Help! Strange Discoloration Situation!

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Hi all! Long time forum stalker, first time poster. I finally have a question that I just can't find an answer to anywhere else! I have a soap company and run an average of 300-400 CP bars per month. I am well-versed in most common problems, but am curious what has happened to two recent batches.

Both batches were made on the same day. Both are beer soaps and soaped somewhere between 100-115F (temps I typically soap my beer soaps). Both used non-vanilla fragrances. Both were soaped a very light trace. The recipe size is the same for both (4.5 lbs or so) and my soaps are always poured in loaf molds. The only difference between the two is that one is a regular variety for me and the other was new.

The issue: upon cutting, both varieties have a dark, square ring around the outside. The ring does not change with exposure to oxygen (as it would with a vanilla-based FO). It does not appear to be a gel issue as a partial gel would have a dark circle in the middle, not the the outside.

The only other thing out of the ordinary would be that one of the varieties is also extremely soft on the end 3+ inches of each loaf.

Otherwise the consistency of the soap is very normal.

What could this be?? I'd love any suggestions!!

Thanks!
 

traderbren

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Did you use a different FO than usual? And would you mind sharing a picture?
 

newbie

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I would also wonder about your FO's. Does it look like this?

How long ago did you cut it? Did you insulate or have the soap any place with a draft or that is cooler? I wonder if it gelled everywhere but the ends which I've had happen; the whole middle section of the soap gels but the ends are cooler and don't gel. IT doesn't necessarily get the ring in the middle.

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 11.24.22 PM.png
 

cmzaha

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I have had that happen many times and just do not worry about it. Always figured it has something to do with the outside oxidizing faster than the wet inside, especially when using a known discoloring fo and have also had high lard soap leave a pink border the soap with pink usually appearing inside the soap after a week or so of curing. I find it usually evens out over time.
 
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So this is an image of the worst one. The orange at the top is a honey swirl.

Both batches were poured mid-December, so yes, it could have been cold in here. But for reference: on my goat milk soap, I actually freeze the mold and place the freshly poured soap back in the freezer for a few hours to prevent gel and I still always end up with partial gel. So being a bit chilly in the house would seem an unlikely reason. Still, I did pour at a very light trace. So, maybe not hot enough? I also have quite a bit of ash on the outer ends (where it is really soft). Maybe causing issues?

I cut almost 2 weeks ago (about 2 weeks after the pour). Nothing has evened-out yet.

Fo's used-Tobacco, black tea, orange eo, and a Citrus-spice. Always some light discoloration with these, but no vanilla-type discoloration issues. So, no, to me they don't look like the other image (I make another variety that does exactly that, then completely darkens. So, I am comfortable with that issue.).

Thanks for the feedback so far!!

20160110_091731.jpg
 

dixiedragon

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I kind of think that the outside gelled and the middle didn't? Which would be weird, but maybe if the batter was on the cool side and then you put it in the oven briefly?
 

traderbren

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Have you used the FOs before or this combination of FOs before? Are these goat milk soaps?

ETA: it doesn't necessarily look like a vanilla discoloration, but perhaps the combination did it? Or the outside got hotter than the inside.
 
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Ok. Answers to questions above:
-Not lard soap and no goat milk used in either. They are both beer soaps.
-oils used were olive and coconut (about 70/30).
-One soap used a FO that I've used regularly for a long time with no issue. A side note-this one developed a fair amount of ash down the sides of the soft ends.
-The other (the one pictured) was a new blend.
-No freezer used. Both soaps were poured in my wood molds at room temp, then covered with the wood tops for at while.
 

shunt2011

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I'm wondering if the FO's just were not mixed in fully. Ash is just the reaction with the air only cosmetic and happens sometimes.
 
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