Masterbatching Help, Please?

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Susie

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OK, I read this thread:

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=62022&highlight=masterbatching&page=3

And my eyes glazed over until they started bleeding. Now I have a headache.

But I MUST soap cooler if I want to do swirls. Thus I have to master masterbatching. Much as I hate the math required.

So, I am pleading to someone, anyone, to do the impossible and explain the math in a format I can grasp. Because I assure you that 3 hours of trying to apply the formulae in that thread to my recipes has left me more confused than I began.

I have some specific questions:

1. Do I need to stick to the Lye/Water 1:1 ratio, or can I use the full water amount for the number of recipes I intend to make?
2. If I have to use the 1:1 ratio, then I need to know how to figure out the weight of the mixture to use per batch. I do understand that I will have to add water or other liquid to bring the total to what I need for the batch.
3. I intend to use the NaOH 95%, KOH 5% ratio. I need serious help accomplishing how to figure this out unless I can use my standard amounts and multiply it by the number of batches I want to make.
4. Assuming I use the normal amounts of lyes and water, how do I know how much to weigh out for each batch? Is it simply adding the water weight to the lyes weight, then dividing by the number of batches? Or do the weights get funky once mixed? Do I then weigh the total, subtract the weight of the container, then divide that by the number of batches?
 

newbie

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Personally, i think it is easiest to do masterbatching with a 1:1 ratio. Then when you decide how big a batch you want to make, you look at the lye amount and simply double it to know the amount you weigh out. You can then decide how much "extra" water you want in that batch. That way you can use the masterbatched lye for low or high to medium water soaps.

If you always soap with a 2:1 water to lye ratio, you could certainly masterbatch that. Then you have to remember to look at the lye amount for the batch size you intend to make and multiply it by three to know how much to weigh out. However, you have then locked yourself into that ratio and if you wanted to do a goat milk soap or add aloe juice etc..., you would have to make a new lye batch to accommodate that.

When I masterbatch lye, I don't make it for a specific number of batches, to be honest. I pour in water and then the same amount of lye and make a fair amount, like 15 ounces of water and 15 ounces of lye. When I get low enough that I don't have enough for a single batch, I add more water and an equal amount of lye and keep it going. I use the lye bottles for masterbatching and know about what they weigh, so I can set one on the scale, subtract the general weight and have a fair idea of how much is left in the bottle.

Regarding how much to weigh out, it would depend on how you mix it. If you go 1:1, you would simply weigh out twice as much as the lye amount required. You can then dissolve anything else you ike in your soap (sugar, sodium citrate, whatever) in the balance of the water for how you intend to soap.

I hope this makes sense.

I make KOH and NAOH masterbatches separately so I don't even want to try to answer your question of how to MB it together. I don't want to mess up! Are you set on MB the 95/5 amount? If so, I can look at the formula and try to simplify it or give you some hard and fast numbers to use, if possible.
 
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mx6inpenn

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I can't help with the KOH portion, but masterbatching is much easier than it sounds. I was terrified I was going to mess up when I started, but it makes things so much easier in the long run.

I will second doing a 1:1 ratio for ease of use with various water amounts and other liquids.

Just remember that you have 50% water and 50% NaOH in the solution. If you need 100g NaOH, you would pour 200g and have 100g of each. If you are making a batch of soap at 2:1 water to lye, you then just need to add 100g more liquid.

When I started masterbatching, I still used the standard 38% water amount. On SoapCalc, I made my recipe as usual then went to the view/print screen. There I looked at the amounts for lye and water.

Lye amount x 2 = amount of 1:1 masterbatch solution

Water amount - NaOH amount = additional liquid needed

I don't know if that's said in a way that makes sense or not, but it's how I was able to figure my amounts.

Eta: I also don't make an amount needed for a certain number of batches. I do 2# of lye at a time. I have to mix it slowly because it builds quite a bit of heat, but it cools off quickly on the cold concrete garage floor at this time of year. :)
 
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IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
I don't do mixed lye masterbatches, but I agree with Newbie and mx6inpenn- a 1:1 ratio (50% lye solution) is the easiest and best way to go, unless you always use a particular lye solution without any deviation, that is. The math with a 1:1 ratio is so simple, I truly believe you would need someone to help you misunderstand it. lol

After typing your recipe into a lye calculator as you normally would do for whatever batch you are making set to whatever lye concentration % you like to use for your batch, jot down the lye and water amounts the calculator gives you. Then do this simple 2-part equation:

1) Recipe amount of NaOH the calculator gives you X 2= how much of the 1:1 lye solution to pour out for your batch.

2) Water amount the calculator gives you - the NaOH amount the calculator gave you = how much additional water you need for your batch to equal whatever lye concentration you typed into the calculator.

That's it. Easy-peasy.

Edited to add that I, too, don't make an amount needed for a certain amount of batches. I just make enough that fits in my lye-solution storage bottle, which just happens to make something like seven 2.8 lb batches or so (give or take).


IrishLass :)
 

Susie

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Thank y'all so much! It makes much more sense now!

newbie and mx6inpenn-if I do mix the KOH and NaOH separately in water, do I use the same formula to weigh it out?

Let's say I need 4.21 oz NaOH and 0.35 oz KOH. I then only need to pour out 8.42 oz of the NaOH/water mixture and 0.7 oz of the KOH/water solutions, then add 4.91 oz of water for a 38% water? What if I want to do a 33% lye concentration?

ETA: Nevermind, IrishLass was kind enough to answer what I had not even asked. Thanks again, y'all! Y'all are wonderful!
 

newbie

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I just wanted to say yes, that is exactly right and then you can vary the balance of the water to get whatever water percentage/lye percentage you want. I think it's much easier to make the KOH and NaOH separately and then calculate each according to your recipe. It will vary slightly for different recipes anyhow, so that gives you all the flexibility you could ask for.
 

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Susie, thank you for this thread! It's one I would have been posting in the near future
 

kchaystack

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I figured I might add some pictorial help. Since I use soapee like you do Susie, maybe this will help. I use metric measurements, but that does not change the process if you use Imperial.

So the first is my weights from Soapee. This is for a 33% lye solution, and I master batch just like Irishlass, making about 1kg of lye at a time of 50% solution.

The second are the calculations that I do to figure out a 33% solution. I just add the KOH and my additional liquid to my masterbatch. That will cause it to warm up some - but not as hot as when you make your lye from scratch.

Soapee weights example.JPG


Master batch example.JPG
 

Susie

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I figured I might add some pictorial help. Since I use soapee like you do Susie, maybe this will help. I use metric measurements, but that does not change the process if you use Imperial.

So the first is my weights from Soapee. This is for a 33% lye solution, and I master batch just like Irishlass, making about 1kg of lye at a time of 50% solution.

The second are the calculations that I do to figure out a 33% solution. I just add the KOH and my additional liquid to my masterbatch. That will cause it to warm up some - but not as hot as when you make your lye from scratch.
OK, I sort of understood some of that...maybe. But when do you add the KOH and additional liquid? When you make the masterbatch, or when you go to use it?

Susie, thank you for this thread! It's one I would have been posting in the near future
I am old enough that I have lost all shame in asking questions. I figure that since I am not brilliant like some of these folks, I am asking questions that regular folks like me need to understand.
 
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earlene

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I do the exact same thing as kchaystack, except the final lye concentration may vary depending on the soap I want to make. But I do my calculations the same way (using Soapee, etc.) and mix it together the same way.

When do I add the KOH & additional liquid? At the same time I would normally be preparing my lye solution if I were to have chosen to start from scratch. If the liquid is not a milk, I add it to the 50% NaOH masterbatch solution, it heats up somewhat. Then I add the KOH. It heats up some more. If my additional liquid is a milk, I'll deduct the exact weight amount of the KOH from the milk and use that for water to offset the KOH when added to the masterbatch NaOH 50% lye solution, then do as I said in the previous section.
 

Susie

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OK, so you are saying that adding water to the masterbatched NaOH and water makes it heat up? Then the KOH heats it up more? Where is the benefit of masterbatching, then? I am trying to not have hot lye solution to mix with my oils. (I say this as I have 32 oz NaOH and 32 oz H2O cooling outside.)
 

mx6inpenn

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OK, so you are saying that adding water to the masterbatched NaOH and water makes it heat up? Then the KOH heats it up more? Where is the benefit of masterbatching, then? I am trying to not have hot lye solution to mix with my oils. (I say this as I have 32 oz NaOH and 32 oz H2O cooling outside.)
I add my additional liquid to my oils to avoid the extra heat.
 

kchaystack

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OK, I sort of understood some of that...maybe. But when do you add the KOH and additional liquid? When you make the masterbatch, or when you go to use it?
When I go to make a batch of soap. I pour the extra liquid, add the KOH, then pour my masterbatch liquid. It does heat up some - but not nearly as much as when you make it all from scratch. It is about the same temp as my melted oils.
 
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Susie

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Ah, OK. I am going ahead and masterbatching my KOH while I am in the process.

Thank you all! I understand it now. I just have this huge mental block about math, algebra in particular, and as much as I like the folks on that other thread, nothing was clicking in my brain.

Newbie-the idea of using the lye bottles for this is sheer genius. Goodness knows I have enough of those laying about. I give liquid soap away in them, but they still keep accumulating.
 
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DeeAnna

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I add my additional liquid to my oils to avoid the extra heat.
It's impossible to avoid creating the extra heat energy -- the chemistry causing the evolution of the heat doesn't change. When you follow this method, you just don't notice it as much. The extra volume of liquid from the fat reduces the overall rise in temperature. But even though the temp of the soap batter doesn't go up as much compared to adding the liquid to just the lye solution, the total amount of heat created is still the same.

To rephrase what KC said, masterbatching reduces the amount of heat energy that's created right when you make soap. You take care of a lot of the heat when you masterbatch your lye ahead of time and let it cool. When you then make the soap, there's only the smaller amount of heat that's created when you add the extra water, KOH, etc. to the batter or to the masterbatched lye. It warms up, yes, but not nearly so hot as if you make the lye solution completely from scratch.
 
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Susie

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OK, I am trusting y'all on this. I now have 48 oz (volume) of NaOH/H2O 1:1, and 20 oz of KOH/H2O 1:1.

I also melted and weighed out 60 oz of CO in containers. I HATE dealing with cold CO!

I also mixed some containers of CO, Castor Oil, and Olive Oil batches to facilitate making soap in the future. I figure once I melt my lard, I can use the residual heat to melt the rest down. Should take the temperature of the melted lard right down, right? I am testing that theory, though.

Newbie-I am going to try the Sahara Gold today as lines in some Dragon's Blood soap with red streaks. I will try to get a pic as soon as the color changes to brown.
 

penelopejane

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I just wanted to say yes, that is exactly right and then you can vary the balance of the water to get whatever water percentage/lye percentage you want. I think it's much easier to make the KOH and NaOH separately and then calculate each according to your recipe. It will vary slightly for different recipes anyhow, so that gives you all the flexibility you could ask for.
Regarding how much to weigh out, it would depend on how you mix it. If you go 1:1, you would simply weigh out twice as much as the lye amount required. You can then dissolve anything else you ike in your soap (sugar, sodium citrate, whatever) in the balance of the water for how you intend to soap.
^^^Great advice!

It's important to do 1:1 masterbatching so you have water for your additives because your solution will not absorb more and it is versatile. If you use silk add it to the lye mix. Make sure you stir and stir and stir until it's mixed in and shake your cold mixture before you use it.

You will use a tiny amount of KOH so masterbatching it makes it easier to measure out accurately.

I write the calculations down and have it stuck on the wall as I soap to avoid (now!) mistakes.
It really is bliss making soap when the lye is pre-prepared.
If I can do it (usually complication spells disaster for me) you can!

Susie, regarding premixing hard and soft oils be careful. I put my CO in a bucket with a lid so I can scoop it out to weigh it then melt it and add to other oils each time I make a batch.

I find CO has to be quite warm to ensure it is thoroughly mixed through so as not to leave spots on the finished soap.
I also SB the oils before adding to lye mixes to aid this.
 
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earlene

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I also store my masterbatch lye solution in lye bottles. I really like the ED lye bottles as they are PET5. But don't use the Lye Guy bottles as even though they say 2 on the bottom, they feel extremely flimsy to me and I think they'd buckle if you squeeze too hard when handling them.
 

Susie

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I have the ED bottles. Love them. So sturdy. I may have to order some from somewhere if I ever stop buying lye there.
 

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