master-batching sugar and citric acid solution. Possible?

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Orla

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Hi all, I hope everyone is safe and well. This would really be a question for the chemists (not saying Deeanna!!). If you prepared your sugar and citric acid solution in advance, no chemical reaction between the two would interfere with their properties in any way, would it? I keep nervously melting sugar/distilled water solution and separately a citric acid/distilled water solution, but then I end up just throwing them into the water for the lye together. Could I just do them at one go? I'm following advice I got here and using 5% sugar and 2% citric acid - so the ratio remains stable. Is there anything to stop me from making up a solution of sugar/citric acid/distilled water and then using it later? I hunted for this on the site, but can see no reference to such a practice.... maybe for good reason!!! Thank you in advance
 

DeeAnna

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I wish I had good answers for you, but I've never done a lye masterbatch with anything other than water and NaOH.

I do know from Carolyn (cmzaha) that masterbatching with NaOH and vinegar can be troublesome. Including the vinegar causes the mixture to thicken as time passes. If she makes a vinegar-lye masterbatch, she's told me that she makes only the amount of solution needed for the next day's soap making.

I can't say whether that applies to a citric acid and sugar masterbatch. Maybe someone has tried it and can comment.
 

Orla

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Thank you Deeanna. Actually, I masterbatched NaOH and Aloe Vera Juice (99.75 pure with 0.25% citric acid) and it's been absolutely fine. Taking into account masterbatching for me is a litre, and the timeframe we're talking about a month.
Yes, I see your point though. I've masterbatched the sugar solution - with a 2:1 ratio on the sugar:water. Apparently, all the GB barmen do it for cocktails. So it's quite thick, well, not even gooey, but not watery at all. I was thinking of weighing it and working out the maths for adding 2% citric but I might leave that experiment for a later day/month. Thank you.
 

DeeAnna

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Oh, geeze, I completely misunderstood your question. I thought you wanted to add the citric acid and sugar to an NaOH solution, not water. My apologies!

Yes, you can masterbatch a water, sugar and citric acid solution. I make elderflower syrup, and that's basically what elderflower syrup is -- sugar, water, citric acid, and lemon juice, with elderflowers infused into it.

Citric acid and table sugar (sucrose) can react to form "invert sugars". At room temperature, the process is fairly slow. Even if this happens, the invert sugar will still work fine in your soap because it is essentially fructose and glucose, two simple sugars. People often use simple sugars -- honey is an example -- in food and soap, even though they don't always know it.
 

Orla

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Wow, fantastic! Thank you so much. I'm very pleased. For people who soap irregularly and only make small batches, making sure the sugar is melted and then the citric acid also is all quite a bit of extra faff (I just made that word up perhaps). Thank you again. All my best, Orla
 

DeeAnna

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I should also have mentioned that a sugar-and-water solution will eventually ferment, especially at room temperature. The citric acid will inhibit bacterial growth somewhat, but it won't do much to slow the growth of yeast and other fungi. You will need to store it in the refrigerator to get a few weeks of shelf life. For long term storage, you could freeze it in ice cube trays.
 

Jillyb

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I do a masterbatch sugar solution and just keep it in the fridge. Works fine and easier than desolving it everytime. Ive been thinking of doing the same with CA also.
 

Orla

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I do a masterbatch sugar solution and just keep it in the fridge. Works fine and easier than desolving it everytime. Ive been thinking of doing the same with CA also.
Yes, when I've finished my sugar soluton and my citric acid solution, I'm making a sugar+citric acid water solution at a 5:2 ratio - and 1:1 sugar: to water
 

TheGecko

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I masterbatch my regular lye solution by the gallon, but it's only Distilled Water and Sodium Hydroxide; I don't add anything else until I am ready to make soap.

I've just started experimenting with adding a little sugar (hubby wants more bubbles). I just dissolve the sugar in a little bit of warm water and then add it in to the oils and stick blend.

I've never used CA, I believe that it takes some heat to dissolve it. But as a former bartender we made our Simple Syrup from scratch. We never made more than we would typically use in two weeks and kept it refrigerated because it will go bad.
 

Orla

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I got on to some bartenders' group discussion and there it seemed they talked about sugar syrup (for cocktails) being ok for several months. Anyway, as I think Deeanna said, adding the citric could only prolong its shelflfe. I keep mine in the fridge anyway. It's just that melting sugar and melting the citric acid (in my experience easier to dissolve) is all a bit of a faff.
 
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