Heat Transfer method

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by Deborah Long, Dec 30, 2019.

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  1. Dec 31, 2019 #21

    TheGecko

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    Since your hard oils are only Coconut and Palm and they melting point of each is 76F and 95F and freshly made lye solution is around 180F-200F, I can only assume that you mixed ALL your oils together and then poured in your lye solution. Not only would that had dropped the temperature of your lye solution, but that heat is being applied to ALL of your oils equally.

    Next time, JUST measure out your Coconut and Palm Oils, then add your freshly made lye solution and STIR. Your oils should be melted in no time at all. THEN add your soft oils.

    Check out videos by Jen w/A&N's Suds-N-Such & BeScented and recently videos by Julie w/Ophelia's Soapery; both are using HTM, though Julie recently switched to Cocoa Butter wafers. Jen will stick blend towards the end of the melt, Julie pretty much just hand stirs. I've tried it a couple of times and I use Coconut and Palm Oils, Cocoa and Shea Butter. I freely admit that I shred my Cocoa Butter (I use my vintage Salad Master) to cut down on melting time, but it's still the ingredient that takes the longest to melt.
     
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  2. Dec 31, 2019 #22

    Marilyn Norgart

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    to be on the safe side measure before you go and take your tape measure with :) I only paid a couple bucks for mine at hdw hank. i have only ventured into making 5#s at a time a few times, I like the chance to make different soaps that small batches give me but have been thinking I need to cut back on the scents a bit and just make more of one scent. would definitely work with my lav soaps blech. anyway good luck
     
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  3. Jan 1, 2020 #23

    TheGecko

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    It's the same sort of thing, but you want to be extra, extra, EXTRA careful with your storage container because that would be one hell of a toxic spill to clean up.

    From what I have read and seen, there are many ways to masterbatch lye. Some folks make a simple 50/50 lye solution and then adjust (adding water or other liquids) according to their recipe. It should be noted that if you add additional liquids to your lye solution, it will heat up again. Some folks only use a single recipe for all their soaps and so they make up that specific ly solution. And some folks just make multiple single batches.
     
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  4. Jan 7, 2020 #24

    ayry

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    Maybe this video can help you!!
     
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  5. Jan 7, 2020 #25

    Nona'sFarm

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    Wow! Learned about another new process! This forum is fantastic!

    Edit: should have said, "new to me process."
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  6. Jan 7, 2020 #26

    Deborah Long

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    @ayry - Thanks! I LOVE Marie and that soap was amazing!
     
  7. Jan 8, 2020 #27

    Jeboz

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    Well, she was fun! Have to add her to my list of soapers to watch............ it's getting quite long.
     
  8. Jan 9, 2020 #28

    Lin19687

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    I don't do the heat method because of the stearic in my palm. I did it once and didn't like the spots I got.
    I have 5qt plastic bucket from HD or Lowes that fit in my Microwave. No it isn't a huge Microwave either :) Gives me plenty of room in the bucket with no splashing over
     
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  9. Jan 10, 2020 #29

    TheGecko

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    HTM or TTM (thermal transfer method) has been around for a while now...threads in this form alone going back to 2010, earlier stuff via Google. Appears to be a growing 'trend' again...last year I saw only one soaper doing it and now have noticed more. It's a good use of natural energy and you get a bit of a work out with the stirring. I do recommend that if you're using hard butters like Cocoa and Kokum, that you break your chunks down a bit more if making less than 3 lbs or less. Or you can use CB wafers.

    While I didn't have any issues with my Palm Oil like @Lin19687 did, I did notice that my Shea Butter was a tad bit on the grainy side the first time, so I waited the second time, like I do when I use the microwave and just allow the residual heat to melt it. And just like mixing your lye with milks instead of water, your lye will start to bind with your hard oils...it's not a bad thing, just something one should be aware of. Your batter will then back out again once you add your soft oils.
     
  10. Jan 10, 2020 #30

    soapmaker

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    Where did you get your mold? Handmade?
     
  11. Jan 10, 2020 #31

    CatahoulaBubble

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    Heat transfer method doesn't work for me because I use milk and freeze my milk before adding the lye so by the time the lye actually heats up it's only about 80*F and doesn't stay hot enough to melt my solids. It would be nice if it did though because it would reduce my process but I like milk soap too much to change.
     
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  12. Jan 11, 2020 #32

    The Cat Lady

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    Thanks - loved the video. I've never tried this method but going to give it a go next time and see what happens!
     
  13. Jan 11, 2020 #33

    Deborah Long

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  14. Jan 12, 2020 #34

    cmzaha

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  15. Jan 12, 2020 #35

    AliOop

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    I always wonder about recommendations for constant stirring when using the HTM. My understanding is that stirring actually causes the mixture to cool down more quickly. This is why we stir down volcanoes during the HP cook, rather than continuing to stick-blend - because the stirring action releases the built-up heat and cools down the volcano. This is in contrast to rapid mechanical mixing with the stick-blender, which can increase heat, and thus is used to speed up the cook in HP.

    So when I use the HTM, I do three things to maximize the heat available for melting my hard oils:

    1. I chop or grate the harder butters, thus increasing the surface area exposed to the heat, which in turn increases the melt rate. To say it another way, larger chunks just don't melt as fast as smaller bits.

    2. I only stir occasionally so the mixture doesn't cool off as fast, i.e., before all the hard butters have melted. It also means that I can do other things during the melt, like measuring out my soft oils, measuring additives, etc.

    3. I don't add the soft oils into the pot until the melting is complete. They don't need to be melted, so why "waste" the heat on them? I'd rather use their lower temperature to cool down the melted hard oils. Then I don't have to wait as long to start mixing if I want to soap cooler for any reason. I do like to drizzle in the liquid oils while mixing gently. My thought is that gradually lowering the temp of the hard oils avoids re-hardening that would come from sudden temperature change (kind of like tempering eggs). And that could depend on whether the soft oils are at room temp, or are colder from being stored in the fridge.

    Perhaps @DeeAnna can comment as to whether my understanding is correct about all that from a scientific standpoint. I'm always game to improve my understanding about these things.
     
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  16. Jan 12, 2020 #36

    DeeAnna

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    "...This is why we stir down volcanoes during the HP cook..."

    You're kind of comparing apples and oranges. In a volcano, the soap is erupting because steam (a gas) is under pressure and it is trying to rise through a thick fluid (the soap).

    If you don't stir, the steam continues to develop pressure under the soap so the soap is pushed upwards as the steam rises. If you do stir quickly as a volcano gets started, there's a chance you can essentially form openings to let the steam escape, reduce the pressure, and minimize the eruption.

    The escaping steam carries a lot of energy with it, so that aspect of heat loss is true.

    It's up to you whether you stir or don't stir when you add the hot lye solution to the solid fats. Whatever works.
     
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  17. Jan 12, 2020 #37

    AliOop

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    Thank you for clarifying. Much appreciated!
     

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