Hot Process soap floats! Never went to vaseline

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CMars

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Hi, I'm pretty new to this forum. I'm posting because I made a batch of hot process soap that didn't go through the phases normally described. It went from trace pretty much to mashed potatoes with a little applesauce in between. But it never got to vaseline stage - at that point it had been cooking for two hours so I tested it with my tongue and no zap. Rather than risk overcooking my soap I decided to mold it and call it a day. The next day I tried stamping an end piece and noticed that the soap was kinda spongy, but didn't think more of it. Then a week later I dropped the same piece in water and it floats! I tried a big middle piece and it floats as well. Now, my question is, did I mold it too fast and is this a natural side effect of molding hot process in the mashed potato stage? Also, if the soap isn't active any more, is it done the cook or should I wait for vaseline anyways? Any thoughts much appreciated :) Thanks!
 

Seawolfe

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Depending on the fats used, the "vaseline" stage looks less translucent and more like "greasy mashed potatoes". In any case, my 4 lb HP batch finishes cooking in about 45 min in the crock pot on low, so it doesn't take long. To my tiny mind, once its zapless - its done.

My guess for the floating is that you have air bubbles in there. I know those dry white bits you see in HP that I've been told to leave behind will float sometimes when I use them for testing.
 

Obsidian

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Since it floats, makes me wonder if it did go into Vaseline stage but you stirred it so much that air was whipped into it, changing the appearance.
 

CMars

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Yes, this is most likely the reason. I did use a whisk to get the coloring agent mixed in... I didn't think it would have an effect! It seemed to me you had to really fluff the soap up with an electric beater to get it to float, but there you have it. Another quality with this soap is that it feels really slick when wet, like more than usual. This was just a regular Bastille recipe so is it the high percentage of olive oil?
 

Dharlee

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I agree also with Obsidian. I know /I have read that the reason Ivory soap floats is because it has had air whipped into it.
 

quiltertoo

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I had the same experience. I have only made hot process twice. My first batch cooked a long time and I never saw vaseline stage. It did float and mt grandkids
loved it.

Mary Lou
 

CMars

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This was my second batch as well and neither reached vaseline stage. I thought maybe it had something to do with the fact that I used olive pomace oil?? Did you use that as well? Did yours have that slick feeling, and spongy if you push on it?
 

Obsidian

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I use pomace, it doesn't make soap any different then regular OO. Yes, my HP is often spongy, it will harden as it dries.

How often are you stirring? Over stirring was a major problem for me, now if I HP, I only stir a couple times once its reached trace and I use a spatula to fold the soap over instead of stirring air into it with a spoon.
 

CMars

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I stir once every 20 min or so, and it's true I do tend to stir and stir and stir (I have a hard time leaving it alone cause I'm scared it will have white spots). Also, when I added my colorant at the end I stirred quite a bit to get it all incorporated... Thanks for the tip to fold it in. And I'm glad to hear that the sponginess goes away. :)
 

TeresaT

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I agree also with Obsidian. I know /I have read that the reason Ivory soap floats is because it has had air whipped into it.
I remember reading an article years and years ago when I still lived in Philadelphia (that was over 20 years ago) that the Ivory floating thing was an accident in the factory. The workers mixed the soap too long and it added air into the batter (and increased the volume). Instead of dumping the batch, they went ahead and poured it. During testing it was fine, but it floated! That was a marketing mechanism. They started "whipping" the batter to add the air in order to make the soap float. No more lost soap whe you dropped it in the bath! Another benefit was, bigger bars from the same amount of batter because of the volume increase. Their bars were bigger than the competition even though they weighed the same. I haven't looked at soap in a long time. I don't know if they're still bigger than the competition. I'm sure there's other floaty soaps out ther now, too.
 

Obsidian

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I stir once every 20 min or so, and it's true I do tend to stir and stir and stir (I have a hard time leaving it alone cause I'm scared it will have white spots). Also, when I added my colorant at the end I stirred quite a bit to get it all incorporated... Thanks for the tip to fold it in. And I'm glad to hear that the sponginess goes away. :)
The white spots usually form from too much stirring. They are the dried bits off the sides of the crock that get scraped back down into the batter.
If you are making a one color soap, you can add the colorant at trace instead of waiting until its done cooking.
 
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