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Looking for equipment recommendations for 12 pound batch

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Karyn

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Hi all...

I'm scaling up to a 12 pound recipe and I'm wondering a couple of things.
First, what would be a good pot size for mixing this amount?
And, would a 12 pound batch be too deep for a regular stick blender to work?

Thank you!
 

SaltedFig

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Hi all...

I'm scaling up to a 12 pound recipe and I'm wondering a couple of things.
First, what would be a good pot size for mixing this amount?
And, would a 12 pound batch be too deep for a regular stick blender to work?

Thank you!
I'm scaling up to a 12 pound recipe ...
While your learning, it is best to keep the batch size small, and make multiple batches, but if you have got a recipe that you and your family really like, making a large batch does mean that you don't have to soap as often (are you over the addiction already? :eek:).

First, what would be a good pot size for mixing this amount?
Probably anything with two handles, at that weight. Keep in mind you will need to be able to pour it.
I tend to use a large stainless steel pot for that size, although sometimes I use an oversized stainless bowl.

And, would a 12 pound batch be too deep for a regular stick blender to work?
It shouldn't be, but it depends on your stick blender (some of the modern ones have quite a short shaft) and the diameter of the bowl/pot you are mixing in.
If you aren't sure, pour about 14 litres of water into whatever you want to make your soap in, and see whether it's long enough.
 

DeeAnna

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Whether the batch will be too deep or not for your stick blender depends on the shape of the soap pot you choose. Narrow pot = greater depth of liquid = SB might not be tall enough.

But there's another challenge regarding that stick blender that is as or more important. You also need to figure out if the stick blender will be able to provide the intensity of mixing required for the larger volume of soap batter. Not every SBer is up for that challenge. The shape of the soap pot will make some a difference -- a narrow pot will help with proper mixing compared with a wider pot -- but pot shape can't entirely compensate for a too-small stick blender.
 

shunt2011

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Also, you're relatively new to soapmaking so I am wondering why you are moving to 12 lb batches after only a few months. That's a lot of soap for a beginner. Especially if something goes wrong (and it will). I've been making soap for years an my largest batch is 15lbs but mostly make 6 lbs at a time. Unless you've decided the recipe you have it what you want to use for you and your family without making more than a batch or two a year.

My stickblender will do a 15 lb batch but my container is perfect for it. So, may take some trial and error on your part.
 

dixiedragon

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Soap is roughly 2/3 oil and 1/3 water. So if your batch is 12lb oils, that means it will be 18 lbs total. Keep in mind that soap batter is hot and caustic, so make sure you can comfortably maneuver that much weight. 18 lb = 288 ounces. (These are rough measurements. 1 oz oil by weight is ROUGHLY equal to 1 oz of oil by volume.) Notice that this doesn't include the lye - again, this is just for estimating purposes which is why you always leave some extra room.

You can find calculators online that will calculate the volume of a cylinder.
https://www.mathopenref.com/cylindervolume.html

Your soap batter should fill your pot NO MORE than 2/3. And IMO, 2/3 is pushing it.

I regularly make batches are 4 logs, which is 136 oz of oils. This gives me 40 bars. I don't think I'd want to make a batch twice that size.
 

Ivanstein

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Uncle John's Soap YouTube channel has a video that says to measure your mold volume in cubic inches and multiply by 0.4 to get ounces of oil to make enough soap to fill the mold.

I used that with a 33% lye concentration in soapcalc and it was spot on.

So...if you're using 12lb of oil, or 192 oz, you can divide that by 0.4 and get 480 cubic inches. One gallon is 231 cubic inches, so that turns out to be just over 2 gallons. I would double that and use a 4 to 5 gallon stainless pot if you're hot processing. Cold process could probably be done in a clean 5 gallon bucket.

As for your stick blender and it's suitability, well, my grandmother made soap by hand and didn't have a stick blender. She would make about 5 gallons worth at a time and pour it out on a newspaper lined workbench to cure. She used a potato masher to mix it all up. So there's that. Personally, if I were working with that much, I would get one of those paint stirring sticks you put in am electric drill from Lowe's or Home Depot.
 
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