How do you wash a wine bladder? Or are folks getting empty ones somewhere, maybe a wine making shop?
You can buy new bags from what used to be called "Home Brew" shops in the U.K. but washing used and emptied winebags is easy. Simply prise out the dispenser with a substantial but flat-bladed knife, working carefully around the dispenser then pour in warm water, refit loosely the dispenser or not as desired and slosh the water around. Do this twice if you are a belt and braces person then pour out and flatten the bag. All the water will be sqeezed out. Fill with the dev, refit the dispenser securely and replace into the cardboard container which holds the bag. Works everytime. I kept my Xtol in nothing else
Winebags in the U.K. are usually 3L so you need two for 5L of Xtol but wine shops sell different sizes so a 5L bag is easily obtained.
So, does it matter if you can still smell residual wine in the bladder? I've washed the one I have half a dozen times but I can still smell the wine in it.
A couple of rinses in hot water is all I did. The residual smell didn't affect the developer properties. Actually, I have graduated from wine bladders to "pure" water bladders. In Australia many supermarkets sell 5 litre boxes of water in bladders. I have used this water to mix up the chemicals and then poured it straight back into the bladder. No residual smell and a healthier liver too!
How long after mixing do you figure 900ml of stock XTOL would last in a tightly capped dark glass 1 liter bottle stored at about 22-23C?
Usually I use up my developer stock solutions pretty quick but in this case I mixed up a batch of XTOL in mid July and in the past two months I've only used 100ml from the 1L bottle. I'm doing some new work now and wondering if it's likely still good. And if there are any ways to tell whether XTOL has gone bad (color change etc).
I mix the full amount and store it in 10 1 litre bottles with plastic stoppers. I dilute it 1:1 for use and use the 1 litre solution to develop either 2 rolls of 120 or 4 rolls of 36. Used like this, I've had my 1 litre bottles keep for well over 6 months. The one time I kept a partially full bottle (500cc) for about 2-3 months and subsequently used it in my normal dilution, the results were pretty poor--no image detail. I think the developer had oxidised although there were no visible signs or smells. Lesson learned: use partially full bottles within 1 month of mixing.
XTOL is my favorite because of the less-toxic chemistry. After the prescribed square inches of emulsion have been processed, experience indicates XTOL will become inactive quickly. Remedy: Under-use the developer and discard sooner rather than later. Over-use and replenishment are not cheap if you lose negatives, and XTOL is really cheap stuff. Keep a written record of 'square inches processed' for each batch of developer.
About bladders: Experience indicates Vitamin-C may extend their life more than other chemistries. I like the accordian-style containers.
Humm I think the ones I have are sort of moulded together but I will have to check.
I hope and think, Roger, that they only appear to be moulded together. The black rim of the dispenser fits very snugly into the translucent ring that is part of the bag itself. Remember these are probably assembled by a machine which rams the dispenser into the translucent ring under quite a bit of power.
Insert the thin edge of a blade between the black rim and translucent rim very gently at first and lever slowly all round. Once you have a gap then put the thicker back of the blade into the gap and continue levering. Eventually the dispenser will pop out of the first ridge and the gap will then be maybe 1/8th of an inch. Once popped you can use a much thicker lever or even pull with your hands.
Very occasionally the dispenser has been such a tight fit that I have had to give up and quickly buy another 3L of wine and force myself to drink it quickly so I can try levering out the new dispenser.