Postal Scale

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Nutty

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Hi everyone! Just a quick question regarding the weighing of oils/fats with a postal scale. Would A) It be better to weigh each oil in a separate container or B) Can I just throw in one oil, tare, next oil, tare, etc. Into one container? Maybe I'm just obsessive compulsive but I feel option B may have a slight difference in weight compared to A...That is B being less accurate?

Sorry for all the noob questions. :3
 

galaxyMLP

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There a a few things to consider here:

If you do A:
You will have to be sure you get all of your fats/oils from the containers you weigh them in into your soaping pot. Any residual would be an amount you're missing from your soaping pot.

If you do B:
If you over measure for one of your oils (especially liquid) you won't be able to get it back out to re-adjust. You may also forget to tare.

I would start by doing A. The loss you will have of your oils is minimal as long as you scrape the container well. However, once you are comfortable with pouring oils and the behavior of your scale, you may want to try option B.

When (or if) you decide to do option B, one way to check to make sure the tare function isn't acting up is to weigh the container and write that number down. Then weigh each oil out and write down those values. Your total weight should come out to the total amounts you wrote down + or - your scales minimum value (this accounts for rounding, and such). For mine, that would be + or - 0.05 oz or 1 gram.
 

Nutty

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Okay sweet thank you! I will start with A, maybe down the road I'll try method B when I become a soap whispered haha.
 

galaxyMLP

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No problem! I do B personally but I see a lot of people doing A in videos. I think in the end it comes down to personal preference. We have a built in buffer zone to cover errors (superfat) so I don't worry too much. Plus, our calculators only provide average SAP values and those will change (slightly) in our actual oils dependent on many factors.

I still weigh as accurately as I can however I don't worry too much if I'm off by 0.05-0.10 oz in a 60 oz batch!
 

Arimara

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It would be nice if you newbs STOP APOLOGIZING WHEN ASKING QUESTIONS. I don't mean to come off as harsh of rude but a good chunk of the times, really good questions are asked and you should never feel ashamed for asking.
 

Seawolfe

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I weigh solid oils progressively (your B), because it's easier to blob a piece back in if I over blob. That goes in the microwave to melt, then I weigh the liquid oils one at a time into another container that empties into the melted solids. So a bit of both usually.

With practice I've gotten much better at pouring accurately, so sometimes it's all B

Not a dumb question at all :)
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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One point to consider - postal scales aren't ideally suited to adding slightly more weight as you, so adding more lard to get to your target wait might not be as good with a postal scale (designed for a fixed item on it and then it starts again with another) as it would with a kitchen or lab style scale, designed for adding more and more
 

DeeAnna

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I have another tip that is helpful to me -- Regardless of how you weigh your stuff into your soap pot ... when you've got all the fats into the pot, do a final check of the total weight. The actual total weight should be within a few grams of the total fat weight listed on your recipe sheet + container weight. It's a good double-check to make sure you haven't mismeasured. (Not that I've evah mismeasured befoah! :) )
 

Susie

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One point to consider - postal scales aren't ideally suited to adding slightly more weight as you, so adding more lard to get to your target wait might not be as good with a postal scale (designed for a fixed item on it and then it starts again with another) as it would with a kitchen or lab style scale, designed for adding more and more
^This! Postal scales are NOT accurate for soapmaking. You really need a good kitchen or other good digital scale.

If you must use a postal scale, you first need to weigh every container you intend to use. Record those weights, and keep them handy! Then, as you add and the scale stops going up, you can lift the container, turn it back on, and re-weigh. You will then have to subtract the weight of the container from the total to see what you have. Much easier to use the proper scale. (I know this from personal experience, and the batch that had to be thrown away.)
 

kchaystack

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I just weigh everything into 1 container - mostly because I do not want a bunch of extra things to wash. If make a major over pour I will modify my recipe in my calc, so I have the right amount of lye.
 

Arimara

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I just weigh everything into 1 container - mostly because I do not want a bunch of extra things to wash. If make a major over pour I will modify my recipe in my calc, so I have the right amount of lye.
I'm guilty of this too, though I will use one other cup for liquid oils.
 

galaxyMLP

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I hadn't considered the difference between a postal scale and a kitchen scale (in fact I didn't know there was a difference)! Thanks for pointing that out.
 

Nutty

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Thanks guys! I didn't know there was a difference either to be honest!

I wanted to ask. How important is it to be accurate in soap making? I know more lye will burn and stuff, but when it comes to tiny variations does it matter?
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
I use method A for my oils, and I use method B for my hard fats. I used to use method B for both, but after one too many accidental over-pours that had me muttering one too many epithets under my breath, I switched to A with my oils and have never looked back. I have the most amazingly wonderful silicone spatula/spoon that is able to squeegee every last drop of oil out of my extra weighing bowl with ease. I love that thing. It's the best silicone spatula I've ever owned or used. I bought it at Bed Bath & Beyond.


IrishLass :)
 
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Susie

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I use method A for my oils, and I use method B for my hard fats. I used to use method B for both, but after one too many accidental over-pours that had me muttering one too many epithets under my breath, I switched to A with my oils and have never looked back. I have the most amazingly wonderful silicone spatula/spoon that is able to squeegee every last drop of oil out of my extra weighing bowl with ease. I love that thing. It's the best silicone spatula I've ever owned or used. I bought it at Bed Bath & Beyond.


IrishLass :)
I have the same spoonula, and I absolutely adore it!
 
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WalterG

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I like to weight everything into my soaping pot. I typically use a low sf so as long as I'm within a few grams I don't sweat it. Should I go over too far I re-run the amounts through soapcalc before making my lye solution.
 

cmzaha

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I like to weight everything into my soaping pot. I typically use a low sf so as long as I'm within a few grams I don't sweat it. Should I go over too far I re-run the amounts through soapcalc before making my lye solution.
Same here. I do weigh my empty soap bucket and mark the bucket in case I get distracted and forget an oil or over pour. Since I also use a low superfat I do not stress on a slight over pour
 
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