HELP! Recipe fail!

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sanjosedave

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I designed the attached recipe using the SoapMaking Friend calculator. The "Recipe Properties" bar graph shows all green - everything looked good on paper. However, when I actually made the batch it went from liquid to a near-solid paste within a few seconds (literally) of adding the lye water and hitting it with the immersion blender. Please refer to 2nd attachment which shows it in the crock pot. I've made probably 40-50 batches of soap before and I've never seen anything like this. I'm not sure what to do. Is this batch ruined? Should I go ahead and hot process it? Throw it out?

When I mixed the lye water and oils together they were at roughly the same temperature - around 120F. I've cross checked the recipe using soapcalc.net and, once I adjusted for a 2:1 water/lye ratio on soapcalc, got the exact same weight measurements for all ingredients.

I'm at a loss.

Any suggestions/ideas would be appreciated.

Best,
Dave
 

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Jersey Girl

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I would guess it is because of the stearic acid. Have you used it before? You need to soap quite warm when using it. Ive Not used it yet myself but I’ve read up on it a bit. I’m sure someone who knows more will chime in.
 

BattleGnome

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I agree the steric caused the seizing. I have never used it and I don’t HP so I don’t have direct advice to give. There is a very long thread about shave soap (started by user “Songwind”) that should have some advice. Or you could check DeeAnna’s website. I’m sure someone with more experience will pop in soon to help
 

Obsidian

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When using stearic at anything over 5%, it needs to be made HP. Stearic reacts immediately with lye to make soap on a stick.

You can rebatch. You will probably need to add a bit more water.
 

shunt2011

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Absolutely the stearic. Will give you some trouble every time.
 

sanjosedave

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Thank you all for the comments. Consensus is clearly stearic acid. Interesting that nothing in the calculator hints of this problem.

@Obsidian - by "rebatch" do you mean throw it out and start over with a different recipe or do you mean cook what I've got in the crock pot and carry on?
 

Obsidian

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Rebatch is melting down soap in a crock pot until its soft like HP and most of the lumpy bits are smoothed out.

Personally, I would toss the batch as I hate rebatching and that much stearic would feel waxy to my skin
 

cmzaha

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What do you have to lose? Go Ahead and finish with your hp plans and let it cure. Sorry I just looked when you posted so this answer is too late. I just never toss anything without at least trying.
 

AliOop

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Another thought on rebatching, as I also hate to waste... I've taken to rebatching in the microwave rather than the crockpot, assuming the batch is small enough to fit into a container that fits into my microwave.

I honestly just hate using the crockpot bc it is heavy and hard on my wrists. Plus the microwave is SO much faster at melting stuff.
 

JoeyJ

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I've taken to rebatching in the microwave rather than the crockpot, assuming the batch is small enough to fit into a container that fits into my microwave.
Just a question about microwave rebatching, what type of container do you find works best?
 

AliOop

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I use inexpensive plastic pitchers from the Dollar Store, with handles and pour spouts. They don't have any number on the bottom, but they have lasted well through multiple batches of oil melting, stick-blending, microwaving, and rebatching. Here are a few stacked in my soap supply cabinet. I've seen them also in white and occasionally blue.

.pitcher.JPG
 

Jersey Girl

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I use inexpensive plastic pitchers from the Dollar Store, with handles and pour spouts. They don't have any number on the bottom, but they have lasted well through multiple batches of oil melting, stick-blending, microwaving, and rebatching. Here are a few stacked in my soap supply cabinet. I've seen them also in white and occasionally blue.

.View attachment 46986
This is what I use too. You can’t beat them for $1
 

Becky1024

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Stearic acid was definitely the problem. I’ve made shaving soap with it for a few years and here are some tricks I’ve learned. If you have molded your batch already it may seep oil for a couple of days. If you see that wait a few more days and if the oil reabsorbs your soap will be ok. If you rebatch, get the temperature above 155F to melt the stearic, hand stir like crazy and then mold right away. If you heat too long your batch will crumble.

For future batches do it hp. I stick blend for very short bursts, scraping off the blender shaft each time with a spatula. Stir for a few minutes too. Then give it a short cook. I’ve found mine never gets to Vaseline phase and if I cook it too long the bars will crumble.
 
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