A wish for consistency of UNITS! Is it only me?

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KimW

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I sorta wish I could get accustomed to metric measures because they really do make more sense in so many ways. But my old brain only thinks and pictures in US measures. If something says 9.3 ounces, I can picture just what that looks like. If it says 45 grams, that sounds like a lotta somthin' until I convert it and realize how little that is.
I know what you mean. I'm always converting in my head. I know from a biscuit recipe that 100g/ml is about 1/2 C. That's the only thing that keeps me sane when I think about metric measurements!
 

Zing

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I sorta wish I could get accustomed to metric measures because they really do make more sense in so many ways. But my old brain only thinks and pictures in US measures. If something says 9.3 ounces, I can picture just what that looks like. If it says 45 grams, that sounds like a lotta somthin' until I convert it and realize how little that is.
I know exactly what you are saying and I used the English version when I first started soaping. I know what 2 ounces of scent looks like, what 32 ounces of soap batter looks like, etc. But my compulsive side kept whispering to me that grams are way more precise than ounces so I switched over to grams. Now I just trust the recipe despite not having a frame of reference or mental vision.
 

Zing

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I know what you mean. I'm always converting in my head. I know from a biscuit recipe that 100g/ml is about 1/2 C. That's the only thing that keeps me sane when I think about metric measurements!
We were typing at the same time! I can totally remember this 100 g = 1/2 cup!

Side tangent. Our college student niece lived with us a good chunk of 2020 (because, you know, 'rona) and learned to cook from one of the best (I married Betty Crocker). She cannot tell which abbreviation stands for 'teaspoon' or 'tablespoon' and which measuring spoon to use (writing was rubbed off).
 

luluzapcat

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@Vicki C OMG I'm excited for your spreadsheet! Thanks so much! I just opened it and realized I need to dig in on this when i'm NOT halfway through a cocktail...but this is right up my alley. You are so generous to share it!
 

dibbles

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I enter my batch weight in ounces into the soap.calculator, then enter the oils in the percentages I want. Both ounces and grams are displayed, and I weigh everything in grams.
 

KimW

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We were typing at the same time! I can totally remember this 100 g = 1/2 cup!

Side tangent. Our college student niece lived with us a good chunk of 2020 (because, you know, 'rona) and learned to cook from one of the best (I married Betty Crocker). She cannot tell which abbreviation stands for 'teaspoon' or 'tablespoon' and which measuring spoon to use (writing was rubbed off).
Ohhhh noooooo - that could traumatize her for life!
 

gloopygloop

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I sorta wish I could get accustomed to metric measures because they really do make more sense in so many ways. But my old brain only thinks and pictures in US measures. If something says 9.3 ounces, I can picture just what that looks like. If it says 45 grams, that sounds like a lotta somthin' until I convert it and realize how little that is.
That is why I like percentages, then you can decide what type of measurement you want to go with but 10% is 10% for example and it is also quite easy to picture that amount say in a kilo or a pound of oils.
 

Tara_H

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I know exactly what you are saying and I used the English version when I first started soaping. I know what 2 ounces of scent looks like, what 32 ounces of soap batter looks like, etc. But my compulsive side kept whispering to me that grams are way more precise than ounces so I switched over to grams. Now I just trust the recipe despite not having a frame of reference or mental vision.
Coming at this from the other side, only worse! Growing up it was a toss-up as to which measurement was used: the natural things for me are a pound of butter but a kilo of sugar; people's heights in feet and inches but all other lengths in metres; a pint of milk or beer but all other liquids in ml, and so on...
I'm mostly metricated now, and I've no idea what an ounce looks like, or how many there are to a pound, but I have a good feel for what a pound is... :rolleyes:
I'm best at converting lengths, because I do square foot gardening (30cm) and knit gauge swatches (4ins/10cm) but that doesn't help me when it comes to soap!
 

Rivendell Rose

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Being a micro manager I’ve weighed all my additives (Citric acid, salt, Clay, AC etc) on a jewellers scale a number of times and I know what a level 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp or 1 tsp or each additive weighs. It’s easier to then use those measurements.
glad to know I’m not the only one who does this. It makes scaling recipes so much easier.
 

Zing

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Coming at this from the other side, only worse! Growing up it was a toss-up as to which measurement was used: the natural things for me are a pound of butter but a kilo of sugar; people's heights in feet and inches but all other lengths in metres; a pint of milk or beer but all other liquids in ml, and so on...
I'm mostly metricated now, and I've no idea what an ounce looks like, or how many there are to a pound, but I have a good feel for what a pound is... :rolleyes:
I'm best at converting lengths, because I do square foot gardening (30cm) and knit gauge swatches (4ins/10cm) but that doesn't help me when it comes to soap!
Wow, you are very bi-measural! I remember a similar thread awhile back where a Canadian soaper had a similar response to yours.
 

linne1gi

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I’m a registered nurse and we do everything by metrics. So I’ve spent the last 35 years converting pounds into kilograms, ounces into grams, gallons into liters and let me just say, I so wish the US would join the rest of the world. Metric is much easier, but it’s still a pain to have to convert everything! All of my soapmaking is by grams.
 

ResolvableOwl

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Another point: As a non-American, I was astonished to learn that tsp/tbsp/cup etc. really are standardised measurement units in the US. We use it too, but more as an informal unit with broad error margins, for ingredients where precision isn't paramount (think of cinnamon into the filling of cinnamon buns). Every time I read a recipe from across the Pond (be it with baking, cooking, soapmaking…), I know that I don't know how to deal with these specifications. What world of a difference it makes to swap refined sugar by raw cane sugar! In some context it makes sense to have “natural” units, like to know “this measurement spoon full of pigment will weigh 237 mg” or “one piece of the cocoa butter cast into chocolate bar shape will be 10 g”, but that, IMHO, must always be grounded on the primacy of weighting. The common lesson learned from soapmaking, baking, cooking, brewing beer and biodiesel, and exchanging recipes with your fellows all over the world.

The endless °F/°C is just the icing on the cake. What if we would agree on measuring temperatures in % of the melting point of coconut oil?
 

Vicki C

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I sorta wish I could get accustomed to metric measures because they really do make more sense in so many ways. But my old brain only thinks and pictures in US measures. If something says 9.3 ounces, I can picture just what that looks like. If it says 45 grams, that sounds like a lotta somthin' until I convert it and realize how little that is.
Or temperature... if our Canadian or other Celsius using friends tell me “it’s 38 degrees!” I just stare blankly. 😳 No feel for what that means. ETA oops @ResolvableOwl was trying to help me just as I was typing!
 

earlene

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The thing I have learned in trying to measure colorants by grams, is that there really is no way of estimating how much a teaspoon of mica is going to weigh. They really do vary quite a bit. I tried this for awhile (using my jewelry scale), and gave up on it because I add color like I cook ... "to taste" which means a 'tad' or a 'dash' or 'what looks right'. But then if I was selling, I wouldn't know what my soap's actual cost was, would I? And I know that wouldn't fly everywhere in the world, but I don't sell; I am a hobbyist.

But I do use grams, and have made an effort to figure out how much a 'drop' (or more realistically a number of drops) of ROE weighs. For me it's ROE weight that I am more concerned about than colorant weight. Of course I am also concerned about FO weights, but they're easy to weigh. ROE is much more messy when it comes to weighing it out, so I spent some time not long ago weighing out drops of ROE so I could create a conversion for my own personal reference when adding ROE to open bottles of oils.

I actually find the phrase ppo (per pound of oil) to be a disconcerting concept since I don't measure my oils by the ounce or by the pound. And then if some ingredient says 'x ppo' I have to convert it using a calculator.

Oddly, however, I do think of bars of soap in ounces and not in grams. I make soap in grams, but I do think of solid soap in terms of ounces or pounds; not wet soap, but solidified soap. I guess it's a throwback to Imperial weights of measure, or perhaps because that's pretty much how things in the US are sold (by the ounce or pound). Of course our use of Imperial measure is even at odds. Our weights (mass) are Imperial, but our Volumes are modified and not truly Imperial; I have no idea why. (Well, I do, but it's more complex than I have a mind to attend to. Link)
 

penelopejane

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glad to know I’m not the only one who does this. It makes scaling recipes so much easier.
I like to know that my recipe turns out to be the exact SF that I specify and that each recipe is exactly the same - down to the colourant. Far too pedantic for a lot of soapers.

I do everything in grams and mm - except for heights of people. I know that I am 1680mm but I can't tell you metric measurements for anyone else!
I also do some sewing and it's really annoying that they use cm for measuring fabirc. I have to watch them cut the fabric so I can make sure I'm getting 250mm not 2.5m after I've said 250 please!

Earlene
I weigh my ROE with jewelery scales because it is so thick. I then mix it thoroughly with a bit of the oil I am "protecting".

I guess it's just an example of there is no "right" way. Just find the method that works for you and adjust if you find another way that suits you better.
 
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