Gelling

Discussion in 'The Introduction Forum' started by Karsha2148, May 17, 2017.

  1. May 17, 2017 #1

    Karsha2148

    Karsha2148

    Karsha2148

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    Hi everyone - I have decided to soap. Not the easiest thing in the world. Have made a few batches have had ricing, very fast acceleration with a fragrance, very thick tracing and some other issues that hopefully won't happen again but I am not discouraged as everything I do I learn from. Am looking at gelling issue and how not to get the ring in the middle. After the third batch put in fridge freezer to stop gelling all together but would like to gell as colour is better. Does anyone have an idiot proof method much appreciated.:headbanging:
     
  2. May 17, 2017 #2

    toxikon

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    Welcome!

    If you like the look of gelled soaps, it's fairly easy to get a consistent gel.

    For your soap to gel, it needs to generate heat. Here are a few things that contribute to heating your freshly poured soap batter:

    - A recipe that contains sugars or milks (or both).

    - Combine your lye solution and oils at a higher temperature (120F)

    - CPOP - gently heat your poured soap in the oven for several hours. You'll want to turn your oven on at the lowest setting then turn it off before putting your soap in.

    - Insulate. Wrap your mold in towels or blankets.

    - Use a wooden soap mold. Single cavity and silicone molds can have trouble gelling.

    Keep in mind that it's a balancing act. Too much heat and you can end up with separation, sweating, cracks and even volcanoes. Keep a close eye on your soap. Finding what methods work best for you takes practice.
     
  3. May 17, 2017 #3

    Kamahido

    Kamahido

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    I also use the Cold Process Oven Process method to force gel phase.
     
  4. May 18, 2017 #4

    Karsha2148

    Karsha2148

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    Thankyou for reply have wooden molds and will try oven method next week. Just to make sure. I put soap in wooden mold (with silicone lining) in oven, wrapped in towel. Oven I put on low setting for 20 minutes. Turn off oven and put soap in. (then I prey) How long to keep in oven. I have been soaping at lower temps 100F if not lower.
     
  5. May 18, 2017 #5

    IrishLass

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    The water amount you use in your soap also has an affect on whether a soap fully gels or not. Basically the closer you are to what is known as a 'full water amount' (roughly a 28% lye concentration), the easier it is for your soap to go through gel; and the lower your amount of water, the more help your soap will need in the form of extra applied heat in order for it to reach full gel.

    For what it's worth, I use a water discount in my batches equal to a 33% lye concentration, which means my soap needs extra applied heat in order to gel. My usual soaping process is to soap warm- i.e., between 110F to 120F, pour the traced soap batter into my lined wood mold, turn my oven on for only 2 minutes (which brings the heat up to 110F), then put my soap inside (with my mold covered with its accompanying wood cover, plus a few cotton diapers on top of that), immediately turn off the oven once the soap is inside, then leave it there undisturbed overnight to bask in the gradually decreasing, residual heat (I normally soap at night before going to bed). I don't unmold and cut until sometime the next day, usually anywhere between 18 to 24 hours after I poured.


    IrishLass :)
     
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  6. May 18, 2017 #6

    BrewerGeorge

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    A few stone items in the oven during preheat helps. I use 2 or 3 of my Pampered Chef baking stones but you can use tiles, or even carry iron. Anything to hold heat and release it slowly.
     
  7. May 18, 2017 #7

    Susie

    Susie

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    I most often use a heating pad (yep, the kind you use for your achy back) under my mold, and the entirety wrapped in heavy beach towels. Leave that on until I can see the gel has spread almost to the corners, then turn it off and leave it 18-24 hours.
     
  8. May 18, 2017 #8

    Soapprentice

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    Well, whatever I do or however low temperature I soap at, my soap goes through full gel due to the high temperature of the climate here. However, I realised this after 3 cracked batched. What I did was put my mould in a small carton box a little bigger than the mould and wrap it in the blankets. When I open the blankets, the carton box gets so hot that it is actually scary. So, I thought let's just leave it as it is and guess what, it gelled without any insulation. Full water 100% coconut oil soap cracks even without insulation and 33% lye concentration doesn't . What I meant to say is, It's all trial and error. Try all the above ways individually and together.
     
  9. May 18, 2017 #9

    Karsha2148

    Karsha2148

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    Thankyou you all for your advice will try next week and see what happens. :):)
     
  10. May 18, 2017 #10

    navigator9

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    I like gelled soaps, and I gel almost all of my batches. The purpose of CPOP is to encourage the soap to gel all the way to the edges, but NOT to cook the soap. Just a gentle nudge. Here is the method I use, and my soaps gel all the way every time, and I have never had "silicone rash" on any of my soaps.

    I mostly use silicone liners in wooden boxes. I turn my oven on to it's lowest setting, which is 170, and I put the box with the mold in it, into the oven while I soap, to preheat it. I remove it when I'm ready to pour, and then return it to the oven, close the door, turn the oven off, and leave it there til the following morning. That's it.

    As far as your other issues...try to simplify everything as much as possible in the beginning. Making soap is not hard, but it's complicated. There are many factors that can affect the outcome of your batch. My advice to beginners is always to keep things as simple as possible at first, until you get the hang of things, then you can try all the fancy stuff. Keeping it simple will save you frustration, and failed batches. Keep good notes of what works and what doesn't. You'll get there! :)
     
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  11. May 18, 2017 #11

    shunt2011

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    I gel all my soaps. I use silicone lined wood molds. I use almost full water and place a wood lid on my molds and ten just lay a couple towels over the top. I've done the oven method but prefer to just let it do its thing. I do soap fairly cool most times as well.

    As stated though it takes some trials to see what works best
     
  12. May 18, 2017 #12

    BattleGnome

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    I would like to add to try the "least resistance" path first. Try to put the soap in a cold oven first. If that doesn't work, heat the mold then turn oven off, etc. And have patience. After a few CPOP attempts I still haven't learned to use a cold oven and let the soap do the work. 3/4 of my attempts ended with the start of alien brains because I was in a rush to preheat and keep the oven warm before even starting to soap.
     

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