Castile CP vs CpOp

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BlowinBubbles

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Late last year I made a CP Castile with 40% lye concentration after reading something somewhere that doing this would make the batter reluctant to gel. It made hard soap fairly fast but with a gel stain (which I'd like to avoid). This afternoon I decided to make the same recipe but CpOp. I'm a bit puzzled because after 2.5 hours at 50celsius, my soap still hadn't appeared to have gelled. Slowly I increased the temp until the soap started to rise at which point it was hastily removed. What I noticed was that there appeared to be a 'skin' with the gelled soap underneath!
Is 40% lye concentration too strong for CpOp Castile? or could there be something else I need to consider?
 

CTAnton

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sounds like the soap cooked to me....I understand your zeal to get gel rapidly but ....
Here's my suggestion..I'd warm your oven a tad warmer to 75C and turn the oven off after putting your soap in. Depending on how well your oven retains heat you should be good to go. What you're doing is "forcing" gel, a terminology I'm not a fan of...it's more an issue of "nudging" gel. And keep in mind this can take several hours before it becomes apparent on the surface of the mold. The standard advice is to leave the soap in the oven undisturbed for 24 hours. Of course there are additional variables such as soaping temperature and your recipe to be considered here as well but I think that's your answer. There are additives to soap that I call gel accelerants such as sugar or dairy products that cause your batter to heat up that would insure gel. Avoiding gel altogether would be another route for you to go but I've done that only rarely. Good luck!
 

Gerry

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I'm with CTAnton on this one. There's only so much you can do to speed up saponification using temperature with OO's high oleic acid content. These soaps will produce less heat on their own, but over a much longer period of time because it's so much slower than a balanced recipe.

Since it seemed your soap had partial gel the last time you made it, you could have just tried insulating the mold better to solve the problem, including over the covered top. Heat will build up, but it will take longer than most other kinds of soap.

A low water content won't necessarily prevent gel, but just raises the temperature at which gel will occur. I use 40% lye concentration for all my castile soaps, but I don't let my castile gel.
 
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