Halp! Volcano or false trace?

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Not trying to squirrel on this post but after a forum and google search, I’m too curious not to ask about teeth @KiwiMoose. Curious enough to ask, possibly too scared to look lol 🌸
The tiny hole/tunnel in this soap had a few tiny bits that I think maybe were the ”teeth”. When I was looking up photos of volcano soap after the cut, it had little crystallike shapes. I assumed that was what @KiwiMoose was referring to. But now I’m curious.
 
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It’s about 55-60F in myt soaping area and I work on a steel counter, so it’s cold. I have put this goat milk and honey soap into my soap cooler for insulation before, and I thought I’d used my small heating pad then also, and it worked well with this recipe (before those three additions.) I’m not trying to avoid gel necessarily. Should I cover it, as you said, and leave it on the counter, or would it be ok to put it into the cooler, just without the heating pad?
But for sure watch it this time either way!
Just last night I made a batch of OMH soap with just under 2% honey and 2+% GM powder and about the same of colloidal oats. The batter temp was about 105F when I poured it in the mold. I covered it with a piece of cardboard and set it inside a small styrofoam cooler, but left the cooler lid ajar. It definitely got warmer, but not overly hot. My mold is a smaller (1200 g fats) Nurture T&S silicone lined wood mold, and I think it probably loses heat a little faster than a larger loaf, but my room temp was about 70F which probably slowed the heat loss down a little compared with working in a cooler space. You could wrap the molds completely in towels if you’re worried about the low room temp. If the soap decides to misbehave again, towels would be easier to clean than a cooler.
 
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Just last night I made a batch of OMH soap with just under 2% honey and 2+% GM powder and about the same of colloidal oats. The batter temp was about 105F when I poured it in the mold. I covered it with a piece of cardboard and set it inside a small styrofoam cooler, but left the cooler lid ajar. It definitely got warmer, but not overly hot. My mold is a smaller (1200 g fats) Nurture T&S silicone lined wood mold, and I think it probably loses heat a little faster than a larger loaf, but my room temp was about 70F which probably slowed the heat loss down a little compared with working in a cooler space. You could wrap the molds completely in towels if you’re worried about the low room temp. If the soap decides to misbehave again, towels would be easier to clean than a cooler.
That’s good to hear! This particular cooler is my soap cooler. It’s an old one dedicated. It fits my two 7lb molds. These soaps are 5lbs each. I’m going to try putting them in there with a towel wrapped. No heating pad this time. And, I’ll watch them! Thanks so much for your help!!
 
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That’s good to hear! This particular cooler is my soap cooler. It’s an old one dedicated. It fits my two 7lb molds. These soaps are 5lbs each. I’m going to try putting them in there with a towel wrapped. No heating pad this time. And, I’ll watch them! Thanks so much for your help!!
I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
 

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Yes! I had a couple of teeny ones.
Pictures please 🙏

Not from my own experience, but from photo's I've seen of the "teeth" decorated and the commentary that went with it, the soap might be ok (the liquid that is in the "cavern" is caustic, so the SF might be higher? Worth testing, if you still have the soap? 🤔)
 
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Pictures please 🙏

Not from my own experience, but from photo's I've seen of the "teeth" decorated and the commentary that went with it, the soap might be ok (the liquid that is in the "cavern" is caustic, so the SF might be higher? Worth testing, if you still have the soap? 🤔)
There was only a cavern in a couple of bars. Very small hole, pea sized, Pencil tip size. The soap was wet looking, I think front he honey. I did save the soap and will test it soon and report back.
 

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Ditch the heating pads and towels and just place the filled soap molds in the cooler and put the lid on. That’s all.
 
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Ditch the heating pads and towels and just place the filled soap molds in the cooler and put the lid on. That’s all.
That’s what I did. Just into the cooler. And it was really cold. 55f.
Still looks like I got channels. Not full volcanos, but a weird trough. So then it’s either the shea butter (unlikely), the FO (possibly), or the colloidal oats.
Colloidal oats are a starch, aren’t they? Would that cause additional heating?
Also, both batches are VERY soft!
 
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Can anyone help me understand what may have gone wrong with BOTH batches of this recipe. I’ve made it before, with the new changes being a FO, added shea butter, colloidal oats.

Can anyone help me understand what may have gone wrong with BOTH batches of this recipe. I’ve made it before, with the new changes being a FO, added shea butter, colloidal oats.
Oops. Posted too soon.
Both batches of this updated goat milk and honey soap are freakishly soft, and they’re not hardening with time as I’d hoped.

Here’s my recipe.
Also, the lye was the kind from the hardware store, which I haven’t used for awhile, but I have used before. It seemed fine.
6FC6B08C-DA7A-44D1-B301-8B4EDEE8058A.png
 
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I would guess you have a naughty FO that also causes heating. So with honey, gm, and a naughty fo you probably should have started with a chilled mold poured your soap, and set it on a rack with fans hitting the sides of the mold but not the top until your soap sets up well enough the air will not disturb your swirls on the top. That is what I do for batches I know tend to overheat. Your recipe can false trace in the beginning if you soap cool or room temp but should quickly heat up and thin out. It is similar to one of my recipes although I do not soap with milk or honey most of the time mine will false trace at first I just wait and stir until the batter starts warming (saponification)
 
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At 34% stearic + palmitic, I would expect your recipe to make a nice hard soap. Have you tried the recipe again with an FO that hasn’t caused issues in the past?

P.S. I once had a soap that took weeks to harden. I almost threw it away, but was encouraged to wait. I let it be, went on vacation for two weeks and then it was fine when I got back. I suspect the lye was weaker than planned, so more superfat than planned. The soap held up well for 2+ years based on the pieces I saved in my soap archive.
 
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I would guess you have a naughty FO that also causes heating. So with honey, gm, and a naughty fo you probably should have started with a chilled mold poured your soap, and set it on a rack with fans hitting the sides of the mold but not the top until your soap sets up well enough the air will not disturb your swirls on the top. That is what I do for batches I know tend to overheat. Your recipe can false trace in the beginning if you soap cool or room temp but should quickly heat up and thin out. It is similar to one of my recipes although I do not soap with milk or honey most of the time mine will false trace at first I just wait and stir until the batter starts warming (saponification)
I think it did reach real trace, for sure the second batch (exact same recipe) did. Can over heating cause the soap to be very soft, if it did indeed saponify?

At 34% stearic + palmitic, I would expect your recipe to make a nice hard soap. Have you tried the recipe again with an FO that hasn’t caused issues in the past?

P.S. I once had a soap that took weeks to harden. I almost threw it away, but was encouraged to wait. I let it be, went on vacation for two weeks and then it was fine when I got back. I suspect the lye was weaker than planned, so more superfat than planned. The soap held up well for 2+ years based on the pieces I saved in my soap archive.
First; I love that you have a sample soap archive!! Second, how can I know if my lye was weak?
Lastly, it has been over two weeks, could it still harden? I have made this recipe before, only with those changes. I didn’t even add SL because the calculator had it being very hard! It’s all so smooshy!!!
 
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Rebatch queen, reporting to the desk. 😂 GM and honey have been ok when I've oven-rebatched; just put it all in a soap-safe pan in a very low oven, and stir it once in awhile. I probably wouldn't do a microwave rebatch because I could see bits of it overheating and scorching.

Going back to the original soap, rebatching will help with removing excess water if that was the problem. However, if the softness is due to a lye mis-measurement, or perhaps some weak lye, rebatching won't be the answer unless you add more lye solution. It's hard to know how much to add when you aren't sure where things went wrong.

Bottom line, I'd give oven rebatch a try and see how it goes. If it firms up, you are good. If not, you can decide whether to try another rebatch with some additional lye solution.
 
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I have some of the same lye. Does anyone know how to test it? It’s not too much water. And the two batches are the same, so I don’t think it was a mis measurement of the lye.
 
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The easiest way to get a rough idea of the lye purity is to make up a 50% lye solution with room temperature water and then check the temperature as soon as the NaOH is completely dissolved. The temp should be 180F or higher. There are more details and a more accurate method given on the Soapy Stuff website, here.
 

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