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melissa826

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Ok- I had this happen to me for the second time....and this time it was on 37#s of soap and I could scream, or cry...or both!

Anyways, it's been the same fragrance and color scheme both times: NG Flower Child FO

Recipe: 25% coconut, 25% palm, 25% olive, 15% cocoa butter & 10% avocado oil

Colors: red oxide, green oxide, blue oxide, yellow oxide, purple oxide

I soaped at around 115%. Wooden mold with a silicone liner, covered on top.

The soap looked beautiful....until this morning. it is now completely "ashy"....and soft and crumbly. Did I get false trace? It's only ever happened with this same fragrance. had it happen on a 4lb batch and a 24lb oil batch. What could be causing it? what can i do to prevent it?

(the normal looking photo was what it looked like wet)

20150216_193750.jpg

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melissa826

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pulled the soap out of the liner and flipped it over...here is what the bottom looks like....so it appears like maybe the sides and top are completely ashy to the point of crumbling...but maybe the center is ok? is this possible?

20150216_202950.jpg
 

biarine

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I love the colour. I never have ash on my soap but I did with brittle and crumbly.
 

KristaY

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Oh no! I can imagine how heartbreaking this is. I've had that happen twice - both with floral FO's that accelerated like lightning. Your colors are so pretty. It'll be interesting to see how the center bars look. If nothing else you could grind up the crumbly areas and use as a shaker soap.
 

IrishLass

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Oh no! :eek:

I have 2 questions- 1) Did it gel? and 2) How long did you wait before unmolding?

I ask because it looks like some of my un-gelled batches that I unmolded too soon.

IrishLass :)
 

melissa826

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I poured it and then went to bed, so I never checked it, so I cant be sure...but it was insulated fairly well...so I would have imagined that it would have gone through gel phase, but I dont know. I suppose it could be a coincidence that I unmolded two batches early...maybe this scent takes longer....who knows. The middle looks ok on the bottom. But in any other batch of soap I have ever made, gelled or not....and that is hundreds of batches....I've never had crumbly soap no matter how early I have unmolded....
 

newbie

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It looks like the edges are ungelled and from what I can see, it looks like the middle might have gelled. Is it possible this scent slows trace enough that it's not fully blended? The reviews don't say anything about it being a really ash-producing FO but it could be one. DOesn't explain the crumbly texture though.

I think I can see a line that looks like the demarcation of gelled to ungelled. Have you cut out a more center bar and steamed the ash off to see how it looks in the non-crumbly part? If I'm not imagining the line, the majority of the soap may be just fine.
 
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DeeAnna

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Newbie, I think you may be right. When I look at the pic of the bottom, I see where the blue goes from a light shade at the edges and is a slightly darker blue an inch or two towards the center. I bet where the color deepens, that is the edge of the gelled area.
 

melissa826

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that makes sense and is what I am hoping....but what would cause the outer edges to be so crumbly? it is not hard and crumbly...but soft an crumbly. a very strange texture. I have been waiting to cut into the middle until maybe tomorrow...want to be sure not to cut it too soon. But I cannot figure out what would cause the crumbliness....especially if it is only on the outside....I was thinking perhaps not mixed well enough coupled with heating issues....but if its only the edges, I just don't get it. And is the coloring on gelled vs ungelled that drastic? this is one of my only soaps that I use micas instead of natural herbs for colorants so I am not sure the variations....
 

hmlove1218

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Now that newbie mentioned it, I see the line as well. The crumbliness could be the result of unmolding too soon if it's not fully gelled. Occasionally I have corners of my loaf molds look like that when I get impatient in unmolding.
 

lionprincess00

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I had soap look similar with older lye that had too much moisture. It wasn't that old, but down to the bottom of a 2 lb bottle of roebic lye it did this around the edges. Odd looking, but mine was a wet sticky crumbly mess. I was practicing a technique and decided to try and use up that crummy lye on an experimental batch, and yup. Did the exact same thing. I smoothed it out (it was taking longer to harden up and had an odd texture all over the outer sides), and waited.

It made soap.
It doesn't zap.

I don't know, but I wanted to throw that out there. My guess is it got too much moisture and was older in their store (lowes), so it was "off". Many had zero problems with it, but boy I sure did!

Don't know how far apart you made that soap with the fo or whether or not the lye had anything to do with it, but I figured I'd mention it.
 

DeeAnna

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"....I was thinking perhaps not mixed well enough coupled with heating issues....but if its only the edges, I just don't get it. And is the coloring on gelled vs ungelled that drastic?..."

No, the soap was probably mixed together just fine. I saw something like this a few months ago when I soaped on the cooler side with higher water content than usual. The recipe was one I'd used quite a few times, except I'd lowered the lye concentration by 2% just to see how that works. The center of the soap gelled and was firm, just as usual, but the edges were oddly powdery. The powdery parts firmed up and got "not powdery" after several weeks of cure and now the soap looks and acts fine.

And yes the color difference between gelled and not-gelled can be dramatic.
 

DeeAnna

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I don't know this to be true, but I wondered at the time I made the soap I just described if the powdery texture was due to the different ways a soap-fat-water emulsion can exist.

There can be "soap in water" emulsions and "water in soap" emulsions. If the particles of soap and fat are surrounded by a continuous film of water (a soap in water emulsion), this type of powdery texture could arise -- the individual particles of soap would be insulated from each other by the water and so could not form a unified whole. Once the water evaporates -- either by gelling or by curing -- the particles can meld together.

We got into this issue of the different types of emulsions when a bunch of us made super lye-heavy castile about a year ago. It's my guess based on making the superlye castile that higher water recipes may have a greater chance of making unusual emulsions than lower water recipes, but that's just a guess.
 

melissa826

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I Have no clue what it was...maybe me rushing....but after cutting off all 4 sides, I was able to salvage just over half of the loaf. I guess I'll be more patient next time! I think it must be a combo of temperature and mixing along with the fragrance that causes it. because the crumbly part remains crumbly... its weird
 

DeeAnna

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Save a piece of the crumbly stuff and let it cure out with your normal bars. Not saying it will change, but if my experience is any use, the powdery soap may firm up with time.
 

Bubli

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Oh my.I can't offer help or advice but can offer my heart felt compassion.I am so sorry.I feel your frustration and hope you find a sollution. Good luck :)
 
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