First CP batch!

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Sunnyem

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I cut my first CP batch today and I am stoked with the results! I can't wait until it is cured so I can test it out :)

I just have a bit of a of newbie question...

I have read quite a bit on gel phase but still can't seem to get my head around it! It looks as though mine might have gelled as it seems to be kind of translucent in the middle. What is the difference between soaps that go through gel phase of those that don't? I would kind of prefer my soap to be solid all the way through, for purely aesthetic reasons, so how would I achieve this? I did soap at quite a high temp (40 degrees C), and when it had been in the mould for around 8 hours it was still very hot to the touch. Would soaping at a lower temp discourage gel phase? If someone could explain it in simple terms I would be forever grateful!

Thanks :)

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Susie

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Hey and welcome! That's a beautiful first batch there!

Yes, soaping cooler, and perhaps putting your mold in the freezer once you pour your soap will discourage gel. You can avoid using sugars or milks, use less coconut oil (CO). It is a difficult thing to tell you without your recipe. It really is far easier to ensure full gel than to prevent it.
 

navigator9

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It really is far easier to ensure full gel than to prevent it.
And some of us actually encourage gel, because we like gelled soaps better. When you begin, it's good to try both, to see which you like best. Nice going on your first batch!
 

Arimara

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Gelled soap isn't too bad. It's just saponified soap so in some respects, it cuts cure time a little bit (you may still benefit from a long cure for your soaps whether you HP or CP it). You may want to roll with it unless you're obsessed with that "perfectly white" bar that many are. The trouble with that is unless you want to use titanium dioxide or beef tallow in your soap, a perfectly white bar is as easily obtained as a piece of cloud in your hands.
 

Guspuppy

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oooh, those are lovely! I couldn't wait to buy a mold so my first batch was made in a cardboard box loosely lined with a trash bag, and horribly ugly. The waiting to cure is sooo hard. I'm still new so I'm still waiting, but I gave in and started using my first soap early. haha. :)
 

Steve85569

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Another way to discourage gel is to soap at a higher lye/water concentration ( use less water) which raises the temperature at which a batch will gel dramatically. I'm still fairly new to soap making and you have found the best place to learn more about the craft.

Welcome to the addiction and the forum.
 

Sunnyem

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Thanks so much for all your replies :)
I think I will just keep experimenting and see how my next batches turn out. I'm really not all too fussed about the soap gelling, I am just a little confused about why/how etc. I'm sure I'll understand more as I get a little more experience. I see what you guys mean, this is totally addictive! I'm already planning my second batch :mrgreen:

oooh, those are lovely! I couldn't wait to buy a mold so my first batch was made in a cardboard box loosely lined with a trash bag, and horribly ugly. The waiting to cure is sooo hard. I'm still new so I'm still waiting, but I gave in and started using my first soap early. haha. :)
I was going to use a milk carton for my first one but decided to splash out and get a nice mould, it was super easy to work with! I see what you mean about the waiting, it's been two days and I'm just itching to grab a bar and give it a whirl. Patience has never been my strong point. I can see this becoming an addiction :mrgreen:
 

kc1ble

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Wonderful looking bars, I prefer to wrap mine and let them gel throughout, it is much easier to manage, but I'm pretty new here also and have only recently started using some of my CP soaps. You could try a HP batch which are useable almost immediately. I made a couple of batches of HP shave soap and tried them within the first 24 hours. So rewarding it is.
 

Arimara

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Wonderful looking bars, I prefer to wrap mine and let them gel throughout, it is much easier to manage, but I'm pretty new here also and have only recently started using some of my CP soaps. You could try a HP batch which are useable almost immediately. I made a couple of batches of HP shave soap and tried them within the first 24 hours. So rewarding it is.
While that's technically true, those HP bars still need and do better with a cure. With that patience comes the real reward.
 
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