Freezing Developer??

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Tom Stanworth

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It makes sense that putting developer in the fridge would increase it's longevity, but what about freezing it? I am thinking about freezing 5X 1L bottles of stock Xtol from the 5L powder packs and defrosting one or more bottles to dilute 1+1 for use when required?

Are there any issues I need to be aware of ? Like most photographers, sometimes a trip results in dosens of sheets of 5x4 getting developed in one session, but sometimes only a few sheets with several months in between. Being able to eliminate the worry of 'errr has my developer changed at all....I'll find out once I see the negs by which time it is too late...and discarding large amounts of possibly fine developer..' would be a great benefit.

Anyone done this to stock/working solution?

Any info on the real world keeping properties of Xtol?

Cheers!
 

juan

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I knew someone who froze concentrated developer in ice trays. After it was solidly frozen, he separated the cubes and put them in freezer bags. He had worked out how much water to dilute in. I think he did this with paper developer only - so he was probably freezing the stock solution of Dektol - then thawing it in enough water to make a stock solution.

I didn't know him well, so I'm not sure if this worked long term.
juan
 
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Tom

I have two bookmarks re Xtol life.
One is a very long one, Google groups, but in short this guy mix double concentration - 5L packets in 2.5L water.

The one below is by the Leica Group Xtol expert (although some in the group disagrees and recommends distilled water for long keep).

Dead Link Removed

And if you mix your chemicals, I use an (still not tested long enough) 'alchemy' that may last years. Just let me know if you're interested.

As a side note, I always boil the water (I use spring) for a few minutes, let it cool, to mix devs.

Jorge O
 

Dave Mueller

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I've read more than a few posts all over the net, most of the intelligent replies were from photographers with chemist backgrounds, they all said "don't do it". I don't remember the exact reasons, but apparently the organic compounds in developers don't survive being frozen (or something like that). Even below 50F starts to cause problems.

From what I've read, stock XTOL should last about 1 year in a completely full, impermeable (glass) bottle, kept cool (60-70F) and dark.
 

Ole

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Part of the reason why I mix my own is that dry powder lasts longer than liquid solutions.

But like Tom I sometimes do a lot all at once, then maybe two or three sheets a month for a long time. I have found that Pyrocat-HD concentrate "A" lasts a very, very long time in a small brown plastic bottle. I don't mix "B" at all, preferring to mix the dry chemical directly in the mixing water. Even if I forgot once...
 

jlehmus

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My 5 litres of stock strength Xtol froze accidentally some days ago and the developer went dead.
 
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