First crack at a recipe and blew it

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rcreger

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Fellow soapers - I am here to share what I think are a couple of noob lessons learned.

A little back story first: For last Christmas my father in-law, ever the man to go overboard with everything, bought my DW and I a huge bag of popcorn kernels and a gallon of soybean oil based butter flavoring.

Why? Because he knows we love to have a big bowl of popcorn about once a week. What he doesn't know is that we make it with coconut oil and would never insult the light sweet taste of the CO on the popcorn with anything more than some salt.

At the current rate of consumption, we will be eating this popcorn for the next 2 or 3 years at least.

The gallon of soybean oil has been sitting around here until yesterday when I started eying it as a potential (free!) ingredient for soap.

To date I have been messing around with some shaving soap micro-batches and have enjoyed the process and the results. I thought it was high time to make a proper soap.

Here's the ingredient list I used:

Beef Tallow - 35%
Stearic Acid - 25%
Coconut Oil - 25%
Soybean Oil - 15%
Tuscan Olive Leaf FO - .5%
Water - 38% of oil weight

The cook was done in a dedicated crock pot set to low which is around 175/80 F/C degrees.

Everything went pretty well initially. Surprisingly enough, the flavored soybean oil didn't smell like anything. I thought for sure I was going to have butter flavored soap. The orange coloring in the oil did impart a nice darkish yellow to the batch though.

After adding the lye and water it riced immediately. After working it with my stick blender it settled down and reached trace within three minutes and was mashed potato consistency about 60 seconds later and before I could add the FO.

By this point it was too thick to stick blend, I added my fragrance and then whisked it in. Now I had a very nice whipped soap that was never going to make it into the mold without it becoming a wrestling match.

I used my spatula to bring it back down, but it was essentially the same consistency of dough. I tried adding some additional water and worried over it for a couple of hours, stirring it often. The water did help make it easier to work, but also increased the volume of the "dough".

Trying to make the best of the situation I spooned it into the mold where it is currently resting. I won't unmold it until tomorrow morning. I suspect I will end up with very light airy bars that won't last long.

What went wrong? Here's my thoughts, please add your insight if you are so moved.

Stearic Acid - bad idea for CP soap in general unless it needs a thickening agent. I suspect that is the #1 reason it flew past trace right into mashed potato stage.

Whisking - also a bad idea as it added air to the mix and caused it to become doughy.

Temperature - Too hot, necessary to melt the SA (bad idea see above) also contributed to the fast progress as was essentially HP'ing it instead of CP'ing.

Going forward I was thinking of adjusting the recipe to this:

Beef Tallow - 50%
Coconut Oil - 35%
Soybean Oil 15%
Tuscan Olive Leaf FO - .5%
Water - 38% of oil weight

And using the Warm setting on my crockpot which gets up to 110/43 F/C degrees.

Thoughts? Insights? Cat calls?
 

earlene

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I think you are right that you added way too much stearic acid. I have added it, but only at about 0.5 - 1.0% of the total formula, and never when I have that much hard oils to begin with. Do you have an abundance of stearic acid? Is it that you are trying to use it up? I can certainly understand wanting to use up the soybean oil. I don't like soybean oil much myself and if I had that much I don't think I could use it all before it went bad. Do you have any ROE to add to the bottle?

If you are doing CP, which this wasn't actually (it was HP by the time you were done), I would suggest turning the crock pot off after your hard oils are melted.

Speaking of excess popcorn kernels, I once bought a large container of popcorn kernels thinking it was frugal. I am not sure how long they actually make good tasting popcorn, but in my memory at 2 or 3 years, they just did not make fresh tasting popcorn anymore. They go bad and you just have to toss them out. I tried to find ways of using them up, soaking them in water and trying to use them to cook with. Forget about it; that was a total waste of time.
 

KristaY

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First off, I think you're right that the SA was the culprit of your trace problem. It's notorious for speed-of-light trace. Good call in eliminating it in your next bath soap recipe and reserve it for shaving soap.

Secondly, if you want to use the soybean in soap start by adding ROE (rosemary oleoresin) to the container. This may help decrease your chances of developing DOS. I did an experiment over the last year and one of my oils was soybean. That one developed spots of DOS within a couple of weeks which turned into an orange, very rancid soap at a year. The soybean was used at 20%. My DOS Challenge thread is here:

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=54506

A thread on the use of ROE is here:

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=58835&highlight=rosemary+oleoresin

Next, I think your CO is too high in the new recipe at 35%. That's going to be a very drying soap. I'd bring that down to about 20% and replace it with OO or add that % to the tallow.

My honest opinion on using soybean oil is it's best use is in the kitchen but I think you should press on to see if your results differ from mine. Hopefully the DOS gremlins don't stop at your house!
 

rcreger

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I don't have any ROE to add to the Soybean Oil, however, because it is a consumer grade additive, it already has some preservatives in it. I am hoping that will be enough to ward off DOS.

Once I plugged my numbers into SoapCalc, I realized that the CO was too high.

I revised my numbers and came up with this -

Beef Tallow - 20%
Coconut Oil - 20%
Soybean Oil - 20%
Palm Oil - 40%
FO - .5%
Water - 38% of oil weight

I should be able to soap much cooler this time.
 

shunt2011

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I wouldn't use more than 10-15% soy. I won't use it at all. It's extremely prone to rancidity. I would also bet there's not much in the way of preservative in the oil. I buy restaurant oils and there are no preservatives in them. I too use ROE when I first open my containers.

Also the recipe you posted was more shaving soap than body soap and needs to be HP'd with the stearic acid

Good lick on your next try.

Don't soap too cool you still have a lot of solid oils going in with the palm, tallow and coconut.
 

Susie

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If you want to use the popcorn kernels for any other foods (think grits, masa, hominy, etc), you are going to need to nixtamalize it.

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XT1wHvqIEk[/ame]
 

TeresaT

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With all of the NaOH we have lying around (pun intended) why not use that to make the hominy?
 

earlene

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Actually, I LOVE hominy! I have been known to buy a can of it and just eat it out of the can, I like it so much. And I also LOVE corn nuts. So I guess I need to go order myself some CaOH somewhere! Thanks for that link, Susie. But I think I tossed out all those old stale popcorn kernels long ago. I did soak some for several hours in water and they looked like hominy, but they sure didn't taste right and never got soft enough. So CaOH is the answer if I am ever faced with this again. Good to know. :)
 

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