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Alternative Developer: Red Wine

Some of you have tested the development of Black and White Films with instant coffee, called Coffenol. Alternatively, you can also develop the film with red wine. This process is called "Winol".

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I like to read the new magazine PhotoKlassik. For those who don’t know about this magazine, it is a German magazine for current analogue photography. There are cameras introduced, given tips for building your own darkroom, and more! You can often read articles about products from Lomography. I’ve recently bought the issue for the second quarter and an article made ​​me curious. Alchemy – Alternative developers. It describes in detail how to develop black and white films without chemicals (except for the fixer). There is the already known Coffenol development. The development Coffenol and Winol are very similar!

You will need:

  • 500ml red wine
  • 50g washing soda (anhydrous)
  • 2g vitamin c powder
  • 0,5g potassium bromide (optional)
  • fixer

With the “ingredients” you need to consider a few things. The red wine can be the cheapest one from the supermarket. The washing soda is sodium carbonate, a fine white powder (I filled it in a mason jar) and the vitamin C. You should not use a vitamin C effervescent tablet. These contain other substances which may interfere with the development. I found pure vitamin C powder (Ascorbic acid) in the drugstore for less money. The you have the option of adding potassium bromide or not. I came by my chemistry teacher for a small amount of potassium bromide. The next time I will not use potassium, to see whether there is a difference.
NOTE: When using potassium bromide, the developer must be disposed of properly (disposal site, recycling center)! Not simply poured down the sink.

And here we go. I exposed a Ilford FP4+ (35mm) with my Lubitel 166U and wound it into the developer can at home. Then I mixed the ingredients in the kitchen together.

I weighed the soda, vitamin and potassium bromide with the balance and put this into a large measuring cup, where in which I have previously measured 500ml of red wine. I stirred until everything has dissolved completely. A few lumps are formed, which I filtered out with a sieve.

And now the fun begins!

The stinking developer is now poured into the developer tank. Tilt the tank one minute back and forth. After each additional minute you have to tilt it three times and this is for 44 minutes.

When the 45 minutes are up, pour out the developer and water the film. The water replaces the stop bath. I filled lukewarm water into the tank, tilted 5x, changed the water, tilted 10x, changed the water again and tilted 20×.

Now you need the only chemical during the whole development and that is the fixer. I’ve used FIX-Ag. The information how you need to dilute the concentrate and how long you need to tilt the tank is on the bottle.
If the fixing time is over, pour out the fixer and it follows a final wash to remove chemical residues.


Here are my results:

Soon I will try Tenol, the development with black tea!

Have fun!

written by brommi and translated by brommi


  1. sebavi


    this is so cool, i had no idea it could be done with red wine, might give it a shot in the future

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. atria007


    lol cooooolll great results!!!!! then i will try to do it ..thanks Julian!!

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. alburnkat


    I do not drink and can not stand the smell of either coffee or wine, so I am very interested in seeing your upcoming Tipster on Tenol. Great result with the Winol!! Thanks for sharing.

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. brommi


    @sebavi @atria007 have fun! ;)
    @alburnkat thank you, too! Though the development with black tea is like winol and coffenol, it is a bit difficult! I still try it out to get better results! At the moment, the tenol-negatives are too dark!

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. mafiosa



    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. vicuna


    great results!

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. teeerka


    Great idea!!! I have to try this! Great results :))
    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. crevans27


    This is awesome! I will have to try this!

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  9. brommi


    @mafiosa @vicuna @teeerka @crevans27 Thank you very much :3

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  10. gatokinetik-o


    DEfinitively, like the most of chilean people, i'm a lover of red wine... so... i'll try!!!! thanks for sharing the experience :D

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  11. stonerfairy


    Great read!

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  12. marcruinspants


    I'm new to the whole home-development stuff, what do you mean by tilt?
    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  13. brommi


    @marcruinspants you have to move the tank up side down, and back, up side down, and back. That is 'to tilt something' ;)

    over 1 year ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

The original version of this article is written in: Deutsch. It is also available in: Русский, Československy & Italiano.