Diagnose my soap problem!

Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

batty

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2012
Messages
47
Reaction score
25
Hello all! I thought I'd post pics of my Guinness soap and see if my thoughts are on the right track here. I've been making this soap for probably 2 years, and for the life of my I can't seem to get the same aesthetic as my very first try (1st try is the first picture). I am thinking that all of my subsequent batches must be gelling, but they look worse than just "gelled" to me. I guess I soaped very cool the first time I made it. I did not really know what I was doing and my notes are kind of useless from back then. I know that the beer really heats things up and each batch I've made since then seems to heat up beyond my intentions.
So does that look like the only problem I am having- just things getting too hot?

Ironically I was not happy with that first batch because there was bubbles and lighter patches in it!

IMG_0006.jpg


IMG_0020 copy.jpg
 

SwitzyBelle

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
11
Reaction score
3
The first soap looks amazing with the froth on top! I don't really have the expertise to help, but I think I've seen something about stearic streaks possibly giving that effect.
 

dixiedragon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
6,472
Reaction score
4,932
Location
Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Yup, that's partial gel. I definitely see an oval and the funky part of the white top is in that oval.

One thing to remember with gel is under the mold as well. Even if you don't insulate the top or the sides, the bottom is retaining heat. So it may be helpful to elevate the mold in some way so the heat can't accumulate below the mold.
 

pamielynn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Messages
1,171
Reaction score
765
Location
Texas
I agree that it's partially gelling. Maybe you can put the filled mold in the fridge for several hours to prevent it from heating up.
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,642
Reaction score
8,931
Location
Idaho, USA
I agree, partial gel but I also suspect discoloring from the FO. Make sure you leave the white part unscented.
 

godschild

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2014
Messages
440
Reaction score
104
Fiance said it reminds him of a yummy sweet tater pie! Looks yummy to me too!
 

SoapMakingTommy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
160
Reaction score
48
You can reduce the partial gel by not cutting it so soon, I had this problem with one of my soaps and now i cut many hours later, but when its still easy to slice.

I dont see how the brown could of stained the top white cream color, unless it was really moist and you had residual oil on your cutting blade and was carried over during slicing of the remaining loaf.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
3,078
Reaction score
3,190
Location
Montana
I could be wrong but it looks like you have a nearly complete gel in the first pic, and less complete in the 2nd. In the 1st pic, the bottom left corner of the bar in forefront and bottom right of the one in the background suggest it, as does the general look of both bars in that pic. It's just that the 2nd pic has more ungelled soap on the fringe so it's easier to see a difference.

I freeze my beer soaps and other heaters for 24 hrs which may be overkill, but leaves little chance of less desirous results. If you have room in your freezer I recommend it; it just helps stack the deck in your favor. I've always been able to cut right away after removing and in fact that might help as it is harder for cut bars to sneak in some gelling afterward as compared to soap left in a big block.

If I'm right It still doesn't explain why the dark batter seeped into the "head" on top, but I do think it is temperature related (and possibly contributed by your FO). It seems like your bottom soap migrated up. How much water/beer did you use as a percent of the oils? As I understand it soap gels easier with higher water content and also the water moves to the surface faster (taking everything with it, including the delicious and dark colored Guinness).

Good luck on your next batches and do let us know how it goes. Your first soap makes me jones for a beer and a bath at the same time - you have a hit on your hands!
 

batty

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2012
Messages
47
Reaction score
25
Thanks for all the replies! It never even occurred to me not the scent the white part. But the more I think about it, that may be part of my problem. It is very likely that I accidentally did not scent the white portion in the first bar- that would have been something I did accidentally the first time I made it and then never put it in my notes or anything. Might explain why I've never gotten it so white again.

I actually use cinnamon EO, so it did not occur to me that it could be affecting the look. Geez, after 2 year of making this one, you'd think I'd have thought of that!!
 

Latest posts

Top