Can cold weather make your soap rice

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angel01

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Hi guys
Can anyone help. I have been using this recipe often but just lately every time I make soap it starts to thicken very quickly and rice before I even put the fragrance oil in. I'm in Australia and we have had some very cold weather. Could the cold weather be the cause ? I only blend till combined as I'm wanting to achieve a swirl. Any advice is appreciated
Thankyou. ImageUploadedBySoap Making1469694455.052580.jpg
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I can't make anything out in that picture. Can you type your recipe? Have you tried soaping a touch warmer than usually to offset the cold weather to see if that makes a difference?
 

angel01

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Sorry, yes a bit blurry

50 grams sweet almond oil
50 gram castor oil
450 gram CO
750 OO
150 Shea butter
From memory I'm blending around 45 degrees Celsius
Thank you. :)
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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That's not overly cold at all. 113F for those who prefer :)

I wouldn't think that the cold would have much to do with it if you're not spending ages mixing. Have you changed lye or is your lye old? Have you also sourced any of the ingredients from a new supplier or started a new batch of an ingredient?
 

ngian

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Either you are using high lye concentration or your olive oil is not fresh, has many free fatty acids and reachs trace very fast while blending it at 45°C. Or maybe you are adding a cold lye solution to the 45°C temperature of oils and shea butter solidifies again.

Any photos will help see whether it is thickening or ricing (ricing is not always very thick)
 

angel01

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Thank you. Everything is from same supplier except the castor oil. Strange as it seems, when I think about it my last 3 or 4 batches with castor oil have riced on me. I used a different supplier this time but although I'm only using a small amount, could that be the problem? I keep the lye outside in garage as always and it's quite cold but I've always kept it out there regardless of season.
Thanks ngian
I just purchased fresh OO about 4 days ago. But I've never found OO to thicken so quick. As for ricing , I'm getting small to medium lumps that are forming as well. I'm only blending till lye and oils combine which is exactly what I have always done for swirl effect. My lye solution is roughly same temp as oils, if any it's a cpl degrees difference only.
Frustrating
 
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DeeAnna

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"... although I'm only using a small amount [of castor], could that be the problem?..."

It might be. As Nikos suggested, it could be you are using an oil that has a higher % of free fatty acids (FFAs) than you are used to. I tend to agree with him that one of your other fats is more likely the culprit, and I too would look at the olive oil first.

"...I just purchased fresh OO about 4 days ago. But I've never found OO to thicken so quick. As for ricing , I'm getting small to medium lumps that are forming as well...."

Fresh to you doesn't mean the FFA content is automatically the same as what you've used in the past. Ricing is an indication of accelerated saponification. This is often due to an accelerant in a fragrance .... or due to FFAs. Since you say you see this before adding your scent, this may indicate a higher than usual level of FFAs.

The only way to know if you have an oil with overly high FFAs is to try to saponify a sample of each fat separately and see which one demonstrates unusually fast trace and/or ricing.
 

angel01

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Thanks everyone. That is very helpful. I buy my FO from rustic escentuals and also Aussie candle supplies. I have used so many that I now know which ones accelerate and which ones don't. I've been thinking about it and it's only happened since I started using this castor oil from a different supplier. Prior to this , using the same oils and castor oil from original supplier I was having no problems. I will definately try your suggestions. Thankyou lovely people :)
 

angel01

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I made soap today without the castor oil and it soaped beautifully back to my original supplier from here on
Thanks again
 

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