non gelled will have a creamy look to it, may have to leave in the mold a day or two longer as it may be softer initially. depending on formula and water discount , may need longer cure time to help evaporate excess liquid.
gelled soaps have a opaque look to them. gelled milk soaps may be darker in color then their ungelled counterparts, due to the heat given off during the gel process, carmelizing the sugars in the milk, honey can do this also.
like the method you use to make soap, it is a personnel preference. sometimes no matter how hard you try to stop a soap from gelling it will anyway, and making sure your soaps gell all the way thru so you don't end up with that ring in the middle of your bar can be just as taxing.
sometimes no matter how hard you try to stop a soap from gelling it will anyway, and making sure your soaps gell all the way thru so you don't end up with that ring in the middle of your bar can be just as taxing.
I'm curious about the gel ring. I get this ring in most of my soaps. It eventually goes away during the cure in most of my batches, but sometimes it is still evident after it is done curing. Is there anything I can do to try and get it to gel all the way to the edges? I'll try to post some pictures later as an example. thanks
Do you insulate your mold? If not - I would try insulating to attempt to get a full gel first. Some people put their molds in the oven but I'm not sure what type of mold you are using. I often use a heating pad underneath the mold with towels for insulation on top.
I usually (99%) get gel all the way to the edges. I don't insulate (blankets, towels, etc.) my molds. My TOG mold insulates very well, by itself.
I gel ALL my soaps — milk soaps included. I have not been successful in stopping gel, by refrigerating. I always get the "partial gel" thing happening, when I refrigerate, and I hate that. I would rather the soap not gel at all, rather than only gel partially.
I have a TOG mold with a lid and the removable liner. It gets fairly warm, I wouldn't say hot. I have tried insulating it with a towel, but I don't think it makes much difference. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I guess maybe I could be more diligent about insuring that it stays a little warm for a while. That gel ring bugs me... :roll: Thanks for the feedback.
I think it is partially a climate thing but also has a lot to do with the recipe. Try insulating further by using a heating pad etc next time. Or you can try the oven method.
I haven't done it but from what I understand people heat their oven to 170 degrees and then turn it off. They put the soap in and close the door and leave it for a few hours and some until the next day. I'm sure it depends on the recipe and how hot their oven stays.
Maybe try a search to see if there are any posts on CPOP (Cold Process Oven Process?) or gelling in the oven.