Help formulating for translucency

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lenarenee

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Inspired by this pic: http://www.soapblog.nl/english/?p=258 I want to experiment in making a more translucent soap - or at least a less opaque soap than an ungelled 65% lard recipe.

I gave up palm for environmental and aesthetic reasons, but have this unused sitting around that should be used up.

On hand I have ho sunflower, sesame, almond, apricot kernel and rice bran oil, olive oil.

My goal is to make as white a batter as possible for single color loaf that won't need td to make true jewel tone color, gelled of course that comes out as translucent as possible.

Which combo of oils do you think would be best?
 

DeeAnna

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To make a more translucent bar, I'd formulate a recipe with as low a stearic acid content as possible. By substituting palm in place of lard and using a decent amount of olive or other high-oleic fats, you'll drop the stearic acid content a fair bit.

Early on, I wanted to see what I thought of an all veg-oil soap and made this recipe:

Castor Bean Oil ... 60.0 grams ... 4.3%
Sunflower, regular ... 140.0 ... 10.0%
Coconut Oil ... 250.0 ... 17.9%
Palm Oil ... 440.0 ... 31.4%
Safflower high oleic ... 510.0 ... 36.4%

Olive or HO sunflower would be reasonable substitutes for the HO safflower. I used regular (not high oleic) sunflower because I wanted to use a lot of fats in my recipes at that early moment in my soapy adventuring. :) I imagine you could use sweet almond in its place or increase the olive or HO sunflower. I used coconut milk for the liquid and included the 45 g of fat in the coconut milk as part of the total CO used in the recipe. The bars were hard, pale ivory colored, and more translucent than soap made with a lard-based recipe.
 

lenarenee

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To make a more translucent bar, I'd formulate a recipe with as low a stearic acid content as possible. By substituting palm in place of lard and using a decent amount of olive or other high-oleic fats, you'll drop the stearic acid content a fair bit.

Early on, I wanted to see what I thought of an all veg-oil soap and made this recipe:

Castor Bean Oil ... 60.0 grams ... 4.3%
Sunflower, regular ... 140.0 ... 10.0%
Coconut Oil ... 250.0 ... 17.9%
Palm Oil ... 440.0 ... 31.4%
Safflower high oleic ... 510.0 ... 36.4%

Olive or HO sunflower would be reasonable substitutes for the HO safflower. I used regular (not high oleic) sunflower because I wanted to use a lot of fats in my recipes at that early moment in my soapy adventuring. :) I imagine you could use sweet almond in its place or increase the olive or HO sunflower. I used coconut milk for the liquid and included the 45 g of fat in the coconut milk as part of the total CO used in the recipe. The bars were hard, pale ivory colored, and more translucent than soap made with a lard-based recipe.

Okay DeeAnna, working with SoapCalc now. I had Palm at 40%, but see it's generally 4 - 5% stearic.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I remember a Galaxy talking about how the soap batter temp also plays a role in appearance. I normally soap frighteningly cold considering the amount of lard I use - so made a mental note on trying warmer temps for more translucency. I'm going to have to dig hard for that thead - have no idea what the original thread was about.

Also thinking about switching this to a high/low water because the contrast will increase the illusion of translucency.
 

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I remember a thread talking about translucency as well and the recommendation of using palm instead of tallow. I tried a forced gel for 2-3 hours and I think it gave a more translucent appearance but my lather didn't seem at all the same. However, I wonder if a regular but hot gel would help, or as is recommended for high/low batter, hold in a water bath at 190 degrees for an hour. To increase the perception of translucency, I think it helps to use mica for one part but use a liquid, non-particulate color for the other. If using high/low water, I would use the mica in the low water part and the liquid colorant in the high water part for best contrast.


I think this is the thread we remember. I thought lard gave more translucency but someone has done side-by-side and shown palm is better for that. Other info in here as well.

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=58976&highlight=translucency
 
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lenarenee

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The recipes listed in your first link ask for "natrium hydroxide"

What is that?
There are some oddly spelled words on her site, so English is not their native language or a translator was used.
 

lenarenee

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Darn it. I drive myself crazy. This was going to simply be an experiment for a single color jewel tone translucent bar, and now it turning into a Taiwan high/low water in a slab mold I've never used before soap. I'm worse at math than Teresa so this soap is never going to get done!
 

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I'll do the math if you'll do the work and be sure to show us the outcome!
 

lenarenee

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I'll do the math if you'll do the work and be sure to show us the outcome!
Seriously? Would you mind "showing your work" so I can see the process?

I got stuck admiring Elaine Wright's Taiwan videos on YouTube, then reviewing the Ghost swirl challenge thread - so there's still no soap made!

Newbie, for my late attempt at the Ghost challenge, I made a 50/50 lye solution, dividing into 3 containers, then added water to 2 of them. I was happy with my uncolored soap results. But, is this going to be a feasible process to stick with? Or should I learn the math to do it "right"?

DeeAnna made soap batter, then added water. But I thought that method often backfired and increased trace so it sounds more risky than I'd like.

My slab mold is from Workshop Heritage, but it's a 9 bar mold which isn't for sale anymore. I tried to use the dimensions to figure how much batter to make, but ended up with way too much. It's also a slightly weird size for cutting 9 bars, and haven't worked out how to measure for better sizes.

Are you willing to take all of this on? I would love to have a teacher walk me through this so - I hate wasting so much product with a fail.
 

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Are you dividing into three containers because you want 2 portions at one water level and one at the other? You really only need to divide into two parts, one for each water level.

I don't need your recipe but I do need your total oils amount, the amount of lye needed for the entire batch and what proportions you want, like half high water and half low, or two thirds high water and one third low. I'll try to lay out the math so it's easy to follow.

What is the size of the mold you wish to use?
 

DeeAnna

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"...DeeAnna made soap batter, then added water. But I thought that method often backfired and increased trace so it sounds more risky than I'd like...."

The time or two I tried it, it worked fine for me, but I'm not sayin' I'm any kind of expert! :) I appreciate why you want to be careful.
 

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I would have that happen, if you had your soap at or close to trace, adding water would thicken it up. DeeAnna had thoughts on that, I recall. I think it was adding water at trace increased the solubility and might result in fast saponification or the added water would break the partly saponified soap into smaller particles and it would thicken.

Did I read that correctly?

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=53365&highlight=high+water
 

lenarenee

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Are you dividing into three containers because you want 2 portions at one water level and one at the other? You really only need to divide into two parts, one for each water level.

I don't need your recipe but I do need your total oils amount, the amount of lye needed for the entire batch and what proportions you want, like half high water and half low, or two thirds high water and one third low. I'll try to lay out the math so it's easy to follow.

What is the size of the mold you wish to use?
I wanted 3 different concentrations - the intent was to have more contrast and hopefully get a more ghost effect. I don't have to stick with that.

Just dug out that mold; it's 9x6, with a height of just over 2.5 inches. To make 8 3x3, 1.25 inch thick bars I calculate total oils at 26.3. Lye is 104.42

Right now, this is what I'd like to try:
[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzMOPvea9PQ[/ame]

So I thought 3 different water concentrations.

ETA: sorry for the long delay, but the house was overrun with 9 year olds and guinea pigs. Won't be making this today (I don't like to soap at night)
 
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newbie

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Don't worry about the delay. I've been on and off as well.

You would get only 6 3x3 bars from the 9x6 mold. To calculate oils for a mold, I use the formula in the sticky at the top of the page.

9x6= 36
36 x 0.4=27, so you'd use 27 ounce of oils for your batch (for your recipe 26.3 ounces probably makes the most sense).

I'm not sure how you are getting 104 of lye though. That's way bigger than your batch even. Is it in a different measurement, like grams, where the oils are in ounces? As soon as I have that, I'll get your measurements to you.

I have no idea if three different water concentrations will give you what you want. The two decidedly different ones will gel very differently and that's what gives you the contrast. If you use three, I suspect the middle one will gel somewhere between the other two which might give you more gradient and less contrast. For simplicity and for the most contrast, I would use just two concentrations, the low and the high.

Also, what does your scale measure to? 1 or 2 grams/ to a tenth or a hundredth of an ounce?
 
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lenarenee

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Don't worry about the delay. I've been on and off as well.

You would get only 6 3x3 bars from the 9x6 mold. To calculate oils for a mold, I use the formula in the sticky at the top of the page.

9x6= 36
36 x 0.4=27, so you'd use 27 ounce of oils for your batch (for your recipe 26.3 ounces probably makes the most sense).

I'm not sure how you are getting 104 of lye though. That's way bigger than your batch even. Is it in a different measurement, like grams, where the oils are in ounces? As soon as I have that, I'll get your measurements to you.

I have no idea if three different water concentrations will give you what you want. The two decidedly different ones will gel very differently and that's what gives you the contrast. If you use three, I suspect the middle one will gel somewhere between the other two which might give you more gradient and less contrast. For simplicity and for the most contrast, I would use just two concentrations, the low and the high.

Also, what does your scale measure to? 1 or 2 grams/ to a tenth or a hundredth of an ounce?
Yes the 104 was grams, sorry. I always soap in grams, but for some reason I think of oils in ounces, and lye in grams.

My scale does 1 gram.

Let's go ahead with 2 concentrations.

ETA: 2/3 to 1/3 batter? I usually don't do things in equal amounts. I'd like more translucence than opaque - whichever water concentration has that affect I don't remember.
 
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DeeAnna

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I would have that happen, if you had your soap at or close to trace, adding water would thicken it up. DeeAnna had thoughts on that, I recall. I think it was adding water at trace increased the solubility and might result in fast saponification or the added water would break the partly saponified soap into smaller particles and it would thicken....
Yes, that is what I was theorizing.

When I did a high-low water soap, I converted a portion into the high water soap in this way --

"...I made up each batch as a low water recipe with all the colorant and fragrance added to the batch. When I got to emulsion, I split the batter into two equal parts and did my best to bring one (my "low water" portion) to a light trace. When I got the "low water" portion to that point, I added the appropriate extra water to the other portion to turn it into the "high water" batter, and mixed that portion to trace. This method seemed to work okay for me...."

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showpost.php?p=565547&postcount=168

This helped to even out the difference in thickness between the two portions of batter.
 

lenarenee

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DeeAnna, what made you (a person with math ability!) decide to do it that way?

Did you try to match the temp of the added water with the temp of the batter?
 

newbie

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I thought that must be it.

I personally would make two separate lye waters, one for each concentration. I think it is easier and avoids confusion with adding water to one so that's how I will lay it out.

For your oils, you can either weigh out two separate batches, or weigh out one batch of 26 ounces (or 26.3 if you are being exact) and then weigh half of that or 13 (13.15) ounces into separate bowls. I prefer to measure out one batch of oils, then split it.

Do your oils whichever way and then set the bowls on the counter separated from each other, so you don't end up with confusion.
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I think, in the long run, it's much easier to do the lye waters separately. Your entire batch needs 104 grams of lye, but we are splitting it into two, so each part will use 52 grams of lye.

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So for the high water part, the ratio of water to lye is 2.4:1. We need 125 gms of water and 52 grams of lye. I got this number because we need 2.4 times as much water as we have lye and 2.4 x 52 = 124.8, rounded up to 125.

125:52 is equal to 2.4:1. Some people like to work in the percentage of lye to water and this is 29%, for anyone following who wants to stick that number in a soap calculator.

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For the low water part, the ratio of water to lye is 1.4:1. We need 73 grams of water and 52 grams of lye. I got this number because we need 1.4 times as much water as we have lye and 1.4 x 52 = 72.8, rounded up to 73.

73:52 is equal to 1.4:1. For the percentage, this comes out to 41.6% so you can put 41% or 42% in a lye calculator.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Put one lye water by each bowl. You'll be able to tell which is which because there will be a bigger volume of lye water for the high one, but it never hurts to label things.

Make sure you are using a very well-behaving FO or EO. I always make the low water batch first because it can take more time to get it to light trace. Once I'm there, I do the high water batch because it's easier to SB to about the same place as the low water in a shorter amount of time. Make sure you account for splitting and coloring of course.

So high water combo will be 13 ounces of oils with 177 gms total of lye water.

Low water combo will be 13 ounces of oils with 125 gms total of lye water.

If I lost you somewhere, let me know and I'll try to clarify.
 

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Oh ****. Let me re-do it for 2/3 and 1/3 and then you have both at hand.

I can tell you that 90% of the time when I added the extra water to batter split off from the batch, it would thicken much much faster than the other and then I'd be working with batters at two very different traces.

Could you give me your oils and lye for a batch that has oils easily separated into three portions? Your current batch would separate in 8.66666666 ounces and 17.333333333. If you are happy doing 8.7 and 17.3 for separations, I can re-do the numbers from there. Otherwise, I would need your lye amount for a 27 ounce oils batch.

I will run numbers for a 27 ounces oils batch with 107.2 gm of lye. Hang on.
 
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