Hello, I'm new to this forum. I've been making soap fairly regularly and have never had any sort of problem until this last batch, which turned out to be extremely dry, hard and crumbly. I followed the exact amount of lye that the calculator came up with (I use Bramble Berry's, but double-checked with a 2nd one after the soap turned out to be disaster), so I don't think there was an excess of lye. I read afterward that the entire container of palm oil should be warmed to a liquid before measuring for use, because the fatty acids in the oil separates when it is firm. I rarely use palm oil and did not warm it up before measuring. Could that be the reason for the dryness?
Here is a video on how & why to do it, including what the unmixed palm looks like:
Melting and Blending 5 gallons of Palm Oil for soap making -- how I divide the bucket
So when you take only a portion of the separated fatty acids, the amount of lye required would not necessarily be the same as what is required for the homogenized palm oil, meaning you may have lye heavy soap on your hands, and that CAN contribute to a crumbly soap, but there are also other reasons for crumbly soap.
I do suggest you do a ZAP test on this soap to find out if it is safe to use: How To Properly/Safely Conduct The Zap/Tongue Test
No you don't need to liquefy any oils before measure........
Regarding bulk solid palm oi that is not hydrogenated by the manufacturer:
Here is one of many vendors products that states it must be pre-mixed (which requires melting) prior to measuring:
See Directions & Ingredients tab:
Measure and add to formula as directed.
PRODUCT CAN SEPARATE WHEN COOLING AFTER PACKAGING. ENTIRE BUCKET SHOULD BE MIXED WELL BEFORE EACH USE.
To avoid this, you can purchase the No-Stir palm oil or hydrogenated palm oil or palm shortening.
As far as other oils that need to be softened or pre-melted prior to weighing, there are others that are also quite difficult to weigh out without first breaking apart into smaller chunks (Cocoa Butter, for example) or otherwise soften, which may require melting, particularly in the wintertime or in the case of refrigeration are any of the hard oils that remain solid at room temperature, but I have not read anywhere that any of the others require stirring enough to get the fatty acids back into a sort of cohesive homogenized mixture prior to weighing out the portion needed.
Also, depending on the packaging, some hard oils that don't need to be pre-stirred, still need to be melted to get them out of the container (for example hard oils that come in narrow neck bottles.)