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Help with the soap gremlins!

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Sunaelurus

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I made this soap for the second time but it's been very weird and I wonder if it has happened to anyone else. The only difference was that I used aloe instead of water this time. After I let the lye and aloe cool down it congealed? Anyway this is a tri colored soap with activated charcoal as the black. It took 4 days for it to be hard enough to unmold and another day or 2 before I could cut. The black part is harder and crumbly. The rest is kind of soft. I can't figure out what the deal is.ImageUploadedBySoap Making1438109866.810337.jpg
 

Sonya-m

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What did you mix your colours with? Oil from your recipe or extra oil? I wonder if you used less oil for the black?
 

Sunaelurus

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I did use oil from the recipe. I have never had to wait that long to unmold either. Usually it's 24 hours later. It is possible that I used less oil for charcoal. I don't know, but I really didn't use much for any of the colors as it was only a 4 lb batch.
 
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Obsidian

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I've never had aloe congeal, did you use fresh gel or store bought juice? I have noticed that using aloe makes my soap a bit softer for longer.
 

cmzaha

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Fresh aloe as a total water replacement Will Congeal the lye depending on the lye concentration. Also if blending down fresh aloe you will probably get little bits of aloe and they can stay wet for awhile in the soap. When I use activated charcoal I just add it into my batter and carefully mix. I usually mix the charcoal with some of my liquid like I would when using clay. It will absorb liquid which could possible contribute to the crumbly. I have even added in a .5 oz or so extra liquid into my charcoal if I have going for true black and using a lot. Does this soap have tallow in the recipe by chance? I ask because tallow gets really hard. I do not tend to use charcoal, clays or salts in tallow soaps because of hardness.
Your soap is still very pretty and I would just bevel the bottom edge.
 

Sunaelurus

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I used aloe from the store in a jug. I used a little over a TBLSP of charcoal to approx 1.5# of soap batter. Maybe the charcoal sucked up the water more than the TD and micas. I've only used aloe one other time but it didn't congeal the first time. That kind of freaked me out.
 

not_ally

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That's the kind I use as well (and I use aloe for water pretty much always now) I've never had it congeal. It can get pretty viscous if (eg) I am adding brine, but don't know if any more so than just plain water would be. That is weird.
 

Sunaelurus

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I used energy fragrance oil, and it was added to all colors.
 
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