Help! Third batch like this!

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SoapyKim

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Hi everyone!
Okay, this is the third batch of goats milk soap that has done this. I have never had this problem, now three in a row!?
My recipe hasn't changed...I combine oils and lye solution at 90 degrees...mix in essential oils at trace...don't wrap my mold (to prevent overheating and it's still doing this. :-? Suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

20160114_082128.jpg
 

MySoapyHeart

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Hi!
Have you heard about gelled soap? Google "partial gel" and you`ll see many examples of it. To me it looks like partial gel is what you got.
But if someone disagrees with me, they will chime in and let you know what they think.
In that case, they would benefit getting your recipe in % as it is easier to troubleshoot what happened.

Soaps with sugars in them (like milks, honey or fruit purees) will gel quite quickly. Nothing wrong with the soap. Some actually prefer to gel their soaps, (I do) and others don`t.
 

SoapyKim

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Thank you! That's what I first thought (partial gel), so I googled it. Most pics show a dark ring in the middle, this ring appears light/dark/light and spotty?
wondering will this go away with full cure?
I've tried to avoid gel in my milk soaps to prevent them from browning/burning. Does anyone gel their milk soaps without burning them?
what further steps can I do to prevent partial gel?

recipe %:
Oils:
30% coconut
30% olive
15% Shea butter
10% Almond
5%Castor
5%Apricot
5%Cocoa Butter

8.5 % Lye
22% MIlk (frozen)
(8% superfat)
geranium. Lavender, Bergamot eo blend .9%

I really appreciate any help. I have been a lurker and have gotten great tips from everyone on this forum. So of course I thought of you all when this started happening!
Thanks again!
 
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Obsidian

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Yes, thats partial gel. The white speckling could be from the high stearic from the butters, they stearic cools faster and makes white areas, perfectly safe. They will often fade with cure.
Milk soap has a tendency to get hot, even when not insulated. You can put your molds in the fridge to try and prevent gel.
 

MySoapyHeart

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No problem!
The ring will not go completely away with cure, but will perhaps mellow down a bit. Just pretend you meant to do that:mrgreen:

The recipe you gave, have you made it before? Are you happy with it? Just noticing that you have 15% shea + 5% cocoa, and I am thinking you don`t neccesarily have to include both.
Did you melt the sheabutter and cocoabutter properly, and was it still liquid when you added it in the oils? If it wasn`t melted completely or had start to cool down to much when you added the lye, the spots etc, could be the hard oils in your soap have started to set. It ads up to more stearic and that tend to cool faster, set up before the other oils and perhaps is the reason for spots.

But it could also be tiny airbubbles if you didn`t burp your stickblender.

I love sheabutter in my soap, but I generally use 8%, and same goes for cocoa, but many use a lot more than that too. But usually one or the other. But that is a personal preference, if you really want them both there you of course can keep them!

Others will chime in too, I have to go make dinner. Good luck:)
 

shunt2011

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I agree with the others. Just partial gel. Either put your soap in the fridge/freezer or force full gel. Otherwise, it's just cosmetic and will fade but won't affect your soap at all.

I prefer to gel as I don't have room in my fridge/freezer to put my molds in there.
 

SoapyKim

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Thanks all!
Yes it's a recipe I've used often which is why I'm baffled!
I only use the combination of shea and cocoa butters in a couple recipes,
This one and my beer soap. I like the hardness and slight scent the cocoa gives, but haven't been successful with cocoa alone, so i combined them and until now all has been fine! All others I use 20% shea. I love shea butter!

Yes the butters were completely melted and were still liquid when mixed.

I'm gonna try cooling my mold next time and see if that works. I moved to Florida from Colorado, but it's not like I'm making soap outside. ...I'm in air conditioning! ;-)

Anyone out there let their milk soaps gel? Do they burn? Does it affect scent?

Thank you all so much for the input! This is very helpful!
 
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cmzaha

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Thanks all!
Yes it's a recipe I've used often which is why I'm baffled!
I only use the combination of shea and cocoa butters in a couple recipes,
This one and my beer soap. I like the hardness and slight scent the cocoa gives, but haven't been successful with cocoa alone, so i combined them and until now all has been fine! All others I use 20% shea. I love shea butter!

Yes the butters were completely melted and were still liquid when mixed.

I'm gonna try cooling my mold next time and see if that works. I moved to Florida from Colorado, but it's not like I'm making soap outside. ...I'm in air conditioning! ��

Anyone out there let their milk soaps gel? Do they burn? Does it affect scent?

Thank so much for the input! This is very helpful!
Just curious why you do not save the shea for lotion if you love shea. In soap it is a lather killer so I assume that is why you use high coconut oil. I have made 75% shea soap as a test, as for feel it did not feel better than my low coconut, low superfat soap with lard, but did not lather worth a darn. Just saying. Also high coconut oil heats up more than other oils
 

shunt2011

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All my soaps contain some kind of milk or beer. I gel all my soaps with no issues. You do need to watch it though, especially if it's warm inside.

I dn't use large amounts of shea due to the lather killing. I never exceed 5-10%. I have found that's the sweet spot for my forumlas. I use to use cocoa and shea together but changed to just shea.
 

IrishLass

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Thanks all!
Anyone out there let their milk soaps gel? Do they burn? Does it affect scent?
I gel pretty much 99.9% of all my soaps, including my milk soaps, and for what its worth, they don't burn.

This is my usual procedure: I soap around 115F and I use the split method of milk soaping, which consists of dissolving my lye in an equal amount of water in weight, and then adding the remainder of my required liquid amount for my batch as milk (refrigerated, not frozen) to my oils. Of course that will make my soap only a partial milk soap, but to make a 100% milk soap, I fortify my milk with enough powdered milk to bring the total milk concentration for my batch up to 100%.

Anyway, once my soap has been poured into my mold, I cover it and place it in my oven, which has been pre-warmed to 110F, and then turned off as soon as I pop my soap in it.

About 18 hours later, my fully gelled soap is ready to be unmolded and cut.

Also- my finished soap made this way turns out a lovely shade of light beige....as long as I don't color it or add honey to it, that is.


IrishLass :)
 

SoapyKim

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Thanks Irishlass...I may give this oven method a try on a small batch!
Cmzaha...personal preference on the Shea. I wanted to stop using lotion and I have :) I don't use water in any products currently, again personal preference :)

And as far as lather issue...My fave soaps are salt soaps...salt is also a lather killer. Lather is not really my main concern. My recipes create a creamy lather with small bubbles, but are super moisturizing, which is what I was going for. But I look at soap crafting as art and my art is constantly evolving and changing...so who knows what I'll be doing in the future! :)
 

shunt2011

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Thanks Irishlass...I may give this oven method a try on a small batch!
Cmzaha...personal preference on the Shea. I wanted to stop using lotion and I have :) I don't use water in any products currently, again personal preference :)

And as far as lather issue...My fave soaps are salt soaps...salt is also a lather killer. Lather is not really my main concern. My recipes create a creamy lather with small bubbles, but are super moisturizing, which is what I was going for. But I look at soap crafting as art and my art is constantly evolving and changing...so who knows what I'll be doing in the future! :)

It depends on how much salt you are using and what blend of oils. My favorite are salt bars (80% CO, 15 Avocado & 5 Castor). No lather killer there at all. It just need sto be high CO.
 

SoapyKim

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Right, that's what I was saying (probably not in the correct words because I was corresponding from work during my breaks!) Is that you can overcome "lather killers" by making adjustments and still come out with a nice lather.

Salt actually is a lather killer, which is why it is recommended to increase the CO levels to combat that. My salt bars have a very luxurious lather. Feels amazing! That's why I fell in love with them! I haven't done an 80% CO yet, that does sound bubbly! I use 60% CO, 5% Castor, 10% Olive then a variety of oils depending on which salt bar ( I currently make 4 different bars) I am going to put an 80% CO trial soap on my "try this" list now! Thanks!

This is why I love science and soap so much!!!! There's always a new formula out there just waiting to be discovered! Nothing is impossible!

Happy soaping everyone! This has been such a helpful and inspiring conversation, I really appreciate the dialog. I now have two new "try this" items on my list :)
Kim
 
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Obsidian

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I don't know what kind of superfat you currently use on your salt bars but for the ones with really high coconut, most of use use 15%-20%. I use 20% SF with a 80% coconut, 20% OO and it my favorite bar.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Just wondering, Kim, what you consider a salt bar to be? Do you mean any bar that has some salt added to it? Or one where a strong brine solution is made with the lye water? Or one where a large amount of salt is added to the batter?

I use a bit of salt in every batch, along with sugar and citric acid, but no more than 3%. These for me are just normal soaps, not salt, sugar, or citric acid bars.
 

SoapyKim

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Hi there! What I personally consider a salt bar is one that is made with more than 50% of the oil weight in Salt.
My salt bars contain a minimum of 60% salt and I use 60% CO...however I am considering trying a batch at 80% as suggested in a comment above!
I love salt soap! It is by far my favorite.
 

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