HOT Process Double Boiler Temperatures

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

Joined
Jul 24, 2022
Messages
17
Reaction score
19
Location
Maimi
Hello everyone,
I am pretty new at making soaps and I've done a couple of CP batches without much trouble. I want to try the HP. I did it once on a Crockpot and it was a total mess. I had to discard it so I'm intimidated at buying another Crockpot and failing.
I want to try again but this time using the double boiler method.
My question is this. What temperature should I keep the water in the double boiler for my soap to cook start to end?
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
8,359
Reaction score
14,996
Location
US
@amorifa I'd recommend making it even simpler: skip the double boiler. Use a heavy-bottomed stainless steel pan directly on the stovetop, on low heat. That's my preferred method of HP, and it works very well. The crock is too heavy and awkward - very hard on my wrists.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2022
Messages
17
Reaction score
19
Location
Maimi
Thank you! AliOop, I'll give it a try and see how it goes.
Do I have to stir often? and how long does it takes to cook this way?
I live in Miami so the weather is hot and humid in case this matter.
Thank you again in advance...
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
14,185
Reaction score
21,611
Location
USA
I cook direct on the stovetop too. I shoot for a batter temp of 160 to 180 F.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2022
Messages
17
Reaction score
19
Location
Maimi
I cook direct on the stovetop too. I shoot for a batter temp of 160 to 180 F.
Thank you DeeAnna
For how how long do you cook the batter? I see different times, like from 30 minutes to 2 hours....
Do you stir the batter often?

@amorifa I'd recommend making it even simpler: skip the double boiler. Use a heavy-bottomed stainless steel pan directly on the stovetop, on low heat. That's my preferred method of HP, and it works very well. The crock is too heavy and awkward - very hard on my wrists.
Thank you! AliOop, I'll give it a try and see how it goes.
Do I have to stir often? and how long does it takes to cook this way?
I live in Miami so the weather is hot and humid in case this matter.
Thank you again in advance...
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
8,359
Reaction score
14,996
Location
US
You are very welcome! I tend to cover my HP and stir only every so often. How quickly it cooks depends somewhat on your combination of oils, your cook temp, and how much water you use. My HP soaps are usually done in 20 minutes, but honestly, I don't zap-test mine. I just get everything to the vaseline stage, and then mold it quickly while it's still fluid. That way, it's not as dried up and chunky, and there aren't as many air holes in the bars.

It's entirely possible that my HP soaps aren't completely lye-neutral when I do that, but to me, I'd rather let it finish saponifying on its own in the mold, than overcook it and have it end up chunky and dry. YMMV.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2022
Messages
17
Reaction score
19
Location
Maimi
You are very welcome! I tend to cover my HP and stir only every so often. How quickly it cooks depends somewhat on your combination of oils, your cook temp, and how much water you use. My HP soaps are usually done in 20 minutes, but honestly, I don't zap-test mine. I just get everything to the vaseline stage, and then mold it quickly while it's still fluid. That way, it's not as dried up and chunky, and there aren't as many air holes in the bars.

It's entirely possible that my HP soaps aren't completely lye-neutral when I do that, but to me, I'd rather let it finish saponifying on its own in the mold, than overcook it and have it end up chunky and dry. YMMV.
Thank you for your reply! One last question. What is your preferred water:lye ratio?
Not sure what YMMV stands for, sorry :)
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
8,359
Reaction score
14,996
Location
US
For HP, I use 25% to 28% lye concentration, depending on whether it's a single color soap (less water) or if I want to swirl a couple of colors (more water).

YMMV = Your mileage may vary. ;)
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
14,185
Reaction score
21,611
Location
USA
I'm not a hot process expert but when I do it, I don't cook long -- like AliOop I look for the soap to go into gel (what people call the vaseline stage) and stop cooking at that point. When the soap is in gel, it appears darker and slightly translucent -- similar to the appearance of petroleum jelly. That generally takes only 30 minutes or so.

I don't stir a lot -- maybe every 5 minutes or so -- and I try to keep the soap covered as much as possible. It's important to minimize water evaporation so the soap looks nice. If a person cooks the soap for ages and stirs often, the soap often dries out and can get lumpy or crumbly.
 

Becky1024

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
231
Reaction score
323
Location
USA
Hello everyone,
I am pretty new at making soaps and I've done a couple of CP batches without much trouble. I want to try the HP. I did it once on a Crockpot and it was a total mess. I had to discard it so I'm intimidated at buying another Crockpot and failing.
I want to try again but this time using the double boiler method.
My question is this. What temperature should I keep the water in the double boiler for my soap to cook start to end?
I can sympathize with having a mess! My first ever soap batch was HP in a crockpot and I swore I would never make soap again! But it made pretty fabulous soap and I was hooked.

Keep at it!
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2022
Messages
17
Reaction score
19
Location
Maimi
I can sympathize with having a mess! My first ever soap batch was HP in a crockpot and I swore I would never make soap again! But it made pretty fabulous soap and I was hooked.

Keep at it!
Thank You for your support!! I will not give up!

For HP, I use 25% to 28% lye concentration, depending on whether it's a single color soap (less water) or if I want to swirl a couple of colors (more water).

YMMV = Your mileage may vary. ;)
Thank You! AliOop:
:)
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
403
Reaction score
837
Location
Idaho
Everytime you ladies talk about HP on the stove top I want to start looking for a heavy stainless steel pan! I finally got my knees and hips dealt with for arthritis...now it's in my shoulders, so know it won't be long before I am not going to drag out the crock pot for my soaping. In fact, I actually did CP soap last week because I didn't think I could get the crock pot off the shelf into the kitchen. I could have asked hubby, but knew he would ask me why I'm soaping when I have shelves of soap in my room! LOL

My stainless pots are not heavy so I've been watching in the thrift stores for one. Any hints on how to choose a pan for size? I vary between 500 and 1000 gram batches....usually the smaller of the two...or at least I see that in my future.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
14,185
Reaction score
21,611
Location
USA
I use the same stainless steel saucepans I use for food to also make HP soap. After soaping, the pan gets washed really well ... with soap no less ... so I don't see the point of getting separate pans only for soap.

I'd use my 3 quart pan for 500 g batch and my 4 quart for a 1000 gram batch. You want the batter deep enough in the pan so you can mix efficiently, yet enough "freeboard" above the batter to contain it should the batter get hot enough to expand.

FWIW, I do have separate stick blenders for food only and for soap/lotion. I also keep plastic (polyethylene) containers that are used only for measuring fragrances.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
403
Reaction score
837
Location
Idaho
Wow! that was quick! Thanks for your answer....both for sizes and that you use it for both soaping and cooking. My crockpot is a 6 or 8 quart and the soap has expanded to use every bit of the size. I was concerned about that.

Mine is a 4 quart size, so I might just carefully try it out even though it is a light weight. If it starts to scorch on a low setting I can just plop it in the mold a bit earlier. I don't mind having a separate pan, but it would be a bonus to not go shopping for one. LOL
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
14,185
Reaction score
21,611
Location
USA
I've never used a crock pot for HP, but I gather some people who do will let the soap batter expand and "roll over" along the sides. I've never noticed that to happen when I do HP on the stovetop. Perhaps that's why I've done okay with 3-4 quart pans versus 6-8 quart crock pots. So I'm not making any promises a 3-4 quart pan will work for you -- you might have a different experience.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
8,359
Reaction score
14,996
Location
US
@Quilter99755 I agree with @DeeAnna - your 4qt is probably fine, and I doubt it will scorch even if the bottom is on the thinner side. I used a very thin and cheap SS pot for a long time before moving to a heavy-bottomed one. The heavy bottom is nice for more even heat distribution, but probably not strictly necessary as long as you can keep the heat low enough.

I also don't like letting my HP expand up the sides of the pot, because that creates dry chunky stuff in my batter. Keeping it covered on low with an occasional stir seems to be enough to prevent sidewall expansion. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
403
Reaction score
837
Location
Idaho
Thanks you two, for all the hints. I know MMWV...it did when I bought a new crockpot after the old one bit the dust. And I do have to watch the new one a lot closer than the old one because even Low is higher than the old High setting. That and a quick (I thought) trip to the bathroom gave me my only boil over disaster with a crock pot. For sure I will not be taking my eyes off of a pan on my stove.

I printed off your suggestions so I don't have to find them...it will be a bit before I do any soaping....and I don't want to have to search for all these nice tips. Thanks again for all.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2022
Messages
17
Reaction score
19
Location
Maimi
Ok, So I did it!!! Not perfect but it is Soap.
The white spots are from scraping down the bottom of the pot. I used a 7 qt for the 2 lb batch (way too big, I think). I was afraid of volcano spilling over 😳.
Thank you ladies for all of your advice and support. Making soap makes me so happy and is really addictive 😝.
Please fell free to critique, that would be a honor🌻
 

Attachments

  • 29F7A089-9E3C-4268-9647-81DCEE3BBE1E.jpeg
    29F7A089-9E3C-4268-9647-81DCEE3BBE1E.jpeg
    555.2 KB · Views: 0
  • B251C615-C839-4D1C-B4FF-D4955BBF7ABB.jpeg
    B251C615-C839-4D1C-B4FF-D4955BBF7ABB.jpeg
    464.8 KB · Views: 0
  • 40A2A0F6-3545-4D55-99FC-A7DD4620CE20.jpeg
    40A2A0F6-3545-4D55-99FC-A7DD4620CE20.jpeg
    435.5 KB · Views: 0
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
8,359
Reaction score
14,996
Location
US
Looks great! I totally understand the compulsion to scrape down the sides. 😆 I have to remind myself not to do that, and that I can save the scrapings to mold into soap balls for personal use. That way, the "no waste" side of me doesn't override the "no scrape" side. :)

A smaller container might make it easier for you. You could probably mold a little sooner, as well, if you want smoother tops. Remember, the soap will finish saponifying on its own, no matter how early in the cooking process that you decide to mold it.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2022
Messages
17
Reaction score
19
Location
Maimi
Thank you for your prompt response :>)
Yes, definitely, a smaller pot. I already bought a 4qt and 5.5 qt.
Do you mean that I can start molding on the mash potatoes stage? That would be great, because my soap has lots of cracks.
 

Latest posts

Top