Preferred lye concentrations

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by mikvahnrose, Oct 6, 2016.

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  1. Oct 6, 2016 #1

    mikvahnrose

    mikvahnrose

    mikvahnrose

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    Your preferred lye concentration?

    Some i have read they do 25% lye concentration and other's up to 33%.

    I have been doing it at 30% just to keep it easy. But what is the purpose of having a higher or lower lye concentration.

    Also on soap calc what does "water as % of oils" mean and how is that different to lye concentration.

    Thank you and sorry for all the questions!
     
  2. Oct 6, 2016 #2

    The Efficacious Gentleman

    The Efficacious Gentleman

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    Lye concentration is literally the amount of lye and water being linked. Water as % of oils links the water amount to the oils regardless of lye amount - so if you use a 20% or 0% lye discount, your water amount wouldn't change. This can have a big impact on the actual concentration.

    Concentration is easier to control then for certain instances. I have no one concentration that I use as certain instances need a different concentration. Making a 100% olive oil soap benefits from a stringer solution than when making a 100% coconut oil. But for general soaps I use a 33% solution
     
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  3. Oct 6, 2016 #3

    penelopejane

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    A lower lye concentration will trace slower and give you more time to work with it if you are adding colours and swirls.
    So 27% will trace slower than 40% lye concentration.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  4. Oct 6, 2016 #4

    IrishLass

    IrishLass

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    My preferred lye concentration for about 98% of my batches is 33%. I call it my 'Goldilocks' concentration because it's 'just right' for the majority of my batches. With it, I have enough time to do lots of lovely swirls (provided my FO is well-behaved), but trace is not an obnoxiously long time in coming. I would say that I'm usually able to bring my soap to a medium-thick trace and have it nicely molded within about 10 minutes of having added the lye to my oils, which is plenty enough 'working' time for me. And my finished soap cures without warping, which is always nice.

    For the other 2% of my batches, the concentration varies depending on the formula and/or my FO. For example, if I'm making a 100% OO soap, which can take forever and a day to trace at a lower lye concentration, I'll bump it up to a 40% lye concentration. And/or if I am using an ornery accelerating FO, I'll go the opposite route and use a 30% or lower concentration so that things don't move too fast.

    Using the 'water as % of oils' box on SoapCalc is not exactly the best way in which to decide how much water to use for one's batch. If I may quote our DeeAnna (who says it best):


    IrishLass :)
     

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