5lb Batch not setting up - HELP!

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redhead1226

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I have a problem and not sure what to do next. I hate to dump a 5lb loaf. I made a Salt bar with the following recipe – –
OO 14.8oz –
CO 14.8oz
Palm Kernal 10.2 oz
Shea Butter 4.48oz
Cocoa Butter 1.46 oz
Hemp oil 2.47oz
Castor 2.32 oz
7.17 oz Lye
18.62 oz Water
Superfatted at 8%
And I used 12 oz Himalyan Sea Salt – very fine grind.
I didnt want that much salt in it. Well now it wont set up properly and its now 14 hours and even though it set a little more its still very gooey. What went wrong and whats your best advise. I dont think I can rebatch it. :cry:
 

dixiedragon

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Can you describe how you added the salt? Did you add the salt to the soap batter, or did you add it to the lye water?

What temps? Did you gel?

ETA: also, did you use a fragrance? If so, what kind and where did you buy it?
 
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shunt2011

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Same questions as dixiedragon. If you were trying to make a salt bar, your recipe is not a good one at all for that purpose. Salt bars are high in CO (80-100%) in order to lather.

Another question, why are you making such large batches as a beginner? Things can and do go wrong and that's a lot of wasted materials if it can't be saved. Most can be but why take the risk. I would do 1-2 lb batches until you have it down with your recipes and know they are working for you. Also, making that much soap at a time and not knowing if you will even like it is another issue.

We can certainly help you troubleshoot your issues though.
 

redhead1226

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I added the salt to the batter at trace. I added an EO blend about 1.5 oz. ( Fir needle, Eucalyptus, May Chang ) Not sure where I purchased it from as Im at work an dont have the info here.

This was a recipe I rec'd from a friend and I added a small amount of salt not necessarily a so-called salt bar. I am not a beginner , just new to your forum- I have been making soap for 7 years. This however is the first soap I have made adding salt. Your absolutely correct I should have made a smaller batch with a new recipe.
 

BrewerGeorge

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With 50% CO and palm kernel, it might not be too bad as far as lather - especially when you're only at about 25% of oils salt.

But you're also at "full water" 38%.

I'd just give it another couple of days.
 

shunt2011

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This was a recipe I rec'd from a friend and I added a small amount of salt not necessarily a so-called salt bar. I am not a beginner , just new to your forum- I have been making soap for 7 years. This however is the first soap I have made adding salt. Your absolutely correct I should have made a smaller batch with a new recipe.
Sorry, misread your title as 5th batch not 5lb....:)

I would just let your soap sit for another day or so and it may harden up.
 

DeeAnna

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"...And if it doesnt harder? What is your suggestion at that point? ..."

Why not wait and see what happens? It's reasonably likely you won't have to cross that bridge. Many times a little patience is the best solution for issues like this.
 

redhead1226

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I havent tested it yet. I think I was in shock last night when I noticed it wasnt setting up ( Was in a clinical depression lol) I went to swirl the top and it was like liquid! Ill check it tomorrow and see what Ive got. Thank you very much for your help. Ill leave it - not something I would normally do with salt in it but if it sets up I dont think I will have a hard time cutting it due to the minimal amount of salt.
 

Soapmaker145

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Turn the oven on to 170oF. Stick your batch in for 3+ hours. Turn the oven off and let it cool down slowly overnight. Report back. I think something in your EO mix slowed down or reversed trace. The same thing happened to me.

I've only made 1 salt batch before with ~60% fine salt and a lavender EO/FO. I was so afraid of it setting up on me too fast, I added the salt at light trace and poured into individual molds. I left it for 24 hours and when I came back to check on it, it was as soft as when I poured it. I baked it on low heat as described above and unmolded the following morning. I ended up with a lovely soap, tested at 8 weeks. I know now that if I use lavender in any form, I have to make sure to pour at thick trace, salt or no salt.
 

dixiedragon

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You need to examine the bottle. If the EO blend was not pure EO (or other components made for soaping) it may contain alcohol, which (I think) causes separation and interferes with saponification. It also may contain mineral oil, which could be problematic.
 

DeeAnna

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"...You need way way more CO and way way less OO, thats all I can tell you..."

I have to say your critique doesn't fit with my experience. I think the OP's recipe is acceptable as written and should work just fine. I might not choose to use seven fats, but the overall proportions of fatty acids are within reason.

While there's quite a range of % CO that people use in their recipes, I don't see a lot of experienced soapers using a lot over 30% CO unless they're making salt soaps and/or using an unusually high superfat. I for one don't go much over 10% to 15% CO in a normal bath soap recipe.

And 30% OO is quite reasonable. My preferred recipe has about that much high-oleic fat, and it works just fine.
 

cmzaha

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Turn the oven on to 170oF. Stick your batch in for 3+ hours. Turn the oven off and let it cool down slowly overnight. Report back. I think something in your EO mix slowed down or reversed trace. The same thing happened to me.

I've only made 1 salt batch before with ~60% fine salt and a lavender EO/FO. I was so afraid of it setting up on me too fast, I added the salt at light trace and poured into individual molds. I left it for 24 hours and when I came back to check on it, it was as soft as when I poured it. I baked it on low heat as described above and unmolded the following morning. I ended up with a lovely soap, tested at 8 weeks. I know now that if I use lavender in any form, I have to make sure to pour at thick trace, salt or no salt.
Give it a few days and it should set up. If it is still quite liquid I definitely would not try to move it to an oven or even want it in an oven it it decides to leak. Lye will ruin self cleaning ovens. Although it may not be a salt bar I would make it should be fine with only 24% salt. Might be short on lather but with a long cure it can change. I tend to use 35% CO in Soleseif soaps which are made with 25% salt brine. If i remember correctly when I ran the numbers yours is 24% salt. Have patience and just ignore it for a few days, then give it a nice long cure.
 

redhead1226

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Update - I waited until I thought it was sufficiently hardened and decided to cut it as it had already been too long for a bar with salt in it. And of course I have crumbling on the bottom of most of the pieces i cut. What a shame for 5lb loaf. I guess at some point I will figure out what to do with it. Thanks again for your advice. Have an awesome day!
 

dixiedragon

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That's a bummer. Maybe some pics would help us? Did you have a chance to check that fragrance bottle?

Also, what kind of salt is it? IIRC, some salts (like Epsom salt and Dead Sea salt) don't work well in soap.
 

green soap

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I recently had a problem with extreme slowing of a batch where I had added fir needle essential oil. I have also been soaping for several years and never encountered this.

I had made two loaves (2 lb ea) with identical recipes and water discounts, even identical temperatures. The one scented with a blend high in fir needle essential oil took ten times 10 X!!!! the time the other one took. That was five days in the mold, which I had never seen. The other blend was not an accelerating blend, just a well behaved blend that included mints, eucalyptus, menthol, etc. That one took less than 12 hours in the mold.

After 5 days I finally got it out of the mold and cut. After the bars were cut and sat around they dried enough and I think the soap will be fine. The scent is wonderful but I will not be using it again for soap, I don't want to tie up my craft table and molds for such a long time.

In your case, salt bars are trickier to time for cutting.

I think the fir needle essential oil is the culprit here, not the salt. If some of your bars are not usable as they are, just grate them and add them to fresh soap batter for a speckled looking scrub bar, or a confetti looking soap.
 
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