Question about super fatting

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wbocrafter

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I'm still confused about super fatting. From what I understand you are decreasing your lye solution and adding more oils/butters. Is that correct? When do I add the additional oil/butters? When I mix my oils or butters together or after I've traced?
 

kchaystack

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I'm still confused about super fatting. From what I understand you are decreasing your lye solution and adding more oils/butters. Is that correct? When do I add the additional oil/butters? When I mix my oils or butters together or after I've traced?
So, this comes from people using the terms super fat and lye discount interchangeably, when they are actually different. TOMH (I think) explained it all in a post somewhere - but I don't have the time to go searching so I will try and sum it up.

First off, you either decrease the amount of hydroxide (Na or K) you use - OR you add extra fat - you do not do both.

a lye discount is used in cold process - because even if you add extra fat at say trace - it is still going to go thru saponification. You basically use less caustic than you need to saponify all your fat. So it is just easier to throw is all in up front - that way you do not forget it.

Now, you can use a lye discount in hot process. Again, you use less lye than needed to turn all of your fat to soap. Works the same way. All the fat up front.

Super fat is when you add extra fat to a soap once saponification is complete. You can really only do this with HP since once the reaction is complete with CP you have solid soap (I am sure there are exceptions but generally for us hobby soapers this is true) - but with HP you can add oils to the soap after the cook. HP soap is not solid until it cools. So you can add in oils at that point and mix them in.

So in CP soap, add all your fat up front.

If you want a certain fat left over, you have to HP and add the fat after the cook and the soap does not zap.
 

DeeAnna

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"...From what I understand you are decreasing your lye solution and adding more oils/butters. Is that correct?..."

As the others have said, you do one or the other. In the thread that Shari mentioned, I said in my answer, "...use a little LESS lye than is strictly needed or a little MORE fat than is strictly needed..."
 

wbocrafter

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Shunt2011 In my previous post I asked what super fatting was. It still was not clear to me what to do and that is why I asked again. If I'm going to super fat I want to know exactly what I'm doing. Thanks for the responses.
 

IrishLass

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Don't feel too bad if superfatting or lye discounting are not clear to you, because in truth, they are often confused with each other......and the fact that one of the biggest soap calculators out there (SoapCalc) does not differentiate between the two and only uses the term 'Superfat' on their site to mean both, only makes it worse for those starting out that want to understand things. Also adding to the confusion is that lots of soapers (me included, admittedly) often use the 2 terms interchangeably from habit.......and you know what they say about old habits. lol

Although the outcome in the finished soap is the same for all intents and purposes whether one superfats or takes a lye discount (you end up having an excess of oil/fat in the soap in proportion to the lye), the execution of each is different.....although you would never know that if using SoapCalc (and maybe other calculators as well, but I can't say for sure because I only use SoapCalc when I make CP or HP).

Technically speaking, the difference between the 2 is as Kchaystack and the others have said, but truth be told, for better or for worse, most do use the term superfat when they technically mean lye discount.

Edited to add: The difference between the two is also explained in our Acronym/Definitions stickie: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=3789


IrishLass :)
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Example - monthly budget.

You have an income and you have outgoings. Outgoings are lye, income is oils.

Each month, you really don't want to end up with more outgoings than income! So you can either reduce your outgoings or increase your income with some savings.

Reducing the outgoings is the lye discount. You know your income (oils) and you set up your outgoings (lye) to allow a buffer.

digging in to your savings is a superfat. You will end the month with 0 difference, so you take some savings (additional oil) to get that buffer.
 

Susie

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Lye discount = less lye used than is required to saponify all the oil.

Superfat = extra oil added after the soap is made. Not molded, mind you, but after saponification is complete.

The problem is that we, and most of the soaping community, as well as the lye calculators used the terms interchangeably. The only time you see a TRUE superfat is if someone is literally adding oil to a cooked soap.
 

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