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Monteverde Horizon Blue — Dilution And The Fungus


tonybelding
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Today I went to refill my Lamy 2000 with Monteverde Horizon Blue. I noticed (luckily, before dipping my pen into it!) that the ink wasn't flowing in the bottle as I swished it around. In fact, it seemed to have turned to gel! A closer inspection showed that there still was some liquid in the bottle, but the entire bottom was covered with a solid mass. I didn't get the distinctive moldy odor that I've experienced from some previous incidents, but it was definitely ruined.

 

This ink was not in the original bottle. I had previously transferred a large amount into an old Parker Penman bottle (my favorite bottle design of all time), and I had also taken the opportunity to dilute it 50/50 with distilled water, since pure MHB was too saturated for my taste.

 

I don't want to give anyone the impression that I'm warning you all way from MHB. If anything, I'd consider this a warning about dilution. Ink depends on biocide ingredients to retard the growth of mold or bacteria. Diluting the ink 50% also means diluting the biocides 50%, and they may just not be effective when cut to half their original, intended strength! Just to drive the point home, I went back and inspected the remaining un-diluted ink in the original MHB bottle, and it's perfectly OK.

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I have over 25 bottles of Monteverde ink, and a few of them went bad and are being replaced by MV. But both my bottles of Horizon Blue, over a year old at this point, are just fine.

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Just to add a couple more thoughts… I tend to blame the dilution rather than the move to another bottle, because I generally assume that spores are everywhere and all ink is exposed to them. Biocide ingredients in the ink are the primary line of defense. Also… I have another Parker Penman bottle that I filled at the same time with Monteverde Black but did not dilute, and it's holding up just fine.

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Well. my initial thought was to ask whether you used distilled water or tap water for the dilution. But since you said that you did use distilled water, my next question would be to ask how well you cleaned/sterilized the old Penman bottle.

My husband used to do home brewing a lot, and was very good at walking people through the process (including troubleshooting when they had a problem). And in almost every case where they'd made a batch batch of beer (with one exception -- in that the guy's water tasted bad to start with) it was because they forgot to sterilize something -- the airlock or the siphon hose or the spoon they were using to stir the wort as it was boiling....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Just to add a couple more thoughts… I tend to blame the dilution rather than the move to another bottle, because I generally assume that spores are everywhere and all ink is exposed to them. Biocide ingredients in the ink are the primary line of defense. Also… I have another Parker Penman bottle that I filled at the same time with Monteverde Black but did not dilute, and it's holding up just fine.

 

I would tend to agree with you, 50/50 dilution is a hell of a dilution! the biocide will certainly have run below it's potential...

anything alive just loves water, and time does the rest...

add the fact that biocides have really been reduced to bare minimum nowadays, due to restrictive regulations on their hazard

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Distilled water might be sterile when it’s steam/ water vapor in the distillation process, but once condensing occurs, it is vapor no more and subject to contamination again. Sterile water is sterile for some length of time, and is a different product.

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  • 1 year later...

Why would one want to dilute in the bottle instead of in a vial or in a cartridge right before use?   And btw I too like diluted ink, depending on my mood.

 

 

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