Hot Process honey soap- when to add honey

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dixiedragon

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I'm planning on making a honey soap that is 10% beeswax and has 1 Tablespoon honey PPO. I know, I'm pushing it!

My recipe:
10% beeswax
20% coconut
5% castor
5% HO sunflower
35% lard
15% olive
15% rice bran
5% avocado

Can I add the honey with the oils, or should I blend it with the avocado and add it at the end of the cook?
 

Muskette

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I add honey to HP at the end of the cook. Warm it in the microwave until it's liquid, then stir it in. The one time I added it to the oils, it scorched during the cook.
 

TheDragonGirl

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I don't have any experience with adding during HP, although I am curious about others anecdotes about this- but I wanted to express that I thought the bubbling properties added by the honey came from the sugars and lye interacting, which would mean it needed to be added at the beginning, wouldn't it?
 

DeeAnna

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Honey contains "reducing sugars" that do react with lye, while table sugar and maple syrup are "non reducing sugars" that react less or not at all with lye. I think most people (including me) are of the opinion that using a modest amount of sugar, whether reducing or not, adds bubbles to soap.

My understanding (still a work in progress) is that sugars, being complicated, rather lumpy-bumpy molecules, interfere with a soap's nature to form a crystalline structure. This interference makes the soap a bit more soluble in water and thus more lathery/bubbly.



If my perception is correct, I'd guess it doesn't make a great deal of difference when the sugar is added to HP soap. That said, I'd want to make sure the honey or other sugar is mixed in really well if added at the end of the cook, because the sugars may contribute to mold if not mixed in well.

Sugars can even be used to make a soap transparent, again because they interfere with the soap's desire to make an organized crystalline structure. Taken too far, however, sugars can make a soap overly soft and rubbery.
 
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IrishLass

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I add my honey directly to my cool/room temp lye solution up front. Before I add it in, I mix it with a little bit of water first to make it thinner. Ever since doing it this way, I have ceased to experience some of the irksome problems that seem to be commonplace with many honey soaps, i.e., overheating, weeping honey, and/or honey spots.

I don't know if it is the same with everyone else, but I've noticed that with my own soap formulas, honey definitely adds more bubblage in my lather as opposed to when I use an equal amount of white table sugar. I use 1 tablespoon honey ppo, by the way. When using white sugar, I found that I have to use double that amount to get somewhat of an equal bubbly effect as 1 tablespoon of honey gives me.

IrishLass :)
 

Rowan

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When I HP, I heat my honey in the microwave and add it in at the end of the cook, with a teeny amount of hot water. It blends in really well. I've probably been lucky, because I've never had problems with overheating, weeping honey, or honey spots.

Good luck with the 10% beeswax. I tried a higher percentage of beeswax before, but due to the higher soaping temperature it overheated on me and separated. I used a normally well behaved fragrance oil too and instead of a classy brown and cream soap, I ended up with a browny red mess. The fragrance morphed too, so I had to rebatch and I really hate rebatching! I think the fragrance oil was the culprit for me as everything went south as soon as I added it!
 

galaxyMLP

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There are some positives and negatives to adding it in during the cook (either before or at trace) as opposed to after:

Positives:
Gives the soap a wonderful caramelized scent that lasts months into cure.

Negatives:
Can cause major separation. Will have to be beaten into submission. Turns the soap brown.

When you add it in at the end of the cook, you still get the bubble boost without separation but you don't get the wonderful smell or the dark brown color. Instead its tan.
 
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