gelling, I don't get it

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Carly B

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So I've never deliberately gelled my soap. I would occasionally see rings in the middle where it had started gelling, then stopped, but I don't sell, and it doesn't bother me. I would be surprised if any of my soaps were fully gelled until recently.

So what changed? I am using a wooden T/S mold with a silicone insert, and I am topping it with a piece of plywood.
I can touch the wooden mold a few hours after I make the soap, and it is really warm to the touch. Really warm. That never happened with any of my regular silicone only loaf molds. And none of the three batches I've made so far in that mold have a partial gel ring. So I am assuming they are gelled.

But if they aren't, that's OK too.:tub:
 

CreativeWeirdo

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I just put an article up on my blog about Gelling. It is from way back when I ran a Yahoo forum and it was hot debate then. Fact, I put a mold of soap in my freezer and forgot about it for 4 days. I defrosted it, and while it took longer to get firm (no evaporation of water as it was frozen, lol), it was perfect.

The science behind gelling:

I have a copyrighted article in the Library of congress that I wrote in 2005 on not gelling, a technique I called Low Temperature Cold Process Soap making. It is also on the blog here: Tutorial on Low Temperature Soap Making

Hope that helps! I used to be a Middle Grade science teacher. It is all about the friction. The hotter your starting temps, the faster the molecules move. The faster they move, the more friction build up. The more friction, the more heat. The more heat leads to the gel stage. So slowing down the friction by reducing temps, leads to non gelled soap, or Low Temp Soapmaking. It saves the top notes of delicate fragrance oils, and really helps preserve the essences of essential oils. Also, reduces the darkening of milk soaps.

Kelly Bloom of
Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio
I live in Canada and have JUST started soap making. I am TOTALLY going to read your article Tutorial on Low Temperature Soap Making (Tutorial on Low Temperature Soap Making) because I do not want a crazy high heating bill! Thanks so much!
 

ravenscents

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I use banker's boxes and put a foil heat blanket (2 bucks Walmart) over the top and then a blanket to weigh down the heat blanket. I can fit 5 loaf molds in the box. If I soap in the evening I can unmold and cut in the morning. It's the way I've done it since the beginning. I also use the heat transfer method,

However, If I had a soap a white soap I wanted to stay as white as possible, I would put it in the freezer.
 

ravenscents

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I just put an article up on my blog about Gelling. It is from way back when I ran a Yahoo forum and it was hot debate then. Fact, I put a mold of soap in my freezer and forgot about it for 4 days. I defrosted it, and while it took longer to get firm (no evaporation of water as it was frozen, lol), it was perfect.

The science behind gelling:

I have a copyrighted article in the Library of congress that I wrote in 2005 on not gelling, a technique I called Low Temperature Cold Process Soap making. It is also on the blog here: Tutorial on Low Temperature Soap Making

Hope that helps! I used to be a Middle Grade science teacher. It is all about the friction. The hotter your starting temps, the faster the molecules move. The faster they move, the more friction build up. The more friction, the more heat. The more heat leads to the gel stage. So slowing down the friction by reducing temps, leads to non gelled soap, or Low Temp Soapmaking. It saves the top notes of delicate fragrance oils, and really helps preserve the essences of essential oils. Also, reduces the darkening of milk soaps.

Kelly Bloom of
Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio
Great article and food for thought when using FO's that seem to fade after saponification.
 
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