Separating alkali from developing agents?
A few possibly silly questions from a non-chemist to the chemists:
For those who brew their own MQ developer, does it make sense to mix two separate baths, one that contains metol, sodium sulfite, hydroquinon (and possibly potassium bromide), and another that contains only the alkali, and then mix them just prior to development? Would the storage life and working characteristics of two separate baths be better/more consistent compared to a single bath?
The reason Iím asking is, the Anchell&Troop cookbook claims that the activity of the published D76 formula that contains both metol and hydroquinone is variable over time due to a rise in alkalinity. Iím wondering whether separating the alkali as described above would prevent this problem?
Iíve tried D76H (the version without hydroquinone) and found that it is visibly less active (thinner negs) than regular D76. Hence my desire to pursue the MQ combination.
Also, is the variability in activity (due to PH change) of D76 pertinent to all MQ developers? E.g. Adox MQ Borax or Agfa/Ansco 17? Adox MQ Borax has 4g of Borax instead of 2g in D76. Would the larger borax content prevent a PH change during storage?
It is the Beutler formula, where two separate baths mixed just prior to development, that made me think it could be adapted to all developers.
Please note that Iím not talking about two bath development. Iíve tried that line and didnít find a visible advantage.