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Water discount explanation please...


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Was hoping someone could explain in english the whole water discount thing. I've been searching around & can't find much info (or can't remember where I saw it & didn't bother to read it the first time!) I guess what I really want to know if how do you know how much time it shaves off curing. Does it still produce the same bar of soap if you hadn't discounted, just quicker?

Thanks all!

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Using a bit less water than a recipe calls for can harden a bar up faster. Especially if you're doing a castille like bar. The MMS calculator gives you a range of water - if you use anything besides that upper amount, you are doing a water discount from their "normal" amount, which was the highest amount of water.

Discount is kind of a misnomer - the question always is, discounted from what? Every calculator does water differently it seems. That's why someone came up with the "DWCP" method, that's described in the link E gave you.

Amount of water is pretty forgiving, as long as you don't go way too low. When you use a stronger lye solution, some FOs might start to act badly. Trace might happen faster (which is a good thing for castilles). But your cure will be faster, since there isn't as much water to evaporate. My bars are usually hard in 2 weeks, but I still let them sit for 3 weeks or so.

Basically, do a recipe/FO with a usual amount of water, see how it acts. If it's nice, next time you make it, try backing down the water a little bit.

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Just out of curiousity, Robin, how much do you discount?

Not Robin, LOL, but typically if it's a new recipe or FO, I run the recipe through a lye calculator and get the lye amount. For the water, I use 2.5 times the lye amount. For a tried and true recipe/FO, 2.1 times the lye amount.



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  • 1 month later...

Okay, I'm used to figuring out my DWCP by percentages of the lye amounts...

How does 1.5 or 1.8 calc out to the percentage? If I'm going with a 35% water discount, I take my lye/35 & multiply by 65

My 4lb batche requires 261g of lye. So at 35% discount, my water amount would be 485g.

If I use Robin's method, let's say at 1.8 that'd be 470g of water, right? So you're discount is much lower than mine, right?

I just wanted to make sure I'm not off in left field here.

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If you take the smaller amount of water, you have to watch out for a few things. Your lye will be more concentrated, so will be a bit hotter, longer.

You might also find your trace is faster. Some FOs that work at full water won't work with a discount. Sweetcakes Ginger Essence is like that - too big of a discount and it starts to rice up.

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