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Kcryss

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So I'm puzzled -- If you're soaping that hot and riding the edge of a volcano for around 10 minutes, what are you seeing in your soap that tells you it's not saponified within an hour after that volcano-y start?
It stays very fluid, looks grainy like applesauce, without being translucent and once I got brave enough to try testing before it looks like vaseline ... lots of voltage. I posted a thread on the issue this morning with a couple of pics. I really wish I knew what was happening. I'm at a loss and I've tried everything I could think of and it's the only reason I'm trying the hot temps.
https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/hp-troubles-hps-please-help.78258/
 

DeeAnna

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Have you ever tried this -- When the soap gets to something like a stable trace, turn off the heat, cover the soap pot to reduce evaporation, and walk away. Come back in an hour and see what you've got.

Some people cook the soap for a short time and then put it in a mold so it can finish saponifying in the mold.

The difference between a strong zap and no zap can be just a few minutes, not necessarily hours, especially at the temps you're soaping at.

I'm thinking you're almost trying too hard and getting very understandably frustrated. But I'm not standing at your shoulder seeing what you're doing, so I might be missing something important.
 

Kcryss

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Have you ever tried this -- When the soap gets to something like a stable trace, turn off the heat, cover the soap pot to reduce evaporation, and walk away. Come back in an hour and see what you've got.

Some people cook the soap for a short time and then put it in a mold so it can finish saponifying in the mold.

The difference between a strong zap and no zap can be just a few minutes, not necessarily hours, especially at the temps you're soaping at.

I'm thinking you're almost trying too hard and getting very understandably frustrated. But I'm not standing at your shoulder seeing what you're doing, so I might be missing something important.
No, I haven't tried that, but if it's going to take more then an hour no matter what I do, I might as well give it a shot. At least I will be able to walk away and do other things instead of just babysitting a pot.
 
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I gave up a long time ago on HP soap as the consistency always was like vaseline and it frankly was not attractive. I read somewhere that someone had a solution to this, to make it liquid enough to pour. How do you do that?
 

Kcryss

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I gave up a long time ago on HP soap as the consistency always was like vaseline and it frankly was not attractive. I read somewhere that someone had a solution to this, to make it liquid enough to pour. How do you do that?
Adding liquid after the cook helps a great deal. 1 TBS yogurt ppo, I usually mix this with 1 TBS ppo aloe vera juice. Needs to be room temp when added. Depending on the recipe, I also add sf after cook, maybe a little more aloe, sometimes coconut milk. Depending on what you're adding, you need to allow the tempt to drop to at least to 180. For anything with sugars or milks, wait until below 160 to add.
 

GML

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As I stated in another thread (I think), yogurt really helps with the fluidity more than just using SL on its own. I do want to experiment with adding both salt to the lye water and SL after the cook (1tsp each PPO) to my next batch of soap I make, which will be a 75% OO batch.
 

Kcryss

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As I stated in another thread (I think), yogurt really helps with the fluidity more than just using SL on its own. I do want to experiment with adding both salt to the lye water and SL after the cook (1tsp each PPO) to my next batch of soap I make, which will be a 75% OO batch.
I did finally buy some SL, but haven't tried it yet. I'll probably wait and see how my faster cooking goes before adding anything new. :)
 

GML

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I did finally buy some SL, but haven't tried it yet. I'll probably wait and see how my faster cooking goes before adding anything new. :)
I usually add the SL after the cook and before I add the yogurt and the CM.
 

Kcryss

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I usually add the SL after the cook and before I add the yogurt and the CM.
Ohh ... for some reason I thought it was added earlier. Well then I may have to give a try! :)
 

GML

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Ohh ... for some reason I thought it was added earlier. Well then I may have to give a try! :)
To be honest, I don't find a big difference with using it. Maybe because I was already adding salt to the lye liquid. I know in CP soap it makes the bar harder and can speed up unmolding time, I just don't see much difference with HP soap.
 

Kcryss

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To be honest, I don't find a big difference with using it. Maybe because I was already adding salt to the lye liquid. I know in CP soap it makes the bar harder and can speed up unmolding time, I just don't see much difference with HP soap.
Ah, gotcha. Yeah, I don't have unmolding issues. I live in Colorado, just stick the mold outside for a bit and can generally unmold in a couple of hours. Even with fluid HP. :)
 

GML

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I drilled additional holes in the bottom of the mold to help the soap cool faster; I can usually cut after 4 or 5 hours.
 

Dawni

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I've stopped using sodium lactate coz I didn't notice much difference either.. Not in fluidity, not in ease of unmolding.

For fluidity nothing (so far) beats yogurt although there are some that help (like Zinc oxide in my case).

For unmolding.. Well, I've just learned to tell when I should, depending on what my recipe is. If you've repeated the same ones over n over you can tell.

I noticed though that, for the same recipe, my soap warps more if I add a bigger portion of the liquid after the cook compares to if it's all added up front. Something else I need to test that I haven't gotten the time for lol
 

GML

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Just curious, is your liquid at 38% or do you do less and how much more liquid do you add afterwards?
 

Dawni

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Assuming you're asking me... I do anywhere from 2.5:1 to 3:1 lye ratio (28.57% to 25% lye concentration) depending on whether my recipe is fluid enough or not to begin with and if it's gonna be plain or swirled.

Most of my soaps at 3:1 warp badly so I have to plain em and end up with lots of confetti so I'm always experimenting with trying less water.

I usually use 75% of the liquid up front and add the rest only if I think I need it, if I'm not using some as a medium for colorants like clays, charcoal, etc. For plain soap sometimes I don't end up adding it.
 

GML

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I was asking you, thanks for the reply. May I ask what your percentage of water is for your usual batch? I soap at around 36% and was wondering if I should try to go lower if I'm not doing any sort of swirl or not using a more detailed mold.
 

DeeAnna

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@GML -- I think you're saying you use 36% water as % of oils?

If so, I'd suggest you make a change in how you design soap recipes. Base the water content of your recipes on the alkali (lye) instead of on the fat. In other words use lye concentration or water:lye ratio. I think you'll see more consistency in how your soap behaves if you make this switch.

Dawni is saying she's using a "2.5:1 to 3:1 water:lye ratio (28.57% to 25% lye concentration)". There's no easy, direct translation from these numbers to "water as % of oils" without looking at each recipe she's talking about.
 

GML

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@DeeAnna, thanks for the information. I fat-fingered and my water is at 38% , water:lye ratio is 2.8:1 with 26.5% lye concentration. Current recipe can be poured into mold with the addition of SL and yogurt/CM.
 

Dawni

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38% water as percent of oils is a tricky thing and none of the calcs directly tell you what it translates to in ratio or concentration. Best to pick one. Ratio is easiest for me.

The least water I ever used on HP soap was 1.7:1 and that worked probably coz it was purely soft oil (a Castile), had no additives nor color, and while smooth, is one of my more rustic soaps.

I decrease my water from the usual 3:1 the lower my coconut oil amount is, the lower my salt is, the lower my hard/brittle fats amount is.... Each of my recipes uses a different lye ratio.

I kinda doubt I answered your question lol
 
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