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Questions About Soapmaking

I'm new to soapmaking. In fact, I haven't made my first batch yet but I've researched the topic well on the Internet, gathered supplies and recipes and am all set to go. I understand saponification and the lye to fat ratios but I'm still confused about two things:

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1) How does one determine the amount of water to use for dissolving the lye?

2) How does one determine the proper fat and lye/water temperatures for mixing the two together?

I've figured out that the water to lye ratio is somewhere around 2 or 3 to 1, maybe a little more, but the temperatures given in the different recipes for the fat and the lye/water can vary widely. How does one determine the best temperature for each?

Another question: Many soapmakers recommend using a "stick blender" to stir. Is a Bamix the same thing as a "stick blender".

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July 7, 20050 found this helpful

Below you will find a link to a lye calculator. You just put in the amounts of oil that your are using and it will calculate the amount of lye you need and the amount of water. As far as temps go, it varies with each soapmaker but anywhere between 100 degrees and 130 degrees should be fine. Just be sure your oils and your lye/water mixture is close to the same temp when you mix. You should put each recipe through this calculator since all oils have different values. If you need to substitute on oil in your recipe again run the oil substitution through the calculator with your other oils. From the picture I saw on everythingkitchens.com it appears that a Bamix is a stick blender. So that should work fine. The best they did to with your stick blender is mix for a few minutes then let it rest and came back in 5 minutes. Sometimes you will achieve trace while it's resting. You may try joining a group that you can ask questions to. You can find a group at the site below on a different page. Feel free to e-mail me if I can help you more.

http://www.the-  lcs/lyecalc2.php

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