Anyone else have their recipe react differently when the weather changes from winter to summer?

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MelissaG

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When fall hit, I couldn't get my recipe to emulsify without a lot of mixing so I changed the recipe and it worked fine through winter. Now that we're in the deep south summer season, it's setting up so fast, I'm always using a spatula to glop it in the mold quick. Now I'm going to have to change my recipe again so it slows down. This is insane. It's the second year I've had to do this. And yes, it behaves this way even when everything has been left to cool to room temperature before mixing the lye/water and oils together.

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I see you are in Louisiana, which, if I'm not mistaken, can get very humid. I too have problems with my soap accelerating very fast in the summer time when it is humid ( and that's beside the fact that I have sweat dripping off my brow when I make it).
 

TheGecko

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Anyone else have their recipe react differently when the weather changes from winter to summer?

Absolutely! I'm in Oregon in the Central Willamette Valley. We have warm, dry summers and mild, but wet winters. Except for maybe a month during those times, our average temps run between 55F and 75F. Usually I can unmold in 18 to 24 hours and my soap cures in eight weeks (my preference), but during the Winter, because of the amount of ran we get, it was taking a good two days to unmold and twelve weeks to cure. Then someone suggested increasing my Lye Solution from 33% to 35% and it helped.

This year...our Spring has been really, really wet...we set records for rain in April (24 out of 30) and so far this month, we have had one really nice day. Soaping making has just been a nightmare! I've tried everything I could think of...increase Lye Concentration, CPOP, in the house, in the garage, increase soaping temp, decrease soaping temp, more SB, less SB, unmold after two days, three days, four days. My last batch of Wedding Soaps...I thought I had it licked...and then the batter went from emulsion as I was pouring into the first mold to me having to plop it in on the last two...thank God I had switched to my Rose Molds for the last because I would have never gotten the batter into the Heart Molds. And they sat in the garage for five days before I attempted to unmold.

And it not just the Wedding Soaps...it's been all my soaps. Batter on all my soaps thickened even with minimal stick blending. Every soap has soda ash. And eve after four days in the mold, I still lost the corners on my Indian Sandalwood.
 

MelissaG

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I see you are in Louisiana, which, if I'm not mistaken, can get very humid. I too have problems with my soap accelerating very fast in the summer time when it is humid ( and that's beside the fact that I have sweat dripping off my brow when I make it).
Me too. Every time. Glad to know I'm not the only one lol. I've learned to love winter here.

Absolutely! I'm in Oregon in the Central Willamette Valley. We have warm, dry summers and mild, but wet winters. Except for maybe a month during those times, our average temps run between 55F and 75F. Usually I can unmold in 18 to 24 hours and my soap cures in eight weeks (my preference), but during the Winter, because of the amount of ran we get, it was taking a good two days to unmold and twelve weeks to cure. Then someone suggested increasing my Lye Solution from 33% to 35% and it helped.

This year...our Spring has been really, really wet...we set records for rain in April (24 out of 30) and so far this month, we have had one really nice day. Soaping making has just been a nightmare! I've tried everything I could think of...increase Lye Concentration, CPOP, in the house, in the garage, increase soaping temp, decrease soaping temp, more SB, less SB, unmold after two days, three days, four days. My last batch of Wedding Soaps...I thought I had it licked...and then the batter went from emulsion as I was pouring into the first mold to me having to plop it in on the last two...thank God I had switched to my Rose Molds for the last because I would have never gotten the batter into the Heart Molds. And they sat in the garage for five days before I attempted to unmold.

And it not just the Wedding Soaps...it's been all my soaps. Batter on all my soaps thickened even with minimal stick blending. Every soap has soda ash. And eve after four days in the mold, I still lost the corners on my Indian Sandalwood.
Glad to know that. It's been a nightmare trying to soap. We barely get any springtime here so it's been frustrating. At least I'm not the only one.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Between our dry climate, climate-control inside the house (windows closed, Heat/AC), and passive solar landscaping -- deciduous trees shade the house in summer and let the sun through to warm the house in winter, I really don't seem to have that problem. Just luck and good planning on the landscape, I guess. :)
 

MiscellaneousSoaper12

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I didn't know climate could influence soapmaking so much. I live in a tropical country, so no real seasons beyond rainy and dry, and we're always between 70-90% humidity. Perhaps I'd notice all these details if I experienced soaping in a dryer climate. The incessant sweating is too real though!
 
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Im in florida. I can get away with no SL in the winter…probably even now. But come summer, its a real pain to get soap out of the mold, even with doors closed and the ac on. My ac is set to 68…365 days a year.

I definitely see a difference in my soaps depending on the weather. I have had a slimy feel on curing soap even with the ceiling fan running and the ac on.

I dont even ask here anymore whats wrong with them. I might be used to our humidity or something. I dunno. It may seem fine to me, but my soaps tell me its humid lol.
 

MelissaG

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I didn't know climate could influence soapmaking so much. I live in a tropical country, so no real seasons beyond rainy and dry, and we're always between 70-90% humidity. Perhaps I'd notice all these details if I experienced soaping in a dryer climate. The incessant sweating is too real though!
lol I'm from Canada. My first summer in Louisiana, I felt like I was going to die even with the ac. Right now, my house is 68 degrees and I'm cold but it's easy to warm up here. Just sit by the wrong window. Most windows here don't have double panes like we did in Canada. In Canada the winter used to be so dry, it would crack my lips and the skin on my face. Here that isn't a problem.
 

Becky1024

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I’m in Ohio, where the motto is “if you don’t like the weather, stick around, it will change.” My problem isn’t so much mixing to trace, but with gelling. In the winter I soap warmer and use a heating pad to gel the molds. In the summer I soap cooler and just wrap the molds in some towels to gel.
 

TheGecko

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I didn't know climate could influence soapmaking so much.

It influences everything. While Oregon has pretty much been my home base, I've live in San Antonio Texas, Phoenix Arizona, Chicago Illinois and Bakken oil field North Dakota. Different elevations, different climates, different seasons. It will affect cooking and baking, it will affect your skin, hair and even your nails, it will affect clothing (materials in general) and even electronics. Worst for humidity was Chicago...during the summer I'd dry off after getting out of the shower then after to dry off after getting dressed...and we had A/C. And man, would my hair frizz like crazy! But then it would be so dry during the winter that we'd run a humidifier. You can't store clothes in the garage in Phoenix because it will dry out elastic. If you don't have a garage or can park you vehicle under cover nine months out of the year, then you are going to want dash and seat covers and you will need to replace them every couple of years. The Bakken oil fields were H-E-double hockey sticks on my hair and skin...the wind combined with the scoria dust. First time I ever used a 'leave-in' conditioner on my hair and had to double-down on my moisturizer.

Even as temperate as Oregon is, it's still a state of contrasts. You have the Coast...with salt, wind, humidity. The Portland Metro area, like most city, isn't called the 'concrete jungle' without reason...all those buildings, concrete, asphalt exacerbate heat, wind, cold. You also have the Gorge, Eastern Oregon, and Southern Oregon. Then there is the Willamette Valley...so named because of the Willamette River that runs from Eugene to Portland (109 miles)...and even it's different depending on where you live in it. The south end is known as the 'banana belt'...they rarely get any kind of harsh weather, but go 20 miles south, it's a different story as you getting into high elevations. I'm not quite in the middle so we don't too often get any kind of bad whether, but go 25 miles north and they'll have twice the snow or twice the rain. But not always. There were several times this winter when we got fogged in to where I couldn't even see the end of the block, yet it was clear as a bell there.
 
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I'm also in this area of Oregon - though a little more west (Albany) and my gosh this weather. Fortunately soap making had been ok for me, our house is relatively cool always and I have a dehumidifier going. However, last year right when the wet spring transitioned to summer I had failed batch after failed batch. It was so depressing! My tried and true recipe just wouldn't firm up, I did a steeper water discount and it helped tremendously. But it was 4 batches of soap that had to be rebatched and even then it went off, so it was laundry soap. Since incorporating the dehumidifier though it really helped, my old apartment was so humid and I can't help but feel like that was part of the problem. Oregon can be very finicky this time of year.
 
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I'm in the North East, and I soap at the same temperature year round, but I do see the batter going to trace faster in the summer. Even now this time of year I get to trace faster. The interesting thing is I soap in my basement work area, and the room temperature there stays around 65 degrees F year round.
 

earlene

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I'm in the North East, and I soap at the same temperature year round, but I do see the batter going to trace faster in the summer. Even now this time of year I get to trace faster. The interesting thing is I soap in my basement work area, and the room temperature there stays around 65 degrees F year round.
The temperature may stay the same, but does the humidity change?
 

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