View Full Version : How small a batch can i do?

09-02-2010, 10:58 AM
I went to make my second batch of CP soap at the weekend and fiddled around with soap calc for ages - still cant use it very well. Then discovered i didnt have enough of one of the items so gave up in the end. Anyway, the recipe i have is for quite a large batch and as its only for me i dont want to end up with one batch lasting a year so wondered how small a batch can i do without causing problems getting it to trace?

This is the recipe:

680g Olive oil
680g Coconut oil
1077g veg shortening
Sodium hydroxide 340g
peppermint tea 1185g
tea tree oil 12g
cocoa butter 57g
peppermint oil 7g

I liked the recipe becasue it used mint tea rather than water but i do wonder if there's too much veg shortening in it - maybe i should substitute some of it for Palm oil?. I wanted to make a hard bar that conditions but lathers well.

Any help appreciated


09-02-2010, 11:21 AM
Holey Moley - that's a lot of soap!!! :)

You can definitely cut it down - I've seen recipes that just use a few g of each oils just to make one or two bars...just make sure you run it through a calc...

Which calculator are you using - perhaps we can recommend a better one?

09-02-2010, 01:55 PM
I used soap calc but couldnt understand it really. I was expecting to be told if my caustic soda/water was at the right mix to my oils/fats.

Could i do a quater of it then? or will it not generate enough heat to make it work?

09-02-2010, 02:56 PM
Not sure which calc you are using but I find this one very useful


You can indicate whether using grams or ounces and then simply put in the quantity next to each oil/butter - re: Vegetable Shortening: there is a note about each one being different so check the oils/butters contained and try and work out how many grams and put the quantity next to those oils...or leave the Vegetable shortening out altogether and use more of other oils and butters...

The nice thing about this calc is that it gives a bit of lee way and you can go back and alter the recipe.

This is what I got when I put something similar to your recipe in this calc:

Fats & Oils

Fat Amount in recipe......(grams).......... %
Cocoa Butter .................200g...........59.52%
Coconut Oil Fractions...... 68g........... 20.24%
Olive Oil........................ 68g........... 20.24%
Total Weight.................. 336g

Lye Table (NaOH)

% excess fat Lye Amount (grams)
0........... 53.00
1........... 52.47
2........... 51.94
3........... 51.41
4 ...........50.88
5........... 50.35
6........... 49.82
7........... 49.29
8........... 48.76
9 ............48.23
10........... 47.70

Herbal Tea
For the size of fat batch that you are using, we recommend that you use approximately 84 to 126 milliliters of liquid.

You'd want about 100mls of your Tea and about 50g of Sodium Hydroxide - according to this - the numbers 1 to 10 indicate different 'super fatting' levels so ignore them - the important amounts are the ones in bold.

The cocoa butter will make quite hard bar but the coconut oil will make a nice lather (I put fractionated (the liquid one) as wasn't sure if this was what you were using)...this will make a couple (2 or 3) bars

Hope this helps


09-02-2010, 04:16 PM
Thanks Jude that calculator is much easier to understand - it actually gives you easy to read values.

Ill have a go and let you know how i get on.

Thanks for your time


10-02-2010, 06:33 AM
Hi Emma

If you treat your oils as a percentage you can scale your recipe up or down.
Olive oil 27% (sap 0.134)
Coconut oil 27% (sap 0.185)
Shortening 43% (sap 0.136)
Cocoa butter 3% (sap 0.137)

which means for each 1Kg batch that would be

Olive oil 270g
Coconut oil 27g
Shortening 430g
Cocoa butter 30g

Treat the liquid part as you would water, I use most of the time a 30% water to oil ratio again for a 1Kg batch that would be 300g of liquid.

If you want to substitute some of your shortening for palm that's okay (sap 0.141)

Remember to scale down your eos to no more than 3% in total

For a sap calculator I have my own version as simple Excel spreadsheet, in one column I add the oil name (so I don't forget), next column the sap value (you can get the info from any sap calculator by using 1g as a weight. I've included the NaOH sap values next to your oils), next column, what weight you want in the recipe. In the next column a bit of calculation, the sap value x the weight divided by 100 x 95 (this gives a 5% superfat) at the bottom of the column add it up ... easy :)

10-02-2010, 05:14 PM
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me, i have excel on my laptop so could easily do as you've suggested.

Ive never been very good at numbers or science so i feel a bit lost - i just want to make soap.

Thanks again