Adding additional liquids.

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Feb 11, 2024
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So how do I include additional liquids into the soap calc formulas. The only liquid other then the oils is the water used to activate the lye, typically 50/50 so if I want to add other non fat products how do I know how much to add and how it will effect the final soap? Example beer, milk. Can I also infuse the oils, hot or cold, with natural spices like cinnamon and or clove then remove pieces before making the batch? Thanks for the help.
You deduct the amount from your water. For example, if using 300g beer and your recipe uses 300g water, you just replace the water with the beer 100%. Mix the lye with the beer. Be aware that different liquids can react differently with lye. beer can overheat and volcano, milk can go gluggy due to the fat content - and it can scorch. etc. General advice is to keep the lye solution cooler than you would when using water to avoid these problems.
I infuse my oils with herbs occasionally. It gives some label appeal, and perhaps colour, but doesn't necessarily retain the goodness of the herb ( even though your customers reading the label might think it does).
Be aware that cinnamon and clove can be skin irritants and skin sensitizers, so you'll want to research the recommended use of these spices in skincare products.

Infusing oil with herbs and spices is fun -- I've done it -- but it's not a good way to scent the soap, if that's what you have in mind. Oil or water infusions don't contain enough fragrance chemicals to add a distinct, lasting scent in soap.
The way I like to handle beer is to start out with the amount needed for the total amount of liquid, then reduce it when simmering to the liquid needed to add to the MB lye.
So for example if the recipe calls for 2.6 oz of water and 10.4 oz MB lye. I weigh 7.8 oz (2.6 + 5.2) of beer, then simmer that until it's reduced to 2.6 oz. After this has cooled and I have re-weighed it to make sure it is 2.6 oz, I add the MB lye to this (slowly).
Please note that if the beer has reduced more than the needed amount of liquid, I just add back a little distilled water to get to the correct weight.

This won't work for milk, just beer. If one simmers milk, it's most likely going to scorch. Since beer has to be simmered anyway to get rid of the carbonation and I like to MB lye, the above approach works for me.