CP Mixture Accelerating Too Fast?

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VeggieOPeach

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Hello everyone,

This has been a reoccurring problem for me for the past three tries. It hasn't made my soap creations a complete disaster, but I've been frustrated because the designs I had wanted weren't working for me. For the most part I set up my mixture and then I blend until light to medium trace, and then I'll add my mica colorants and fragrance oils. At this point, my soap mixture becomes very thick that any swirls or fluid designs won't work become it seizes up pretty fast and turns into pudding. So, I've been trying different recipes but recently read that palm oil (which I have been using in my previous recipes) has been known as a hard oil that can speed up trace.

Furthermore, I've also read that certain fragrance oils speed up the acceleration process too. This time when I make another batch of soap I am hoping to use something without palm and then maybe add the mica and fragrance just before a trace to ensure I won't have batch issues. However, I would like some advice from others in order to understand what I might be doing wrong. Thanks!
 

AliOop

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Hi @VeggieOPeach! From what you described, the problem is over-blending.

In order to make swirls, you want to blend just to emulsion, not even to trace. Medium trace is definitely way too thick for swirling! Here is a link to a good YT video on how to recognize emulsion: Trace, emulsion, false trace.

The first lesson is to use the stick blender in very short bursts of 2-5 seconds, followed by lots of hand-stirring. That keeps you from over-mixing and getting too far into trace. You will have to fight your instincts that want to keep blending, blending... but stopping sooner is the key to getting the designs you want. :)
 

GemstonePony

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I'm a even more extreme than @AliOop , I blend for 1-2 seconds and mix the blended part evenly throughout the mixture before blending for 1-2 seconds again. As soon as it looks like I've got an emulsion, I check with my spatula to make sure I don't have any unmixed areas anywhere and start separating for color. Whether I add the fragrance before separating or after depends on the fragrance. By the time I get my colorants thoroughly mixed in, it's usually to light trace. If you want a heavier trace either mix it more or wait a bit. The less you mix it the more slowly it will accelerate. Also, bear in mind that it will continue to thicken as you pour.
 

VeggieOPeach

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Hi @VeggieOPeach! From what you described, the problem is over-blending.

In order to make swirls, you want to blend just to emulsion, not even to trace. Medium trace is definitely way too thick for swirling! Here is a link to a good YT video on how to recognize emulsion: Trace, emulsion, false trace.

The first lesson is to use the stick blender in very short bursts of 2-5 seconds, followed by lots of hand-stirring. That keeps you from over-mixing and getting too far into trace. You will have to fight your instincts that want to keep blending, blending... but stopping sooner is the key to getting the designs you want. :)
Thank you so much! I've been watching some of her videos and they are very informative :)
 

Todd Ziegler

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You didn't mention the temperature of your oils. I let my oils get close to room temperature before I add the room temperature lye water. Around 80°F and that gives me more time. Even if I am using an FO that I know will accelerate my soap, it will give me enough time to do the design.
 

VeggieOPeach

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You didn't mention the temperature of your oils. I let my oils get close to room temperature before I add the room temperature lye water. Around 80°F and that gives me more time. Even if I am using an FO that I know will accelerate my soap, it will give me enough time to do the design.
I just found that out yesterday. I think my main problem is overmixing and creating a thicker soap base than needed. I was using 80 - 90 degrees beforehand and still had the reoccuring problem.
 
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Hi @VeggieOPeach! From what you described, the problem is over-blending.

In order to make swirls, you want to blend just to emulsion, not even to trace. Medium trace is definitely way too thick for swirling! Here is a link to a good YT video on how to recognize emulsion: Trace, emulsion, false trace.

The first lesson is to use the stick blender in very short bursts of 2-5 seconds, followed by lots of hand-stirring. That keeps you from over-mixing and getting too far into trace. You will have to fight your instincts that want to keep blending, blending... but stopping sooner is the key to getting the designs you want. :)
Very informative video. Thank you for the recommendation. It was nice to see what the different uses are for the different traces.
 

AliOop

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@Todd Ziegler great point! I also forgot to mention that some oils move faster than others, too. My favorite slow-moving oil is lard. Others like regular olive oil or avocado oil. Shea, pomace olive oil, and cocoa butter will make the recipe trace faster.

All things to take into consideration when creating a recipe for swirling.
 

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