HP Troubles - HP's Please Help

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szaza

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I also wonder why anyone wants to heat soap to the point of a volcano which can be dangerous? I know there was/is a soaper that hp's this way but it is far from necessary. When I do hp soap my soap is usually done in less than an hour and once it hits thick trace I do not stir again.
There seems to be a new wave of 'countertop HP' on the assumption that higher temps=more fluidity. I'm not quite sure about that though. I've gotten pretty fluid HP with a low temp method. Taming a volcano is quick and exciting, but as you mention not the safest option and I'm a bit worried about newer soapers thinking they need a volcano to get a fluid HP soap.
 

GML

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I was never under the impression that cooking at a higher temp leads to more fluidity, but I try not to judge how other people soap.
 

Kcryss

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Theoretically, depending upon your altitude in Colorado, it *might* make a difference since water boils at a lower temperature at higher altitudes. For example, if you were in Leadville at 10,000 ft, then the boiling point of water is only 193.2F (vs 212F at sea level). As such, a crock pot that could get a water based mixture up to 212F at sea level might only be able to get it to 193.2F at 10,000 ft. Now, if you just had oil in the crock pot, it would not have a problem getting it to whatever the maximum temperature achievable in that crock pot.
That is correct. Water boils at 206 at my previous altitude - about 6200 ft. I'm only 4k now, but still boils below 212. Baking and candy are always an issue here, but didn't know if that may or may not be affecting soap.


One question I have is if you actually deducted the amount of vinegar you used from the required total liquid used in Soap Makers Friend. I only ask because the calculator does not deduct the vinegar from the liquid leaving to much liquid if you do not do it manually.
Yeah, I thought that might be an issue as well, so before I started using both CA and Vinegar, I played around with the calculator to make sure it was really adjusting both water and lye correctly. I'm no mathematician and didn't very their numbers, but I assume they are correct. There is however a slight variation with the vinegar that I assumed had something to do with the chemical reaction. So, in the pic below I added 100g vinegar (middle) with a water discount, but the discount is not a full 100g and the lye needed did go up. In the last pic, still with the vinegar but now adding CA, lye goes up and so did the water. I don't know why specifically, but I trusted it to be accurate. Should I manually calculate all going forward?

upload_2020-2-16_14-16-41.png

I also wonder why anyone wants to heat soap to the point of a volcano which can be dangerous? I know there was/is a soaper that hp's this way but it is far from necessary. When I do hp soap my soap is usually done in less than an hour and once it hits thick trace I do not stir again.
My soaps are never done in under an hour ... and that's why I decided to give higher temps a try. It's always 1.5 hrs and I've seen people here and on youtube doing it in 30 to 45 minutes tops ... still can't figure out why mine is taking 1.5 hrs. I realize it can be dangerous, which is why I never ever leave the crockpot unattended, which makes for a very long 1.5 hrs ... it's like watching and waiting for a pot of water to boil. Very frustrating for it to take soooo long.
 

Kcryss

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There seems to be a new wave of 'countertop HP' on the assumption that higher temps=more fluidity. I'm not quite sure about that though. I've gotten pretty fluid HP with a low temp method. Taming a volcano is quick and exciting, but as you mention not the safest option and I'm a bit worried about newer soapers thinking they need a volcano to get a fluid HP soap.
I'm not doing it for fluidity, I did it to try and speed up the process.
 

AliOop

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You can try using some trace accelerants like eugenol (from a few drops of cinnamon EO) or some shreds of finished soap. You can also put the hot lye water straight into hot oils (210-220F) without letting it cool. Then stick-blend continuously until you reach thick trace. Cover for about 10 minutes to let it cook with residual heat. Of course, watch it closely to stir down any expansions.

I learned how to do high-temp fluid hot process from Ashley Greene's e-book on HP. It has a lot of great scientific info about how to formulate recipes, how to make the HP cook go faster, how to make the batter fluid for swirls, etc. You can get it on sale for about $25 through this weekend with the promo code SOAPLOVE. https://www.ultimatehpsoap.com/hotprocess .

Her books really upped my soap game and were worth the cost-savings bc I rarely have failed batches any more -- so no more wasted ingredients. Her liquid soap book is the only one I've seen that shows how to make liquid soap in 30 minutes, including dilution. Usually that process takes a couple of days! The CP book is also good, but I haven't spent as much time with it, since HP and LS are my main jams.
 

Kcryss

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I learned how to do high-temp fluid hot process from Ashley Greene's e-book on HP. It has a lot of great scientific info about how to formulate recipes, how to make the HP cook go faster, how to make the batter fluid for swirls, etc. You can get it on sale for about $25 through this weekend with the promo code SOAPLOVE. https://www.ultimatehpsoap.com/hotprocess . It really upped my soap game and was worth the cost-savings bc I rarely have failed batches any more -- so no more wasted ingredients. Her liquid soap book is the only one I've seen that shows how to make liquid soap in 30 minutes, including dilution. The CP book is also good, but I haven't spent as much time with it, since HP and LS are my main jams.
Thanks for the tip, I'll have to check it out! :)
 

cmzaha

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Yeah, I thought that might be an issue as well, so before I started using both CA and Vinegar, I played around with the calculator to make sure it was really adjusting both water and lye correctly. I'm no mathematician and didn't very their numbers, but I assume they are correct. There is however a slight variation with the vinegar that I assumed had something to do with the chemical reaction. So, in the pic below I added 100g vinegar (middle) with a water discount, but the discount is not a full 100g and the lye needed did go up. In the last pic, still with the vinegar but now adding CA, lye goes up and so did the water. I don't know why specifically, but I trusted it to be accurate. Should I manually calculate all going forward?
View attachment 43952
I see now it is adjusting the liquid amount when using vinegar and other liquid additives. Not sure why it has not worked at times for me. I always double check the liquid requirement numbers
 

Kcryss

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You are welcome. I went back and added more to my answer bc I hadn't really responded to your original questions.
Wow, she makes some great looking soaps!

I see now it is adjusting the liquid amount when using vinegar and other liquid additives. Not sure why it has not worked at times for me. I always double check the liquid requirement numbers
It is a finicky calculator. I've made edits to recipes and watched it "not" update real time. Had to save and reload to get the changes to show up. It also likes to turn all your additives into mg if you add something else ... always have to adjust it back. I've even watched it show "0" for oils if I make changes. Again ... update/save, reload. It's a bit of a pain, but worth it to get the calculations for CA and vinegar ... imho of course. I also love that it saves recipes and batches. Just has a couple of little bugs that need to be worked out. :)
 
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JakeBlanton

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I have tried and tried and tried to get my soap to cook in under an hour. Actually just an hour would even be nice at this point. :(
It's possible that the people who are quoting short cook times are not including the time it takes for their oils to heat up or they might be making smaller batches. A crock pot can only put so many BTUs per hour into whatever is in it. Heating up a pound of 32F water to 212F takes 180 BTUs, but converting that 212F water to 212F steam takes 970 BTUs. Crock pots vary from 70-250W (by model and power setting). A watt is about 3.41214 BTUs/hr. So, going with 200W, that equals around 682 BTUs/hr -- not even enough to convert a pound of water to steam. Of course, soap is not pure water, so the temperatures would be different.
 

Kcryss

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It's possible that the people who are quoting short cook times are not including the time it takes for their oils to heat up or they might be making smaller batches. A crock pot can only put so many BTUs per hour into whatever is in it. Heating up a pound of 32F water to 212F takes 180 BTUs, but converting that 212F water to 212F steam takes 970 BTUs. Crock pots vary from 70-250W (by model and power setting). A watt is about 3.41214 BTUs/hr. So, going with 200W, that equals around 682 BTUs/hr -- not even enough to convert a pound of water to steam. Of course, soap is not pure water, so the temperatures would be different.
Yeah, I'm not counting the time to heat the oils either ... that 1.5 hrs is from when I add the lye to the oils.
 

Arimara

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It is a finicky calculator. I've made edits to recipes and watched it "not" update real time. Had to save and reload to get the changes to show up. It also likes to turn all your additives into mg if you add something else ... always have to adjust it back. I've even watched it show "0" for oils if I make changes. Again ... update/save, reload. It's a bit of a pain, but worth it to get the calculations for CA and vinegar ... imho of course. I also love that it saves recipes and batches. Just has a couple of little bugs that need to be worked out. :)
I find that to be true mostly when I have had the page up and have not refreshed it in 1+ hours. I'm a little late but I am surprised that it takes you 1.5 hours to make soap after lye is added. That is a very long time.
 

GML

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Wow, she makes some great looking soaps!
She has quite a few videos on youtube as well which are short and to the point. She makes her soap with only a mixing bowl and a stick blender, no crock pot.
 

Kcryss

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I find that to be true mostly when I have had the page up and have not refreshed it in 1+ hours. I'm a little late but I am surprised that it takes you 1.5 hours to make soap after lye is added. That is a very long time.
Haha! I agree 100% ... hence my high temps and pleading for help. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, I just can't figure it out.

Good point about the calculator page. I do keep it up without refreshing a lot. I work from home on the computer all day so I have a tendency to leave things open when work interrupts my fun. :)

She has quite a few videos on youtube as well which are short and to the point. She makes her soap with only a mixing bowl and a stick blender, no crock pot.
I've seen someone else do that too. Still don't know how they do it. lol
 
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AliOop

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I've seen someone else do that too. Still don't know how they do it. lol
One thing she does is to microwave her oils to reach the temp she recommends for HTFHP. Then she adds the lye immediately after dissolving it in liquid; stick-blends through trace and as many stages as possible to keep up the heat (mechanical mixing will do that); and then covers it to finish the cook. Those are basic steps shown in the video, so those are available for public knowledge. She also recommends specific additives to help with speeding up trace/cook, and for adding fluidity. It would not be right for me to share all of the information from her copyrighted book here, so that's about all it is appropriate to share without taking away from her livelihood.

Could you find the information out there for free? Perhaps by combing the Internet and checking out some books from the library, you could come close. Some of her information is not available anywhere else that I have found to date, but I can't claim to have read every Internet post, obviously. Plus, all that research takes a lot of time, and meanwhile, money is wasted on ingredients when things don't work.

I personally find her method to be very effective, especially since I hate using a heavy crockpot that hurts my wrists and is very awkward for pouring soup into a mold. So for me, it was very worth the price of the book to learn how and why soapy things work the way they do.

PS - my crockpot has the reverse problem - it runs uber hot all the time. I find it much easier to control the temp by melting my oils and then cooking my soap in a heavy-bottom stainless pot right on the stove (no double boiler), and sometimes in the microwave, too. It is sooooo much easier to pour from that pot into the mold, or into smaller containers for making colors and swirls.
 

GML

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I've seen someone else do that too. Still don't know how they do it. lol
They all stick blend the crap out of the batter. They claim it is the friction caused by stick blending which increases the heat that helps the soap cook faster. It's also recommended that adding sugar to the liquid helps increase the temperature.
 

Frenchy-C

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The HTHP ( high temp hot process) or CTFHP ( counter top fluid hot process ) the oils start at 200 degrees.
Then you force the volcanos, which you will wisk back down in the pot. Easily. Then it turns to applesauce stage, then it volcanos again. Wisk it back down. Then its cooked . 15 min...really cool method if you know what you are doing. Lots of tutorials on youtube.
 

Kcryss

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LOL, ok. You all have me convinced! Tomorrow I will make soap on the counter and stick blend the crap out of the batter until turns into soap in under an hour! I will beat it into submission! :)
 

Frenchy-C

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They all stick blend the crap out of the batter. They claim it is the friction caused by stick blending which increases the heat that helps the soap cook faster. It's also recommended that adding sugar to the liquid helps increase the temperature.
The stick blender method is a different technique then the counter top high temp. The SBHP was created by Sharon Johnson ( Hot process Queen) she has great tutorials as well on youtube.

LOL, ok. You all have me convinced! Tomorrow I will make soap on the counter and stick blend the crap out of the batter until turns into soap in under an hour! I will beat it into submission! :)
I don't stick blend with the counter top...just a wisk.
No need to beat it! LOL
I do not add vinegar or anything else, just oils, Lye, Water and a bit of sugar.
 
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