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Advice while 1st Pine tar soap oils cooling!

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brandnew

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is anyone there?.....disaster!....I had left my soap in the silicone mould for a few days now and was curious, of course, and popped one out and there was a small lye heavy pool at the bottom! :sad: I am soooooooo disappointed! Haven't soaped all summer worrying about all the things tied up with university (another first, and two at the same time!) coming back to soaping and having a mini disaster (just when i was 'considering' trying to go legal and sell, in a small way, but legal....) although the pine tar was solely for my son's skin problem. Another reason to be disappointed! ANYWAY....here it is

314g oo
138g ccn
138g pt
85g castor
85g shea (sub. for cocoa butter in the Soaping 101 recipe)

the fault must lie in my mixing....ooo was that a pun?!? gotta keep a sense of humour....I heated the pt slightly and added it to the mixed soap. I was surprised to see how liquidy mine was, compared to the video...sb a bit and then put in the mould....any advice highly welcomed as I am dying to try it again. Would like to try DeeAnna's recipe, substituting palm for tallow....

thanks in advance!
 

DeeAnna

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If you added the warmed pine tar as a separate ingredient toward the last, the relatively large volume of warmed pine tar may have broken the soap emulsion and so the batter separated in the mold. Pine tar soap doesn't usually pull that kind of naughty trick, but it's certainly a possibility for any soap.

If it's only a smallish layer of watery liquid, you might try letting the soap sit in the mold for, oh maybe another few days to a week and keep checking. The watery layer may absorb back into the soap and be fine after a nice cure time. The other option is to unmold the soap and let the watery layer drain off -- wear gloves and eye protection! -- and then let the soap dry and cure. Your superfat will be higher than you had planned, but the soap will be skin safe.

Next time, stir cautiously after adding the PT and watch the fluidity of the batter. If it thinned down (or remained thin) after adding the PT, keep gently stirring the batter until you see the batter establish or re-establish a clear pattern of thickening. You might have even needed to stick blend a brief second or two -- not sure about that since I wasn't with you when you made the soap, but it's something to keep in mind.

That said, once PT soap starts to saponify it usually thickens so fast, it doesn't show "trace" as you see with other soap batters. At one moment, the surface of batter will be shiny and smooth, a second or two later the surface will look grainy and dull, and a few seconds after that the batter will become thick pudding. One extra go-around with the spatula can make the difference between a pourable batter and one that has to be scraped and spooned into the mold. The goal is to pour right at the beginning of the "grainy and dull" stage.

When I do this type of soap, I've done it two ways and both work. I like either method better than adding pure PT at emulsion/trace, because my methods give me all the time I need to thoroughly blend the PT into the fats before the PT sees any lye. First way is to mix the PT with all of the oils and then add the lye. One maybe two careful bursts of the SB to mix the lye into the fats, then hand stir until the batter looks dull and slightly grainy on the surface, and pour like mad. Second way is to split the fats and add the PT to one half and blend really well. Add all of the lye solution to the other half of the fats and get that batter to emulsion or light trace. Stir in the PT mixture, hand stir until the batter looks dull and slightly grainy, and pour like mad. The second method avoids having to SB the batter after the lye sees the PT, but it's a bit more of a hassle.
 
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brandnew

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Thanking you much DeeAnna! Will take your advice......and next time sb a bit longer. I did but just a quickie and it hadn't gotten grainy yet....I probably pour too soon. Really appreciate the detailed answers you give. Been soaping for a couple of years now but one disaster brings back the humility! :Kitten Love:
 

commoncenz

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Thanking you much DeeAnna! Will take your advice......and next time sb a bit longer. I did but just a quickie and it hadn't gotten grainy yet....I probably pour too soon. Really appreciate the detailed answers you give. Been soaping for a couple of years now but one disaster brings back the humility! :Kitten Love:
I think you may have missed a very important part of what DeeAnna was saying. When you are attempting to get the pine tar incorporated into the soap batter, you don't want to over stick blend. The pine tar will make the batter move quickly on its own.

Personally, I don't stick blend the pine tar batter anymore. I tried it once; one second I was looking at grainy batter and the next second ... "BAM", THICK, THICK pudding. So, I've taken to stirring this type of batter with either a large silicone spatula or a large plastic spoon. It slows the process a bit and allows me to actually see the different stages so that I can tell when the batter is ready to pour.

If you have to SB, do so carefully. A few small, quick bursts on the low setting, stir with the stick blender after ... and then move to hand stirring only.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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My last batch of cp:

Me - "looks like it's tracing nicely. Just one more blast with the STABMIXER....."

Me - "....and I'm having to grab it out of my bucket with my hands and shove it in to my moulds as it is now the consistency of clay mud"
 

brandnew

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STICK BLENDERS HAVE MORE THAN JUST ONE BUTTON??? :smile: you have the deluxe version! Sorry commencenz!!! I meant stir a bit longer! Goodness gracious me...gonna have to concentrate more! Sorry the ol' brain is everywhere at the moment but hopefully not when making the soap! Believe me I understood! I think it was the nerdy farmer's wife.....can't remember.....who wrote on every other line of her recipe..."do not stick blend"....plus on the soaping 101 tutorial there was no need WHATSOEVER to sb.....and that is why I was so surprised mine was so liquidy even after stirring and stirring and stirring! ?....I knew something wasn't quite right...:eh:

thanks E.G. I don't feel so alone.....

but thank you all for the advice......holding breath with the first batch and trying DeeAnna's recipe/method tomorrow! Hmmmmm...think I could be successful doing it with all me fingers crossed?!?
 
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DeeAnna

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Gent ... you're too funny, but so on-target! :)

Like I said earlier, I just got done with my 7th batch, and I'd say I've been able to pour the soap into the mold only about two times in seven. It's that one last stir with the spatula that gets me every time.
 

Susie

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Also on scent ... for some reason, when I add Tea Tree and Lemon Grass to a pine tar soap in a 1:1.5 ratio at .5 Oz ppo, it cures out to a nice mellow gingerbread smell. At first I thought it was just me and my weird sniffer. However, others who I've gifted the soap to have stated that it smells like gingerbread to them ... without my having mentioned it.
Which PT brand are you using? I love the gingerbread smell!

DeeAnna- I can't get tallow or palm here, and I would rather not order base oils online if I can help it. I also just do not have time to render suet right now, and probably not until after the holidays. Could you possibly suggest a lard, cocoa butter, PT, etc recipe, pretty please?
 
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commoncenz

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Which PT brand are you using? I love the gingerbread smell!
I've used both the NOW and the Aura Cacia brands of EO. The PT I use is the "Horses Health Products" brand from Farnam.
 

DeeAnna

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Okay, Susie, you sweet talker you! Here's an idea for you to consider. I used a free hand with the lard, since you and I are both lard loving soapers!

Castor Bean Oil 5.0%
Pine tar 10.0%
Coconut Oil 10.0%
Cocoa Butter 15.0%
Lard 60.0%

I would do lard at 60% with 15% cocoa butter or do lard at 65% and cocoa butter at 10%, whichever you like best. You could also drop the cocoa butter entirely and increase the lard appropriately, but I like the little boost of hardness from the stearic in the cocoa butter.

I'd soap at 30% to 33% lye concentration, again to get a firmer soap sooner. I used 31% in my last batch, but previous batches were soaped with 33% lye concentration. Can't say there was a huge difference between the two, so use the lye concentration that you're most comfortable with. I wouldn't use "full water" since PT moves so fast regardless of what you do -- I think all you get with full water is the downside of greater softness.

The numbers" for the 60% lard + 15% cocoa butter version are --
Hardness 42
Cleansing 7
Long lasting 35
Conditioning 43
Bubbly 12
Creamy 39

Fatty acid profile
Lauric 5
Myristic 3
Palmitic 22
Stearic 13
Oleic 34
Ricinoleic 5
Linoleic 4
Linolenic 0
INS 138
 

brandnew

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DeeAnna I haven't had the confidence to change my lye concentration but reading your post makes me want to move out of the ol' comfort zone.....


and thank you...took the bars out of the mould and the zap has already begun to fade greatly! Whew!! I think I will put these away to cure for a long while and hope the 2nd batch is better......trying to get myself together for the feather swirl challenge ........

thanks all!
 
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DeeAnna

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I encourage you to try it, Brandnew. Don't make big changes, especially while you're learning. If you've been using recipes at 28% lye concentration (aka about full water), just increase the lye concentration a couple of percent -- maybe 30% -- and get used to that. You can go more concentrated from there, if you like. From what I've gathered, most of us who use more concentrated lye are generally soaping with a 30% to 33% lye concentration, so little changes are good enough.
 

brandnew

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Oops! Too late...I tried a 33% with a regular recipe and was so nervous about the outcome!. I think I must've stirred for 15 minutes! :D..... whew...all's well! Funny you should say that because this morning i woke up thinking ....hmmm wonder if i could soap at a % just a tad bit higher than full...and to be honest I think I will back up to 30 and get comfy with that! Thank you much for the encouragement DeeAnna! I have been happily soapin' and swirlin' full water for a few years....some folks are a bit slow......and it is nice to meet a new challenge.
 
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