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Catscankim

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I made this loaf just now. Its a lard/coconut soap. I split the batter into 3, TD in the bigger container, and equal parts of two different blues...key west blue by mad micas and turquoise teal by crafters choice. FO is Aloe and Sea Kelp by crafters choice. I have already used this fo on previous soaps with no issue. I added at barely trace.

The container with the key west accelerated super quick. I had to keep beating up the batter to keep it thin, whereas the other two stayed nice and fluid for me.

did a hanger swirl, and that blue was clumpy. Not sure how the end cut is going to look lol. I kept pounding the loaf on the table like crazy to make sure there were no air bubbles around the clumpy blue.

Do you think it was the mica? Can a mica accelerate your batter? Everything was the same when i seperated the batter into containers, except the colorants.

anyway, the top is pretty lol. The ”bubbles” are sugar pearls. I tried to spoon-texture the top, but kept running into blue clumps.
 

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Todd Ziegler

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I have never heard of mica causing acceleration but I have read where some people had TD cause thickening of their batter.
 

Catscankim

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I have never heard of mica causing acceleration but I have read where some people had TD cause thickening of their batter.
I didnt think so With the mica. The TD one was just fine. I just cant figure out what was the difference between the three containers, specifically between the two with mica only.

also to note, this was the first time i added mica directly to the batter without dispersing in oil, mainly because i used two hard oils and wasnt sure if i could use the melted oil to disperse with and i didnt want to add extra oil and change the recipe.

i could chalk it all up to learning, i just dont know what was different to learn from lol. Maybe an extra pulse of the SB lol. I dunno.
 

Jersey Girl

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I didnt think so With the mica. The TD one was just fine. I just cant figure out what was the difference between the three containers, specifically between the two with mica only.

also to note, this was the first time i added mica directly to the batter without dispersing in oil, mainly because i used two hard oils and wasnt sure if i could use the melted oil to disperse with and i didnt want to add extra oil and change the recipe.

i could chalk it all up to learning, i just dont know what was different to learn from lol. Maybe an extra pulse of the SB lol. I dunno.
Regardless of the oils you use you can disperse your mica in a small amount of liquid oil like sunflower , olive, canola, etc. I never use my batch oils to disperse or add any additional lye as the amounts are so small it’s negligible.
 

GemstonePony

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What temperature do you soap at? I've used hard oils to disperse in the same container I was planning to mix them in. I had to give it a minute after I poured the batter for the batter to melt the oils, but it worked.
 

Catscankim

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What temperature do you soap at? I've used hard oils to disperse in the same container I was planning to mix them in. I had to give it a minute after I poured the batter for the batter to melt the oils, but it worked.
The lye solution was room temp and the oils were melted and cooled to 110
 

atiz

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Did you mix them about the same amount?
Once I had a mishap where I divided out my batter, mixed the colorants (clays in this case), and one of them was a bit lumpy so I mixed it much more. It thickened up super quick due to the extra mixing, while the others remained very fluid.
It looks nice anyway!
 

AliOop

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Agreed that the soaps are beautimous! And now I want to go to the beach, lol.

I will go out on a limb and say that I do think different colorants can cause acceleration. I've had that happen once or twice, where the only thing different was the color of that part of the batch. One cup of color was nice and fluid, and the other was thick like Greek yogurt. ?? 🤷‍♀️

One thing that might help for future is not blending even to light trace. Just get to a stable emulsion, because once trace happens, it keeps going. There are some good YT videos out there about how to spot a stable emulsion. One really good soaper even suggests that you don't even need a stable emulsion to split your batch for coloring. Her point is that you will be mixing the colors into the batter and that will give you the extra mixing needed to prevent separation. I'm not quite that brave (yet) but I'm getting pretty good at spotting that stable emulsion and forcing myself to put down the stick blender. It's a fight tho 😅
 
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dibbles

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Colorants can have an effect - I don't think it happens often, but I have seen others mentioning this. I think it was with some green micas. TD can speed things up, and many micas contain some TD. There definitely can be a difference in types of clays.

I'm with Jersey Girl - I don't use batch oil to premix my mica. I usually use a small amount of HO sunflower. It really doesn't take much oil to get it to a consistency that makes it easy to stir into the batter - which avoids having to use the stick blender to get the mica incorporated. For black and white I do give a very short burst with the stick blender after stirring the colors into the batter.
 

Catscankim

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Agreed that the soaps are beautimous! And now I want to go to the beach, lol.

I will go out on a limb and say that I do think different colorants can react with fragrances to cause acceleration. I've had that happen with EO blends once or twice, where the only thing different was the color of that part of the batch. One cup of color was nice and fluid, and the other was thick like Greek yogurt. ?? 🤷‍♀️

One thing that might help for future is not blending to trace. Just get to a stable emulsion, because once trace happens, it keeps going. There are some good YT videos out there about how to spot a stable emulsion. One really good soaper even suggests that you don't even need a stable emulsion to split your batch for coloring. Her point is that you will be mixing the colors into the batter and that will give you the extra mixing needed to prevent separation. I'm not quite that brave (yet) but I'm getting pretty good at spotting that stable emulsion and forcing myself to put down the stick blender. It's a fight tho 😅
I have been doing barely at trace, just because i have been experimenting with swirls. I figure i can always let it set up a little if i need to. Maybe i am going to go for emulsion next...
 

Catscankim

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I cut a little early because i couldnt help myself Lol. But here are the cuts. I really didnt want it chunky looking like this, but they did turn out better than i thought. The sugar pearls are falling off. Yet another experiment lol. I guess next time i try them i will push them in a little better.

Got some glycerin rivers, but i kinda like the look lol
 

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tommysgirl

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I think it looks great! It makes me think of those vacation commercials where they show underwater view of crystal blue ocean waves breaking at the shore of a pristine Caribbean isle, lol
 

Megan

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Micas can definitely affect trace. In my experience, yellows, blues and purples accelerate the worst. I'm sure it depends on the specific brand/composition as well.
 
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