600 bars of soap in 2 days!

Because I used to have a little soap making store, we never made just a few bars of soap at a time.  Every batch was at least 100 bars.  Some molds were for 300 bars, and we'd mix up three 100 bars pots of soap base and pour into the one 300 bar bold.  If we were testing a new scent blend or type of soap, we'd make 50 bars.  So although I don't have that little store I seem unable to make any batch smaller than my usual 100 bars.  I had a baker tell me that is takes just as much time to make one loaf of bread as it does to make 100.  The same seems to apply to soap.  So besides a little more measuring and stirring, it's not much more time added to make bigger batches. 

The reason for making all these soaps is that I was offered a little space in an artisan's store that is situated on main street.  I pay a little towards the rent and utilities and keep all my sales monies, no commissions to pay.  As a bonus, because I also work full time, I don't have to put in my store time until the summer when the artisan store opens on weekends.  Today I took in what soap I had and set up my display area.   But this also means that I need to make a lot of soap and fast. 

So yesterday, I made 200 bars of Anise and 100 bars of Mango with Mango Butter.
Today I made 100 bars of Chocolate Chai, 100 bars of Lemongrass, 50 bars of Tea Tree and Eucalyptus, and 50 bars of Patchouli.  Totally, 600 bars in two days. 

Two of the factors involved in making this amount of soap is the equipment.  I have 3 x 16 L/Qt stock pots and 1 x 8 L/Qt stock pot.  Each 16 L/Qt pot can make 100 bars, but does weigh 26 pounds when full of soap base.   Granted 26 lbs isn't too much when its a sack of potatoes, but its a lot heavier when it is full of a warm and spill-able caustic liquid. 

The second equipment need is the molds.  You need enough molds for this amount of soap.  Again, I have 3 x 100 bar molds, and 6 x 50 bar molds.  I used all the 100 bar molds yesterday, leaving myself with the 50 bar molds today.  I just had to split up the 100 bar soap bases into two of the 50 bar molds.

I've got my little plan of soap making created and based it on the amount and type of scents I have.   When I get down to a few ounces here and a few ounces there, I may create some of what I call MacArthur Park soaps, cause I'll never have that recipe again.

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