Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Creating products: Assembling your ingredients - weighing and measuring

When I've prepared my space by cleaning and tidying it up, I get ready to measure!

I like to get some fresh water into my double boiler, then set the dial to the highest setting to get it to the boiling point. (If you want to learn more about my electric fondue pot that I use as a double boiler, click here.) I turn it down when I'm heating and holding, but I like to get it to a rolling boil to start.

Get all your ingredients and containers together. (In cooking, I think this is called mise en place or everything in place.) On my workbench, I tend to organize them into heated water, heated oil, and cool down phases. After use, I tick off the ingredient in my notebook, then put it on the other side of my workbench. This way I know what I've used and what I haven't!

We weigh all our ingredients in bath and body product creation into heatproof containers. Although I love my beaker, I tend to use Pyrex jugs of all sizes because I can't afford to have tons of beakers around. (Although the new shape of the Pyrex jugs are annoying because you can only get one into the double boiler at a time! This will not do!) Mason jars are good as well as they can take more heat. Get a wire ring to put into your double boiler so the jars don't touch the bottom of the container.

Why do we weigh our products? Because it's more accurate! Learn more in this post! And click here for learning how to convert percentages to weights and click here for learning how to convert weights to percentages!

When you've measured out your various phases, it's time to put your containers into the double boiler and heat and hold. But wait...let's take a moment to review some equipment you might consider buying for crafting fun! Join me tomorrow for that topic!


Leman said...

Yuppiii equipments tomorrow! I am loving this new series, this is exactly what newbies like me need :-)

Ellbie said...

Hi Susan,
I have a question that is a little off topic but seems to fit into this series of posts. Some ingredients are available in liquid or solid so when you are looking at a recipe how do you know which is listed? AND how do figure out how much to use if you have the opposite?

Thanks! This blog is so incredibly awesome!

Tara said...

I've always put my Pyrex and labware into the double boiler with the water cold. I'm worried that the quick change of temperature of room temperature glass with boiling water might shatter the glass! Takes forever to heat this way. Am I wrong to worry about this?

Allison Anne Block said...

Hi, Susan--Can you please tell me the best way to weigh essential oils? I made your lotion bar recipe (with the Vitamin E), and I weighed my oil into a small clean prescription bottle. When it was time to add the oil, it seemed to me that I was losing a fair bit of essential oil that was coating the sides of the bottle (not something I would want to be doing with one of the more expensive oils). Thanks for your help with this--Allison