Adjusting ingredients for different sized batches

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Jan 26, 2014
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Alright… 2nd question today. STILL a newbie :D

My wife and I have been doing research all day about our first recipe, and making sure we fully understand what is going on.

We've come to the conclusion that 44oz. of base oils are necessary for a 5lb. batch. Is this correct? If so, what is the reasoning behind this? What dictates the amount of base oils needed for a recipe?

Along with that… If we want to take that 5lb. recipe and quarter it (this is for our preliminary testing with EOs) I understand that you cannot just quarter the amount of lye used. So we take our ingredients, quarter them, and then use a lye calculator to figure out the amount of lye. So far so good?
What I don't understand is that some of the lye calculators we have tried are giving us different results as compared to the recipes we have from a soap making book.
IE…The book recipe called for 1oz of lavender, and 13.2oz of water.
After using the lye calculator, we were told to use 2oz. of lavender and 16.4oz. of water. While I understand the EOs are purely personal taste, I thought I remembered reading that if you add more EO, you need to lower the amount of water used….
Is the difference of 3oz. of water not a big deal? It seems like it would be to me. But again, we haven't made any soap yet.

LASTLY… what does this mean!?!?!
"Liquid Lye Solution"
Enter the strength of your lye solution. The solution strength needs to be measured as a percentage of lye weight to water weight.

Thank YOU for bearing with me and my short story of a question.

M & V
If you want to reduce the amount of the recipe figure what percent of the total weight of the oil each individual oil contributes. For instance, I usually use Castor oil at 5% of the total weight of the oils and coconut oil as 30% of the oils, rice bran-45% of the total and palm-20% of the total. Using SoapCalc, you can set the total oil weight desired and click on each oil and fill in the percent needed. Click on calculate and then view/print. The superfat is automatically set at 5% for SoapCalc. Lye strength is preset with lye calculators. I wouldn't worry about changing that. Some soapers make up master batches of lye/water solution and oils. That is for more experienced soapers. You don't have to lower the amount of liquid when using essential oils. I use about .5 ounce essential or fragrance oils per pound of soaping oils. I think you will find that is around the norm for many soapers. What book are you using?
I have Soapmaker 3 and use it or SoapCalc to figure the amounts of liquid and lye to go with my oils. Some lye calculators may be set with a water discount, making the liquid less than you see on SoapCalc. I would go with what SoapCalc says, especially if you are new to soaping. Add the weight of the water with the weight of the oils to get the total weight of the recipe. I usually don't add the weight of the lye to figure the size of the soap mold. You can always have a small plastic container ready for any extra soap. I hope this helps.:)

Post Script: I suggest viewing the Soap Queen and Soaping101 videos, they will give you some great information.

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