Stupid Caffeinol question

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by kavandje, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    So Ntenny sent me a recipe for Caffeinol which stipulates 'undrinkably horrible instant coffee crystals'.

    I'm guessing that in 'normal' countries something like Nescafé would do.

    Here's the stupid aspect of the question:
    Supposing I'm in southern Africa, where Ricoffy -- a nasty instant coffee blended with chicory -- is the order of the day; is it worth experimenting with this at all, and if so, does anyone have any suggestions regarding dosage?

    Because if it does work I believe I have found the only legitimate use for ricoffy...
     
  2. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Try it... basically any old rot-gut instant will do. Just don't use decaffenated...

    And tell us how it turns out.

    Cheers,
     
  3. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    Decaf will work, at least the "Sanka" brand did for me. The key is caffic acid, not caffeine per se. Caffic acid is present in decaf coffee too.

    The backstory I have heard on the use of instant coffee instead of brewed (which will also work by the way) is that instant crystalized coffee is often made with Robusta beans, a generally less expensive bean than Arabica. And the story goes that the Robusta beans are higher in caffic acid. This seems a bit of a sweeping generalization to me and I haven't done my homework to test the theory.

    I just know that Folgers crystals, Sanka and a Kroger house brand all worked. And all taste terrible and say Robusta somewhere on their label. The "good" stuff I brew for my own personal injestion, I have not tested. :smile:
     
  4. CBG

    CBG Member

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    I has to be coffee based - coffee beans from the coffee plant - so if it's all chicory- it's unlikely to work. Cheap instant seems to be what's specified.
     
  5. ntenny

    ntenny Subscriber

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    I wouldn't trust that guy, personally. :smile:

    I don't know, but some related questions are discussed (inconclusively) at <http://www.photography-forums.com/coffee-document-film-developer-t92028p3.html>.

    It appears that the most likely developing agents in coffee are caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid. In the Google Books preview of something astonishingly called _Coffee, Volume 5: Related Beverages_, I found the claim that chicory either may or may not contain chlorogenic acid, depending on whose results you believe, but certainly in lower concentration than coffee. (The chlorogenic acid would probably be partly converted to caffeic acid during roasting, as it is with coffee.)

    I think you need to do some experiments. After all...

    ...what *else* are you going to do with the stuff?

    -NT
     
  6. neelin

    neelin Member

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  7. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    It wouldn't take much to test it and find out. Seeing as caffenol works as well (or better) as a print developer, I'd risk a few pieces of paper before I'd try it on some film. If you ruin a piece of paper, it's no great loss... if you ruin a whole roll of negatives, you may have destroyed pictures you cannot recreate.

    Cheers,
     
  8. neelin

    neelin Member

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    VERY good point! Just snip off a bit of leader & touch it with the "developer". If it turns black (precipitates silver), it probably has developing capability.
    robert