Anyone heard "Heat Transfer Method"?? No more melt

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gouache

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hi everyone,
I have recently found out about this new method "heat transfer". Briefly the source describes the method as following:
put fats and oils in seperate bowls. mix lye with water and when the lye completely dissolved, put the lye water in fats. (very carefully lye water will be hot!!) heat of the lye water will melt the fats. (thats why its called heat transfer). when fats are fully melted add the oils and trace.
has anyone any experience in this method? how does this work? there must be a ratio between the fats and the oils. otherwise wouldnt it be either to cold (if oils are more than fats) or too hot (if fats are more)?? It sounds very handy no more heating melting oils or ice baths. But does it work really?
 

soapsmurf

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Re: Anyone heard "Heat Transfer Method"?? No more

gouache said:
hi everyone,
I have recently found out about this new method "heat transfer". Briefly the source describes the method as following:
put fats and oils in seperate bowls. mix lye with water and when the lye completely dissolved, put the lye water in fats. (very carefully lye water will be hot!!) heat of the lye water will melt the fats. (thats why its called heat transfer). when fats are fully melted add the oils and trace.
has anyone any experience in this method? how does this work? there must be a ratio between the fats and the oils. otherwise wouldnt it be either to cold (if oils are more than fats) or too hot (if fats are more)?? It sounds very handy no more heating melting oils or ice baths. But does it work really?
What you describe is one variant of RTCP- Room Temp Cold Process. You can try doing a search for RTCP for more on this topic. The method you describe with the hot lye and sometimes solid oils (depending on which are used) can sometimes result in less consistent results, based on what some posters have said.
 

Sunny

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I think it depends on what solid oils you are using, and whether everything melts completely. I like to make sure everything is completely melted just on the off chance I might end up with a clump of something in my finished soap.
 

carebear

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Re: Anyone heard "Heat Transfer Method"?? No more

soapsmurf said:
can sometimes result in less consistent results, based on what some posters have said.
yep for ME! but some soapers do it and love it.
 

agriffin

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I did this with 100% lard. I ended up having to put my pan on the burner and add a little heat in order for it to all melt. So I would imaging that 60% or less in lard, palm, coconut would melt? Not sure. You would have to melt your cocoa butter and shea butter beforehand. I remember it took a long time to trace, but it did still gel.
 

xyxoxy

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Yeah considering the risks I'm not sure what this actually buys you.
I like to soap at room temp but I'd rather take the time to melt my oils to be sure I don't end up with white chunky spots in my soap (especially when using Palm). So my version of RTCP is not the one described here.
 

djk17

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funny that this topic should come up today--I just had a friend ask me about this process. It reminded me of the blender soap I used to make, and the rtcp I sometimes make now. Tonight I tried 3 test batches, and it certainly is speedier than waiting for temperatures to drop.

Limitations: when I make milk soaps I add the tiniest bit of lye at a time, stir until the heat has almost completely dissipated, in order to avoid scalding/carmelizing the milk. So I doubt I would do milk soaps this way.

also--my test batches today were made in incredible humidity and some warmth, (33 degrees; 91 for those still in Fahrenheit) and my solid oils were half melted already. In the winter, this drafty Altbau makes my oils flake apart in calving-iceberg shards so I doubt I could generate enough heat initially to melt the oils if I am making a highly sat. recipe
 

TessC

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There are just so many variables, it would probably work okay here with most of my recipes (I don't use palm or a ton of hard oils/butters, plus my room temperature is significantly higher than most peoples') but those same factors make it so easy for me to just let my lye solution and oils sit and do their thing, then come back an hour or two later to make the soap.
 

carebear

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I can't even get it to work consistently with 100% coconut oil soap and the MP is only 76F.
 

donniej

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I don't do it, and I think it sounds a little too unpredictable.

I think it would make more sense to put a heat exchanger in the lye/water tank to use it's heat to heat the fats and oils.
 

haliakala

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i used this method with my very first (and so far only) soap making venture... it seemed to work well... i managed to melt everything and get trace... it was ready for unmolding in about 8 hours and now im at almost a week in the setting process and all seems to be going well the reason i tried it is because i lacked a thermometer and wanted a faster method for the mixing process... i uses lard fractionated coconut oil castor oil olive oil and a little additional glycerine.(2 tablespoons)... after molding the first and majority part i added a little lemon and orange citrus essential oil to the remaining portion for a more girly soap for my wife... as for the percentages it was 64 oz of lard 5 ounces of the other oils i entered the amounts of each into brambleberrys lye calculator and used what they told me... i also went with only a 3% superfatting as i was adding my extra glycerine anyway... i added the glycerine in after i got the lard and other oils almost to trace... the low superfatting may be why it was sucessfull as the lower the number the more lye your using... but the point to this ramble is it did in fact work.... in my next batch im adding 78 degree coconut oil and cocoabutter and they come as a solid so i think im going to melt them first and use the rest at room temp
 

shunt2011

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i used this method with my very first (and so far only) soap making venture... it seemed to work well... i managed to melt everything and get trace... it was ready for unmolding in about 8 hours and now im at almost a week in the setting process and all seems to be going well the reason i tried it is because i lacked a thermometer and wanted a faster method for the mixing process... i uses lard fractionated coconut oil castor oil olive oil and a little additional glycerine.(2 tablespoons)... after molding the first and majority part i added a little lemon and orange citrus essential oil to the remaining portion for a more girly soap for my wife... as for the percentages it was 64 oz of lard 5 ounces of the other oils i entered the amounts of each into brambleberrys lye calculator and used what they told me... i also went with only a 3% superfatting as i was adding my extra glycerine anyway... i added the glycerine in after i got the lard and other oils almost to trace... the low superfatting may be why it was sucessfull as the lower the number the more lye your using... but the point to this ramble is it did in fact work.... in my next batch im adding 78 degree coconut oil and cocoabutter and they come as a solid so i think im going to melt them first and use the rest at room temp
Welcome to the forum. Don't know if you noticed but this post is fro 2010. There are more recent postings regarding this process.

Just a quick question as to why you are adding more glycerine to your soap, CP soap creates glycerin during the saponification process. Also, you may want to look at using regular CO as fractionated is more costly. Finally, with just starting you may want to make smaller batches no smaller than 1 lb and no larger than 2 lbs until you get the hang of it. It may save you some expensive experiments going forward.
 

DeeAnna

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And 3% superfatting is well within the normal range of superfatting, especially for soaps low in strong "cleansing" oils such as coconut oil and palm kernel oil.

And it doesn't matter when you add the glycerin in your recipe, if you're going to add extra (and I agree with Shunt on that point). Adding at trace won't change how or what the soap saponifies. Extra glycerin will reduce lather and can make the soap softer than you might want. The only recipes in which I may add glycerin are shave soaps and cream soaps.
 
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