Reheating Oils

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TashaBird

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So far I have only prepped my batches, and not master batched. I’ve got several batches prepped right now. Usually I heat my hard fats, and then mix my liquid fats after. I’d like to try and melt and mix the hard and liquid fats together, let them harden, and see how they do. I’m curious how hard they’ll be, and if they separate. I’m wondering if there is any issue reheating. I’ve always considered my liquid fats more fragile for some reason. Is there any concern with reheating these oils: avocado, rice bran, castor?
Thank you!
 

The_Phoenix

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Will you harden them in the fridge? Or just keep them in your cold basement? How would you reheat them? You know, it’s a small step towards master batching from what you’re doing now. Are your batches the same recipe?

Avocado and rice bran oils have a very high smoke point so they aren’t as fragile as you might think.
 

TheGecko

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I Master Batch; my Recipe is Olive, Palm, Coconut and Castor Oils and Cocoa and Shea Butters. I mix up 40 pounds at a time and put it in a food grade 5-gal bucket that sits in my kitchen. I melt (slow medium heat) my Hard Oils on the stove first...starting with the Cocoa Butter, then adding the Palm and Coconut Oils until all are melted and then I turn it off and add the Shea. I mix a total of 10 lbs at a time as that is the max amount of Hard Oils my pot can handle at a time. I do have a pot that can melt all the Hard Oils at one go, but 'safety third' as Mike Rowe says...the small pot is what I can easily handle and deal with if something comes up.

Because I'm combining Hard and Soft Oils together (I give each Lot a good stir), the Hard Oils never solidify. During the Spring/Summer it's about the consistency of pancake batter, during the Fall/Winter it's more like cornbread batter. When I'm ready to make soap I use a long-handled spatula to scrape the bottom and the sides, and then a commercial paint stirrer to give it a good mix. Once I weigh out what I need, I pop it in the microwave for 20 to 40 seconds per pound to fully liquify the oils to about 120F.

I also Master Batch my Lye Solution...33% to 35% depending on the time of the year...ready-to-use. It sits in tightly sealed gallon jugs in my soaping cart at around 70F. I normally use Sodium Lactate and dispersed Kaolin Clay in my Recipe, but don't add it until I'm ready to make soap.

I have a spreadsheet on my wall that lists every mold I own and how much Oils and Lye Solution I need for each one. When it's time to make soap, I simply pick the mold, consult the spreadsheet and weigh out my Oils and heat them. I then weigh out my my Lye Solution and add the Sodium Lactate. I disperse my Kaolin Clay and then mix with my Oils, then add in my Lye Solution and complete the rest of the soap.

I started Master Batching about eight months or so ago and am very happy with my choice to do so. It allows me to make soap when I get home from work if I want and I can make more soap on the weekends since the majority of weighing, melting and mixing is already done. I tried using the Heat Transfer Method before I started Master Batching, but it just wasn't 'me'.

I do not recommend Master Batching to anyone until you have been soaping for a least a year...you need that time to get to know your recipe as a whole and how it works during the different seasons with temperature and humidity changes.

The 'pros' of Master Batching is that you save a lot of time. Yes, I spend maybe a couple of hours making up my MB Oils, but I was previously spending 30 minutes per pound of Oils between getting everything out, measuring, melting, mixing, putting everything away. Now it takes me maybe 15 minutes per batch; I can easily make two to three times as much soap.

The 'con' of Master Batching is...what you see is what you get. It's a single recipe, it's what you have to work with. If you want to change up the recipe, you can't. On the other hand, I also make Goat Milk Soap. While I can't Master Batch the Lye Solution, I do have another 5-gal bucket for my Oils.
 

GemstonePony

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I heat those all the time. I frequently heat them above 180°f, and no browning/burning, odor, or other funny business. I'm sure if you heated them hot enough, you might run into some trouble somewhere, but I frequently use my liquid oils to melt the beeswax or stearic acid if I'm using those.
 

amd

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I’d like to try and melt and mix the hard and liquid fats together, let them harden, and see how they do. I’m curious how hard they’ll be, and if they separate. I’m wondering if there is any issue reheating.
My recipe is 65% "hard" oils (if you consider CO to be a hard oil, anyways, which I do). At room temp it's a gel like consistency, sometimes it may have small pin sized beads which I think are cocoa butter. I generally don't worry about the pin sized beads, but I do always give my MB a good stir to look for larger chunks. When it's warmer in the house (we don't have AC so usually summer months) I do some separation of liquid oils and the higher [temp] melting oils, there will be a layer of thicker oils on the bottom, but it's not solidified my any means. In that case I will take out my stick blender and give the bucket a good "juzz" to get everything incorporated again. When I started masterbatching, I started slowly with small amounts (like a 1 gallon bucket) until I got a feel for how things should look and behave. I now MB into 2 gallon buckets which holds 6050g of oil with a bit of headroom. My next increase in size will be to repurpose the 40lb CO bucket, but I need to get a brewers belt (jacket? maybe they're called) to help keep things a bit warmer when I'm ready to soap. Right now I've just been moving the small buckets to the platform by our boiler to keep things nice and liquid. I won't be able to fit a 40lb bucket there.
 

TashaBird

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Will you harden them in the fridge? Or just keep them in your cold basement? How would you reheat them? You know, it’s a small step towards master batching from what you’re doing now. Are your batches the same recipe?

Avocado and rice bran oils have a very high smoke point so they aren’t as fragile as you might think.
Cold garage, scoop and nuke.
 

The_Phoenix

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I know I've posted this here and there, so stop me if you've heard this before (in my family, I'm known for telling the same story repeatedly because I forget whom I have and have not told). I MB about 10,000g of my fats in a huge 18 qt. container with a lid. While my hard oils are melting in my stainless steel pot, I measure out my liquid oils in my MB container; I then add the melted hard fats to the liquid oils. The container rests on a seedling mat and keeps the entire contents of the container warm enough so that it is remains fluid. While the heavier oils do settle on the bottom (I wouldn't say they separate), because the oils are about 80-ish degrees, I can easily blend everything up right in the MB container. The last time I pulled from the MB when it was full, I measured the temperature at the surface and it was about 83 degrees. I've been using it for the last year and it is because of this mat that I feel confident MB'ing.

The mat I currently have is 20" x 20" and I can fit my MB container on it. I often have two MB containers on it at once (one for a lard recipe and the other non-lard). Because it is intended to manage getting wet and dirty, it cleans up easily and can handle any liquid that is spilled on it.

Also, the few times I've played around with soap dough, I'll put the baggie of soap dough on the seedling mat to warm it up.

One day, I want to graduate to this warmer band, but it's so expensive and I can't see spending that when my seedling mat works just fine.
 
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KimW

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I know I've posted this here and there, so stop me if you've heard this before (in my family, I'm known for telling the same story repeatedly because I forget who I have and have not told). I MB about 10,000g of my fats in a huge 18 qt. container with a lid. While my hard oils are melting in my stainless steel pot, I measure out my liquid oils in my MB container; I then add the melted hard fats to the liquid oils. The container rests on a seedling mat and keeps the entire contents of the container warm enough so that it is remains fluid. While the heavier oils do settle on the bottom (I wouldn't say they separate), because the oils are about 80-ish degrees, I can easily blend everything up right in the MB container.

The mat I currently have is 20" x 20" and I can fit my MB container on it. I often have two MB containers on it at once (one for a lard recipe and the other non-lard). Because it is intended to manage getting wet and dirty, it cleans up easily and can handle any liquid that is spilled on it. The last time I pulled from the MB when it was full, I measured the temperature at the surface and it was about 83 degrees. I've been using it for the last year and it is because of this mat that I feel confident MB'ing.

Also, the few times I've played around with soap dough, I'll put the baggie of soap dough on the seedling mat to warm it up.

One day, I want to graduate to this warmer band, but it's so expensive and I can't see spending that when my seedling mat works just fine.
ohhhh - thank you for the detailed post. I'd never thought of using a simple seeding mat - which we have already and which uses very little electricity. Thank you!

P.S. I'm also know for retelling a story. My Hubby just listens and laughs, because my stories are usually funny. He says once he got used to it, he enjoyed being reminded of my comical adventures. 😁

@amd - not going to sugar coat it - I am a bit jealous of your boiler platform!
 

The_Phoenix

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@KimW That's right! You grow hydroponic vegetables, right? Give it a try and let me know how you like using it. It was a game changer for me.

Oh my gosh, my husband gets an (impatient) kick out of it.: "You told me this story." I'll often respond, "Did I? Yeah, but it's a great story!!!" 😂
 

The_Phoenix

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My recipe is 65% "hard" oils (if you consider CO to be a hard oil, anyways, which I do). At room temp it's a gel like consistency, sometimes it may have small pin sized beads which I think are cocoa butter. I generally don't worry about the pin sized beads, but I do always give my MB a good stir to look for larger chunks. When it's warmer in the house (we don't have AC so usually summer months) I do some separation of liquid oils and the higher [temp] melting oils, there will be a layer of thicker oils on the bottom, but it's not solidified my any means. In that case I will take out my stick blender and give the bucket a good "juzz" to get everything incorporated again. When I started masterbatching, I started slowly with small amounts (like a 1 gallon bucket) until I got a feel for how things should look and behave. I now MB into 2 gallon buckets which holds 6050g of oil with a bit of headroom. My next increase in size will be to repurpose the 40lb CO bucket, but I need to get a brewers belt (jacket? maybe they're called) to help keep things a bit warmer when I'm ready to soap. Right now I've just been moving the small buckets to the platform by our boiler to keep things nice and liquid. I won't be able to fit a 40lb bucket there.
My eye keeps going to the word "juzz." 🤡
 

TashaBird

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I know I've posted this here and there, so stop me if you've heard this before (in my family, I'm known for telling the same story repeatedly because I forget whom I have and have not told). I MB about 10,000g of my fats in a huge 18 qt. container with a lid. While my hard oils are melting in my stainless steel pot, I measure out my liquid oils in my MB container; I then add the melted hard fats to the liquid oils. The container rests on a seedling mat and keeps the entire contents of the container warm enough so that it is remains fluid. While the heavier oils do settle on the bottom (I wouldn't say they separate), because the oils are about 80-ish degrees, I can easily blend everything up right in the MB container. The last time I pulled from the MB when it was full, I measured the temperature at the surface and it was about 83 degrees. I've been using it for the last year and it is because of this mat that I feel confident MB'ing.

The mat I currently have is 20" x 20" and I can fit my MB container on it. I often have two MB containers on it at once (one for a lard recipe and the other non-lard). Because it is intended to manage getting wet and dirty, it cleans up easily and can handle any liquid that is spilled on it.

Also, the few times I've played around with soap dough, I'll put the baggie of soap dough on the seedling mat to warm it up.

One day, I want to graduate to this warmer band, but it's so expensive and I can't see spending that when my seedling mat works just fine.
I have heard tale of this mythical seedling mat before. 😆 But, in this context, about to try and MB myself, I appreciated reading it again.

All these wonderful descriptions have given me confidence, and gotten me excited! I’m going to melt and blend one of the prepped batches I have and leave it over night to see how it acts.

I have a large electric roaster I could melt my hard oils, and a clean 5 g bucket I could mix, when I’m ready to give it a try. I’ll look and see if a seedling mat would work for me, or if I’d rather have a bucket jacket warmer thingy.

@The_Phoenix when you’ve turned off the mat, how long has it taken to warm up the whole 5g bucket?
 

TashaBird

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One day, I want to graduate to this warmer band, but it's so expensive and I can't see spending that when my seedling mat works just fine.
The bucket warmer I’ve been looking at is on amazon and about $80. I like it because it supposedly goes up to 145F, and I could use it for other stuff. (I dabble in a litttle taxidermy.)
 

The_Phoenix

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I have heard tale of this mythical seedling mat before. 😆 But, in this context, about to try and MB myself, I appreciated reading it again.

When you’ve turned off the mat, how long has it taken to warm up the whole 5g bucket?
Sorry, I’m not sure I understand the question. I leave my bucket of MB fats on the seedling mat at all times. I have a small bucket on the mat currently. This is the same recipe I used to make all of my TS attempts, and this little bucket is what is leftover. I haven’t touched it in over a week and checked the temperature. I’ve attached a photo I just took of the digital thermometer. The smaller the quantity of fats in the container, the warmer it is.

My garage is about 67 degrees. It’s usually colder but my husband has his Bitcoin farming machine in the garage and it doubles as a garage heater (it’s his newest hobby).

I also smelled the fats and it doesn’t smell the last bit off and the recipe contains 42% lard. I made the MB on February 7th. Well, I mean, it smells like 42% lard but it is what it is.
Hope this helps!
 

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TashaBird

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Sorry, I’m not sure I understand the question. I leave my bucket of MB fats on the seedling mat at all times. I have a small bucket on the mat currently. This is the same recipe I used to make all of my TS attempts, and this little bucket is what is leftover. I haven’t touched it in over a week and checked the temperature. I’ve attached a photo I just took of the digital thermometer. The smaller the quantity of fats in the container, the warmer it is.

My garage is about 67 degrees. It’s usually colder but my husband has his Bitcoin farming machine in the garage and it doubles as a garage heater (it’s his newest hobby).

I also smelled the fats and it doesn’t smell the last bit off and the recipe contains 42% lard. I made the MB on February 7th. Well, I mean, it smells like 42% lard but it is what it is.
Hope this helps!
I didn’t think about leaving it on 24/7. I’d like to be able to turn it off. I’m thinking the bucket warmer might be my jam, since it gets up to 145 and reviews say can heat the contents up overnight, depending on how cold they are I guess.
 

The_Phoenix

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Ah, I understand your question now. I don’t know how long it would take for the batch to warm up. I suppose I could turn it off when I’m not soaping and turn it on a few hours beforehand to warm them up. I like the convenience of not having to wait to do anything with the batch.

The mat uses 45 watts of electricity to run. That’s equivalent to a ceiling fan running on low.

I do think for long term use, the bucket warmer is a good investment.
 

Vicki C

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I Master Batch; my Recipe is Olive, Palm, Coconut and Castor Oils and Cocoa and Shea Butters. I mix up 40 pounds at a time and put it in a food grade 5-gal bucket that sits in my kitchen. I melt (slow medium heat) my Hard Oils on the stove first...starting with the Cocoa Butter, then adding the Palm and Coconut Oils until all are melted and then I turn it off and add the Shea. I mix a total of 10 lbs at a time as that is the max amount of Hard Oils my pot can handle at a time. I do have a pot that can melt all the Hard Oils at one go, but 'safety third' as Mike Rowe says...the small pot is what I can easily handle and deal with if something comes up.

Because I'm combining Hard and Soft Oils together (I give each Lot a good stir), the Hard Oils never solidify. During the Spring/Summer it's about the consistency of pancake batter, during the Fall/Winter it's more like cornbread batter. When I'm ready to make soap I use a long-handled spatula to scrape the bottom and the sides, and then a commercial paint stirrer to give it a good mix. Once I weigh out what I need, I pop it in the microwave for 20 to 40 seconds per pound to fully liquify the oils to about 120F.

I also Master Batch my Lye Solution...33% to 35% depending on the time of the year...ready-to-use. It sits in tightly sealed gallon jugs in my soaping cart at around 70F. I normally use Sodium Lactate and dispersed Kaolin Clay in my Recipe, but don't add it until I'm ready to make soap.

I have a spreadsheet on my wall that lists every mold I own and how much Oils and Lye Solution I need for each one. When it's time to make soap, I simply pick the mold, consult the spreadsheet and weigh out my Oils and heat them. I then weigh out my my Lye Solution and add the Sodium Lactate. I disperse my Kaolin Clay and then mix with my Oils, then add in my Lye Solution and complete the rest of the soap.

I started Master Batching about eight months or so ago and am very happy with my choice to do so. It allows me to make soap when I get home from work if I want and I can make more soap on the weekends since the majority of weighing, melting and mixing is already done. I tried using the Heat Transfer Method before I started Master Batching, but it just wasn't 'me'.

I do not recommend Master Batching to anyone until you have been soaping for a least a year...you need that time to get to know your recipe as a whole and how it works during the different seasons with temperature and humidity changes.

The 'pros' of Master Batching is that you save a lot of time. Yes, I spend maybe a couple of hours making up my MB Oils, but I was previously spending 30 minutes per pound of Oils between getting everything out, measuring, melting, mixing, putting everything away. Now it takes me maybe 15 minutes per batch; I can easily make two to three times as much soap.

The 'con' of Master Batching is...what you see is what you get. It's a single recipe, it's what you have to work with. If you want to change up the recipe, you can't. On the other hand, I also make Goat Milk Soap. While I can't Master Batch the Lye Solution, I do have another 5-gal bucket for my Oils.
This is great, thanks for sharing!
 

Peachy Clean Soap

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I Master Batch; my Recipe is Olive, Palm, Coconut and Castor Oils and Cocoa and Shea Butters. I mix up 40 pounds at a time and put it in a food grade 5-gal bucket that sits in my kitchen. I melt (slow medium heat) my Hard Oils on the stove first...starting with the Cocoa Butter, then adding the Palm and Coconut Oils until all are melted and then I turn it off and add the Shea. I mix a total of 10 lbs at a time as that is the max amount of Hard Oils my pot can handle at a time. I do have a pot that can melt all the Hard Oils at one go, but 'safety third' as Mike Rowe says...the small pot is what I can easily handle and deal with if something comes up.

Because I'm combining Hard and Soft Oils together (I give each Lot a good stir), the Hard Oils never solidify. During the Spring/Summer it's about the consistency of pancake batter, during the Fall/Winter it's more like cornbread batter. When I'm ready to make soap I use a long-handled spatula to scrape the bottom and the sides, and then a commercial paint stirrer to give it a good mix. Once I weigh out what I need, I pop it in the microwave for 20 to 40 seconds per pound to fully liquify the oils to about 120F.

I also Master Batch my Lye Solution...33% to 35% depending on the time of the year...ready-to-use. It sits in tightly sealed gallon jugs in my soaping cart at around 70F. I normally use Sodium Lactate and dispersed Kaolin Clay in my Recipe, but don't add it until I'm ready to make soap.

I have a spreadsheet on my wall that lists every mold I own and how much Oils and Lye Solution I need for each one. When it's time to make soap, I simply pick the mold, consult the spreadsheet and weigh out my Oils and heat them. I then weigh out my my Lye Solution and add the Sodium Lactate. I disperse my Kaolin Clay and then mix with my Oils, then add in my Lye Solution and complete the rest of the soap.

I started Master Batching about eight months or so ago and am very happy with my choice to do so. It allows me to make soap when I get home from work if I want and I can make more soap on the weekends since the majority of weighing, melting and mixing is already done. I tried using the Heat Transfer Method before I started Master Batching, but it just wasn't 'me'.

I do not recommend Master Batching to anyone until you have been soaping for a least a year...you need that time to get to know your recipe as a whole and how it works during the different seasons with temperature and humidity changes.

The 'pros' of Master Batching is that you save a lot of time. Yes, I spend maybe a couple of hours making up my MB Oils, but I was previously spending 30 minutes per pound of Oils between getting everything out, measuring, melting, mixing, putting everything away. Now it takes me maybe 15 minutes per batch; I can easily make two to three times as much soap.

The 'con' of Master Batching is...what you see is what you get. It's a single recipe, it's what you have to work with. If you want to change up the recipe, you can't. On the other hand, I also make Goat Milk Soap. While I can't Master Batch the Lye Solution, I do have another 5-gal bucket for my Oils.
Wow this is such great 411. 👍🏼🤗💫
 

TheGecko

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Holy smokes that is some inspiring organization. That’d save me so much headaches.
It took me a few hours as I had some discontinued molds, molds from Amazon and second-hand molds. Some of the cavity molds I "guessed" on (weigh the fold, fill with water, weigh again, multiply by 92%). Once I got that done, then I put my recipe into a soap calculator, making sure I used both Lye Concentrations, SuperFat and amount of FO I typically use. Then it was just a matter of sitting there and adjusting the "Weight of Oils", Calculate, View Recipe and looking at the Soap Weight until it matched or was really close to what the mold could hold. Then it was just a matter of putting the numbers into my spreadsheet. I started out by pre-adding the Water and Lye since I MB my Lye Solution, then I remembered I could "Hide" those columns before printing and just show the total. And if you MB with a 50% Lye Solution, it would simple enough to add some columns to calculate how much additional Water you would need.

It is an amazing timesaver, though you could just write it on the bottom of your mold. And I do have additional columns for molds that I have multiples of which is really cool. Then I have an additional sheet for when I want to break down a batch. As as example...I have six 'rose' cavity molds. I'll make a single batch for all six, but then I want to break them down to different colors/scents; my sheet tells me how much batter and FO I will need.
 
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