1st Batch, 100% Almond Oil…

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I know, too high oleic, slimy, needs long cure, susceptible to DOS. All true, I think. But I just got tired of reading and pondering and just made something. Here’s the details and some photos:

Almond Oil: 300g
90/10 NaOH/KOH dual lye ratio
4:1 lye concentration
6 bar cavity mold (didn’t even fill it up completely, or evenly)

So, there’s quite a bit of powdery looking stuff on the top, but it doesn’t wipe off or even rinse off easily. Is that still referred to as ash? I put it in the garage where it was pretty cool (50s F?) and it started to sweat, so I brought it back inside and didn’t have any condensation issues after that. From browsing the forum, I think a higher lye concentration and maybe spritzing with 90% isopropyl alcohol will help. Also, low humidity and good air circulation?

Anyway, all that said, I tried it out at 2 weeks and again at 3. The lather is weak and it doesn’t feel great while using it or immediately after while my hands are still damp, but after like a minute when my hands are dry, they actually feel really smooth and nice. So, I’m looking forward to it improving and trying to figure out what recipe to try next. Any comments, critiques, etc. are welcome!
 

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Zany_in_CO

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100% almond oil is like 100% olive oil -- long time to trace; long time to unmold; some more time to cut; and then wait 12 weeks (or longer) to cure. It's more than likely that waiting for a full cure will make a lovely castile (i.e. no animal fats) soap but don't expect great lather and the slime is just the nature of the beast. Some people love it; others, not so much.

Try Zany's No Slime Castile with 100% almond oil to improve on all the above mentioned issues.

ETA: The first rule of soap making is Patience. ;)
 
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Zany_in_CO

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I’m looking forward to it improving and trying to figure out what recipe to try next.
You might want to try making the Basic Trinity of Oils next. Once you experience what each leg of the trinity, i.e., coconut, palm and olive, bring to the final result the more fun you will have tweaking the recipe to your heart's content. :nodding:
 

DeeAnna

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You say you used a "4:1 lye concentration" but I"m assuming you meant a 4:1 water:lye ratio. That translates to a 20% lye concentration. That's an unusually high amount of water even if you were using a hot process method.

For cold process, soaping with that much water puts your batch at risk for emulsion failure (soap separates in the mold) and a high chance of ash, as you found out.

For a high oleic fat like sweet almond, I'd use a lye concentration of 33% (water:lye ratio of 2:1) to 40% (water:lye ratio of 1.5:1).
 
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You say you used a "4:1 lye concentration" but I"m assuming you meant a 4:1 water:lye ratio. That translates to a 20% lye concentration. That's an unusually high amount of water even if you were using a hot process method.

For cold process, soaping with that much water puts your batch at risk for emulsion failure (soap separates in the mold) and a high chance of ash, as you found out.

For a high oleic fat like sweet almond, I'd use a lye concentration of 33% (water:lye ratio of 2:1) to 40% (water:lye ratio of 1.5:1).
Man my maths is bad… until you pointed out that’s 20%, I was thinking that was 25% (4+1=5, 1/5=0.2…). Good feedback, thanks! Also, didn’t realize lye concentration is related to ash, but makes sense… all seems to center around too much moisture (high humidity, too much water, poor ventilation). And I’m pretty sure @Zany_in_CO mentioned never having ash issues and also living in a dry area.
 

DeeAnna

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Yep, that's the right calculation. For others who might be wondering --

A 4:1 water:lye ratiomeans the lye solution contains 4 parts water by weight and 1 part alkali (lye) by weight. That means there is a total of 5 parts in this solution -- 4 of water, 1 of alkali.

"Parts by weight" is essentially the same as grams or ounces. That means every 5 grams of this lye solution contains 4 grams water and 1 gram alkali. To convert this ratio to lye concentration --

Total weight = Alkali weight + Water weight
Lye concentration % = Alkali weight / Total weight X 100

-- so --

Total weight = 1 gram + 4 grams = 5 grams
Lye concentration = 1 gram / 5 grams X 100 = 20%
 

Olive Oil

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Anyway, all that said, I tried it out at 2 weeks and again at 3. The lather is weak and it doesn’t feel great while using it or immediately after while my hands are still damp, but after like a minute when my hands are dry, they actually feel really smooth and nice. So, I’m looking forward to it improving and trying to figure out what recipe to try next. Any comments, critiques, etc. are welcome!
Hi, to echo what others have said, with a high % of liquid oil, use less water. It just helps with everything. I frequently use 35%-38% lye concentration. However, that said I still get soda ash (and I live in a dry area)! I find that soda ash is worse on my high olive oil soaps.

I often make very high percentage olive oil soap (no coconut oil) and I find including a little castor oil 5-8% really does improve lather. I also think the soap benefits from a small amount of a butter or hard oil, even just 5 or 10% can help (less snotty). If you are a fan of high olive oil soaps (as I am) then definitely try Zany's no slime recipe. It absolutely works (thank you Zany!)

I made a high (75%) almond oil soap for the first time about 3 weeks ago. I also used some soy wax and castor with it and used almond milk for the liquid. I tried it at 2 weeks and it was great (and it will get better), super gentle and creamy with a very respectable lather (Ok, not like coconut oil but still impressive). I think almond milk helps with later too.

Good luck with your soap journey!
 
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I made a high (75%) almond oil soap for the first time about 3 weeks ago. I also used some soy wax and castor with it and used almond milk for the liquid. I tried it at 2 weeks and it was great (and it will get better), super gentle and creamy with a very respectable lather (Ok, not like coconut oil but still impressive). I think almond milk helps with later too.

This sounds interesting… what was the soy wax for; could I sub it with anything else? Also, what kind of almond milk? I usually have almond milk at home to drink, but I‘m wondering if the other ingredients, the thickening gum especially, would mess with the soap.

Ingredients in almond milk at home: Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum, Natural Flavors, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, D-Alpha-Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E).

Oh, also, how’d it compare to ZNCO in terms of lather and slime? Sorry, I’m kind of just full of questions. I need to just make a couple small batches and wait, but I wasn’t kidding when I picked a username.
 
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DeeAnna

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Soy wax isn't actually a wax. It's hydrogenated soybean oil. Soy wax is a cost effective alternative if a person doesn't want to use animal fats or palm products. Alternatives to soy wax include lard, tallow, palm (not palm kernel), and the nut butters (shea, cocoa, etc.)
 

DeeAnna

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It's easy to find in my area. Look for "vegetable oil" in the grocery and read the ingredients list. It's soybean oil.

But it's so very high in linoleic acid; I don't consider it a good alternative to soy wax (especially one with a high % of hydrogenation) or tallow, lard, or the nut butters.
 

Zany_in_CO

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@DeeAnna -- A bit of nostalgia. I remember back when Crisco was mostly soybean oil. That's what I was thinking of. Made creamy lather that I quite liked. I also remember being able to buy solid soy oil at Costco. Looked like lard. Can't remember how long it's been since they carried it.
 

earlene

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@DeeAnna -- A bit of nostalgia. I remember back when Crisco was mostly soybean oil. That's what I was thinking of. Made creamy lather that I quite liked. I also remember being able to buy solid soy oil at Costco. Looked like lard. Can't remember how long it's been since they carried it.

That would have been (partially or fully) hydrogenated soybean oil to turn it into a shortening, or as we call it now, soy wax. (The solid soybean oil.) ;)
 

Olive Oil

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This sounds interesting… what was the soy wax for; could I sub it with anything else? Also, what kind of almond milk? I usually have almond milk at home to drink, but I‘m wondering if the other ingredients, the thickening gum especially, would mess with the soap.

Ingredients in almond milk at home: Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum, Natural Flavors, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, D-Alpha-Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E).

Oh, also, how’d it compare to ZNCO in terms of lather and slime? Sorry, I’m kind of just full of questions. I need to just make a couple small batches and wait, but I wasn’t kidding when I picked a username.
Yes soy wax isn't a true wax but it acts as a hardening agent. I used to use cocoa/shea/kokum butter exclusively (as I don't use animal fats or palm) but after Brexit these butters became SO expensive in where I live. I still use butters sometimes but now I use more soy wax because not only is it cheaper but it also doesn't dampen lather in the way that butters do. I never realised how much butters can affect the lather until I used soy wax and noticed a difference. Soy wax also hardens better and gives a nice creamy feel to the soap. Win, win, win! Subs for soy wax are butters like cocoa/shea/kokum or animal fats (lard, tallow etc) or palm oil.

In terms of Almond milk, I make my own. Way cheaper and you avoid all the additives. It's very simple to do - just whizz almonds and distilled water in a blender, let it sit, then strain it. I make a batch, then freeze it in ice cubes.

Difficult to say how it directly compares to ZNSC because it's only been a few weeks since I made the almond oil recipe and my experiments with ZNSC were always done with olive oil (plus a bit of castor). Both lather and don't feel slimy. However, I definitely think that adding baking soda (in addition to salt) and reducing superfat and water content help to create a firmer, bubblier, slime free (or vastly reduced), very gentle bar. I always add salt (and sugar), reduce superfat to 2 or 3% and reduce water to a 35-38% lye solution in every high oleic acid (olive/almond) bar I make. You could try two small batches of ZNSC, one with olive, one with almond and see how they compare. Let us know how you get on.
 

Zany_in_CO

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That would have been (partially or fully) hydrogenated soybean oil to turn it into a shortening, or as we call it now, soy wax. (The solid soybean oil.)

The partially hydrogenated is solid, like Crisco. That's the one I remember. It's not the same as soy wax although I believe they have the same SAP value. Not sure.

Point of clarification:

Partially hydrogenated
soybean oil = shortening. Can sub for lard in "no-animal-fat" soap recipes. Adds conditioning and produces creamy lather.

Fully hydrogenated soybean oil = soy wax. Used to make container candles, lip balms and other therapeutic salves, balms ointments. Adds hardness to soap,

SOY WAX USE IN SOAP

SOY WAX CUTICLE BALM

Side by side comparison with Lard in the Right Column

Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Shortening (Left) vs Lard (Right)

Soy Oil vs Lard.png


Fully Hydrogenated Soy Wax (Left) vs Lard (Right)

Soy Wax vs Lard.png


NOTE: Liquid Soy Oil = Vegetable Oil used for cooking. Not recommended for making soap due to its tendency to become rancid.
 
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@Olive Oil

Thanks for all the details. I was considering just going DIY for the almond milk; glad to hear it confirmed. I’ll be sure to post again soon with something :).
 

earlene

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The partially hydrogenated is solid, like Crisco. That's the one I remember. It's not the same as soy wax although I believe they have the same SAP value. Not sure.

Point of clarification:

Partially hydrogenated
soybean oil = shortening. Can sub for lard in "no-animal-fat" soap recipes. Adds conditioning and produces creamy lather.

Fully hydrogenated soybean oil = soy wax. Used to make container candles, lip balms and other therapeutic salves, balms ointments. Adds hardness to soap,

SOY WAX USE IN SOAP

SOY WAX CUTICLE BALM


If the manufacturers & sellers of soy wax are to be believed, it is no longer true that all soy wax is fully hydrogenated. We've had similar conversations before here at SMF regarding soy waxes.

See these links:





Soy Wax - Koster Keunen Waxes

I even contacted an industrial manufacturer of soy wax to inquire about this and received no answer due to 'industrial secrets' so they would not even tell me any detail whatsoever regarding their soy wax, including if there was a fully hydrogenated product available.

Bonus reading regarding how the oil production industry has had to change since the elimination of transfats:


Why have the different [email protected] calculators not caught up with the modern world situation? I cannot answer that, other than to suggest that they don't have current information because the industry is unwilling to share.
 

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