodinal in the refrigerator and now there is more precipitate.
I have just read that I shouldn't. Is it possible to warm it up and try to dilute the new precipitate, or I'd rather mix some fresh?
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Old 10-06-2014   #39
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I've never heard of any reason to refrigerate developer of any kind...you may be overthinking this...
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Old 10-07-2014   #40
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I had in mind that lowering the temperature, not to a freezing point, would slow down the reaction of oxidization.
But this time I think that I have messed it up. I will mix a fresh one.
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