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Soap Making Forum > The Soap Making & Craft Forum > Lye-Based Soap Forum > Crumbly soap - using vinegar (CP)
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:01 AM   #11
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Beardguy, I saw your post about this soap in the April challenge thread, too. I tried to respond, but was on my phone and it just doesn't cooperate well with posting to this forum. So tonight on my computer, I can respond with some experience I have had using vinegar and running into some of these crumbling issues.

What I suspect is the case, as mentioned above is waiting too long to cut because that is what I found out in my experiments with vinegar in soap. But ALSO, you may also have used too much vinegar as well. I have also had vinegar soap (I'm using this term to differentiate soap wherein vinegar is an ingredient) crumble when I wait too long to cut. But I have also had it happen when using too much vinegar.

So I would suggest that next time try half as much vinegar as you used this last time. For example, if you used 50% vinegar and 50% beer, try using only 25% vinegar for the next batch. And still cut early, because it works better when you do.

BTW, the soap is still usable even though it may be shaped like various oddly shaped rocks. But it may also splinter if you drop one of them on a hard surface. You can successfully re-batch the soap if you so desire. I have also done that with soap where it was too brittle (from too much vinegar). It was interesting to see it cut into tiny little shavings with almost no effort. When I rebatch, I prefer to use a mixture of new soap batter and add in the old soap at about a 50-50 mix. That works well with this kind of brittle soap.

Regarding using vinegar with lard, I have done that and it was the most brittle soap of any of the vinegar-added soaps. I found that decreasing the amount of vinegar to a tiny amount (even less than 25% of the liquid) works, but I don't really think it's necessary at all to make a harder soap. But I encourage you to do your own experimentation to find what works best for you in your circumstances.

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Old 04-21-2017, 01:07 PM   #12
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I do what earlene suggested. Since the vinegar is just to increase the hardness of the soap, I only add as much as I need to make the soap hard. I still have to cut earlier than if vinegar wasn't an additive. My suggestion is to titer the vinegar down to figure out how little you need to add to your mix to allow you to cut the soaps clean when you want to.

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Old 04-22-2017, 04:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by beardguy View Post
Obsidian, that's my experience too. Lard produces a very hard bar, but it can take up to a week not to feel spongy.
If you make a soap that doesn't gel and feels overly soft, powdery, or spongy, do a "CPOP after the fact" to see if an hour or 2 of gentle heat (150-170 F) can help matters. I have an article about this on my Soapy Stuff page -- click the link at the bottom of this post.

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