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Soap Making Forum > The Soap Making & Craft Forum > Beginners Soap Making Forum > ​Does anyone else do this...?​
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:59 PM   #1
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Default ​Does anyone else do this...?​

If my recipe calls for, let's say, 9.62 oz. of water I always round it down to 9.00 oz. when it comes time to measure I've been doing this since I start making soap and I'm just wondering if anyone else does this.

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Old 02-16-2017, 08:45 PM   #2
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Some of us go even further with our water:lye ratios.

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Old 02-16-2017, 08:47 PM   #3
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I'm definitely a lot more precise! I aim to be about .05 oz.
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:53 PM   #4
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If there is no good reason not to, consider switching to grams - you can be more accurate while sticking to whole numbers
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:06 PM   #5
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I would round that down to 9.5, but not all the way to 9. Now, if I was doing that recipe and using a 33% wateril ratio vs the standard 38% the lye calculators start off with, it may very well drop from 9.67 to 9. But wouldn't round it there myself.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:42 PM   #6
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Stick to what the lye calculator tells you. If you are not happy with the water amount, change the lye concentration on the calculator. Rounding numbers here and there can cause bad habits.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:40 AM   #7
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What E.G. said.
I weigh in grams and try to be as precise as possible.
Like others said, if I want a higher lye concentration I simply start with it.

I usually do run a higher lye concentration so reducing the water may cause serious problems. If memory serves me lye wants to be at a minimum of 1:1 with water to safely and properly dissolve and not just go in to solution.

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Old 02-17-2017, 01:07 AM   #8
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I do the same as the good Gent and Steve- I weigh everything in grams and try to be as precise as possible.

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Old 02-17-2017, 02:16 AM   #9
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I round my grams. If it calls for 2066.7 grams of lard, I go for 2067.

But seriously, I don't think rounding by ounce is a great idea, unless your batches are like 50 pounds of soap. Being off by 14 or 15 grams can be pretty significant with small batches, especially if you're measuring lye.
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:07 PM   #10
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I'll concede that water is not nearly as critical to measure carefully for safety, since water doesn't affect whether a soap is lye heavy or not. But Steve makes a good point about the max NaOH concentration.

Also, the change of just a percent or two in lye concentration can change how your recipe performs -- whether it gels easier or not so easily, how fast or slow the recipe traces, etc. Looking at my current favorite recipe and translating from grams to ounces, the recipe calls for 16.7 oz of water. If I rounded that down to 16 oz, the lye concentration would increase by 1%. Whether that's significant or not depends on the soaper's point of view. For me, that's a definite change.

I use an elderly but still useful lab scale that weighs to 0.01 grams. While I don't get that finicky for soap making, I do weigh soap ingredients to whole grams like Irish Lass, Steve, and The Gent. I figure there is enough unknown error in a soap recipe due to estimates for lye purity, sap value, etc. I don't need to add to the error by rounding any deeper than that.

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