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    • CommentAuthorgregmk
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2015
      1 point
    I am going to try soap making for the first time, I've done lot of research & feel confident that I'm ready to start.
    I've made a mold that I think will hold a 5 pound batch.
    only, as I was working with the lye calculator & figuring percentages of oils, when it was calculated it recommended that I use a certain amount of liquid(milk, water, tea, ect...), this to me seemed to increase the size of the batch to larger that my mold size.

    question is how to calculate batch to get proper size still using the percentages of oils that I want.
  1.   0 points
    Oh yes, once you add your liquids your batch size will change. This lye calculator will calculate how much oils & liquids you need to fit a certain size mold:
    http://summerbeemeadow.com/content/advanced-calculator-solid-cream-or-liquid-soaps
    •  
      CommentAuthorchrima
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2015
      2 points
    There's a really simple calculation out there that never failed me: You take the size of your mold in cubic inches. That is length x width x height. Multiply by .40.
    That gives you 40% of your mold size. That would be your weight of oils in ounces. It does take water and additives into account.

    You will then take that weight of oils in ounces, input it into the MMS lye calculator and it will give you whatever lye and water amounts you need.

    I have used this calculation and it has worked pretty well for me.
    •  
      CommentAuthorApril
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2015 edited
      0 points
    I use a bunch of calculators too, summerbee, MMS, Soap Calc, and Brambleberry and a couple more I can't think of right now.

    I actually have the Brambleberry mobile app. on my smartphone as its the only one I could find with an app. It's rather convenient but I can't use it with every single recipe.

    What it does allow me to do is resize the batch to the ounces or grams I want (say your 5lb) simply by changing the yield. Christine's method above looks pretty cool, I reread it and think I'll try this on the next mold I find. I believe you can also resize your batch in most of the other calculators too...
    • CommentAuthorMaryT8M
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2015
      1 point
    I do the length X width X height (depth) X .40 as well......that gives you the amount of oils/fats you need for your mold
    • CommentAuthorblyeager
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2015
      1 point
    I do the same as Mary and Christine. If you are making a batch for the first time, you might want to resize the batch down to a 1 or 2 pound. Less expensive if it doesn't work out. The plastic drawer organizers that you can buy at the store are great for smaller batches.
    • CommentAuthorSteph7
    • CommentTimeMay 17th 2015
      0 points
    Hi there! I am totally new to soap-making and also to this site. I hope it is ok to ask in this thread about the odor when making soap. I am in a small apartment and wonder if there will be a lot of fumes. I don't have a kitchen window to open, so I wonder if it is safe to make soap in here due to the lye odor. Thanks so much for any input!
    •  
      CommentAuthorApril
    • CommentTimeMay 17th 2015 edited
      0 points
    If you have a vent above your stove, you can turn that on when you mix your lye water so most of the fumes will be sucked out, I set mine right under the vent on high. Otherwise, mix it outside being careful of transport and mindful of any possible mishaps like someone running into you and knocking it over. I wouldn't leave it unattended. Once it's fully mixed and clear most of the fumes will be gone and you can bring it back inside. :)
    • CommentAuthorSteph7
    • CommentTimeMay 17th 2015
      0 points
    April, you are so dear to comment. Thank you! I have a vent hood but am worried that the odor would go to other apartments. These apartments are really old and so I don't know how good the barriers are between units. My deck is also tiny and if I were to spill I have someone who lives below me, and it could run thru and harm her belongings. I am not sure what I am going to do. Some recipes don't take lye I think? I need to check that out too. Thanks again!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorApril
    • CommentTimeMay 17th 2015
      0 points
    Alright, the deck does not seem like a good idea. However, the fumes really aren't that bad - provided you don't stick your face in them - try your vent, you won't need it for very long. 5-6 minutes at most and by the time it travels through your vent hood someone in another apartment is most likely not even going to smell it. If they by chance do, it'll be gone very quickly. Skip adding anything like silk fibers until you've tried it a couple of times - makes the lye stinkier...

    Using lye is the only way to make from scratch real soap. You could melt and pour someone else's soap but it's not nearly as much fun!
    • CommentAuthorSteph7
    • CommentTimeMay 17th 2015
      0 points
    Thanks April for helping me. I ordered three books on soap-making. I really want to try. I may have an opportunity to move to a resort area with high tourism, and I was hoping that maybe soap is something I could make for extra money. I know it may sound far-fetched, but I am really trying hard to find something I could do for additional income. I am also looking for a portable business. Just a lot going on right now, and I see that locally made soap does well in the tourist areas. Once I do some more reading I will give it a try.