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Finally did Lye Concentration rather then % of oils

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aprice522

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I feel like a grown up soaper today. I have always been using the 38% preset of full water and since I want my soap to gel and all my soaps have been soo soft at the 24 hr mark, I decided to do what I have been reading forever....lye concentration (30 or 33% was the last I had read as a suggestion)...so I tried 33% with my first castile and honey. Of course, I was thinking backwards and that I would use the 33% cause it was closer to the 38%....I realized my erroneous thinking when my 100% OO with honey traced SUPER fast...then it hit me that 30% would have been slower. HEHE :crazy:

So on my second soap for the day was a lard 65/Av 20/CO 10/5 castor with Clementine EO/Lavendin/Marjoram blend scent, but on this I did the 30% and it went great and it is nice an toasty wrapped up and I checked and see a nice gel going on already today. (I soaped at 1/1:30pm and now it is 7pm)

Yea for big girl soaping!:clap:
 

CTAnton

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Aprice I just started doing the 33% lye concentration myself in the last 3 weeks...I want gelling to occur as well . Everything was going well for the last dozen batches and then there was today ..thought I'd torture myself so I pulled out some Milky Way Molds...thought it would help gelling to soap warmer than my usual so I shot for 110F.a high pomace olive oil recipe that traced in under 5 minutes...truthfully probably closer to 3 minutes....fortunately it stayed fluid enough to pour into individual molds as opposed to glopping it...if there's one thing I've learned it's have my molds ready! And thanks again to not_ally for her video using reflected light to better see when trace happens...
 

cmzaha

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Actually using full water will throw soap into gel faster than using less liquid. Higher liquid higher heat, faster gel. When I originally cut down my liquid percentage it was because I wanted to slow gel because I do not gel most of my soaps.
 

Susie

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That's why I use full water. I want gel and I want it fast.
 

DeeAnna

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The temperature at which a given soap will go into gel (a jelly like state similar to vaseline) depends on the amount of water in the batter, all other things being equal.

More water in the batter means the gel temp will be lower.
Less water in the batter means the gel temp will be higher.

Suppose you make two soaps with the same recipe, except one has more water and the other has less water, and suppose you treat them both the same way during saponification. You will find the high water soap will stay cooler during saponification AND it will also tend to go into gel more easily. It seems contrary to common sense, but that's the way chemistry goes sometimes.

That's why new soapers have such a terrible time keeping their soaps from gelling. They're usually soaping with "full water" and it's tough to keep those high-water soaps from gelling. The usual advice to soap cooler and to put the soap into the freezer or fridge is fine advice to offer, but they would get better results more easily by switching to a higher lye solution concentration.
 

IrishLass

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Ditto what Carolyn and DeeAnna said. I like to use a 33% concentration myself, but I soap on the warmer side (110F/43C-120F/49C) and I encourage gel by covering my mold and placing it in a warm place. Right now, that's out in my garage where the temps are hovering around 105F/40C (it's still summer here). I get full gel every time. It also helps that my molds are made out of well-insulated wood.


IrishLass :)
 

songwind

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So what's a soaper to do if they want gel, but also want their soap to unmold easily after a day or two? Or is that pipe dream?
 

kchaystack

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So what's a soaper to do if they want gel, but also want their soap to unmold easily after a day or two? Or is that pipe dream?
I cover and insulate, and use a heat pad.

Or you can oven process - which there are as many ways to do as there are people who do it. :D
 

DeeAnna

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And soap hotter -- warmer lye and/or warmer oils.
Add a source of sugar.
Use more solid fats vs. liquid oils -- this doesn't necessarily help with gel, but helps with unmolding.
 

songwind

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Use more solid fats vs. liquid oils -- this doesn't necessarily help with gel, but helps with unmolding.
*nod* Unmolding is definitely the larger issue for me, and I have a new formula to try later this week. Maybe tonight!
 

Susie

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I usually unmold and cut within 16 hours of pouring. I never have an issue unmolding.
 

IrishLass

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So what's a soaper to do if they want gel, but also want their soap to unmold easily after a day or two? Or is that pipe dream?
My gelled soaps unmold quite easily for me within as little as 12 to 19 hours after pour, as compared to my un-gelled soaps which can take a few days.


IrishLass :)
 

CTAnton

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Being the topic has come around to gelling and unmolding I'll throw in my 2 cents....The other day IL said she was gelling in her 105 degree garage....it got me thinking...and I also know she likes to soap around 110 F...I've had my failures with CPOP for sure but that was preheating to 170 ,shoving the soap in turning off the oven but sometimes giving the oven another blast of heat during the process.....in hindsight I feel I was trying to cook the soap, not persuade the soap to gel. Now what I do is turn the oven on when I start mixing my lye and when it hits 200 F I turn it off. Preheat if you will. With the aid of a remote sensor thermometer(the kind with a probe at the end of a wire) when my soaps are fully loaded in if the reading is 95 I leave well enough alone...If the temperature dips by the time I've cleaned up I fire up the oven and bring it to 120 then turn it off...the temperature usually will climb a few more degrees but well below the threshold to start warping those Milky Way Molds...
As for unmolding I started getting religious about adding Sodium Lactate to my cooling lye water...a tsp per pound of oils when the lye is below 130 F...if I tell you how shocked I was when some complicated soap patterns fell out of their molds later in the afternoon of the day I made them...I guess my collection of warped Milky Way Molds won't be expanding in number anytime soon...I also experimented on some new molds with mineral oil versus a spritz of Pam....can't say if it was this particular recipe but both worked beautifully and the Pam is a lot easier to apply...
hope this helps someone...
 
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