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Chispa

Well-Known Member
Hello,

Every time I make lye water, I use the same rate of additives and dissolve them in the water before adding the lye crystals.
100% Aloe juice for water
2% Salt
2% Sugar
2% Citric Acid

Would I be able to masterbatch and store a lye solution containing the above ingredients? Would the goodness in the Aloe Juice break down over time? How would I calculate how much of the lye mixture to use for a recipe?

BrewerGeorge

Well-Known Member
I don't know about the aloe, but I've decided to add the sugar and sodium citrate to the additional water required for the 50% lye solution. Adding anything else but water and lye will change the math from almost foolproof to quite complicated. It's just not worth the trouble to me.

For that matter, using citric acid instead of reacted sodium citrate will change things a bit, too. If you're using the 6g to 10g ratios to account for the citric acid, you're actually going to be adding more water in solution along with your extra lye. You can obviously figure it out, but I'm not looking for additional complications on soaping day.

Traumabrew

Well-Known Member
I don't know how long the solution would stay stable.

But you will have to determine the lye concentration of your master batch. For example, 1 oz of master batch lye solution contains 0.5 oz NaOH. Then when you compute your batch, let's say it requires 7 oz NaOH, you would have to use 14 oz of master batch solution. That's assuming you always the same lye % solution.

Chispa

Well-Known Member
So, like a good engineer, I plugged all the numbers into a spreadsheet to see how complicated it got. Does anyone see anything wrong with my calculations? Calculations are attached below. The numbers in red are not added, but exist to help arrive at the answer.

The only variable that isn't solid is the proportion of NaOH to oil, which varies between 13 and 14% depending on the oils I use. The proportion of additives is dependent on this, so they will not be exactly 2%, but will be close enough.

As long as I multiply the grams of NaOH in the recipe by 3.55, I will have the grams of solution to use.

In other threads about master batching I found some people that have had no problems master batching with Aloe Juice, some who freeze it afterwards, others who just keep it on a shelf.

BrewerGeorge

Well-Known Member
The only thing I'm seeing that's a bit unusual is that you seem to be making a roughly 33% lye concentration solution.

Chispa

Well-Known Member
Thanks George,
It is a 33% solution, that's what Ive been making soap with from day 1. I probably should try some other concentrations, but so far this has been treating me well.

BrewerGeorge

Well-Known Member
Thanks George,
It is a 33% solution, that's what Ive been making soap with from day 1. I probably should try some other concentrations, but so far this has been treating me well.

I use 33% most of the time as well. What's unusual is that most people masterbatch at 50% then add more water on soaping day.

toxikon

Supporting Member
In case you've never read it, DeAnna has a great overview of citric acid here: https://classicbells.com/soap/citricAcid.html

Citric acid neutralizes a small portion of the lye, so you'll wanna keep that in mind and add more lye to compensate.

Chispa

Well-Known Member
George,
I feel like the main reason people do a 50% solution is to simplify the math. I already will need a calculator to work out how much solution I'll need, so I might as well simplify my process by eliminating the water top up. Master batching this way would really simplify my soap making process. Measure the fats, calculate and measure the lye solution then combine the two.

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
"...I feel like the main reason people do a 50% solution is to simplify the math...."

Can't speak for others, but that's not remotely the reason why I make a 50% NaOH masterbatch. The main reason is I want the option to use liquids other than water for the remainder of the aqueous liquid. Beer. Dairy milk. Nut milk. And secondarily I also want the option to make soap with other lye concentrations than, say, 33%. When making a high oleic soap, for example, it works better to use 35% to 40% NaOH concentration.

If you have no interest in liquids other than aloe and you have no reason to use other than a 33% NaOH solution, then by all means make your masterbatch at that lye concentration.

Susie

Supporting Member
I masterbatched my aloe juice and NaOH, and froze it. I defrost it in the fridge when the previous jug empties. I also store it in the fridge.

I also masterbatch my sugar, then in a separate bottle, my EDTA is also masterbatched.

I was leery of masterbatching them all together. Let me know if you try it.

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
I masterbatched my aloe juice and NaOH, and froze it. I defrost it in the fridge when the previous jug empties. I also store it in the fridge.

I also masterbatch my sugar, then in a separate bottle, my EDTA is also masterbatched.

I was leery of masterbatching them all together. Let me know if you try it.

Chispa

Well-Known Member
Thanks DeeAnna, that makes perfect sense. I hadn't heard about making high oleic soaps with higher concentrations of NaOH, I will certainly try that next time, my last batch of RBO soap turned out a bit softer than I liked, but I blamed the recipe rather than the NaOH ratio. When I made it with 5% superfat, I got a hard bar, at 8% it was just a bit squishy.

http://soapee.com/recipes/4371

Orla

Well-Known Member
Hello,

Every time I make lye water, I use the same rate of additives and dissolve them in the water before adding the lye crystals.
100% Aloe juice for water
2% Salt
2% Sugar
2% Citric Acid

Would I be able to masterbatch and store a lye solution containing the above ingredients? Would the goodness in the Aloe Juice break down over time? How would I calculate how much of the lye mixture to use for a recipe?
This is a VERY OLD thread, but I see that Crispa is still on the forum! I am trying to work out how to do the same - with difficulty. Crispa, did you go for it?!! Did it work? Thanks if you are there! best wishes to all, Orla

Susie

Supporting Member
Update:

I now masterbatch my EDTA, sugar, and aloe juice in one container. I freeze 4 oz bottles (now that I don't make nearly as much soap), and defrost as needed. I still masterbatch my NaOH and H2O separately. Just can't bring myself to mix those together as sometimes I have a higher concentration than others. And sometimes a higher SF.

Orla

Well-Known Member
I sort of do the opposite Susie. I have no water: I do a 1:1 lye:aloe juice masterbatch. And now I'm freezing it (I saw somebody advise that). I was having horrendous problems when I added the masterbatch lye solution to my oils which had either sugar or coconut milk added (DARK RED BATTER/NIGHTMARE, pains me even to write this!!!).
I'm not drawing any conclusions from one experience, but I just tried adding this unfrozen lye (still very cold) to room temperature oils with coconut milk (at about 24°C (75°F) and when I added the lye solution the whole thing heated up to 43°C (119F). A dream. No burning of any sort. And I wasn't worried about stearic spots or whatever. As I say, I'm not counting any chickens yet. However, the simplicity of using room temps masterbatched oils and masterbatched lye totally appeals to me. Again, I picked up on a hint I found on this forum.

Susie

Supporting Member
I sort of do the opposite Susie. I have no water: I do a 1:1 lye:aloe juice masterbatch. And now I'm freezing it (I saw somebody advise that). I was having horrendous problems when I added the masterbatch lye solution to my oils which had either sugar or coconut milk added (DARK RED BATTER/NIGHTMARE, pains me even to write this!!!).
I'm not drawing any conclusions from one experience, but I just tried adding this unfrozen lye (still very cold) to room temperature oils with coconut milk (at about 24°C (75°F) and when I added the lye solution the whole thing heated up to 43°C (119F). A dream. No burning of any sort. And I wasn't worried about stearic spots or whatever. As I say, I'm not counting any chickens yet. However, the simplicity of using room temps masterbatched oils and masterbatched lye totally appeals to me. Again, I picked up on a hint I found on this forum.

You have to do whatever works for you. I have my freezers loaded right now with meat and veggies. We ate down the freezers quite a bit during the worst of the panic buying, so now that food is readily available, I have restocked. So, freezing masterbatched lye is out of the question for me.

I am now working full time again, so my time is limited. Especially as I still have a garden to tend (I'm in Texas, so we can grow pretty much year round) and housework. So, I just do what I can when I have time. Masterbatching enough to fill all my molds is something I can do a little at the time during the week, then take a couple of hours on Saturday to get soap mixed. Makes my life easier.

AliOop

Supporting Member
My understanding was that something not good happens to the lye solution if it gets colder than 65F or so. So I’m intrigued that some of you are freezing your masterbatched lye solution. @DeeAnna were you the one who mentioned this issue, and if so, does it change things bc they are freezing it, as opposed to letting it be too cold but still in a liquid state? Thank you for any help you can provide.

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
I absolutely know NaOH will crystallize out if the solution gets cold enough. My advice is this -- to store NaOH solution from 30% to 50% lye concentration, it should stay above 60F / 15C to keep the NaOH in a fully liquid state. I normally bump that a little warmer -- to 65F / 17C -- to encourage people to stay on the safe side.

What happens when an NaOH solution is at or below freezing -- The liquid thickens into a clear thick gel and will begin to form crystals if the temp is low enough. If the NaOH is kept at or below its freezing temp for a long enough time, some of the NaOH crystals will settle and form a solid layer on the bottom of the container. The process is the same as that for making rock candy -- Have Fun Watching Rock Candy Grow in Your Kitchen

I believe what Orla is talking about is a short-term freeze. In this case, crystals will still form, but if the NaOH solution is used relatively soon after freezing, the crystals might stay small and might not form a solid mass. I haven't tried it to know this for certain, however, so remember this advice is worth exactly what you paid for it.

I'm gonna get on my safety soapbox for a moment --

I will not ever use my food refrigerator or freezer for storing NaOH solution, saponifying soap, or other hazardous chemicals. People need to really think about the possible consequences before they do this. Even if you label the stuff with a skull and crossbones or whatever, you're still creating a serious hazard that has the potential to change a person's life forever.

I have worked as a lab technician in industrial chemistry labs. One rule drilled into chem lab personnel is you never store lab chemicals in a refrigerator or freezer intended for food. And vice versa -- no food in the chem lab fridge/freezer. It's a good practice to follow in a chem lab and an even better rule to follow in the home.

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Orla

Well-Known Member
For what it's worth, and just in case someone decides to follow my bad example, I immediately put a stop to the freezing business! now that the temperature outside is mid-teens, I leave it on a window ledge (a safe one!! there's a barrier)! thank you all for being here!!! Deeanna's intuition was perfectly correct - if you leave the lye-solution in the freezer for any serious length of time it solidifies into a rock! It's not a runner...

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