Newbie here trying to wrap my mind around masterbatching oils

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latherjunqi

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Hi Everyone!

I lurk here, A LOT! Decided I'd make my first post. I've been soaping for a long while now. Started by making soaps just for home because I have sensitive skin, hubby has acne, and the littlest one is just too sweet to use the stuff from the store. I make cp, hp, whipped, and liquid soaps, and looking to try cream soap very soon. I enjoy soapmaking so very much!

Anywho.....I am wanting to start masterbatching my oils and can't seem to figure out the part about adding oils like shea butter, cocoa butter, infused oils, etc. Say I have my oils masterbatched in my bucket, such as olive, palm, coconut, but, for my particular recipe I want to use those masterbatched oils PLUS my non-masterbatched oils (shea, etc.).

If the olive, palm, and, coconut already equal 100% of my masterbatched oils, can adding the other oils even be done? I really hope I'm explaining this without making it confusing (I think I'm confusing myself trying to explain). I'll stop now and see what you all think. Lol!

Any help, thoughts, or laughter would be greatly appreciated. Hello again, from Texas!
 

savonierre

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I masterbatch in a different way than most. I put all my hard oils for 1 batch in a container ( my PO, PKO, Shea, Mango ) then when I go to soap I only have to measure my OO and canola and castor. I could out the soft oils in the container, but if it got knocked over even with a lid on I would probably have a big mess. I get a dozen ready to go at a time.

Anything you add over 100% of the oils is called super fatting, I do a 7% superfat but you can pick your own % , I wouldn't go any higher than 8 or 9 %, that is just my personal preference. So you could add 7% shea butter to your masterbatch oils. But run everything through a lye calculator and have your super fat set at 7% or whatever % you decide on. I hope this helps you out.

I use the same recipe 90% of the time..
 

Robert

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Let me try to take this apart. By "masterbatching", can I take it you mean premixing certain fats & oils that you intend to keep using in a fixed ratio in soap recipes that will also have a variable portion?

OK, then assuming you're going to saponify all the base oils--the fixed mixture as well as the variable additions--of course you'll still have to calculate the total amount of lye and water you'll need to do the whole mixture. Is that what you're asking? Obviously the fixed "masterbatched" mixture can't constitute 100% of the oils, because you're adding more.
 

Nightlilly

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I think what she means is that she wants to master batch her normal recipe of oils but wants to be able to use those same oils in other recipes also. Say she uses 4 oils with percentages of 20, 25, 25 and 30 and master batches them. How does she use that master batch in a recipe that has those same oils but in a different percentage with other oils added? From what I can tell because I don't masterbatch, you would probably have to keep them in the same ratio when you formulate a new recipe.
 

DeeAnna

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Well, okay, let's say you make a masterbatch oil blend that has 30% olive, 10% castor, 20% coconut, and 40% palm. (I'm picking numbers out of the air.)

You want to make a recipe that has 800 grams of your masterbatched oils and, say, 100 grams of shea and 100 grams of cocoa butter. You have to do some math at this point. When using percentages to do math, remember to divide each percentage by 100 so you get the right answers.

30% divided by 100 times 800 = 240 grams of olive
10% divided by 100 times 800 = 80 grams castor
20% divided by 100 times 800 = 160 grams coconut
40% divided by 100 times 800 = 320 grams palm
100 grams shea
100 grams cocoa butter

Enter the grams for all of these fats into your favorite soap recipe calculator to figure the amount of NaOH and water needed for this recipe. To make the soap, you'll measure out 800 grams of masterbatched oils and 100 grams each of cocoa butter and shea.

There is another way to do this by finding the overall saponification value for the blended oils in your masterbatch, but I'll leave that for another day.
 

Robert

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There is another way to do this by finding the overall saponification value for the blended oils in your masterbatch, but I'll leave that for another day.
Why leave it for another day? If the blend is going to be used several times as a component of other recipes, might as well do that math just once instead of figuring it from scratch every time, huh?

This reminds me of a time in the lab when a student asked what the concentrations were of the ingredients of a certain concentrate I'd prepared that was to be mixed with other stuff for the final mixture. I told him he didn't want to know that, that what he really wanted to know was the final concentration, but he insisted, so I finally calculated and gave it to him. He looked at it and was puzzled that all the figures were odd ones rather than nice round numbers, and my prof came over and said I gave him what he'd asked for rather than what he should've asked for.
 

latherjunqi

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Savonierre, I usually do something similar to what you do, except I measure out my soft oils also. I usually figure up about 10 recipes and weight all the oils for each batch into separate containers. It's much faster to take a day to do this than to do each one individually right before soaping. But, I'd like to try to make it easier and faster by masterbatching my main oils and adding to them whatever a particular recipe calls for. I usually superfat at 5% or 7%. I like the 7% much more because of how moisturizing it makes the bars.
 

latherjunqi

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Well, okay, let's say you make a masterbatch oil blend that has 30% olive, 10% castor, 20% coconut, and 40% palm. (I'm picking numbers out of the air.)

You want to make a recipe that has 800 grams of your masterbatched oils and, say, 100 grams of shea and 100 grams of cocoa butter. You have to do some math at this point. When using percentages to do math, remember to divide each percentage by 100 so you get the right answers.

30% divided by 100 times 800 = 240 grams of olive
10% divided by 100 times 800 = 80 grams castor
20% divided by 100 times 800 = 160 grams coconut
40% divided by 100 times 800 = 320 grams palm
100 grams shea
100 grams cocoa butter

Enter the grams for all of these fats into your favorite soap recipe calculator to figure the amount of NaOH and water needed for this recipe. To make the soap, you'll measure out 800 grams of masterbatched oils and 100 grams each of cocoa butter and shea.

There is another way to do this by finding the overall saponification value for the blended oils in your masterbatch, but I'll leave that for another day.
DeeAnna, I think you've got it. Say I make the masterbatch using your percentage examples and that batch is used as the base of all of my recipes. You're saying in order to add the other oils/butters I'd have to divide the masterbatched oils by 100%?
 

Robert

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DeeAnna, I think you've got it. Say I make the masterbatch using your percentage examples and that batch is used as the base of all of my recipes. You're saying in order to add the other oils/butters I'd have to divide the masterbatched oils by 100%?
No, dividing by 100% ("dividing" by 1) does nothing.

Just multiply the saponif'n no. of each oil in the master mix by its fraction of the master mix, add them up, and that's the saponif'n no. of the mix. Then use that number when you figure your lye requirement for a soap using it as well as other oils.
 

latherjunqi

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% oz
almond 5% 2.993
avocado 5% 2.993
castor 5% 2.993
cocoa butter 5% 2.993
coconut 25% 14.963
olive 25% 14.963
palm 25% 14.963
shea butter 5% 2.993

water 19.751
naoh 8.44

total oil weight 59.85
water as % of oils 33%
superfat 5%

So Robert, would I be able to make the above recipe? If, for example, I have a 5 gallon bucket filled with 30 lbs of oils which consist of:
olive 40% 12 llbs
coconut 25% 7.5 lbs
palm 25% 7.5 lbs
castor 10% 3.0lbs

Can you please help me to understand how I would make that recipe using the MB oils and the non-MB oils. I'm so totally confused. I hate to be a headache, but I'd really like to know if it can be done.
 
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Robert

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% oz
almond 5% 2.993
avocado 5% 2.993
castor 5% 2.993
cocoa butter 5% 2.993
coconut 25% 14.963
olive 25% 14.963
palm 25% 14.963
shea butter 5% 2.993

water 19.751
naoh 8.44

total oil weight 59.85
water as % of oils 33%
superfat 5%

So Robert, would I be able to make the above recipe? If, for example, I have a 5 gallon bucket filled with 30 lbs of oils which consist of:
olive 40% 12 llbs
coconut 25% 7.5 lbs
palm 25% 7.5 lbs
castor 10% 3.0lbs

Can you please help me to understand how I would make that recipe using the MB oils and the non-MB oils. I'm so totally confused. I hate to be a headache, but I'd really like to know if it can be done.
Now you're asking whether you can make a final mixture as listed at the top by starting with some amount of the mixture at the bottom? So that you can use up some of the bucketful on that recipe? That's what I'll try to figure here:

The largest discrepancy between the bucket and the final mixture of oils comes in with the castor oil. Your bucket is 10% castor oil and you want 5% final, so you can use only 50% from your bucket (50% X 10% = 5%). Using 50% from your bucket mixture in the final mixture gives you 50% of the concentrations of everything in it: 5% castor (as already stated), 20% olive, and 12.5% each coconut and palm. So in your final mixture you're going to have to add another 5% olive (to get to your 25%), and another 12.5% palm and coconut to get to your 25% of each.

So if recipes like the above are representative of the sort of thing you want to make, I don't see where it's going to save you work to make the master mix as listed in that bucket. There might be some other master mix that would help you, though.
 

DeeAnna

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"...Why leave it for another day?..."

Because, Robert, I used to teach algebra to math-phobic college freshman. There are a lot of folks on this forum who are in the same mindset. I don't know of the OP feels the same way about math, but this issue is fairly common. If the OP wants more, s/he will let me know.
 

Robert

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The way I look at it, if you don't like doing math, then the less often you have to do it, the better. We were both thinking the original poster wanted to have a prefigured saponif'n no. for a mixture to use as the base of many recipes, but it looks from a later post that that wasn't what was sought after all.

I was hoping maybe to find a general practice referred to around here as masterbatching or master batching, but a Google search found most of the references were about making a stock lye solution, and the ones about premixing oils seemed to assume the reader knows the general plan already.
 

DeeAnna

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"...You're saying in order to add the other oils/butters I'd have to divide the masterbatched oils by 100%? ..."

Well, no, not really, Latherjunqi. The "dividing by 100%" thing is what you have to do to convert a percent (30%) to a decimal number (0.3) so you can do math with it. Check back to my original post and see that there's more to the math than just dividing by 100%. Let me try again...

30% / 100% = 0.3 is the decimal number of the amount of coconut oil in my masterbatch blend.
If I want to know how many grams of coconut oil is in 1000 grams of masterbatch, I need to do this math problem:
0.3 X 1000 = 300 grams of CO
Now I know the exact weight of coconut oil in a 1000 grams of masterbatch and I can use that to calculate the lye I need to saponify that much CO.

I agree with Robert about the example you gave in Post #10. Using a masterbatched blend of oils in a situation like your example will cause many more headaches and mistakes than it will be helpful. You will be much better off just making up the oil blend specifically for each recipe.

Masterbatching is a huge advantage to a soap maker who uses the same blend of oils most of the time. This would be the case if you have developed a recipe that you really like and you want to use that recipe most of the time for the soap you make. Some soapers do that -- they use the same base recipe for their soap, and their fun comes when they add different fragrances, other additives, and color to each batch.

I really think that you are better off setting the masterbatch thing aside for now and focus on having fun just making soap. Develop a recipe or two that you really like and want to make a lot -- and then come back to the idea of masterbatching your oils. I think masterbatching will be more useful to you at that time than it will be now while you're still learning and experimenting.
 
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DeeAnna

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Just another thought to add to what I've already said:

Looking at Post #10, you wanted these percentages of oils in your hypothetical soap recipe:
coconut 25%
olive 25%
palm 25%

And you were using these percentages of oils in your hypothetical masterbatch blend:
olive 40%
coconut 25%
palm 25%

Another reason why your masterbatch idea is not the best thing for the recipe you want to make is this -- See the percentages of CO, olive and palm in your recipe? They're all 25%. The important point to remember is the number is the same for all 3 oils.

Now look at the percentages in your masterbatch. Your Olive oil is much higher at 40% than the CO and palm at 25% each. The point to know here is the numbers are different.

If you use the masterbatched oils to make your recipe, you will end up having to add additional CO and palm to make the numbers for the CO and palm be equal to the number for the olive. There is no way you can use the masterbatch blend in this recipe without adding extra CO and palm. It just can't be done.

Frankly, that is a LOT of fussin' around and a lot of chance for error. Or at least it would be for me! :)

Like I said before, masterbatching an oil blend will work great if you are making a recipe that needs exactly the percentages of oils that are in the masterbatch. Once you start tinkering with the recipe or if you want to make several different recipes, you are probably better off just blending your oils for each recipe as you go.

Hope this helps.
 

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