Batch with new FO the texture of molding clay after four days. Rebatch or nah?

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MissTorrie

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Like the title says, I made a new batch of soap recently with a new fragrance oil from Brambleberry. Their Vanilla Cybilla mixed with Blueberry Jam. My first time making fragrance oiled soap as opposed to just EOs.

Recipe was:
10% castor
20% Coconut oil
10% Hemp oil
12.50% Shea Butter
35% Olive Oil
12.50% Palm.

The FO seemed to accelerate it and it reached trace really quickly, so I poured into the mold. No ricing, or seizing, but now it just will not set up. I finally took it out of the molds after 48 hours and they unmolded horribly. Bits stuck to the mold and all the bars were malformed. A friend of mine who has done soap before said I could roll them into balls, so they'd at least look a bit better, which I did. But I'm seeing absolutely no signs of hardening. They are the same texture they were two days ago. Exactly. :headbanging:

Should I rebatch or will these set up eventually? What could I have done wrong? If I do rebatch, will the scent stick or do I have to re-scent them? They smell amazing, so I'd like to preserve the scent if it's possible.

Thanks for reading!!
 

Soapmaker145

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No need to rebatch, just bake. Since it is pliable, squish it back in a silicone mold, smoothing it as best you can. Bake in a 170-200oF oven for 2 to 3 hours until it looks like a translucent mess. You want the soap to reach about 170oF. Turn the oven off and leave the soap in it until it cools down. Cut it in 24 to 48 hours. You can check how hard it is to pick the best time for cutting.

Your recipe has a lot of castor oil which will make for a softer soap. I would drop it to about 5%, or at most 7% next time. It is also heavy on unsaturated oils which take longer to cure hard. There is nothing wrong with that but it is something to keep in mind.

The Blueberry Jam from BB is nice and will most likely survive the bake without morphing.
 

MissTorrie

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No need to rebatch, just bake. Since it is pliable, squish it back in a silicone mold, smoothing it as best you can. Bake in a 170-200oF oven for 2 to 3 hours until it looks like a translucent mess. You want the soap to reach about 170oF. Turn the oven off and leave the soap in it until it cools down. Cut it in 24 to 48 hours. You can check how hard it is to pick the best time for cutting.

Your recipe has a lot of castor oil which will make for a softer soap. I would drop it to about 5%, or at most 7% next time. It is also heavy on unsaturated oils which take longer to cure hard. There is nothing wrong with that but it is something to keep in mind.

The Blueberry Jam from BB is nice and will most likely survive the bake without morphing.
Ooh! I'm going to try it right now.

That was my first time using castor oil. I switched safflower for castor oil from a previous recipe and should have done more reading. The Brambleberry castor oil bottle says use up to 10%. Should have googled that.

Thanks for the tip!!
 

DeeAnna

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To be fair, some people do use castor at 10% in a bath soap, so like Soapmaker said, it's not wrong, just not typical. I'd say most people most of the time use about 5% instead.

Problem is you said you replaced safflower with castor. These two fats don't fall in the same category at all.

Castor is a "ricinoleic" oil; it's one of a kind. Castor really isn't a direct substitute for any other fat used for soaping.

Safflower (regular type safflower) is a "linoleic" oil similar to regular sunflower, canola, soybean, hemp, etc. So if you wanted to replace the safflower with another similar oil, those are the ones to consider as alternates.

Looking at your recipe with the hemp already in there at 10%, I might have replaced the safflower by adding its percentage to the olive oil (high oleic fat), but at 35% olive, you've already got plenty of oleic fat in there. More likely, I would have increased the palm (a high palmitic and stearic fat). More palmitic-stearic fat and less linoleic-oleic fat would help with the softness problem.
 

cmzaha

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Be careful with baking 2-3 hrs. I find, even in my hdpe 6 lb molds it only takes 1.1.5 hrs to completely melt down the soap, i hr if it is already quite soft. Just keep an eye on it, when melted turn off the oven and let it sit. There are just no real standards, other than lye useage, or perfect times in soapmaking.
 

DeeAnna

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I get really good results without heating the soap hot enough and long enough to push it into obvious gel. I do 150-170 F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The soap responds well to this more gentle "CPOP after the fact."
 

Soapmaker145

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That was my first time using castor oil. I switched safflower for castor oil from a previous recipe and should have done more reading. The Brambleberry castor oil bottle says use up to 10%. Should have googled that.
Deaana's post made me realize that I didn't ask you if you ran your recipe through soapcalc to make sure you have the right amount of lye particularly since you made a substitution. If you don't have enough lye, it can make the soap soft. Also, the amount of water in your recipe can affect how soft it feels during initial cure. You need to rerun your recipe through a lye calculator every time you make a substitution. You will see us asking for full amount of everything used instead of percentages when troubling shooting recipes because it is easy to make mistakes.

Also, cmzaha's post reminded me that that the length of bake and final temperature is dependent on the amount of water you have in your soap. The less water you have, the longer the bake and the higher the temperature to reach a translucent mass.

When you have time, read up on sodium lactate or yet the post on using vinegar to make the soap harder.

Also, you can spray soap pieces with a little rubbing alcohol when you're squishing them together to help them stick better.

If things don't work out as expected, re-post recipe with exact amounts and we'll try again.
 

MissTorrie

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Deaana's post made me realize that I didn't ask you if you ran your recipe through soapcalc to make sure you have the right amount of lye particularly since you made a substitution. If you don't have enough lye, it can make the soap soft. Also, the amount of water in your recipe can affect how soft it feels during initial cure. You need to rerun your recipe through a lye calculator every time you make a substitution. You will see us asking for full amount of everything used instead of percentages when troubling shooting recipes because it is easy to make mistakes.

Also, cmzaha's post reminded me that that the length of bake and final temperature is dependent on the amount of water you have in your soap. The less water you have, the longer the bake and the higher the temperature to reach a translucent mass.

When you have time, read up on sodium lactate or yet the post on using vinegar to make the soap harder.

Also, you can spray soap pieces with a little rubbing alcohol when you're squishing them together to help them stick better.

If things don't work out as expected, re-post recipe with exact amounts and we'll try again.
I run EVERYTHING through soap calcs if I change the slightest thing, because I had the absolute exactness of soap measurements beat into my head at the beginning by all the books I read before soaping my first recipe. So, everything was run through this lye calculator. These were the exact numbers I plugged in.

Castor oil- 4 oz
Coconut oil- 8 oz
Hemp oil- 4 oz
shea butter- 5 oz
olive oil- 14 oz
palm oil- 5 oz

It told me to use 5.44 oz of lye, which I did. And recommended 9-14 oz of water. I don't water discount unless there is a specific reason for it, so in my notebook it's recorded that I used 14 oz. Brambleberry fragrance calculator recommended 1.70 total FO.

I didn't even think about the oleic vs. ricinoleic. I don't have that all down yet. The recipe with safflower had been great before. Although I think once I'm out of this hemp oil I'm not going to use it anymore. Expensive and the shelf life is short. So I'll have to adjust it again when I have to take the hemp out so that bit of information about the oil properties was helpful. I know what I will have to look up and match now.

**NOW! UPDATE!!**

I decided to go not by time but temperature. So as soon as it was translucent and a candy thermometer in the middle read 170 degrees (not ideal as I'll likely have a tunnel in a slice, but I was worried my infrared thermometer would only read the surface? I just got that thing and don't know), I turned off the heat. It took about 1 hr 35 mins. Left it in the oven overnight. When I pulled it out, it was quite hard, no pliability at all, but sticky on the sides. I've had stickiness before and had it go away within 12 hours of molding. So I will tentatively say that it worked! Thanks for all the help.
 

Soapmaker145

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I didn't even think about the oleic vs. ricinoleic. I don't have that all down yet. The recipe with safflower had been great before. Although I think once I'm out of this hemp oil I'm not going to use it anymore. Expensive and the shelf life is short. So I'll have to adjust it again when I have to take the hemp out so that bit of information about the oil properties was helpful. I know what I will have to look up and match now.

**NOW! UPDATE!!**

I decided to go not by time but temperature. So as soon as it was translucent and a candy thermometer in the middle read 170 degrees (not ideal as I'll likely have a tunnel in a slice, but I was worried my infrared thermometer would only read the surface? I just got that thing and don't know), I turned off the heat. It took about 1 hr 35 mins. Left it in the oven overnight. When I pulled it out, it was quite hard, no pliability at all, but sticky on the sides. I've had stickiness before and had it go away within 12 hours of molding. So I will tentatively say that it worked! Thanks for all the help.
My infrared thermometer reads about 2 to 3 degrees lower than actual temperature. It's close enough for this purpose. You can use it without any problem. The 170oC is not set in stone. It's what I like for the amount of water I have in my soap. You just need the mass to turn into a somewhat translucent jelly regardless of temperature. With the amount of water you used, you probably only needed about 150oF.

If you used a silicone mold, you may have some ugly bubbles anywhere that touched the silicone. You'll need to plane the soaps to get rid of them.

I make hemp soaps with a much higher percentage of hemp oil and they survive long cures without any problem. The hemp oils we get are refined and stabilized. They survive longer than we think. I personally don't think hemp is unique enough but you may like it a lot. This is my long way of telling you don't be afraid of using it if you like it.

Please post pictures after you cut!
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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As for water amount, if the recipe is mostly soft oils I think that it warrants less water. A good idea for the future - change to solution strength or water:lye ratio rather than water as % of oils, as it allows for much more control and reliable results
 

MissTorrie

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Alright! Cut it, and I'm pretty pleased!

http://imgur.com/a/MVtEg

It unmolded nicely and cut well. I stumbled on a swirl!! When I had rolled it into balls after the bars unmolded so badly, I noticed that only the outside had discolored from the vanilla FO. So it looked weird. Mashing it altogether created this swirl that almost looks purposeful. Overall, I'm very happy with the way it fixed up!

Does changing the information to water:lye ratio happen in a soap calc?
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Looks like a good save!

Aye, one of the first sections of soapcalc deals with the water. The default is 38% of oil weight. Many people here use solution strength where the higher the number, the less water will be used. There is a great thread bumbling around where it was explained about the differences and the sorts of times when you would want to use them (for example, mainly soft oil recipe is often best with a stronger solution = less water)
 

Susie

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MissTorrie-I am not good at all the fatty acid profiles of soap yet, either. I break the oils down in my mind in a much simpler way:

Lard/palm oil/tallow all share similar properties and will make your bar hard.

Liquid oils are just that, liquid.

Coconut Oil and Palm Kernel Oil provide cleansing effects and bubbles. Cleansing effects, on my skin, means stripping of the natural oils, of which I have very little.

Castor Oil (once saponified) is in a category by itself. It provides the stability for the bubbles to last.

Butters can inhibit the lather. My personal opinion is that butters are unnecessary in soap, but wonderful in other B&B products. They are more expensive than the oils I normally use, and do not bring any thing new to the soap that can't be lived without. This is my personal opinion, only. Others would not ever consider making soap without butters.
 

DeeAnna

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Not sure if the thread you're thinking of is one of these, but here is one good discussion about lye concentration with links to several other useful threads:

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?p=530575

...There is a great thread bumbling around where it was explained about the differences and the sorts of times when you would want to use them (for example, mainly soft oil recipe is often best with a stronger solution = less water)
 
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