Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What do you want to know? Measuring very small amounts

In the What do you want to know post, deedee sugar asked: I would love to know if I don't have a scale that can weight less than 1 gram. Can I use the 0.5 teaspoon to measure the allantoin and other powder ingredients with the same amount? 

The problem is using volume measurements is that we really don't know how much we're using precisely, and for a lot of these things we're measuring in tiny amounts, it is important to be pretty accurate. The easy way to work around this is to make even numbered batches. For instance, if you're using 0.5% allantoin, make a 200 gram or 400 gram batch instead of a 100 gram or 300 gram batch and measure out 1 gram or 2 grams.

I'm hesitant to recommend this process, but I will do it. What I have done in the past is measured out how much something like a tablespoon might weigh - 15 ml - then do the math. So let's say you get 10 grams from 15 ml, then you're looking at 1.5 ml for 1 gram. Then measure something like 1 teaspoon or 5 ml and do the math again. If you come out with a similar result, then it's probably a good measurement.

Why am I hesitant? Because I worry that I'm encouraging that which I would normally discourage, which is to say measuring by volume. Please consider getting a scale. I got mine for $15 for a 0.1 gram measuring scale from the jewellery shop, which isn't a lot for some accuracy, eh?

Related posts:
Weight vs. volume
Question: How to weigh feather light things?


melian1 said...

i have a scale that measures .01 gram, and it cost me $12 at TKB. so very well worth it!

Lesley said...

Love my .01 gram scale! Got it for my birthday a couple of years ago. My recipes turn out much better using it.

deedee sugar said...

Thank you so much for the response, I will definitely invest in a .01 gram scale. I just check and there is one in amazon for $15.00. I want to be very sure and safe of the products i'm learning to make so definitely will be a great investment.
thank you so much for all your help. love, love the blog.