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#1
Old 12-21-2006, 01:54 PM
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Does vanilla extract need to be in a dark bottle?

This is kind of a weird question. See, my boyfriend is collecting a bunch of stuff together to do wet plate photography, and he's had a hard time finding the right bottles to keep his chemicals in. And he saw my big bottle of vanilla from Penzey's and, grr, now he wants it. He offered to dump my vanilla into a clear bottle, or a plastic dark bottle (probably hydrogen peroxide, washed out well.) So, is there anything wrong with a clear bottle for vanilla, particularly because it mostly lives in a dark cabinet, or will it go bad? Also, is there anything wrong with washing out a hydrogen peroxide bottle well and then putting my precious vanilla into it?

And somebody explain why he couldn't just take up whittling?
#2
Old 12-21-2006, 02:01 PM
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Eh, if he took up whittling, then he'd be eyeing your cabinets.

Speaking of which, if you keep your vanilla inside the cabinet, it can be in a clear container. Whether or not the plastic imparts an off-flavor depends on the container. It's got a lot of alcohol in it, so it's going to leach some of the volatiles out of plastic.

My concern would be whether or not the glass bottle, having been used for vanilla, would mess with his photography, since it usually calls for fairly pure chemicals, and whether or not cutting corners in a home-photography setup is a wise idea, what with all the mildly toxic chemicals and all...

Tell him to go to a homebrewing supply store if he wants dark glass bottles that haven't been used for anything.
#3
Old 12-21-2006, 02:06 PM
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Vanilla is one of several products that is damaged by sunlight, thus the need to keep it in a dark bottle.

I suppose if your bottle never sees the light of day, a clear bottle would be OK, but I think Ethilrist is giving good advice.
#4
Old 12-21-2006, 02:06 PM
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They sell it in clear bottle also. To make homehede vanilla extract you put vanilla beans into a bottle, fill it with brandy, and wait for the vanilla to infuse the brandy.
#5
Old 12-21-2006, 02:10 PM
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I remember ordering my first beakers and test tubes by mail. I suggest he buy bottles for a lab online. You shouldn't put deadly chemicals in food container's.
#6
Old 12-21-2006, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethilrist
Eh, if he took up whittling, then he'd be eyeing your cabinets.

Speaking of which, if you keep your vanilla inside the cabinet, it can be in a clear container. Whether or not the plastic imparts an off-flavor depends on the container. It's got a lot of alcohol in it, so it's going to leach some of the volatiles out of plastic.

My concern would be whether or not the glass bottle, having been used for vanilla, would mess with his photography, since it usually calls for fairly pure chemicals, and whether or not cutting corners in a home-photography setup is a wise idea, what with all the mildly toxic chemicals and all...

Tell him to go to a homebrewing supply store if he wants dark glass bottles that haven't been used for anything.
Mildly toxic? This stuff is hardcore! Ether, collodium, and potassium cyanide!

We hadn't considered home brewing stores.
#7
Old 12-21-2006, 02:39 PM
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"Death ray, fiddlesticks. It doesn't even slow them down."
#8
Old 12-21-2006, 06:40 PM
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He's taking a big chance reusing bottles. I used to have a darkroom and do my own color processing and there were some very fragile formulas. A little too much acidity and the result was rolls of blue prints.
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#9
Old 12-21-2006, 11:04 PM
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The brown plastic bottles I used to use back in the day were incredibly cheap and made JUST for the purpose, with a very narrow stripe of clear plastic along one area vertically and ouce measures next to the line.

Got it. Have him purchase several of the DataTainer bottles from B&H Photo. They are $ 1.95 each and exactly what is needed.

Above all else, make SURE he develops ( heh ) his hobby in a very well-ventilated area. By this I mean fans pushing fresh air in and fans ventilating chemical-laden air out.

Otherwise....well. Bad things happen.

Cartooniverse, darkroom maven since 1978.
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#10
Old 12-22-2006, 09:26 AM
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No, no, it can't be plastic. This is wet plate photography, ferrotypes and ambrotypes and such. Whatever chemical it is he needs bottles for will eat plastic. (It will probably also eat you, and your wife, and your dog, and people you're related to but have never met.) I think this hobby is seriously going to kill him - the portable darkroom concept looks like a teeny tiny gas chamber to me.
#11
Old 12-22-2006, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethilrist
"Death ray, fiddlesticks. It doesn't even slow them down."

Nitpick, "...slow them up."

The Original
#12
Old 12-22-2006, 10:36 AM
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Oh, and I did find him bottles online, he's just a) wiped out because the chemicals are expensive, and b) waiting for the chemicals to come in and really eager like a little kid to stick his head in a box full of cyanide.
#13
Old 12-22-2006, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethilrist
"Death ray, fiddlesticks. It doesn't even slow them down."
Hmmm. Maybe it wasn't a 1920s-style death ray? That'd do it.
#14
Old 12-22-2006, 11:49 AM
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I think this hobby is seriously going to kill him

As opposed to killing him with a smile.

Listen to Cartooniverse. Home darkrooms are notoriously underventilated and unless the prospect of an early death by cancer and/or respiratory failure is your idea of good fun, then don't let him cut corners on the ventilation.
#15
Old 12-22-2006, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daffyduck
I think this hobby is seriously going to kill him

As opposed to killing him with a smile.

Listen to Cartooniverse. Home darkrooms are notoriously underventilated and unless the prospect of an early death by cancer and/or respiratory failure is your idea of good fun, then don't let him cut corners on the ventilation.
That's the thing - with wet plate, evidently you don't have a home darkroom. You have a portable one because you do it on the spot. The whole thing makes me extremely nervous. To get the "best" instructions on how to do it he sent away a check into the ether to some guy who doesn't have a phone or the Internet. It came back as photocopied handwritten sheets and a DVD. On the DVD, when the guy's explaining it, sometimes chickens walk by. The guy looks exactly what you'd expect him to look like, considering.
#16
Old 12-22-2006, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia
That's the thing - with wet plate, evidently you don't have a home darkroom. You have a portable one because you do it on the spot. The whole thing makes me extremely nervous. To get the "best" instructions on how to do it he sent away a check into the ether to some guy who doesn't have a phone or the Internet. It came back as photocopied handwritten sheets and a DVD. On the DVD, when the guy's explaining it, sometimes chickens walk by. The guy looks exactly what you'd expect him to look like, considering.

Does the guy have a mail-order bride? Does he sell honey?
#17
Old 12-22-2006, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMalion
Does the guy have a mail-order bride? Does he sell honey?
Does he play the banjo?
#18
Old 12-22-2006, 04:32 PM
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Coming in from the kitchen maven side, I heartily agree with Ethilrist, Harmonious Discord, According to Pliny and Cartooniverse.

Tell him your vanilla bottle is strictly off limits; he can buy unused brown glass bottles cheaply. They will be safer to use, and he will also not be risking ruining his expensive chemicals. The odds of his getting the vanilla bottle as clean as it needs to be are remote (he's a beginner).

What's more, reusing a food-related and labeled bottle for toxic chemicals is taking the chance that someone will do something unexpected (i.e., ignorant or stupid) with the bottle and contents - especially since he won't be confining his work to a site known to be a photographer's darkroom space.

Ask him if he wants to be responsible for someone (most likely a child) being horribly injured or killed. Tell him that when he gets his new brown bottles, he should label them as cointaining poisons, for his own protection, as well as that of innocent bystanders. And tell him how much better he'll feel about himself for having taken precautions to protect himself and others.

Cartooniverse has given you a link, and no doubt they also sell glass bottles. If they don't, there's always Google, to lead him to a veritable throng of people anxious to sell him whatever he wants.
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#19
Old 12-22-2006, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMalion
Does the guy have a mail-order bride? Does he sell honey?
Heh, he might. He might indeed.
#20
Old 12-22-2006, 05:26 PM
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Suppliers of Brown Glass Bottles with screw on lids in various sizes:

Supplier #1

Supplier #2

Supplier #3

Supplier # 4

I beg of you, for reasons articulated nicely up above, do not let him use a foodstuff storage bottle. Additionally, if he is going to do on-site wet plate work, then he needs to think ahead in terms of geting the chemicals and plate trays TO location and handling them safely.

1. Does he have a Pelican case or other foam padded case for these bottles? He needs one. If they crack shatter or spill while driving, he will be buying a new car.

2. Has he planned on how to dispose of the used chemicals once he has finished a plate run? Can he safely BLEND all of the various chemicals into a common bottle/tub for storage until he can legally dispose of them? They are not the run of the mill stuff, some of the chemicals may well be HazMat chemicals.

3. Does he have a proper filtered respirator to use? When kneeling over trays or bins of volatile chemicals, he will be inhaling the vapors. Hot or cold day, the inhalation of them can do irreversible damage to his lungs and brain. And other important bits.

4. Is he totally wedded to the idea of wet plate work? Is there a professional darkroom within a reasonable drive of where you are where he can rent an enlarger for a fee per hour and they supply the chemicals? That's what I do. I go to the Photo District in NYC and rent space. Incredibly WELL-VENTILATED space, might I add.

Hope he has fun, and takes all proper precautions.
#21
Old 12-23-2006, 01:45 PM
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He's in love with the process and the look of wet-plate. It's not an equipment issue - he just really wants to do historical photography. (He has a vauge idea of turning a profit at Civil War reenactments and such, but really it's a personal hobby.) He's building a case, and he's got a respirator. I don't know about his plans to dispose of the chemicals, but I'm sure he's thought it out - he didn't just pick this up on a whim or anything, he really has done a lot of research. He's just trying to steal my damned vanilla bottle, is all, and I don't wanna give it to him.
#22
Old 12-23-2006, 09:20 PM
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I didn't mean to imply he was going to be haphazard- just making suggestions based on my experiences with the noxious stuff of standard paper-print b&w.

Hope he has a blast at it !
#23
Old 12-24-2006, 12:55 PM
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Oh, he already is. His enthusiasm is driving me bonkers.
#24
Old 12-24-2006, 04:52 PM
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We artists. We're like that.


( Hey, you married him !! )
#25
Old 12-24-2006, 08:08 PM
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I just want to jump in and say: Tell him to join the 20th century! Hasn't he ever heard of D-76?

(D-76, of course, is the name of the Kodak developing chemicals, and the catch-all name of the related processes for black-and-white film developing, one of the favored hobbies of old-fashioned photographers everywhere).
#26
Old 12-24-2006, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cartooniverse
We artists. We're like that.


( Hey, you married him !! )
I did not! (Er, yet. It hasn't come up.)
#27
Old 12-24-2006, 11:18 PM
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--gulp-- Oh.


Uh. Sorry. Didn't mean to push things along like that.
#28
Old 12-25-2006, 12:30 PM
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Just don't give my mother any ideas!
#29
Old 12-25-2006, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMalion
Nitpick, "...slow them up."

The Original
You're such a geek !



Hey, do they have that on a T-shirt?
#30
Old 12-26-2006, 12:55 AM
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I don't get it.
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