Grainy separated soap nightmare

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by grumpy_owl, Oct 25, 2014.

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  1. Oct 25, 2014 #1

    grumpy_owl

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    Ok so I had to make pumpkin spice soap for a special order. I let the lye water go to room temp but it was a bit chilly outside (yes, even for New Orleans--about 68 degrees). I got the melted fats down to 76, then blended. It seemed to trace superdeeduper fast so I kept blending. And then it all separated!

    It was gross and grainy and weird. It looked like grits sitting in water. I walked away, took deep breaths and came back, blending with a vengeance.

    I added the FO because it was supposed to accelerate trace, but it didn't do anything drastic. It thickened up beautifully, smoothed out and looked gorgeous. But I am freaking out a bit. What is that graininess and will it effect my final product? The recipe is 6 parts lard to 5 parts coconut oil to 4 parts olive oil to 1 part shea butter. MMS's basic recipe which has always served me well.

    Any advice would be welcome. i have never seen this graininess before and I'm still shaking from the experience.
     
  2. Oct 25, 2014 #2

    Susie

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    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
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  3. Oct 25, 2014 #3

    Seawolfe

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    It does sound like ricing, but I wonder if the shea or lard or even coconut could have resolidified at 76 degrees? In which case heat from the crockpot would cover all the bases.
     
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  4. Oct 25, 2014 #4

    hmlove1218

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    It does sound like ricing, but I thought that was caused by fragrances? OP makes it sound as if this happened *before* adding the fragrance.

    I can only think that perhaps one of your oils tried to re solidify because it was too cold. However, I must admit that I've melted my oils one day, never had the time to soap, and then made the batch the next day without any problems. Maybe I just got lucky??
     
  5. Oct 25, 2014 #5

    Jstar

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    Def sounds like ricing...but as others said, its usually caused by a FO so we'll have to see once OP comes back and lets us know...

    If it indeed was ricing, I don't worry about it if I can beat it into submission..I have a FO {coconut bay rum} that will rice like crazy, but I beat it senseless and it falls into line :)

    As long as your batter straightened out and you had no more issues, I'd let it sit a bit and do a zap test..if no zap it should be fine. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
  6. Oct 25, 2014 #6

    The Efficacious Gentleman

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    I take it there's nothing special about the lye solution and oils? No infusions, water substitutions and so on?
     
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  7. Oct 25, 2014 #7

    IrishLass

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    If it thickened up beautifully and looked gorgeous, I see no reason to freak out over it. :) If it were me, I would just let it set up and cool down before unmolding it, and if all looks well when I unmold it, no worries. Just check for zap in a few weeks down the road and go from there.

    To me, it sounded like a bit of ricing and separation happened, probably because things were too cold, but since the main remedy for ricing/separation is stickblending like mad to force things back into cohesion so that the lye/oil reaction can kick in and do it's emulsifying thing (which it seems you were able to do successfully), then all should be well.

    Let us know how it looks when you unmold it!


    IrishLass :)
     
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  8. Oct 25, 2014 #8

    lionprincess00

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    So it would seem it became grainy before you added the fo??? Well then, would it be ricing still??? I'd say if the fo was added with the hopes of accelerating trace after the grainy appearance, then it was a false trace thing soaping too cool.

    lard melting point 95°F to 113°F
    Coconut obviously is 76 deg
    Shea is 89 to 100°F

    I'd say some lard probably solidified into the curdled grainy look, but after adding the fo to accelerate it, it finally heated up enough to remelt everything and smooth it out. Id say it's fine now that you spent extra time waiting for it to reheat up and remelt! I bet it'll be awesome :)
     
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  9. Oct 25, 2014 #9

    dixiedragon

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    But the ricing occurred BEFORE she added the FO!
     
  10. Oct 25, 2014 #10

    Bayougirl

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    I made a batch of soap a couple of weeks ago that had a lot of hard oils, it was chilly like it has been in the mornings here (yes, even in New Orleans). I ended up popping the oils (they had started to harden up again by the time the lye/water had cooled down) in the microwave and brought them back up a little in temperature. It turned out alright, I'm just used to room temp (higher then 70) and wasn't too comfortable with the oils that slushy. I'd wait until you cut and see how it turns out. It may be fine. If it isn't you can hp it in the crockpot to save it. I'm North of the Lake! Welcome.
     
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  11. Oct 25, 2014 #11

    grumpy_owl

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    How great to meet fellow Louisianans and thank you, helpful soapers everywhere. @TEG, no, sir, I don't do nothin' funny with my lye water; I'm too inexperienced to experiment. It was distilled water and 100% lye. And yes, all the weirdness happened before I added the FO (BB's Pumpkin Spice).
    My best guess now is that the coconut oil got too cool--it had that look coconut oil gets below 76 degrees, gritty and oily. When I walked away it did a little heating up on its own thanks to the lye. Sounds like false trace from soaping cold. I wasn't aware you could soap too cool, to be honest. I was being extra careful because of this (beautifully behaved, it turns out) FO. It was the lye I was worried about since it was about 69 degrees and the oils at 79.
    Anyway, here is the unmolded product. Looks ok so far. Maybe I should buy a crockpot for the future...
    You really do learn something new every day!

    20141025_092419.jpg
     
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  12. Oct 25, 2014 #12

    Seawolfe

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    Well it turned out beautifully! So alls well that ends well :)
     
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  13. Oct 25, 2014 #13

    The Efficacious Gentleman

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    I'm with the seawolfe - it ended up pretty darn snazzy
     
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  14. Oct 25, 2014 #14

    dixiedragon

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    Love the creamy top!
     
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  15. Oct 25, 2014 #15

    doriettefarm

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    Very nice, the top looks like meringue!
     
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  16. Oct 25, 2014 #16

    grumpy_owl

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    Thanks, everyone! *waves* I'm waiting for it to discolor. The meringue-type top has glitter in it. You know you've been in New Orleans a while when you say to yourself, "I'll just use the plain glitter."

    I'll lick it next week but pretty happy with the result, and I got through my first false trace without a disaster. On to: first seizing, first ricing, first Vaseline on a stick, first zombie teeth, first alien brains, first overheated batter, first DOS... :)
     
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  17. Oct 25, 2014 #17

    IrishLass

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    Looks beautiful!

    IrishLass :)
     
  18. Oct 26, 2014 #18

    Jstar

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    Gorgeous! :)

    I myself want to 'learn' how to do alien brains..I think it looks cool, but then I'm weird LOL
     
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