Hot process soap too hard

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Apr 21, 2022
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I just tried making my first hot process soap. After bringing it to a firm trace I covered crockpot and cooked first ten minutes. When checking it soap was already way to hard already and had to throw out. What could I have done wrong
Your soap would probably have been fine if you'd given it more time. It's too bad you didn't ask us for advice before you threw it out.

The most likely issue -- Hot process soap batter can become very firm at first as saponification is ramping up. That's pretty common, and the soap eventually relaxes and becomes nicely stirrable if given a little more time for the chemical reaction to settle.

Another possibility -- HP batter will also firm up if you add cool ingredients to the soap batter. If you add ingredients after trace, they really should be warmed first.

If you want better advice, however, please share your recipe, all ingredients all in weights -- don't leave anything out and don't mix percentages and weights. Also an outline of the method you used would also help.
Thanks for your reply. the recipe was Bramble Berry’s Lemon Poppy Seed Hot Process Soap. The recipe called for their lots of lather Quick Mix which you melt/heat in microwave till clear. My lye was cooled to 124 F and the Lots Lather 110F could that have been my problem not having them at same temp?
...My lye was cooled to 124 F and the Lots Lather 110F could that have been my problem not having them at same temp?

The "rule" about the lye solution and fats having to be within 10 degrees of each other is an over-simplification mainly to keep beginners out of trouble.

For hot process, those temps were fine. For cold process, they might be on the warm side, but still within the realm of reason.

I'm still thinking the "most likely issue" I described in my first post is still the most likely issue.

I wish you'd given a link to the recipe you used and a link to the product you bought from brambleberry -- or, better yet, copied and pasted the info here. You're asking for free, expert advice, so please make it as easy as possible for us to do a good job for you.
This is the recipe I used. After soap came to trace I put the lid on the crock pot on low a nd checked in 10 minutes and soap was hard as a rock. Is it possible that when I was mixing to a trace that I mixed not too long?


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...Is it possible that when I was mixing to a trace that I mixed not too long?

Like I said in my first post, sometimes the soap will harden up like this. This happens some times and there's nothing wrong with this. I agree it's unexpected, however, especially when it happens to a new soap maker. If you wait for a bit, the soap will then soften again and you can continue with the soap making process.

If you didn't get the soap emulsified (aka "to trace"), it wouldn't have hardened up at all. It would have separated into messy layers of fat and lye mixed with globs of soap.
I am a bit worried about my hot process soap that's currently in the crock pot cooking. When I see videos of people making CP soap, they rinse the residue from the container it was in (while wearing gloves) to show that it lathers well. I accidentally let my HP lye water and oils cool to 70 degrees as I was reading the thermometer wrong. I didn't thing it mattered since I was about to cook it anyway. After I got it to about a medium trace, (where i would pour to mold if it was CP) I tested some batter and it was very oily with NO LATHER whatsoever. Does this mean i screwed something up or will it get better after cooking?
If CP soapers are rinsing residue away and getting lather, then that part of the video is from a day or two later. Many soapers set aside their dishes to saponify before cleaning them. Any CP soaper how claims to be getting lather immediately after pouring sounds fishy to me.

HP or CP, until the saponification happens, you will get no lather. It is not soap yet.