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Water Discount?

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TashaBird

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Using soap makers friend, how do I make a water discount? I usually select %33 for lye solution, and don’t think much else about it. But, now I’m considering how to prevent ash, and also beginning to use TD. So, I’d like to know how to do a discount, but I don’t totally understand it.
 

Megan

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33% is essentially a discount and (for me at least) adequately prevents soda ash and glycerin rivers. Basically to discount more, you will increase your lye concentration, up to 50% at the highest.
 

DeeAnna

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When you use a 33% lye concentration, you're already using a "water discount" based on how many people choose to define it. But "water discount" is only meaninful if you also know the "full water" point from which the discount is taken. Unfortunately, there is no consistent definition of "full water" and thus of "water discount".

Many people say something like, "I took a 10% water discount" and stop at that, because they don't realize there are several common starting points from which to take the discount. A common assumption is full water is 28% lye concentration, but that is only one of the several definitions I've found.

I'd like to see "full water" and "water discount" go away. They're not very helpful.

More in my article: Soapy Stuff: Water in soap
 

Megan

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I also want to say to keep in mind, the stronger your lye solution is, the faster your recipe will move.
 

DeeAnna

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"...the stronger your lye solution is, the faster your recipe will move ..."

I'd say that's true when working with the lower lye concentrations -- 25% up to 40% -- but it's not always true. As the lye concentration rises above 40%, the soap batter can (not always, but can) move surprisingly slowly.

We explored this idea in an SMF challenge some years ago hosted by LionPrincess. It was a "high water, low water" challenge based on information shared by Clara Lindberg in her Auntie Clara blog. Many of us doubted LionPrincess, but we got our eyes opened during the challenge. Interesting stuff.

Also the effect of a stronger lye solution can be overshadowed by the soap batter temperature, the amount of high intensity mixing (stick blender), as well as the effect of additives and fragrances. It's not a black and white thing.

---

edit: The way to create a "water discount" is to type a larger number for the lye concentration (or type a lower water:lye ratio value, if you prefer using the ratio) compared to what you were doing previously.

So if you change from a 33% lye concentration to 35%, you've taken a "water discount" in that you're using less water compared to what you were doing. Explain it by saying exactly what you did -- changed from 33% to 35% lye concentration. That is a completely sufficient and unambiguous way to explain things.
 
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TashaBird

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"...the stronger your lye solution is, the faster your recipe will move ..."

I'd say that's true when working with the lower lye concentrations -- 25% up to 40% -- but it's not always true. As the lye concentration rises above 40%, the soap batter can (not always, but can) move surprisingly slowly.

We explored this idea in an SMF challenge some years ago hosted by LionPrincess. It was a "high water, low water" challenge based on information shared by Clara Lindberg in her Auntie Clara blog. Many of us doubted LionPrincess, but we got our eyes opened during the challenge. Interesting stuff.

Also the effect of a stronger lye solution can be overshadowed by the soap batter temperature, the amount of high intensity mixing (stick blender), as well as the effect of additives and fragrances. It's not a black and white thing.

---

edit: The way to create a "water discount" is to type a larger number for the lye concentration (or type a lower water:lye ratio value, if you prefer using the ratio) compared to what you were doing previously.

So if you change from a 33% lye concentration to 35%, you've taken a "water discount" in that you're using less water compared to what you were doing. Explain it by saying exactly what you did -- changed from 33% to 35% lye concentration. That is a completely sufficient and unambiguous way to explain things.
Thank you so much! I don’t feel quite as dumb for not understanding it now. But, that helped me a lot!!
 

DeeAnna

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I think poorly-defined and not-very-science-y concepts such as "water discount" can discourage people from learning the soap making craft.

I mean -- this has made you feel like a dummy, when I can tell you very much are NOT! :confused:
 

linne1gi

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When you use a 33% lye concentration, you're already using a "water discount" based on how many people choose to define it. But "water discount" is only meaninful if you also know the "full water" point from which the discount is taken. Unfortunately, there is no consistent definition of "full water" and thus of "water discount".

Many people say something like, "I took a 10% water discount" and stop at that, because they don't realize there are several common starting points from which to take the discount. A common assumption is full water is 28% lye concentration, but that is only one of the several definitions I've found.

I'd like to see "full water" and "water discount" go away. They're not very helpful.

More in my article: Soapy Stuff: Water in soap
OMG! Yes! So many people say I took a 10% water discount and when I ask of what, there's total silence. Most don't seem to understand water at all - I am pretty sure I learned from you and I wish your explanation was everywhere!
 

SoapSisters

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I found this article (link below) useful when trying to understand lye concentration and water:lye ratios. I recommend starting at the section:
The Most Common Lye Solution Strengths in Soapmaking
The writer provides very useful graphics and even a chart that shows equivalents in lye concentration percentages and water to lye ratios.

 

TashaBird

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I found this article (link below) useful when trying to understand lye concentration and water:lye ratios. I recommend starting at the section:
The Most Common Lye Solution Strengths in Soapmaking
The writer provides very useful graphics and even a chart that shows equivalents in lye concentration percentages and water to lye ratios.

That was very helpful! Thank you!
 

LilianNoir

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When you use a 33% lye concentration, you're already using a "water discount" based on how many people choose to define it. But "water discount" is only meaninful if you also know the "full water" point from which the discount is taken. Unfortunately, there is no consistent definition of "full water" and thus of "water discount".

Many people say something like, "I took a 10% water discount" and stop at that, because they don't realize there are several common starting points from which to take the discount. A common assumption is full water is 28% lye concentration, but that is only one of the several definitions I've found.

I'd like to see "full water" and "water discount" go away. They're not very helpful.

More in my article: Soapy Stuff: Water in soap
I know this is a month later, but YESSSSS!!

I was SO frustrated and confused for months over how ppl used "water discount". I was always wondering "discount from WHAT?"but no one else is the thread/conversations/posts seemed to be asking that so I assumed it was always from "full water" which, I also found out means different things to different people.

Maybe it's the writer or the scientist or the analyst in me but I cannot STAND imprecise language for an activity that relies on precision.

I really REALLY wish full water and water discount would go away b/c they are far more confusing than helpful.

Anymore when someone mentions they "did an x water discount", I just ask them what their lye concentration was, since that's much more helpful (for me anyway).


I wish I had seen this post by DeeAnna last year! XD
 

AliOop

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I hear ya, @LilianNoir ! I like water:lye ratio best, but lye concentration works, too. I don't even go near water as % of oils!
 

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