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Large Batch Soap Making Workshop

Large Batch Soap Making Workshop

Large Batch Handmade Soap Making

Offered year round and scheduled at your convenience.

We offer this class privately, customized to your needs. Let us help you accelerate your progress! Email us for details at info at soapshed.com, or fill out our Contact Us form to discuss your interest in scheduling this private workshop.

This half day private workshop provides an overview of large batch cold-process soap making geared to intermediate and advanced soap makers, and will focus on batch sizes of 10-12 pounds on up to 50 pounds.

In this workshop, we assume that your batch size has been at the 2-6 pound range or so and that you are stepping up to 10-50 pounds, our definition of a 'large batch.' We also assume you have been making cold process soap for some time on a regular basis: You MUST already know how to make soap and are comfortable with most regular routines before taking this class.

Cold process soap making is the old-fashioned process that combines sodium hydroxide with fats and oils, and creates a soap that cleans with kindness due to the glycerine created and retained in the soap.

Please note:We do not teach ‘melt and pour’ glycerine soapcrafting or hot process soap in this workshop.

Since everything about making soap on a small batch basis is magnified many times when shifting to larger poundage, what might have been a little blip in a two pound batch becomes a huge HICCUP in the large batch arena. The damage can be far more than financial loss when dealing with large batch soap making. What are important safety issues at the “Small” level become major concerns at the LARGE BATCH level. Temperatures and timing become critical events and need special handling.

Procedures to address the complications brought on by the increased mass of oils, butters, lye, water or milk, and any additives used will be addressed. Molding procedures and drying or curing routines also require significant adjustment. None of this is impossible; you simply need to learn about and fully understand a radically new playing field.

The workshop fee includes class lecture, demonstration & production time; beverages and snacks; and all supplies and materials needed for class (oils, butters, lye, fragrances, safety goggles, gloves, aprons). A Workshop Workbook will be provided that includes classroom lecture notes, helpful online resources, and recommended soap making suppliers.

A tour of Soap Shed production areas, large batch soap molds, drying racks for 4,000-30,000 bars, cutting, packaging, retail customer shop, and shipping areas will be provided.

Workshop Topics and Schedule

We offer this class privately, customized to your needs. Email us for details at info at soapshed.com, or fill out our Contact Us form to discuss your interest in scheduling this private workshop.

This session will help you make the transition from small, hobby size soap batches to more substantial volumes and weights. The change in chemistry, procedures, and equipment used when moving from the 2-5 pound range of soap batches to from 10-12 on up to 50 pound batches is like day and night.

Everything is larger and instantly has greater impact.

In today’s workshop you will be exposed to the differences and how to adjust to them while still making high quality soap, including:

• Brief review of Soap Chemistry and Primary Safety Issues in the use of LYE

• What do you do when a 1 gallon pitcher or bowl won’t hold your ingredients?

• The scope and importance of different equipment for Large Batch Soap Making

• What does 10-20-30 pounds of Soap Oils and Butters Look Like?

• How do I safely handle 2-4-6 pounds of lye at one time and with How Much Water?

• Oils, Butters, Milks and Botanicals

• How do I deal with massive temperature gradients in large batch work?

• Options when a spoon or Kitchen Stick Blender just don’t cut it

• Options for mixing containers, cooling processes, lifting, pouring, and molding

• Making a LARGE BATCH OF SOAP----DEMONSTRATION (35-40 pounds)

• The new “Trace” and what that means for additives and enhancements

• New guidelines for FO’s. EO’s, botanicals, and additives

• Adjusting your current formulas to a larger batch size (It’s not a simple multiplier!)

• Molding changes, setting times, drying racks, time frames and storage

• Cutting issues and bar production

• Labeling, inventory, record keeping, and shelf life

Since large batch soap making requires so much planning time and materials, you will not make your own large batch during this one day workshop. Instead, you will learn from in house demonstrations and problem solving sessions based on your particular soap making experience and desire to adjust your current formulas to a larger size. You will learn general guidelines for making those adjustments with the help of “Dr. T”

You will have an opportunity to tour the Soap Shed operation where you will see first hand how soap made in large batches is processed, poured, cut, dried, stored, packaged, and presented to the customer.

Supplies and Materials

We will provide all Supplies and Materials you need for the workshops, including safety goggles, gloves, aprons and molds. Please wear old clothes so if you splatter olive oil or butters on them, you won’t be heartbroken. Long sleeves, full length pants and closed toed shoes protect your skin best so please wear them.

You will receive a notebook with written material on each topic we cover, along with supplier information and recipes to get you started.

After receiving safety instructions and guidance about the protective gear you should always wear (safety goggles, etc), you must sign a Liability Waiver for us before being allowed around ‘lye’ and the production area.

Workshop Dates

This class is offered privately, and scheduled at your convenience. Email us for details at info at soapshed.com, or fill out our Contact Us form to discuss your interest in scheduling this private workshop.

Workshop Timeframes

Three hours.

Workshop Location

The workshop will be held at The Soap Shed, Spruce Pine, North Carolina

About The Facilitators

Tim Tyndall started making cold process soap in 1998, and is a science professor by education and training, having been a science teacher and college administrator for 30 years in chemistry, biology, botany and health sciences. 'Dr.T' has been teaching handmade soapmaking weekend classes and week long classes at the John C Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC since 2001.

Karen Wylie created The Soap Shed to sell soap wholesale, consignment, at craft shows, retail shop, and from the soapshed.com website. She also coordinates production, quality control and packaging.

In response to requests for soapmaking demonstrations, The Soap Shed opened its doors to the public in 2000. During the Blue Ridge mountain tourist season (May-October), visitors can see soap made and select from 150 varieties in their retail shop.

Prior to creating The Soap Shed, Tim & Karen were business educators and consultants to clients in the furniture & textile industries. When these industries literally left the USA in the mid 1990s, Tim and Karen reinvented their lives and livelihood by creating The Soap Shed at midlife, at ages 52 & 40, respectively.

Their unusual backgrounds - combined with their first hand experience in creating and running a handmade soap business for 20 successful years - provide Tim and Karen with unique perspectives on making and selling handmade soap.

How To Register

Register for this Workshop by putting it in your shopping cart and checking out. You may also pay by check or money order in the amount of $165.00 and mailing it to The Soap Shed, 179 Meadow View Road, Spruce Pine, NC 28777.

We prefer no more than six participants in each workshop, and need at least three participants for each workshop to be a ‘GO’. Please feel free to contact us at 877-404-SOAP with any questions you have. And please read our cancellation policy below before signing up.

Cancellation Policy

If you give us less than 7 days notice or just don’t show up for the workshop(s), a $100.00 administrative fee will be charged before refunding the remainder of your payment. 

Where To Stay

A list of private and chain hotels and motels within 20 miles of The Soap Shed will be provided when you register. Asheville and Boone are great towns to stay in, but they are an hour's drive from Spruce Pine.

How to Get to Spruce Pine, North Carolina

We are located in Northwestern North Carolina, tucked up close to the Tennessee state line. We are one hour east of Asheville, one hour south of Boone, 2 hours north of Greenville-Spartanburg SC, and 2 hours northwest of Charlotte.

For anyone flying in, Charlotte-Douglas Airport and Greenville-Spartanburg Airport are larger airports than Asheville, but the Asheville Airport is about an hour and 15 minutes drive from here. Because of the distance, we regret we are unable to offer airport transportation assistance. Car rental from Asheville is usually far less expensive than limousine.

Price: $195.00
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This soap is made from scratch, cut and packaged by hand.

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