Multiple Batches - Same Mold

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by Kimberly Kavanaugh, Oct 14, 2019.

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  1. Oct 14, 2019 #1

    Kimberly Kavanaugh

    Kimberly Kavanaugh

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    I have a giant mold that will yield something like 144 bars of soap. It is roughly 2 feet tall and probably 15-ish inches square. My question is...has anyone ever used a mold this size and poured multiple batches into it? My thinking is...Make a batch of lavender - say 8" tall...cover with freezer paper...make another batch of peppermint and pour over lavender...cover with freezer paper...make a batch of vanilla...cover with freezer paper...and so on...until mold is "full". Cover...then remove all from mold and cut separately. Is this a crazy idea or could it maybe work? Thoughts?
     
  2. Oct 14, 2019 #2

    amd

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    I wouldn't do it this way, risk of leakage would be too great, plus I could see a number of disasters occurring due to weight on top of weight, different temps, etc. I would however, consider making very tight fitting boards to separate each soap, and pour the soaps side by side rather than on top of each other, like this:
    upload_2019-10-14_16-55-19.png

    With 15 inches square length x width, and the 2 ft deep, it would be a nice setup for several tall and skinny molds. My tall and skinny measures 2.5 x 12 x 3.75", so figuring in a 1/2" board to divide each loaf, you could get 5 loaf cavities, or 4 if you went wider.
     
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  3. Oct 15, 2019 #3

    Kimberly Kavanaugh

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    Brilliant! I've seen this done before with the slab molds, but it just NEVER crossed my mind to apply it to the taller mold. I was having thoughts about one batch leaking on to another but never considered the weight. Thank you soooo much for your response! If I end up using my big mold, I will most certainly use your idea!
     
  4. Oct 16, 2019 #4

    Lin19687

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    Since you asked this question I am going to be the one to ask.

    You obviously are new to soaping and I would suggest that you get that all under your belt before you start something like this. There are things that will not work and a long time soaper will understand that.
     
  5. Oct 16, 2019 #5

    Kimberly Kavanaugh

    Kimberly Kavanaugh

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    What are you asking?

    Well meant or not....All I read is a statement that has nothing to do with the question I asked. This was not a helpful response as it did not, in any way, address my question.

    I do not claim to be an expert. I have worked with very small...and I mean VERY SMALL batches for going on 10 years now. I'm talking 3 bar batches. I might go ALL OUT sometimes and do a whopping..dare I say...FIVE bars. <gasp> A very small time dabbler and hobbyist for personal use. A mold of this size has never been a part of my repertoire and since it was gifted to me, I have just been staring at it in wonder. So...I thought I would ask my question. Since I do not do large scale soap-making and hate to see this mold sitting around taking up space. Was wondering how I might be able to utilize it. It might just end up getting flipped over and used as a side table. Who knows.

    Thank you to "AMD" for being helpful and sharing your knowledge!
     
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  6. Oct 17, 2019 #6

    TeresaGG

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    I had a thought. It would take time and planing. You could make it like a layered soap without the wax paper. You would have to do several batches one after another. Three batches could give you five different soaps: The original Lavender, Peppermint, Vanilla, as well as Lavender Peppermint, and Vanilla Peppermint.

    If the mold is make for soaping then it should be sturdy enough for the soap weight. You would still have to think about the amount of weight You can handle.

    On YouTube Ariane Arsenault has used big molds like that in a few videos. I don't know if she has ever done anything like layering separate soaps. She does read her comments and posts once or twice a week.

    Edit. I don't know if she reads comments on older videos.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  7. Oct 17, 2019 #7

    Kimberly Kavanaugh

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    Thanks! I was thinking about something similar with the layered soaps. I could end up with "combo bars". That might be fun. The mold is a soap making mold. It is one from "For Crafts Sake" and comes with a wire log cutter too! I actually think it might be the same type as Ariane Arsenault uses in those videos you mentioned. I did consider MY capabilities as well... that is why I was thinking of using the paper between. I could separate the different layers individually to cut them. That way I would not have to lug around such a massive thing. I think this could either work amazingly or not at all. :eek:) Just had a thought! MAYBE I will do this exact same thing smaller scale. Like a small loaf mold with horizontal layers separated by freezer paper. <slapping palm to forehead> Duh....this should have been my FIRST thought! Hahaha! Thanks again for your insight! Very helpful!
     
  8. Oct 17, 2019 #8

    TheGecko

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    I've seen Ariane Arsenault, The Soap Gal and one other company on YouTube use these sized molds. My first thought is...as someone who generally makes 3 to 5-bar batches, what in the heck are you going to do with 144 bars of soap?!? ;)

    While the thought of producing different soaps within the same mold is intriguing, one thing you need to consider is that size mold generates a LOT of heat and how are your FOs/EOs going to react? When Ariane went to start cutting her soap, then center bars were still very warm and soft, and after removing the outside layers, she had to let the soap sit longer. I noticed that The Soap Gal had some significant cracking on the top of a couple of her molds...which could be caused by any number of things.

    Lastly...that's a lot of freaking soap to make all at once! You're looking at something like 30 lbs of oil/butter alone. You'd have to first decided how many layers you want...3 at 8" or 6 at 4". Then would have to prep all your oils/butter and lye solution and then make one batch after the other and pour. I would contact The Soap Gal, she's very willing to share her knowledge.
     
  9. Oct 17, 2019 #9

    dibbles

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    Obviously I have no experience with this size mold, but I think it still stands to reason that there is no rule that the mold has to be full...

    Why not see how it works making one layer? I have a mold that is 7 x 10 x 4-ish and meant to make 3 tall and skinny loafs. I often use it as a slab and make a batch that is 7 x 10 x 1.25. It is an adjustment for me in terms of dealing with the batter when I fill it and use 100 oz of oils vs the 32 or so I am used to.
     
  10. Oct 17, 2019 #10

    Kimberly Kavanaugh

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    What am I going to do with all of that soap? Hahaha! Christmas gifts! I just found the soap gal. She is wonderful! Good thinking! Thanks for the ideas!


    I was only going to make 4-5 different scents...so 4-5 vertical or horizontal layers. It won't fill completely. I was just thinking that I could get it all done at once instead of taking 4-5 days to do it with my itty bitty baby mold. Don't get me wrong....4-5 days of soap making sounds GREAT! But....with the pesky full time job... that means Saturdays. All of a sudden I am almost out of curing time. Thanks for sharing your experience!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2019
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  11. Oct 17, 2019 #11

    Dean1971

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    Hi there. Answer to the point about utilising a large mould for smaller batches. What we have done is cut out a square or rectangular piece of wood that slides into the mould tightly. Very easy then, if you only utilise half the mould then you slide the insert up to that point and similarly with any volume batch you require out of that mould. Cheers
     
  12. Oct 17, 2019 #12

    Kimberly Kavanaugh

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    Thanks Dean! I am getting some great ideas!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2019
  13. Oct 19, 2019 #13

    GML

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  14. Oct 21, 2019 #14

    amd

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    I wasn't concerned about the mold itself, but the 1st, 2nd, 3rd layer of soap after the 4th, 5th, 6th layer is poured. What will the new weight do to the soap already under it? What will the new heat do to the soap that's already started to heat up? She's adding more heat and insulation with each layer of soap that she pours. Not something that someone used to making small batches is prepared to deal with. Keep in mind she isn't talking about doing a layered soap, but layered batches of soap. Nothing like what Ophelia's soaper does at all.

    I think sectioning off the length and width of the mold is the best option for how @Kimberly Kavanaugh is used to making soap, don't worry about filling the mold to the top, just create sections sized for your regular batches. As @dibbles said, there's no rule that the mold needs to be full. Just make sure that if you section things off, there are good supports for each section wall so that they don't move when pouring soap. You can remove the support when the soap is set. I have done this with my really long (24") tall and skinny mold when I only need to use half of it or other goofy length for an odd number of bars. (e.g. my 12" will give me 9 bars, and the 24" will give me 18 bars, but sometimes someone wants something like 13 bars, so I adjust the recipe for 13 bars and adjust the mold length with section walls and supports). I have also done this when I want to do (2) 12" batches, I just pour one on each side of the section wall.
     
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  15. Oct 21, 2019 #15

    cmzaha

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    That mold filled will roughly make 200 lbs of soap is the mold is filled. Do the math folks. :eek:
    That equals around 640 bars of 5oz soaps. Has anyone thought about how hard it will be to mold and un-mold that massive amount of soap? Also, think about how hard it is going to line sections if it is divided off and how hard it will be to control the pour if you have to pour halfway down the mold. It was given to you, scrap it and purchase some suitable molds. Or tear it apart use the wood to make some molds or use it as a pouring table.
     
  16. Oct 23, 2019 #16

    Kimberly Kavanaugh

    Kimberly Kavanaugh

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    Thanks! This is kind of like what the first response was. I am am leaning in this direction. I have some foam board that I was going to cut up, double it up for extra thickness and strength, cover in freezer paper, and tape to the inside of the mold for vertical separation.
     
  17. Oct 23, 2019 #17

    Kimberly Kavanaugh

    Kimberly Kavanaugh

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone! I have so much info to work with! Looking forward to tackling this on the weekend!
     

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