Caffenol questions

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by TareqPhoto, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Hi again,

    Well, finally i bought KBr that can be used in Caffenol one of the formulas, but i am not very aware abut that Caffenol long discussions here or on the Caffenol blog itself, so i will put my direct questions here and hope getting the answer direct to my questions rather than reading long many pages and give up, English s not my first language and the search will take long time for me which may end up for me to give up.

    1. What type of coffee i should use? I am not sure if that Nescafe in the store will be good enough, we have 2 or 3 different Nescafe coffee bottles and i am confused which one to buy. Also we have a mill or roastry where they grind pure coffee [brown or black coffee, gray one,...etc], is that better go than buying those coffee make bottles? i try to get the pure or RAW material as much as i can so i don't have issues what other materials are included with RAW material chemicals.

    2. Where i can get wide list for measuring the ingredients to make Caffenol to many different volumes? I will use it for 500ml developing and also LF which i am planning to go with 1L volume for now, and i am not very keep about measurements enough, i don't want closer measurement such as 485ml to be as 500ml or 970ml as 1L, i want to go with +/-2ml if i will mix for Caffenol on those 2 volumes i mentioned.

    3. What is the KBr[Potassium Bromide] do to the Caffenol developer? I mean what is the characteristic of KBr that added to Caffenol? Will be there a big difference between going with caffenol with KBr and without?

    4. Is that mixing Caffenol a one shot or can be used again if i develop immediately after first developing? I am not planning to mix Caffenol and store it afterwards, i just mix to the given volume and discard, i have enough quantity of the RAW material if i will get the coffee to mix many times.

    5. Is Caffenol good enough recommended for agitation tanks or it is better for say drum and rotary processors?

    6. Funny question, what is the chemical formula or name for Coffee?

    Sorry if those questions are answered all elsewhere, but as i said it will take me maybe weeks and months to find all the answers of above from here and there, so i summed all the questions i need answers to, it will help me to understand more what i am reading in Caffenol blogs/groups.
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi tareq

    i can answer some of your questions, but not all of them ...
    but first ... do you have a scale ?
    while i don't use one and but if you want a repeatable and useful formula
    that you can repeat and repeat and repeat with great results, i would suggest
    you don't do as i do ( eyeball measure ) but you get a scale to make consistent measures.

    you might look at the caffenol blog ( http://caffenol.blogspot.com/ ) its run by reinhold a fellow appugger, and caffenol enjoyer :smile:
    the blog has exact measures of the various ingredients so you can figure out what you need with the volumes you want to make
    i have never used nescafé coffee but only the cheapest instant coffee i could find you will need washing soda ( sodium carbonate ) and vitamin c.
    there are other versions of caffenol that include salt, Kbr and other "stuff" so you will have a good time reading :smile:

    to answer some of your other questions ....

    i have used caffenol c 1 shot .. but also over and over again for nearly 6 months without replenishment.
    you might just want to make what you need, and afterwards discard it, better to be safe than sorry, especially when it is film
    that matters, and you haven't made or used the developer before ...

    regarding your coffee, as long as it is robusto coffee it will work. i am not sure about the nescafé you have will work,
    i went to their website and googled to see if it had arabica or robusto beans and came up empty ...
    if you can find something extremely inexpensive, it will more than likely be robusto ..
    as for your roaster ... you can ask him if he has ROBUSTO beans and just buy them
    i use just beans not instant coffee, and it works great ... you can tell what a robusto beans looks like because
    the "line" of the coffee beans is straight, arabica has a curve to it ...
    you can get barely roasted, or green beans, i use a mix 1/2 + 1/2 green and roasted .. i make coffee as i would drink it
    and brew it ... ( 1 coffee "scoop" / 4oz "cup" ) i make 10 "cups" at a time which is 750cc ...
    i used the google calculator to do the metric conversion so it might be a little off but
    that is about 120cc of water + around 30 grams of coffee

    you can also cold brew it in a big jug in the sun, it takes a few days but that works great too ( thanks whitey! )
    good luck !
    john
     
  3. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    John, Arabica is the good stuff for drinking right? I have on hand roasted beans from three different high end roasters, great coffees, and all have straight lines.
    Is your statement perhaps a typo. I have roasted several types of green beans for coffee myself and can't recall ever seeing a curved line.
    Dennis
     
  4. salan

    salan Member

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    I have enjoyed using caffenol, but the results have not been as good as I expected (and see with others). Reading this, I notice that the instant coffee I use is 100 arabica. I wonder if that could be 'not helping'. Anyone got an actual brand of cheap coffe that is Robusto say from aldi or lidl?
    Alan
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hey dennis

    arabica is for drinking, robusta is for film :smile:
    the curve (s shape) is subtle and pretty easy to miss ...
    i had to look at the beans i have, both good arabica and robusta
    because for a minute i thought my sydlexya got the best of me :smile:

    i took the liberty of googling images of both types of beans ...

    robusta beans : http://www.google.com/search?q=robu...A6TC2QWjroBA&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAQ&biw=1565&bih=669

    arabica beans: http://www.google.com/search?q=arab...mk2gX15YDYAg&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAQ&biw=1565&bih=669

    http://coffeeinfo.wordpress.com/arabica-and-robusta/

    do you get your beans from sweet maria's ?
    they have very nice roasters and beans :smile:

    - john
     
  6. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    I don't have my notes handy, (my darkroom is in a cellar that is owned by a colony of spiders this time of year) but I do recall experimenting using varying amounts of 10% KBr as a restrainer in my Caffenol c print developing. My understanding is that the purpose of KBr in a developer is to reduce fogging and give more clarity to highlights. My results with this were less than stellar, the KBr seemed to "restrain" the whole range of print tones leaving me with more wasted paper than I consider acceptable. I have since removed KBr from my Caffenol formula, but may give it another shot if anyone can report encouraging results.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  7. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Thank you very much for the reply.

    John, i didn't mix for caffenol because i wanted to buy a scale first, i talked with one company or dealer here where i bought all my measuring glass from and few chemicals including Ascorbic Acid and Carb. Sod Anhyd., but they always forget to call me for the scale, and because i am a friend to GM of this company i never complain about why they forget to order or checkout a scale for me, but seems it is better i do by myself, they will choose so expensive one[Germany] while i don't need so expensive one, will see where i can get one reliable consistent scale.

    About the coffee, the both links confusing me, we have both of those, the green one and the brown or dark one, which one i should go with? And i didn't notice to see about that straight/curve lines of different coffee, i can't take pics of those in the roastry, but i know for sure if not wrong that the brown coffee is just a green one roasted, is there another kind of coffee i should look at? Difficult to show that Nescafe Instant Coffee bottle exactly the same in the stores here, but i will see which is cheaper, the roasted one or the bottled Nescafe one. I don't drink coffee.

    About salt, i only ordered KBr, but the blog just has new recipe, that is with Sodium Sulfite, so now should i buy this one too? I will try Caffenol without KBr once and with another time to see the different using same film under almost same exposure, i can wait to get that Sod. Sulf. later.

    I didn't understand the cold brew part, more explanations please!

    Thanks again
     
  8. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    My suggestion is to keep your first tries as simple as possible.Really all you need to start with is instant coffee (the very cheapest kind but not decaffeinated), Vitamin C and Sodium Carbonate (soda).

    If you are developing film with an ISO between 25 and 160 (aprroximately), you won't need KBr.

    Don't worry about the Sodium Sulfite at all to begin with. The use of Sulfite is experimental at the moment.

    The basic recipe for 1 litre of developer is 54g Sodium Carbonate anh, 16g Vitamin C and 40g of coffee.

    Dissolve them in the water in the same order - so Sodium Carbonate first, then the Vitamin C and finally the coffee. Let it stand a little while - say 15 minutes after mixing but before using.

    If you require less developer, for instance 300ml (to develop one reel of 35mm in a Paterson tank), then you will need 300ml water, 18g soda, 5.3g Vitamin C and 13.3g coffee (that is, the recipe for 1 litre x 0.3 - this is why scales that are accurate to 0.1g is helpful)

    This is a "one shot" developer and you dispose of it after use. Some people seem to have developed two or three rolls in the same batch, but most people do not.

    It is unlikely you can store the developer mixture as the Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) will oxidise and become less effective.

    For an ISO100 film exposed at box speed (that is, at ISO100) then try 12 mins @ 20C, with 30s of initial agitation and then 3 gentle inversions per whole minute.

    It works extremely well for me
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2012
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi tareq

    if you can, call nescafé and ask them if their coffee is robusta or arabica .. they will tell you.
    as for your roaster, ask if they have 100% ROBUSTA coffee beans, if so, buy them ... if they only have ARABICA don't buy it
    the robusta has the ingredient that works with making coffee developer.
    making coffee with the sun / cold brew is just getting a jug, putting ground coffee in it, and leaving it in the warm sun
    for 3 days. you strain the coffee grounds out so you don't have any grinds floating around in your coffee, grind = very coarse ...
    it is probably easier if you just find and use instant coffee, less trouble ...

    http://caffenol.blogspot.com/search/label/recipe
    this has recipes for a few of the variants, you have to go to the side bar on the right
    to see what they mean ...

    i have found that it doesn't matter what order you add the ingredients, you don't need to let it sit for 15mins
    or do the hokey pokey or anything like that. if i am mixing some new, i just mix and use ... my results have never really changed over the years.
    i agree, most use this developer single shot .. until you get the hang of things you probably want to stick with
    what people usually do, rather than get yourself into trouble ...

    good luck ! and good luck with your soon to be new scale :smile:
    john
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2012