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Zany_in_CO

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I don't master batch but many members do. You can use the SEARCH feature in the upper right corner of this page to find more info. Here's one thread to get you started:

MASTER BATCHING LYE CALCULATORS
 

TheGecko

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I master batch both my Oils/Butters and Lye Solution and it's fairly simple.

You first need a container and to know how much it contains. I purchased a 5-gallon HDPE from my local soap supplier and it will easily hold around 60lbs of oils, but I don't do more than 40lbs in 10lbs lots as that is much as my big pot will hold and back can handle. If you're not sure how much you container can hold, put it on your scale, tare it, then fill it with water to the level you want to work with, weigh it again and multiply times 90% because oil is lighter than water.

Then go to your Soap Calculator of choice, enter your recipe and the Weight of your Oils...for me that is 160oz and print out your recipe. My recipe is Olive, Coconut, Palm and Castor Oils, and Cocoa and Shea Butter. I start by my weighing out my Cocoa Butter and putting it in my pot on a medium heat, while it's melting, I weigh out my Palm Oil and add, then my Coconut Oil and add, and then weigh out my Shea Butter (DON'T ADD). When the first three items are melted...doesn't take long...I take it off the heat and add in my Shea Butter that has been cut into small chunks. While it is melting, I weigh out my Olive and Castors Oils and add to my bucket. When the Shea Butter is melted, I then add my melted Oils/Butter to my bucket and start on the next batch.

Depending on your recipe, where you live and the time of the year, the consistency of MB'd batter will vary. During the summer (I live in the Pacific Northwest in the US), my batter is like pancake butter, during the winter it can be more like waffle or cornbread batter. Because I use both Palm Oil and Shea Butter, I bought a commercial paint stirrer to attach to my cordless drill and I give my batter a really good mix (making sure to hit the bottom and sides). I then use a ladle that holds about 4 oz.

When it comes to MBing your Lye Solution, you have two choices: 1) Make a 50/50 Lye Solution or 2) Make a Ready-to-Use Lye Solution. Once again, HPDE is your friend; I purchased two 1-gallon clear HDPE jugs from my local soap supplier, but you can also use the same container that your laundry soap comes on...just make sure it's a pourable container and not the one with a spigot. Because I use a spreadsheet*** for MBing I make my Lye Solution is Ready-to-Use (33% Lye Concentration) and I use the amounts from my 160oz recipe and 2 batches will fill a 1-gallon jug about 3/4s full. I could make a full gallon, but I'm getting older and prefer to be safe. I also put my containers in the sink when I make my Lye Solution...1) because I have a window over the sink and it sucks the fumes right out and 2) I then fill the sink with cold water so it cools down faster.

Three things about MB your Lye Solution...1) Make sure you label your container. It's better to be safe, than sorry. 2) You want to keep it at room temp, do NOT store in the garage or put in the frig. 3) When you are done soap for the day, take a damp paper towel and wipe the threads and around the spout of your jug, and wipe the inside threads of your cap and make sure it is tightly closed. You'll get drips and Lye Solution on the threads and it will start to crystalize and can interfere with a tight seal. Properly sealed, I've had my Lye Solution stay fresh and strong for six months.

*** - My spreadsheet lists each mold, the total weight of batter the mold holds, how much Oils/Butter, Lye Solution and FO I need for each mold.

So when I go to make soap, I grab my mold and container, tare out my container and look at the spreadsheet to see how much Oil/Butter I need and divide by four, I then count out that many scoops and then weigh and adjust. Into the microwave for about 20-30 seconds PPO. While it's melting, I weigh out my Lye Solution and add my Sodium Lactate. I also weigh out my FO and add my Kaolin Clay. And then I mix up any colorants. And then I make soap.

And because I 1) start with simple soaps first and 2) clean as I go...when I'm done for the day, clean up is a breeze.
 
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What @TheGecko said… 😄. i used to MB lye at 1:1, now I just MB several batches worth at regular strength. I was having trouble in colder weather with lye crystallizing in 1:1 solutions.
One change I made a while ago is to install plastic spigots on 5 gallon HDPE buckets for masterbatched oils. It wasn’t that hard to do and they work really well. One tip is to warm the silicone gaskets in warm water before you install them. I used spigots like this.
B008D27C-F4BE-4E0E-9572-705684DEA0A3.jpeg

i have a small table with a scale below the table with the bucket. I have a long spatula in the bucket, so I give the master batch a good stir, tare my container, and then measure directly into the container that’s sitting on the scale. I mix 10 kg at a time which is a little more than half a bucket full.
 
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Zany_in_CO

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i have a small table with a scale below the table with the bucket. I have a long spatula in the bucket, so I give the master batch a good stir, tare my container, and then measure directly into the container that’s sitting on the scale. I mix 10 kg at a time which is a little more than half a bucket full.
Brilliant! Thanks for sharing! :thumbup:
 

TheGecko

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What @TheGecko said… 😄. i used to MB lye at 1:1, now I just MB several batches worth at regular strength. I was having trouble in colder weather with lye crystallizing in 1:1 solutions.
One change I made a while ago is to install plastic spigots on 5 gallon HDPE buckets for masterbatched oils. It wasn’t that hard to do and they work really well. One tip is to warm the silicone gaskets in warm water before you install them. I used spigots like this.

i have a small table with a scale below the table with the bucket. I have a long spatula in the bucket, so I give the master batch a good stir, tare my container, and then measure directly into the container that’s sitting on the scale. I mix 10 kg at a time which is a little more than half a bucket full.
What do you use on your buckets to keep your Oils fluid?
 
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What do you use on your buckets to keep your Oils fluid?
They stay fluid enough - they are opaque, but are (depending on ambient temp) fluid enough to still come out of the spigot. If my studio gets really cold, which is does at times in winter, they harden up too much to come out of the spigot and I scoop them out of the top of the bucket.
Here's a tutorial I wrote for masterbatching lye solution: Masterbatching lye | Soapy Stuff

And here's another for masterbatching fat blends: Masterbatching fats | Soapy Stuff
Don’t ever take down Soapy Stuff - I love your helpful website! 😊👍
 

DeeAnna

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"...One change I made a while ago is to install plastic spigots on 5 gallon HDPE buckets for masterbatched oils...."

I'll issue my usual cautions about using this type of spigot for use with chemicals --

A spigot like this might not leak right away, but that doesn't mean they will never leak. It's pretty common for the spigot valve to not get fully closed and slowly drip directly from the spigot opening. Another common failure is for the seals on either side of the bucket wall to gradually compress. This loosens the screwed compression fitting and cause a leak down the side of the container. Even if the liquid in the bucket is only fat, a slow drip or dribble over some hours or days can make a goopy mess ... and if it's lye solution or other hazardous liquid, a slow drip or dribble can be a major safety problem.

In a chemistry lab, a storage container with a spigot is sometimes kept in a special cradle that allows the container to be rocked partly on its side when the container isn't being used. This rotates the spigot out of the liquid, reducing the chance of inadvertent leaks. Or the containers are kept in a special storage area that has a curb around it to contain leaks.

Even if leaks weren't an issue, I still can't recommend this type of spigot for an alkali storage container. The plastic of the spigot itself is often HDPE or polypropylene, which is fine, but the gaskets and the internal seals of most valves like this are typically ~not~ resistant to strong alkalis, like NaOH solution.

By saying all this, I'm wanting to educate other readers about the issues of using containers with spigots. I'm sure if someone reads about your use of a spigot with a container of fat, it's an easy jump to the idea of using a spigot with lye solution, and I'd like to warn people away from making this choice.
 

TheGecko

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By saying all this, I'm wanting to educate other readers about the issues of using containers with spigots. I'm sure if someone reads about your use of a spigot with a container of fat, it's an easy jump to the idea of using a spigot with lye solution, and I'd like to warn people away from making this choice.
Good point.

And true on spigots as a whole given the amount of sun tea jugs I have gone through over the years...enough that I eventually just quit buying them. Even my collapsible water jugs for camping had to be replaced every few years.
 
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My issue with MB large containers of oils and using spigots without pre-stirring is knowing how well mixed the MB is. Not being a chemist I just do not trust that some oils do not sink to the bottom and some go to the top.

I prefer to use appropriate size HDPE buckets which in my case were 1-gallon buckets to make up 59 ounces of oils at a time. I would fill 10+ buckets with my recipes and tape my formula on the top of each bucket. All the hard oils were melted in the buckets in the microwave before adding in my liquid oils then I would snap on the lids. On soaping day I would get down a bucket and I was ready to soap. If my oils were not quite clear enough I would zap them in the microwave or I would just stir them well to loosen them up.
 
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My issue with MB large containers of oils and using spigots without pre-stirring is knowing how well mixed the MB is. Not being a chemist I just do not trust that some oils do not sink to the bottom and some go to the top.

I prefer to use appropriate size HDPE buckets which in my case were 1-gallon buckets to make up 59 ounces of oils at a time. I would fill 10+ buckets with my recipes and tape my formula on the top of each bucket. All the hard oils were melted in the buckets in the microwave before adding in my liquid oils then I would snap on the lids. On soaping day I would get down a bucket and I was ready to soap. If my oils were not quite clear enough I would zap them in the microwave or I would just stir them well to loosen them up.
I can testify to this. I have to stir my entire big MB container every time with the paddle mixer attachment on my drill (well, my husband's drill). Otherwise, what's on top is much thinner, and the bottom is much thicker.

Having just refilled that big container today, I'm considering whether to give it a super good blending for a few minutes, and then decant into some smaller containers. I will also need to wrap the heating pad around it for a bit, because at room temp, it's too thick to come out of the spigot very easily, even when fully blended. Warming it definitely helps me blend it up better.
 
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"...One change I made a while ago is to install plastic spigots on 5 gallon HDPE buckets for masterbatched oils...."

I'll issue my usual cautions about using this type of spigot for use with chemicals --

A spigot like this might not leak right away, but that doesn't mean they will never leak. It's pretty common for the spigot valve to not get fully closed and slowly drip directly from the spigot opening. Another common failure is for the seals on either side of the bucket wall to gradually compress. This loosens the screwed compression fitting and cause a leak down the side of the container. Even if the liquid in the bucket is only fat, a slow drip or dribble over some hours or days can make a goopy mess ... and if it's lye solution or other hazardous liquid, a slow drip or dribble can be a major safety problem.

In a chemistry lab, a storage container with a spigot is sometimes kept in a special cradle that allows the container to be rocked partly on its side when the container isn't being used. This rotates the spigot out of the liquid, reducing the chance of inadvertent leaks. Or the containers are kept in a special storage area that has a curb around it to contain leaks.

Even if leaks weren't an issue, I still can't recommend this type of spigot for an alkali storage container. The plastic of the spigot itself is often HDPE or polypropylene, which is fine, but the gaskets and the internal seals of most valves like this are typically ~not~ resistant to strong alkalis, like NaOH solution.

By saying all this, I'm wanting to educate other readers about the issues of using containers with spigots. I'm sure if someone reads about your use of a spigot with a container of fat, it's an easy jump to the idea of using a spigot with lye solution, and I'd like to warn people away from making this choice.
Those are all really good points. Mine do drip occasionally, right after I have dispensed, and I tighten /inspect them when they are empty. Agree this would not be recommended for lye, I wouldn’t even consider doing that. And agree it has to be stirred before any dispensing.
My containment method is a paper towel under the spigot, which has been enough for now.
 

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