I just made soap!

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milky

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I used the recipe Susie recommended:
65% lard
15% coconut
15% olive
5% castor

+
3% lemongrass EO
and some carrot baby food

I used full liquid, which was frozen goat milk. I slowly stirred the lye into the goat milk with the pitcher in an ice bath. Didn't have any problems with it overheating. That sat outside for a bit while I melted the oils (my cat was being a horrible pest). The pitcher I put the oil in didn't fit in the microwave so I heated them together in a pot of water. They got to be 95-100 degrees and were still cloudy but no clumps... Did I do that wrong? Is the oil supposed to turn clear here? I didn't want the milk to overheat.. So then I poured the lye milk into the oils while in an ice bath in the sink. Whizzed it a bit with the stick blender. It turned to pudding super fast! I mixed about half with a couple spoon fulls of carrot baby food and then lightly stirred that back into the pitcher. I think I stirred too much, but it was tough to "pour" the pudding.. And then I put it into some silicone ice cube trays. They make really big ice cubes. Good for soap though... So it's sitting in a box on the washing machine. Hope I didn't mess it up too badly!!
 

earlene

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It sounds like you went to thick trace pretty fast. It will still be soap whether you pour at emulsion, thin trace or have to scoop it and plop it in the mold at thick trace. Now you know how much stirring is too much.

The oil doesn't need to be clear, just melted. Now you also know which bowl won't fit in the microwave oven, too. Melting in a hot water bath is just fine. What you can do to make sure the oils don't get too hot is to melt only the hard oils, then stir in the room temperature liquid oils. To melt oils in the microwave (not all microwaves are created equal), I use the defrost setting, which on my MW is 30% of power. But regular power is fine too, if you do short bursts of heat (15-30 second intervals).

With the SB, short bursts are best. And only a few, not a lot. I know I am getting better at this myself, but sometimes I still do more stick blending than I should and boy, once it starts moving it doesn't always leave enough time to do anything fancy with the soap.

I have yet to soap with lard, but did buy some to make soap for my husband who is not a vegetarian. So thank you for sharing your experience. I will be sure to be cautious not to be too heavy handed with the stick blender. I burned out a stick blender when I first started soaping HP, so I am more cautious now, but still manage to do too much once in awhile.
 

Susie

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Congratulations on your first soap!

My concern is that you got false trace due to adding cold lye water to barely melted lard, and thereby re-hardening the lard. High lard soap takes a long time to get trace normally.

Also, you need to consider carrot baby food as a liquid, and subtract that amount from the total liquid. I also would have added that to the oils from the get go to prevent having possible streaks of it at the end that will then rot.
 

milky

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Congratulations on your first soap!

My concern is that you got false trace due to adding cold lye water to barely melted lard, and thereby re-hardening the lard. High lard soap takes a long time to get trace normally.

Also, you need to consider carrot baby food as a liquid, and subtract that amount from the total liquid. I also would have added that to the oils from the get go to prevent having possible streaks of it at the end that will then rot.
Eek. I was afraid of that but chose to ignore it. If it was a false trace what does that entail? Will it just take a lot longer to cure or is it more likely to separate or something?

I knew I wanted to include the baby food as part of it but wasn't sure how to incorporate it into the math (soapee). I could simply include it in total liquid, but then the two parts have an uneven amount.. Except that they do anyways.. Oops.

Can we get some pictures? I love pictures! :-D
Once i figure out how, sure :)
 

Susie

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Eek. I was afraid of that but chose to ignore it. If it was a false trace what does that entail? Will it just take a lot longer to cure or is it more likely to separate or something?
My first soap had false trace, also, so don't feel bad. If I were you, I would unmold and cut that soap (after an 18-24 hours wait) in a plastic tub to contain all liquids just in case of separation. Push gently on one corner with a gloved finger, if it does not dent with gentle pressure, it is time to cut. If you get any liquid, dump it all into a crock pot and hot process (HP) it. It should not require grating for this since it is new soap. Be very sure to wear gloves for this entire process.
 

milky

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I'm trying to put a picture up from my phone. Not sure if it's worked..

The soap is a little bit squishy and stuck to the mold slightly. Seems to be setting though. Do I have to cut into it to see if it separated?

It worked! The photo did anyways. That was the only cube I removed yet. Hoping the others harden some more so they don't stick.

14655108841381891537150.jpg
 

Cindy2428

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It's inexpensive and works great for silicone molds - Sodium Lactate 3% PPO
 

penelopejane

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Congratulations on your first soap!

As Susie said the amount of liquid you use in a recipe is critical.

The carrot puree has to be included as part of the liquid.

So if your recipe says 200 g of liquid and you want to use goats milk for the majority of it. Separate 180 g of goats milk and mix it with the lye just as you did. Then when the hard oils are melted until clear add the liquid oils and 20g of carrot puree and mix then add the goats milk and lye and mix.

You have to decide on how much carrot puree you want to use and adjust the amount of goats milk accordingly so the exact amount of liquid in the recipe is used.
 

cmzaha

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soaping high lard to cool can result in a layer of unsaponified fat in the middle of your soap. I would have warmed up the oils until they cleared.
 

milky

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Well, I hope it isn't a total botch because it smells awesome. Air freshener? Lol. I can't tell if there is an unsaponified middle layer or not. The half that was deeper in the mold is still soft. Definitely will be more careful about measuring liquids next time. Probably won't use full liquid amount either. Also the amount of carrot used to color versus the plain part wasn't a big enough difference to make a good swirl.

I got tired of waiting and unmolded the rest.

IMG_20160616_090418316_HDR.jpg


IMG_20160616_090304323.jpg
 

dixiedragon

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So exciting! Usually if there is separation it's pretty obvious - I've never heard of a secret pocket of separation in the middle. You can get what some people call "tunneling" which is separation through the middle that leaves a hole, but you'd be able to see the hole on the side of the cube.

As for the soap sticking to the mold, you can put the soap in the freezer. That will firm it up. Then run it under warm water.

Or, as I have recently discovered, if your molds are oven safe, you can put them in the oven on low heat. That will cook them a bit, speed up the chemical process and firm them up.
 

milky

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So exciting! Usually if there is separation it's pretty obvious - I've never heard of a secret pocket of separation in the middle. You can get what some people call "tunneling" which is separation through the middle that leaves a hole, but you'd be able to see the hole on the side of the cube.

As for the soap sticking to the mold, you can put the soap in the freezer. That will firm it up. Then run it under warm water.

Or, as I have recently discovered, if your molds are oven safe, you can put them in the oven on low heat. That will cook them a bit, speed up the chemical process and firm them up.
Thanks for the tips! :) When people unmold their soap, is it very common to freeze or heat it first? I see such beautiful pictures and videos of freshly unmolded soap and I don't know if that's from a special treatment or the recipe or from being extra super careful. I'm guessing that mine has been taking so long because of a combination of the silicon mold, high water content, and that I didn't let it get hot in the first place. Do you think I should have insulated it after pouring?

That's neat it hardens in the oven! I was actually wondering about that. Read about CPOP but didn't know about doing it with milk soap. Also thought maybe it was too late? So it is fine to put soap in the oven after it's cooled off or after a couple days?
 

penelopejane

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Some of the bars look great but others are soft so it looks a little unevenly mixed.

You didn't only use full water you used excess water because the carrot purée should be part of the water amount. So if you use 2 oz purée in a recipe you reduce the required water by 2 oz.

Do not cook the soap in the oven. CPOP is a process of gently encouraging gel. To do this preheat the oven to 100*F, use a thermometer to check as some ovens won't go that low. Turn the oven OFF and put your wrapped soap in for 12 hrs without opening the door.

The soap will harden up a bit over time but could go soft again when you start to use it. I think some of the white may be unsaponified lard because it wasn't melted at a high enough temp before being mixed in. (But this might just be your swirl.). Also the "water" content is too high.

Your next one will be better!
 
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dixiedragon

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Thanks for the tips! :) When people unmold their soap, is it very common to freeze or heat it first? I see such beautiful pictures and videos of freshly unmolded soap and I don't know if that's from a special treatment or the recipe or from being extra super careful. I'm guessing that mine has been taking so long because of a combination of the silicon mold, high water content, and that I didn't let it get hot in the first place. Do you think I should have insulated it after pouring?

If could be recipe or special technique. You don't really have to be "extra super careful".

Recipe: a soap with a lower amount of water and/or a higher amount of hard oils - coconut, lard, tallow, palm - is going to get harder faster, and thus be easier to unmold. Another option is sodium lactate or salt for a harder bar.

Techniques - Gel: Gel is when a dark, translucent spot starts in the middle of the soap. (Google for pics). Usually, we (meaning soapers) want either no gel or full gel. Nothing wrong with either one, merely a preference. Sometimes you get partial gel, which can cause a spot in the middle of the log. Nothing wrong with that, just cosmetic, but we generally consider it undesirable. (Probably because of our desire to control the soap.) If you gel, the soap will be harder in a shorter amount of time. You can ensure gel by wrapping your soap in a towel to insulate it so the heat stays trapped inside. You can also put your soap in a gently pre-warmed oven, provided your molds are up to it. If you are feeling brave, you put your soap in the oven and leave it on 150 F or under, until gel is corner to corner, then turn the oven off and let the soap sit in the toasty oven. This is what I do. Because I want to SEE GEL.

That's neat it hardens in the oven! I was actually wondering about that. Read about CPOP but didn't know about doing it with milk soap. Also thought maybe it was too late? So it is fine to put soap in the oven after it's cooled off or after a couple days?

I am not an expert on milk soap. Some people gel their milk soap, some actually pop the freshly poured soap directly into the freezer to prevent gel. This depends on if you want your milk soap as pale as possible, or if you would like a darker toasty-light brown color.

Somebody posted a thread called "twice baked soap" and that gave me the idea when I had some soap I was struggling to unmold. It was in my big HPDE log mold and I popped it back in the oven at 150 and left it in overnight, and it was easy to unmold the next day.
 

earlene

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Milky, I obviously was wrong in my previous post (regarding trace). I apparently was not thinking clearly at the time. I hope I don't do that very often, but who knows? Perhaps I do and just don't realize it. :think:

Anyway, I thought I'd mention that I, too have noticed I sometimes have to wait longer to unmold soap from silicone molds. Especially if I use full water, which I have begun to avoid doing lately. I have used Sodium Lactate and that does help also in regards to making the soap ready to come out sooner. But I also discovered that a recipe where I used SL at full water, when I use less water, I don't necessarily need the SL. If you use the MMS Lye Calculator there is a spot where you can choose to use Sodium Lactate and when you calculate the recipe, if gives you suggested amounts of SL for the recipe.

I have used the freezer method and the CPOP method. The freezer is fine for small individual molds, but I don't have room to put a loaf mold into my freezer, so that's just not going to happen here. But it works really really well for small individual molds. They pop right out after being in the freezer for a few minutes.

My first experience with CPOP did not go well, but that was my error although I did not discover what the problem was until much later. Anyway it put me off trying CPOP again for months because I had no idea I had made a mistake and used the wrong oil in the recipe. I just thought it was something wrong with the CPOP method. What it really was, was that I somehow thought I was using a completely different oil in the recipe than I was using, therefore I was not following my recipe. But I didn't know it at the time. I did eventually realize the error and learned that CPOP was not the problem with that failed batch. Oh, Geez, I just answered my own question above. I don't always think clearly! Don't tell my husband!

Here's the thing that happened with that soap. I ordered Fractionated Coconut Oil from a Supplier and when it came it was not labeled as such. When I opened it and used it I did not write Fx CO on the label or any such thing. I just left it as it was thinking I will know. What else could it be? Herein lies my downfall. Of course I forgot and at some point my mind told me I had ordered Pomace Olive Oil and used it as such. Hence the failed soap that was my first CPOP attempt! Later on I was looking through my orders from the supplier and that's when it dawned on me what had happened. I immediately went and labeled the bottle so I wouldn't make that mistake again.
 

dixiedragon

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Here's the thing that happened with that soap. I ordered Fractionated Coconut Oil from a Supplier and when it came it was not labeled as such. When I opened it and used it I did not write Fx CO on the label or any such thing. I just left it as it was thinking I will know.
Man, I've done that! Now I always make myself label stuff. I cover the label with a piece of clear tape so if the container gets spilled on, I can still read the label!
 

Guspuppy

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Man, I've done that! Now I always make myself label stuff. I cover the label with a piece of clear tape so if the container gets spilled on, I can still read the label!
What a great idea! I have FO bottles from BB I can't read the acceleration notes on b/c some of the FO spilled down the side.
 
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