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Ok I'm hoping to make my first ever batch of soap this week and I guess I'm just a little nervous about my math :/

I am planning on a 2# loaf for my first attempt.

Here's my recipe I settled on (modified from a tried and true recipe given to me because I don't have any lard)
Tallow 50% Coconut Oil 20% Olive Oil 15% Soy oil 10% Castor Oil 5%
Superfat 5%

The lye calculator gave me the following numbers:
Tallow 11oz
Coconut Oil 4.4oz
Olive Oil 3.3oz
Soybean oil 2.2oz
Castor oil 1.1oz
Lye 3.06oz
Liquid 7.26oz

Any input is welcome! I took a class on cold process, but the instructor hasn't been responsive, so I thought I'd try here :)
 

KristaY

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I think your recipe looks dandy except one thing ~ omit the soy and add that amount to the olive. I did test batches a couple of years ago using 20% of various oils. Soybean was the one that caused extreme DOS (dreaded orange spots). Since I hate rancid soap, I don't use soybean oil.

Good luck on your 1st batch!:)
 

DeeAnna

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Your weights look good to me. Go for it!

Since tallow is the main ingredient, I would recommend not soaping too cool. What I would do if I were making this recipe is gently warm the tallow and coconut until these fats are just melted and transparent. Then add the room temperature liquid oils. Add the lye to the fats when the lye solution container is pleasantly lukewarm to the touch -- around 100 to 110 degrees F if you want to measure.

This gentle warmth will reduce the chance you will get a "false trace" where the solid fats solidify from being too cool and that artificially thickens the soap batter. This tricks people into thinking the soap batter is at a true trace, when it's not.
 
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dibbles

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Thanks! The person who taught my class instructed us to do it exactly that way! I feel pretty confident in the steps. I successfully tackled rendering my own tallow and I look forward to figuring this gel phase thing out ;)

If I sub the soybean oil into the olive oil weight I have to run the lye calculator again, right?
Yes - you have to run your recipe through a lye calculator every time there is a change. Good luck on your first batch. And you know we want to see pictures!
 

DeeAnna

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The NaOH saponification value for soybean is about 0.137 and same for olive is 0.135. Not too different. That means replacing 2.2 oz of soy with the same amount of olive in this recipe is not going to make a great difference in your NaOH weight, but Dibbles is right. Run your recipe through the calc to make sure. Don't assume ... verify! :)
 

kchaystack

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Add the lye to the fats when the lye solution is pleasantly lukewarm to the touch -- around 100 to 110 degrees F if you want to measure.
Just to clarify for future people reading this - it should read when the container holding the lye is lukewarm to the touch. Don't want new soapers sticking a finger in like they are testing the bath water.

 

dixiedragon

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Good call KC! My personal preference is to let the lye water reach room temp. I am VERY BAD about getting impatient, deciding, "It's cool enough!" and end up with soap that is too thick to pour easily b/c I soaped it too hot. So I do strongly recommend a thermometer.
 
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Okay. It's been about 12 hours since I molded this beast. I'm attaching a picture from freshly molded (pretty mocha brown color) to the 12h picture (yellowy tan mess). I tried to induce gel phase with a heating pad and I'm not sure if I did. I have my mold in a cardboard box covered in a towel. I have also learned that I need a new plan to support a single mold because there is definite bowing/edge issues with how I did this first batch.

1122162005.jpg

1123160843a.jpg
 
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It doesn't dent when I touch it. I'm going to unmold at the 24h mark. I tried a zap test and had no reaction, so that's good at least. I'll take pics when I cut tonight.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Why are you waiting?

I'm not saying that you shouldn't wait, but if you read somewhere "cut at 24 hours" then don't rely on it. You need to learn when certain recipes at certain times of the year should be cut, as it doesn't fit for all people
 

Steve85569

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Okay. It's been about 12 hours since I molded this beast. I'm attaching a picture from freshly molded (pretty mocha brown color) to the 12h picture (yellowy tan mess). I tried to induce gel phase with a heating pad and I'm not sure if I did. I have my mold in a cardboard box covered in a towel. I have also learned that I need a new plan to support a single mold because there is definite bowing/edge issues with how I did this first batch.
I use a wood frame to put my silicone loaf molds in to eliminate the bowing. One by fours cut to length and screws to hold the mold frame together simple to make so if I get creative I can make several small batches in a day.

So far it looks like you have a winner for your first batch too!
 
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Lol! So I cut it shortly after I posted my reply. I'm not good at waiting.
It was a little soft but came out easy enough. No issues with edges or anything. I'm not sure what was with the coloring and the rind like appearance of the lighter color. It made some of the tips look iffy so I trimmed them. Hubby doesn't like that I trimmed them but for my first batch I'm ok with it. I zap tested again just to be sure and had no result.

Here is a pic of 2 slices before I cut the tops off

1123161504.jpg

1123161504a.jpg
 

BattleGnome

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It looks to me like you got a partial gel. (Gel darkens the soap's color starting with the center and radiating out)

Great first soap!
 

dibbles

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Yay you! Your first batch looks great, no zap and a pretty color too. And now you need to plan your second :twisted:
 

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