Confused about gel phase

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by wolfsnaps, Mar 3, 2014.

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  1. Mar 3, 2014 #1

    wolfsnaps

    wolfsnaps

    wolfsnaps

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    Do I want the soap to go through gel phase or not? Why do some people not want it to go through it and others do? Is heat what makes it go through this phase? Is that why some people wrap their soap in towels and some put in the fridge?


    I am so confused. I made 2 batches so far and neither have turned out very well. Kind of down trodden about my future soaping adventures so I am trying to learn more about it before I try again.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Mar 3, 2014 #2

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

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    So what happened that you do not think they turned out well? Can you post a pic and/or recipe? We might be able to give a bit of insite of what did or did not go wrong. Don't get discouraged soapmaking does take time and practice along with a lot of patience. Some soapmakers like to gel their soap and some do not. The color will change when gelling and some think the colors pop. I personally do my best not to gel because I do not want the color change. Mine go in the freezer.
     
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  3. Mar 3, 2014 #3

    AnnaMarie

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    Keep it up WolfSnaps! You will get there. Soap making is a learned craft and takes time to master. Gel phase is purely optional. Some people love it and some don't. It doesn't necessarily make your soap better or worse. Gel phase tends to darken your soap and give it a more opaque look. Some people avoid gel because of certain ingredients they are using. Are you starting out with a simple recipe? Don't throw in the towel yet :) :)
    Cheers!
    Anna Marie
     
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  4. Mar 3, 2014 #4

    wolfsnaps

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    Thank you. I don't intend to give up just yet (I just purchased a bunch of oils and molds and stuff lol). I see all of your beautiful soaps and think "What am I doing differently that my soap is so much more boring?".

    I am lurking on this forum taking it all in. I plan on making some more soap as soon as my order arrives and I will share my outcome as so many of you have done.


    And thank you to all you soapers who take the time to help noobs like me.


    oh, one more question. I plan on making goat milk soap at some point soon. Should I stick it in the freezer?

    I plan on gifting a lot of soap this Christmas and I am taking this whole year to learn how to make attractive soaps. I am not what you would consider 'crafty' so bear with me as I may be asking a lot of amateur questions. I will try and search them first (being on other forums for unrelated subjects, I understand how the same questions over and over can get old and tedious to answer).
     
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  5. Mar 3, 2014 #5

    newbie

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    You should post your recipe and what happened with your first two batches. It's much easier to troubleshoot that way and perhaps people can point out specifics for you to keep doing or avoid doing again. People are very happy to help!
     
  6. Mar 3, 2014 #6

    Susie

    Susie

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    Hey and Welcome!

    Every single person here was a noob once. Some of us still are. But we all learned something with each attempt. You will also. The more information you give these wonderful people about what the recipes are and what the outcome was, the better they can help you.

    And I can tell you from experience that it just saves a bunch of time if you post your recipe in the first cry for help. They can really zero right in on what the problem is that way.

    The great thing about this forum is that when I am having a problem with a recipe I found online, I can often just do a google search using the name of the person who did the video or recipe, and often there is already a thread telling me what is wrong, and how to fix it.
     
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  7. Mar 3, 2014 #7

    The Efficacious Gentleman

    The Efficacious Gentleman

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    For many people it is a matter of choice, depending on the situation. Here is my reasoning on ensuring or stopping gel -

    When making a naturally white soap, like Castile, I will stop gel so that it looks creamy. If I don't want it to look creamy, I will go for a full gel as I think it easier to manage than preventing gel.

    When you want to prevent gel or force gel, only you can say, and experience will help you there - try one of each and see what you prefer.

    It makes some difference to the feel of the finished soap to allow it to gel, and ungelled need more time for saponification and time before cutting, but it is not really enough to be the main consideration in gelling or not - it is mostly just how it looks, and therefore it is for you to make the final choice
     
  8. Mar 3, 2014 #8

    Ruthie

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    wolfsnaps, I would stick the GM soap in the freezer. Milks caramelize and turn soap brown when they get too hot.

    Not sure how fancy you are wanting to get with your soaps. And some that are pictured here are beautiful. But I for one will never make all that really fancy stuff. I do an occasional in-the-pot swirl and occasionally try a hanger swirl. But that is as fancy as I get. I have nothing against turning soap into art. I'm just more interested in the feel and smell.
     
  9. Mar 3, 2014 #9

    The Efficacious Gentleman

    The Efficacious Gentleman

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    Last night I weighed out 100 and 150 gram batches of the GM I bought, put them in the freezer. When frozen I'll pack them better and then can take what I need as I need it
     

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