Recipe help - making my first batch larger than 1lb.

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peachymoon

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Hi all,

This weekend I would like to attempt making my first batch larger than 1 lb. I am using the Crafter's Choice wood & silicone mold that hold about a 55 oz. batch. I actually have yet to use any of my first several batches, as they are still curing, but I wanted to branch out. I am also using avocado oil & shea butter for the first time. I don't want the soap to be too drying, but I don't wanna go overboard with the moisturizing stuff either, so I thought I'd ask for feedback before doing all of this stuff I haven't tried before & potentially wasting a lot of ingredients. I've attached a screenshot of the recipe.

I appreciate any feedback or advice, thank you!
 

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Obsidian

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Looks like a decent recipe but generally when trying a new recipe and ingredients, you make a small batch.
You make large batches of a recipe you are familiar with.
What happens if this new recipe accelerates and you were planning a fancy design? Just be prepared in case it acts up and have a back up plan.

I'm also wondering about your measurements. Usually when a mold is advertised as holding a certain amount, its only taking the oils into consideration.
My 56 oz mold needs 56 oz of oil to fill.
Maybe post the inside dimensions of your mold so someone can double check.
 

AliOop

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The recipe looks ok to me. However, I always make a small test batch of any new recipe. Even a 2lb batch would be better than doing almost 4.5 lbs of something you haven't tested. If something didn't go well, or you don't like the soap, that's a LOT of expensive ingredients down the drain. I've done that enough times that I know it isn't worth it. That's especially true since you are a very new soaper and don't know if your small batches have actually made soap that you like.

You can still use your large mold, even for a smaller batch. If it is a slab mold, don't fill it to the top. If it is a loaf mold, use a piece of cardboard as a divider dam so that you only fill one end of it.

ETA: Looks like @Obsidian said pretty much the same thing.
 

peachymoon

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@Obsidian @AliOop

Ty for the feedback. I may wait until the first ones reach their 6 week cure so I can decide on a recipe to use. I figured it might be too much to handle, it is a lot of firsts. :/

For the measurements, I checked the Q&A about the product, someone said the mold capacity is 55 oz. and in reviews for a similar "off-brand" mold, someone said it fit a 54 oz. batch, so I interpreted it as how much liquid the mold could hold. This is the mold in question:

 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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If you're itching to make soap while the others cure, try making something very different, like a salt bar. You can almost find enough very different sorts of recipes to make soap once a week and only the same sort of recipes being made every 4 weeks so so, allowing you to test and tweak. But again, keep to smaller batches when testing things out so that you don't end up with hundreds of bars laying around
 

AliOop

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We all understand how fun it is to make soap and use new soap tools, that is for sure!

Yes, you can definitely use that mold to make a smaller batch. Cut a piece of cardboard that fits tightly to divide the mold in half. You can use Soapmakingfriend.com to resize your batch by putting in the inside dimensions of the smaller area that you created with the cardboard dam.

Doing that will allow you to make a smaller batch and experiment with some of the different ingredients and techniques you want to try. Then those can start curing, too - BUT you won't have as much soap filling up your house while you are learning and experimenting. :D

And then you won't have to take a big box of soaps down to the homeless shelter for donations. My husband literally just walked in the door from doing exactly that! Of course, the shelter was thrilled - I gave them over 100 soaps of all different recipes, sizes, scents, and colors. My sweet husband is relieved that there is less soap in the house, but somewhat resigned to the fact that this will probably be a regular occurrence for us. It's not my recipe that is the problem; I'm trying to master some specific designs in my 5lb slab mold. Even if I pour it only half full, that is still 2.5 lbs of soap each time I try! 😁
 

cmzaha

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I will be fine, the tweak I would make would be to up the palm to 30%, drop the OO, adding in any difference to either the AVO, Sunflower HO, or Shea. If you up the palm you could lower the Lye Concentration to 31% just to slow down trace a little.
 

peachymoon

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If you're itching to make soap while the others cure, try making something very different, like a salt bar. You can almost find enough very different sorts of recipes to make soap once a week and only the same sort of recipes being made every 4 weeks so so, allowing you to test and tweak. But again, keep to smaller batches when testing things out so that you don't end up with hundreds of bars laying around
Not the same thing, but I did make a brine soap bar the last time I soaped and it feels so velvety to the touch, which is lovely! I am a little intimidated by making a salt bar, but I do want to try it eventually.. the brine bar was me dipping my toe in the pool first, haha. Ty!
 

Obsidian

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Ty for the feedback. I may wait until the first ones reach their 6 week cure so I can decide on a recipe to use. I figured it might be too much to handle, it is a lot of firsts. :/

For the measurements, I checked the Q&A about the product, someone said the mold capacity is 55 oz. and in reviews for a similar "off-brand" mold, someone said it fit a 54 oz. batch, so I interpreted it as how much liquid the mold could hold. This is the mold in question:

Ok, calculated the capacity and it will hold 33 oz of oil. Thats not too big at all.

I'm not sure how everyone else does it but I only count the oil weight. Maybe I'm doing it wrong.
If it was my mold, I'd label it as 33 oz so I know how much oil to use without having to fiddle around with different measurements if you ever alter the amount of water used.
 

peachymoon

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We all understand how fun it is to make soap and use new soap tools, that is for sure!

Yes, you can definitely use that mold to make a smaller batch. Cut a piece of cardboard that fits tightly to divide the mold in half. You can use Soapmakingfriend.com to resize your batch by putting in the inside dimensions of the smaller area that you created with the cardboard dam.

Doing that will allow you to make a smaller batch and experiment with some of the different ingredients and techniques you want to try. Then those can start curing, too - BUT you won't have as much soap filling up your house while you are learning and experimenting. :D

And then you won't have to take a big box of soaps down to the homeless shelter for donations. My husband literally just walked in the door from doing exactly that! Of course, the shelter was thrilled - I gave them over 100 soaps of all different recipes, sizes, scents, and colors. My sweet husband is relieved that there is less soap in the house, but somewhat resigned to the fact that this will probably be a regular occurrence for us. It's not my recipe that is the problem; I'm trying to master some specific designs in my 5lb slab mold. Even if I pour it only half full, that is still 2.5 lbs of soap each time I try! 😁
That's a great suggestion to "size down" the mold. The itch I have is more to have a different shape/size of soap than to make a huge batch, but I also kinda wanted to put the whole 2 oz. of FO to use since I really like the scent. >.< Not sure what I'll do yet.

I will be fine, the tweak I would make would be to up the palm to 30%, drop the OO, adding in any difference to either the AVO, Sunflower HO, or Shea. If you up the palm you could lower the Lye Concentration to 31% just to slow down trace a little.
Drop the OO entirely, or reduce the amount? o: Hmm, it sounds like it'd make a nice, light-colored soap to just use avocado and sunflower.

Ok, calculated the capacity and it will hold 33 oz of oil. Thats not too big at all.

I'm not sure how everyone else does it but I only count the oil weight. Maybe I'm doing it wrong.
If it was my mold, I'd label it as 33 oz so I know how much oil to use without having to fiddle around with different measurements if you ever alter the amount of water used.
Thank you so much for checking! And that's a great idea, I'll definitely label it because I've had to go back and figure out multiple times when I've thought about using it. 😂
 

Todd Ziegler

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@Obsidian @AliOop

Ty for the feedback. I may wait until the first ones reach their 6 week cure so I can decide on a recipe to use. I figured it might be too much to handle, it is a lot of firsts. :/

For the measurements, I checked the Q&A about the product, someone said the mold capacity is 55 oz. and in reviews for a similar "off-brand" mold, someone said it fit a 54 oz. batch, so I interpreted it as how much liquid the mold could hold. This is the mold in question:

I have the same mold and depending on the recipe, I have been only able to put around 40-45 ounces of soap.

Drop the OO entirely, or reduce the amount? o: Hmm, it sounds like it'd make a nice, light-colored soap to just use avocado and sunflower.
I agree with this suggestion. Olive oil is a slow curing oil. I use high oleic safflower oil instead of olive oil and I feel like it is better than the olive oil and does not take as long to cure. It also makes a more white batter that allows your colors to stand out.

Are you using a scent for this batch? FO's can cause your soap to accelerate.
 

JillGat

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I will be fine, the tweak I would make would be to up the palm to 30%, drop the OO, adding in any difference to either the AVO, Sunflower HO, or Shea. If you up the palm you could lower the Lye Concentration to 31% just to slow down trace a little.
Why would you drop the OO and up either of the other two oils? Just interested to know!

Not the same thing, but I did make a brine soap bar the last time I soaped and it feels so velvety to the touch, which is lovely! I am a little intimidated by making a salt bar, but I do want to try it eventually.. the brine bar was me dipping my toe in the pool first, haha. Ty!
What is a brine bar? I never heard of that.
 

TheGecko

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The first couple of months I made soap, I ran about 50/50 success/failures...that’s a lot of wasted ingredients. I got smart and bought a couple of 1lb molds to try new recipes...scents and colorants. It didn’t help as for speeding up curing and testing time. But I learned a lot making smaller batches and I got to play while I waited.
 

Arimara

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@JillGat Olive oil is one of those oils I'd suggest you test different grades of. Try an extra virgin, regular and try some Olive pomace to see which one you like. Despite it coming to trace much faster than I'd like, I do prefer pomace to other olive oils. I just treat it like a luxury oil because I have to order it online to get my hands on some and it can be pricey.
 

Todd Ziegler

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@JillGat Not cmzaha but she is one who doesn't like OO in soap much. I don't either. Plus there's no need to have so many different liquid oils. I use Sunflower, Avocado or Safflower to replace OO quite often.
This is my personal experience but I prefer safflower oil over OO. I prefer the feel and I find it easier to work with in my recipes.
 

Obsidian

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I also use HO safflower, its cheaper, lighter in color and doesn't dry out my skin like OO. My absolute favorite HO is sunflower but its expensive and hard to find here.
 

JillGat

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I also use HO safflower, its cheaper, lighter in color and doesn't dry out my skin like OO. My absolute favorite HO is sunflower but its expensive and hard to find here.
What does HO stand for?
 

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