Wine is a substance that contains the kind of phenolic compounds that sometimes work as film developers, so why not try it? The idea of actually doing it now was suggested by David Kidman, who teaches filmmaking in (where else?) France. His students there are also trying.


Robert Schaller — Project Leader

Emily — participant

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The first thing to do, it seems to me, is to do a series of strips of flashed film in wine with increasing pH, using a basic salt like Sodium Carbonate or Sodium Bicarbonate to increase the pH. David has already noticed that the color of red wine makes reading pH with pH paper difficult, because it changes the color of the indicator paper. I have a pH meter, however, so I can read the pH directly.

Thus, my plan is to start by making small batches of inexpensive red wine with progressively more base. I think I may start with Sodium Bicarbonate, which is less basic than Sodium Carbonate, but more in keeping with the food-nature of wine. I will try, say, four different concentrations, and report back the pH of each and the result — all I plan to look for on this first test is whether there is any development activity at all.

Initial Test