Soapmaker 3 help please

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penelopejane

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Hi
I have soapmaker 3 and tried joining the Facebook user page to ask questions but they haven't responded. Searching on this forum I see a few people here use it and am hoping you can help me with a few questions.

I have entered all my purchases (i have kept all the receipts). And have entered a few recipes.

1. If I use the same recipe but add goats milk that is a new recipe?
2. If I use the same recipe but a different FO or different colour that is a new recipe?
3. Or should I not list FO’s and micas under their name but just call them generic mica and generic FO?
 

Stacy

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It's completely up to you.

The way I work, each variation would be a new recipe. There's no other way for me to keep the variations straight. I quickly learned that while I think I might remember what I did with a specific batch, I really don't! When I was working on lotions I think I was up to "Lotion (v23)" or something like that. It was also a good way to go back and remember what I had already tried.

If you make recipe 1 and record it as a made batch, then alter the recipe and save it, you wont be able to go back and make a duplicate of that batch exactly the same again.

You also wont be able to get the details on and ingredients and costs of batches made with recipe 1 if you alter and save it. It can only give you the details for the updated recipe.

Also you may want to keep notes on each variation and you can only really do that if you save them separately. (the easiest way to do that is open your base recipe, do a 'save as' then make your changes and save it again. This leaves your original unaltered.)

You can make a folder called 'Goat's Milk Soap' and store all your variations in there, or keep them all in a big folder for solid bars etc. It took me a little while to figure out my work flow.

If you find you don't like a batch you've made or aren't going to make it again because you're out of the FO etc, the best thing to do is archive it (use move and move it to the archive). Then it's out of your way but you still have the complete record of it.

Hopefully that made sense.
 
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TeresaT

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1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Depends on if you are tracking the usage. If not, generic is good. If you are, generic is not good.

I have several folders under recipes. One labeled "lard/olive/coconut/castor" which is where I store my main recipe and all of its variations. Every time I made a change to the "master" recipe, I gave it a new name reflecting the change I made (ie kokum butter). I've still got those recipes as my main recipes. When I'm going to make a batch, I pull one of those recipes up, immediately save it as a new name (usually the Fragrance Oil name) before I do any changes to it, then put my additives, notes and such in there and save the final recipe. This is what I print and tape to my cabinet over my work surface to use as a checklist and make notations on. Once I'm finished with the batch, I go over to the computer and "make it" then save any notes to the made batch. (Not the recipe.) If I discover an FO is an accelerator or something like that, after I've finished the notes in the batch, I'll add that info to the FO notes screen. (Notes for Soapalooza's Bungle in the Jungle "smells like horrible body odor OOB." and "cures to an amazing fragrance.")

I list my additives by the name of the company and the item. I have a lot of folders (colors, clays, botanicals, EO, FO, foods, liquids, and more). Under colors I list the company name and the mica because I buy micas from several companies. I do the same thing with my FOs because I buy from companies as well as several pre-buy groups. Using the company name first makes sure all of Soapalooza's FOs are together or all of Nurture's micas are together. It makes it easier for me to scan through the (very long) list to pick what I'm looking for. Under botanicals, I put seeds, leaves and flowers; under naturals, I put spices, ultramarines and other natural colorants; liquids are aloe vera, vinegar, distilled water, beer & brewed coffee -- anything that I need to account for in the liquid part of my recipe. I have a milks folder for my powdered milks, too, since I don't use them in liquid form. Some may find this to be too tedious or too complex, but since I have a variety of things I use, I think it's easier to put them into folders rather than one long list of things. I will eventually add subfolders to my FOs and colors to break down the company names if those lists get too long.

One of the things I like about this software is it is specifically for soapmakers and I can go back and update my batches or my recipes (or both) with notes about the quality of the soap as time goes by. I have it on my desktop and my laptop. Every time I update the program, I back it up and upload the back up to my cloud account then download the fresh data to the other computer. There are a lot of things it can't do. I created a "Master batch" recipe for 9000 grams. It calls for 4500 grams of lard. I only have a four pound bucket. I wanted to make it with just 4 pounds. But I can't plug in 4 pounds of lard at 50%, hit a button and have it spit out the rest of the oils' weights. So, I'll go buy another 4 pound bucket and deal with it. I'm not sure there are any soap calculators out there that can do that, anyway.

I hope this helps a little bit with what you're asking.
 

penelopejane

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^^^^

Stacy and Teresa,
Thank you both so much for your detailed replies. I guess I was worried that I have made 45 batches and will end up with 45 recipes because I add something different every time I make a batch. But that seems to be the way to go.

I have been keeping my detailed notes in an excel spreadsheet so far so if I can keep it all in one place in the batches pages that will be great.

One other thing. In "recipe" under"lye/water" tab it has lye discount. I have to adjust this % until it matches the exact amount of lye soapcalc told me to use in the recipe. Is this the right thing to do?
 

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I just got this too so thanks for the question and answers!

I thought it was a perfect opportunity since I'm restocking everything post-move. I ended up using Lye Solution Strength to handle my water discount and Lye Discount for my lye one. I couldn't figure out the what the "Water Discount" meant... what is it discounting from? Water As % of Oils?

I got within a couple of grams of my original SoapCalc recipe amount using those and figure I'll just roll with it.
 

penelopejane

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I just got this too so thanks for the question and answers!

I thought it was a perfect opportunity since I'm restocking everything post-move. I ended up using Lye Solution Strength to handle my water discount and Lye Discount for my lye one. I couldn't figure out the what the "Water Discount" meant... what is it discounting from? Water As % of Oils?

I got within a couple of grams of my original SoapCalc recipe amount using those and figure I'll just roll with it.
I was thinking:
Soapmaker Lye Solution = soap calc Lye concentration
Soapmaker Lye Discount = soap calc Super Fat ratio

Is that what you did? (sorry I am not clear on which ones you were referring to above!)

Soapmaker doesn't finish up with the exact numbers but they are close
 

Stacy

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I don't really use soapcalc so I can't say for sure, but I did plug one of my recipes in to see what it said. I use 178g of 1:1 lye solution in this recipe and soapcalc called for 90g each of water and lye. So pretty close there.

I also use 102g of extra water and I couldn't find a place for that in Soapcalc.

I think it's just breaking it down differently. If I put into soapcalc that I was using 2:1 water to lye, my numbers would have been very close. I think SM3 just breaks it up this way so that you have a little more wiggle room with strength and purity etc. when fine tuning a batch.
 

TeresaT

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One of the things I did when I changed over from SoapCalc to is play around with the lye concentration of my old recipes to make the SM3 match. It was too confusing and really not necessary. The SAP values are estimates. SoapCalc, Brambleberry, Soapee and SM3 will never come up with the exact same NaOH to H2O ratios for every recipe because they're all using different SAP values. You can change the SAP values in the SM3 for the oils, if you wanted to, to reflect the SoapCalc values if that would make you feel better; but, personally I don't think it's really worth it.

I do use extra water in some of my recipes, and you cannot adjust the water amounts in SM3. At least, I have figured out a way to do that. So, I just added water in my list of additives with my other liquids. It's helpful when I go over the water amount by one or two grams and am too lazy to grab a dropper to pull it out. That's one of the notes I write on my sheet and add to my "batch" notes but not the recipe.
 

Stacy

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Again, I am by no means an expert here, but if we all put our heads together maybe we'll get a better understanding of the whole thing :)

How I understand it is this. SM3 defaults to a full water calculation.

For example I have a rose FO that I use and that's full water because I am not a masochist. For that recipe I have premix checked off at 1:1 and a 0% water discount. It calls for 183.68gr of Lye mix and 140.76gr of water. So that's 91.84gr of lye and 232.6gr of water or 1 part lye to 2.5 parts water.

On the other end of the spectrum, I have an herbal FO that is a dream to work with and I have that set to a 28.5% water discount and that comes out to the same amount of lye with an additional 74.47g of water. Making it 91.84gr of lye and 166.31gr of water or 1 part lye to 1.8 parts water.

So instead of having to keep different strengths of premix around, this is an easy way to let me work with one strength and still change my water amounts.

Teresa > Do you mean you use more than full water in some of your recipes? If that's the case I think you're right, as far as I can see there's no way to increase the base water above full other than to add it as an additive. If what you're doing works for you though, I wouldn't worry about doing it 'right' or 'wrong'. That's what I like about this program though, you can use the pieces that work for you. I bet if 10 of us all sat in a room and compared we'd all be using it differently in some way.
 

Dahila

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what I do is ; I put one variation and in notes all the other ingredients I want to use. Then when I do fill up Cosmetic Notification Form I use "may contain" box . I would think you have similar forms in Us. Chose the name which can cover a lot of variations ;)) SM3 is my must have program, Life before SM3 was not life at all :)) just kidding
you want to be in the group I can add you to SM3 support group send me pm with your fb name and I will do it.
 

KristaY

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One thing that's been a HUGE time saver for me is to create "Base" recipes. So if I'm making 10 batches using the same oils, lye concentration and SF, I enter all that info in then name it. For example "Base OO Recipe" or whatever. Then when I make a batch I open that recipe and click on "NewCopy". From there I add in the FO/EO's I use, any colors, other additives, then save it with the name of the soap. By doing it this way I have 90% of the info already there so I don't have to start from scratch every time.
 

TeresaT

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Again, I am by no means an expert here, but if we all put our heads together maybe we'll get a better understanding of the whole thing :)

How I understand it is this. SM3 defaults to a full water calculation.

For example I have a rose FO that I use and that's full water because I am not a masochist. For that recipe I have premix checked off at 1:1 and a 0% water discount. It calls for 183.68gr of Lye mix and 140.76gr of water. So that's 91.84gr of lye and 232.6gr of water or 1 part lye to 2.5 parts water.

On the other end of the spectrum, I have an herbal FO that is a dream to work with and I have that set to a 28.5% water discount and that comes out to the same amount of lye with an additional 74.47g of water. Making it 91.84gr of lye and 166.31gr of water or 1 part lye to 1.8 parts water.

So instead of having to keep different strengths of premix around, this is an easy way to let me work with one strength and still change my water amounts.

Teresa > Do you mean you use more than full water in some of your recipes? If that's the case I think you're right, as far as I can see there's no way to increase the base water above full other than to add it as an additive. If what you're doing works for you though, I wouldn't worry about doing it 'right' or 'wrong'. That's what I like about this program though, you can use the pieces that work for you. I bet if 10 of us all sat in a room and compared we'd all be using it differently in some way.
I usually use master batched lye solution. I had 1:2 solution because 33.333% is what I soap with all of the time. The problem with that is nothing dissolves in lye solution. So if I had to dissolve anything, I ended up adding a little bit of extra water. Since I didn't soap at "full water" anyway, it just reduced the concentration of my lye and I ended up soaping at "full water." Yes. This totally defeated the purpose of the premixed solution. I switched to 1:1 when that was empty. (Remember, I suck at math and it was difficult for me comprehend the concept of doubling the NaOH in the recipe to get the solution weight then deducting the NaOH amount from the H2O amount to get the water.) What I have since figured out is the lye solution is the water weight in the recipe and the water is the NaOH weight in the recipe if you're using the "water discount" or "lye solution strength" method instead of "ratio." Reverse those two amounts and I'm golden when using a 1:1 solution at 33.333%. I'm pretty much toast on any other lye solution strength.

Anyway, I click on the lye/water tab and either check the "use pre-mixed lye" and put the ratio in when the box comes up or I click the radio button on lye solution strength and enter 33.333. You have to make sure you put the whole "33.333" in there or else you end up with a different NaOH:water amount if you ever end up clicking on the pre-made lye solution and use 1:2 as the ratio. (I hope this makes sense. :confused:)
 

penelopejane

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(I hope this makes sense. :confused:)
Ha ha and you think you suck at maths! It's clear you don't at all! I have to studied this with the program open and I think I can see what you are saying.

What I do is generally use 33% lye concentration.
Say it requires 268g water and 133g lye.
I separate the water into 200g and 68 g.
I dissolve the lye in the 200g and use the 68g to dissolve salt, colours and other additives etc. Then when I mix it all in it adds up to the right amount.

Doing a master batch of lye is beyond me atm, sorry to say. :):)
 
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penelopejane

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SM3 and Soapcalc seem to be pretty much the same SF and Lye concentration.

But when you add Goats milk and tick the adjust water box on the additives page the figures seem to go haywire. I have just unticked that box. Is this right or am I doing something wrong?

I am supposed to be able to change the lye NaOH and KOH purity. But I can't find where to do this for NaOH. Can someone show me please?
 
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Stacy

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TeresaT > That's exactly why I went to 1:1 as well, now with the water discount amounts I can soap at full water or less without having to do too much mental math which is exhausting! :wink:

penelopejane > Basically you are one step away from doing a master batch of lye though! :)

If you had a 1:1 lye solution, and entered it in, it would tell you to use 266gr of lye solution and 135gr of water. So you would be doing the exact same thing as you are now, you'd just pour out 266gr of your premix and have 135g for dissolving your additives. :)

But wrapping your head around master batching is kind of scary at first. I swear I've never double checked (and triple checked and quadruple checked...) calculations as much as I have the first dozen or so times I did it. Don't tackle it until you're comfortable with it, but I just wanted to point out that you're closer than you think you are ;-)

You can change KOH purity in your preferences or on the lye tab of liquid and cream soaps. It doesn't look like there's a place to specify NaOH purity though which surprises me. (looking at http://www.soapmaker.ca/DownloadPDF.php)

For goat's milk, I do not use premixed lye since so much of my water would be used in it. I untick the adjust water and make my recipe, then I look at how much water it wants me to use, adjust my goat's milk accordingly and tick the box and it works fine for me.

Does that help?
 

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When I had first bought SM3 I too had a hard time understanding the Lye/Water part, so I also tried to match soap calc. To do this I had to put in 5% lye discount, and in a water discount of -10% which gave me a 27% solution strength. I dont' know if it's right, but my recipe amounts were within grams of my soap calc recipe.
 

TeresaT

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Ha ha and you think you suck at maths! It's clear you don't at all! I have to studied this with the program open and I think I can see what you are saying.

What I do is generally use 33% lye concentration.
Say it requires 268g water and 133g lye.
I separate the water into 200g and 68 g.
I dissolve the lye in the 200g and use the 68g to dissolve salt, colours and other additives etc. Then when I mix it all in it adds up to the right amount.

Doing a master batch of lye is beyond me atm, sorry to say. :):)

Actually, now that you are using SM3, using a master batch (1:1) will be the easiest thing to do. You can put a check mark in the premixed lye and enter the 1:1 ratio. Then, you decide what the concentration you want your solution to be and put that in there. It calculates for you how much premix you need and how much water.

This would be really helpful if you were doing a Ghost swirl. You could make a 900 total (oil) batch and split it into three 300 gram batches. Enter the oils and additives for a 300 gram batch, then go to the lye and click on premix and a 40% concentration. Print that out. Change the concentration to 33.333%. Print that out. Change the concentration to 28%. Print that out. You only have to save the recipe one time and in the notes write that you made three "mini" batches using first 40% concentration, blah, blah, blah and your total oil weight for the batch is 900 grams. Call the recipe "Ghost Swirl" and you're good. If you ever want to do a ghost swirl again, you pull the recipe up and follow it exactly as you did the first time.

I didn't like using the 1:1 lye before I got the SM3 because I honestly could not comprehend the math to make a 40% solution or a 28% solution. I would make those up fresh because it was much easier for me to plug it into SoapCalc than get out the calculator and pull off my shoes. :oops: But now that SM3 takes the panic out of the solution strength for me, I'm comfortable with the 1:1 premix. The only time I don't use premix is if I'm using vinegar. I'm going to figure a way to make and use a premix vinegar solution if it kills me!
 

earlene

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The only time I don't use premix is if I'm using vinegar. I'm going to figure a way to make and use a premix vinegar solution if it kills me!
When you figure this out, please share! I want to try this myself but haven't done so as yet. So many other fun things to do! (I mean making soap with vinegar, not the master batch vinegar lye solution, but that sounds interesting, too.)
 

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