Lye Tank Help!

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jkleiner

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Hello everyone,
Im new here... I have been making soap for a few years now and have taken the plunge and bought myself a lye tank... but as I am setting up and getting ready to fill it for the first time I started thinking (probably over thinking) about how much of the solution I was going to need to use for the actual soap! For example, for one of my soap recipes I use 66oz of water and 27oz of lye. So for the lye tank, do I simply measure out the 66oz of "lye solution" for the batch of soap? or is it 66+27? AGHH Please help.
 

shunt2011

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What strength of lye solution will you be making? Are you doing 50/50?
 

kchaystack

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Hello everyone,
Im new here... I have been making soap for a few years now and have taken the plunge and bought myself a lye tank... but as I am setting up and getting ready to fill it for the first time I started thinking (probably over thinking) about how much of the solution I was going to need to use for the actual soap! For example, for one of my soap recipes I use 66oz of water and 27oz of lye. So for the lye tank, do I simply measure out the 66oz of "lye solution" for the batch of soap? or is it 66+27? AGHH Please help.
What will be the concentration of you masterbatched solution in the tank?
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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In this case, if you need 44g of lye, you need 100g of solution. If you need 88g of lye, you need 200g of solution.

In that 100g of solution, you have 44g lye and 56g water, so if your recipe calls for 44g lye and 70g water, you need 100g of solution and an additional 14g of water.
 

jkleiner

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wow, this makes so much sense.. thank you so much.. I knew I was over thinking things! You're a life saver!
 

CaraBou

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Just wondering why you'd choose to pre-make a 44% solution. It does the make the math more difficult when it comes time to using it in a recipe. Pre-batching half water and half lye (50/50 or 1:1) would really simplify your life if you struggle with basic algebra like many do. Then you would just double the amount of pre-batched 1:1 solution to get the proper amount of lye, and add in the additional amount of water that is above the "1" amount to get your desired water.

If that makes no sense to you, search for other threads on master batched lye on this forum; there are several ways to explain it and some work better for some minds than others do.

Good luck, and hope to see you around more on the forum!
 

DeeAnna

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I agree with CaraBou and Effie, and that's the method I use -- there's less chance of making mistakes with a 50% concentration vs. 44%. I'm pretty good with math, but even I appreciate being able to double check my numbers in my head as I work.

If you are worried that 44% is somehow safer to use or easier to make than 50%, it's really not. Same precautions, same risks, same method to make.

Another alternative to consider that works well if you always or almost always use a consistent lye concentration is to simply make your masterbatch solution equal to the lye concentration you normally use. Then water weight + lye weight = weight of masterbatch solution to use. This will not work well if the lye solution varies from batch to batch or if you're making soap with alternative liquids such as milk or beer, but for repetitive production it would be good.
 
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niclycha

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I thought I just learned how to Masterbatch but I'm remembering that Soaping is by weight and nor volume correct?
I was thinking 1 cup lye to equal height cup water, but that's not right, right? Lol
Its however many WEIGHED OZ of water to however many WEIGHED OZ of lye. ..correct
 

KristaY

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I thought I just learned how to Masterbatch but I'm remembering that Soaping is by weight and nor volume correct?
I was thinking 1 cup lye to equal height cup water, but that's not right, right? Lol
Its however many WEIGHED OZ of water to however many WEIGHED OZ of lye. ..correct
You're right niclycha. The amount of all ingredients in soap making is best (and most accurately) done by weight, not volume. The easiest way to remember it is all things in a cup will weigh something different. If I put pebbles in one cup and feathers in another cup (both cups being exactly the same measurements) I'll get more weight from the pebbles than I will from the feathers even though the volume appears to be the same. :)
 

DeeAnna

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Concentrated lye is MUCH heavier than the same volume of water -- a cup of 50% lye solution will weigh about 1.5 times more than a cup of plain water. That's a LOT. So, yeah, measure by weight only! I always use grams and that keeps me out of trouble -- the difference between "weight ounces" and "volume/fluid ounces" is just too, too confusing.
 

niclycha

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I know, they should not call it the same. fluid Ounces should be called one thing and volume Oz should be something else ha ha
So confusing
 

DeeAnna

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Hmmm ... well, fluid ounces and ounces by volume ARE the same thing. It's ounces by weight that's different than the other two.
 

sudsy_kiwi

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I know, they should not call it the same. fluid Ounces should be called one thing and volume Oz should be something else ha ha
So confusing
Or everyone could just start using the metric system :) Never understood why Americans in particular seem so determined to cling to Imperial :confused:

Anyway, how long is it safe to store masterbatched lye? Are we talking days, weeks, months...?
 

niclycha

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I am not really sure, she said make and store about a weeks worth,
I had 2160 grams of cold distilled water so I weighed out 2160 grams of lye lol. That's how much I made.
The SHE is the instructor on Soaping 101 on YouTube. I forget her name.
 
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