Quantcast

Gelling issue - first time really noticed this - what could have happened?

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

RogueRose

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2014
Messages
260
Reaction score
68
I'm not sure if this is what people called gelled vs non-gelled. I've also never had a batch crack on the top like this. I will say that this is the first time I used tallow and I never had any batch reach trace so fast (probably 30 seconds). Both oil's and lye mix were about 115 degrees I will make sure to do room temp next time with this recipe - could that possibly help slow things?

Now the soap around the edges is whitish vs the soap in the center. Is this the "gelling" effect? I know this batch heated up faster than I have noticed other batches do so. What is the best way to get an even coloring? I would think if I had colored the soap this difference would be even more pronounced.

I used to put my moulds in a styrafoam cooler, sometimes with hot packs of water to keep the temp up. I stopped doing that b/c my moulds won't fit and it seemed not to make much different with the recipes I was making at the time.

The recipe was
25 / 25 / 25 / 17.5 / 7.5 Palm , Coconut, Beef Tallow, EVOO, Castor



 

The Efficacious Gentleman

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
8,962
Reaction score
9,005
Location
Austria
Aye, that's partial gel! The crack is because the outside was cooler (didn't gel) and couldn't expand like the hotter soap in the middle did
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,641
Reaction score
9,075
Location
Texas
The tallow is not at fault. What EO/FO did you use, and did you use sugar for bubbles? Also, a recipe in weights with additives noted helps far more than percentages and us trying to guess what went wrong.
 

IrishLass

Staff member
Admin
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
16,880
Reaction score
10,619
Location
Right here, silly!
Yep- classic partial gel with a bit of overheating in the center. Based on my experiences with tallow, I'm with Susie- I doubt very much that the tallow is at fault. I actually soap my tallow formula at the very same temp that you soaped this one, and have never had trace happen as fast as 30 seconds unless it was naughty fragrance-related. If my FO is well-behaved, it usually takes between 5 to 10 minutes to reach med-thick trace for me @ 33% lye concentration and 115F. The only other possibility I can think of is water amount. Did you use a really deep water discount with it?

IrishLass :)
 

RogueRose

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2014
Messages
260
Reaction score
68
Thanks for the replies and comments. Sorry I didn't post the amounts, I thought the % was more important for some reason but I see now why the other #'s are important.

Total oil was 2500grams - water was 38% (965ml) and I used NaOH (360g). EO was Honeysuckle and it wasn't added until the mix was thick. I didn't expect it to thicken so quickly, the only way I was able to mix the EO in was with a large wisk and keeping it moving ("putting my back into it", lol :) ) This seems to keep it more liquid, enough to get the fragrance mixed in.

So the outer edge is the part that was cooler? This makes sense b/c I did a 2.5" pvc tube mould and the bottom that was sitting on a metal washing machine stayed white for about 3/4" up the tube while the rest of the pour was all the darker, solid color.
 

Seawolfe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
2,984
Location
So Cal
Yeah thats a perfect example of a partial gel. I like them - you get two colors out of it :) Most floral EO's & FO's are accelerators, so I would guess that's what caused the overheating.
 

IrishLass

Staff member
Admin
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
16,880
Reaction score
10,619
Location
Right here, silly!
EO was Honeysuckle and it wasn't added until the mix was thick.
If you ask me, that's your culprit right there. Many floral scents are notorious accelerators and heaters, and if they are added when the soap batter is already thick, some of them can even cause 'soap-on-a-stick' lol


So the outer edge is the part that was cooler?
Correct. When soap goes through the gel-stage, it typically starts in the center of the batter and then spreads it's way outward towards the edges. If the surrounding/ambient temps around your mold are too cool, though, it can slow down or stop the gelling process altogether and you end up with partial gel.

The gelled parts are always darker than the un-gelled parts, although the disproportionate coloring will oftentimes even itself out somewhat during cure.


IrishLass :)
 
Top