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Liquid HP methods

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gsc

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I've been away from soapmaking for a while so I know this topic may be quite old so forgive me. I've seen videos for fluid HP methods, one method is typical procedure adding yogurt or milk at the end. The other method is letting the batch volcano up and stir down (doing this several times). Is there a big difference in these two methods? Pros and Cons please. I've never done HP method before.
 

Arimara

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@AliOop commented about this in a thread. I tend to make do with covering my crockpot with cling wrap during cook and letting the magic happen. For the yogurt/milk method, you can bypass that if you have sodium lactate on hand. I don't do the volcano method (it requires high heat) and if this is your first time, I suggest you use low heat until you get a feel for HP.
 

AliOop

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+1 with what @Arimara says. You don't want to do high-heat HP with "expansions" (nicer word than volcanoes) until you are really comfortable with the whole soaping process. It's just too stressful, and you can achieve fluid HP without that. Use at least 2.5:1 water to lye, or even 3:1 like @Dawni. You can reserve some of the water to add post-cook along with yogurt, milk, sodium lactate, fragrance, and/or reserved super-fat oil.

Covering the cooking pot during the cook will help with retaining moisture. Also, make sure that all of the post-cook additives, and the containers they are in, are warmed. Adding anything cold, or even using cold spatulas, can make the batter less fluid.

The HP pros here are @msunnerstood @linne1gi and @Dawni and hopefully they will chime in with their suggestions, too.
 

Dawni

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Not a pro lol but I do make fluid enough HP lol. Mind you, it's never completely fluid like some of those I've seen where they look like CP from far lol

I differ my water amounts for each recipe - more water for more hard fats, and any water absorbing additives like clays, etc. and less for mostly liquid oil recipes. I use the full 3:1 if I'm trying for more complicated swirls. I've tried less than 2:1 even for a plain Castile with no additives.

I don't use all of the water up front. Usually it's about 75% and then sometimes I don't use the rest of the 25% except for small amounts for colorants like titanium dioxide, except if I see its too thick for whatever design I've planned.

Over the last two years of soaping I've changed my process to almost never leaving the soap for more than 5-7mins - that means I'm stirring constantly. As learned from @msunnerstood, it helps distribute the heat and makes for a smoother consistency. My cooking times vary between 10-25mins after trace, depending on recipe and batch size. Sometimes there's barely enough time to scramble for colorants and weigh superfat, if I didn't prep them beforehand lol

I use a slow cooker. I add anything that can be added to the pot before/while it's cooking, so that not too much heat and water evaporates later when the cover is off and you're adding everything else. I've gotten maybe 3 volcanoes tops, maybe because I do stir constantly, but everything is melted and hot when I stir in the hot lye.

I do not think yogurt can replace sodium lactate, from personal experience, and I've actually stopped using SL. Nothing beats yogurt lol but it's not a requirement if you already have a fluid enough batter. I keep it ready but don't always use it.

Ehm.. I have a post here on what I've learned, with great info from others as well.
 

msunnerstood

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I echo much of what @Dawni said. Something else that helps is if you mix your colors with very hot sugar water after the cook when you separate the batter. Withhold a bit of your water in your recipe to do this. The sugar acts as a solvent and helps with fluidity. It also makes for brighter colors than oil, no clue why but it does.

Just be careful and dont add too much sodium lactate because it can reverse and start to harden your batter before you are ready
 

Angie Gail

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I make HP goat's milk soap and I hold back 15% of the water (from the lye solution) and mix that with powdered goat's milk and add after the cook when it's cooled down to 180 degrees. I usually add the fragrance oil before the goat's milk at around 190 degrees. I stir it frequently while I'm waiting for it to cool to 180 (it's usually around 205 after it's done cooking). Then after the goat's milk, I add the sodium lactate and stir very vigorously - the harder you stir the looser it gets. That usually makes it smooth enough to spoon into detailed molds.
 

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Dawni

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Then after the goat's milk, I add the sodium lactate and stir very vigorously - the harder you stir the looser it gets. That usually makes it smooth enough to spoon into detailed molds.
Thanks for this :)
I learned something new today.
Those pumpkin soaps are too cute
 

Angie Gail

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Thanks for this :)
I learned something new today.
Those pumpkin soaps are too cute
The pumpkin soaps are Pumpkin Cider scent and they smell so good! I was a little underwhelmed the first time I used the sodium lactate. It did make the batter a little looser but not a huge difference. Then the second time I stirred like my life depended on it (ha!) and it made a big difference. I'm usually tired by the time I get to that step but I give it all I've got!
 

gsc

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I make HP goat's milk soap and I hold back 15% of the water (from the lye solution) and mix that with powdered goat's milk and add after the cook when it's cooled down to 180 degrees. I usually add the fragrance oil before the goat's milk at around 190 degrees. I stir it frequently while I'm waiting for it to cool to 180 (it's usually around 205 after it's done cooking). Then after the goat's milk, I add the sodium lactate and stir very vigorously - the harder you stir the looser it gets. That usually makes it smooth enough to spoon into detailed molds.
How much powdered milk do you usually add ppo?
 

gsc

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I echo much of what @Dawni said. Something else that helps is if you mix your colors with very hot sugar water after the cook when you separate the batter. Withhold a bit of your water in your recipe to do this. The sugar acts as a solvent and helps with fluidity. It also makes for brighter colors than oil, no clue why but it does.

Just be careful and dont add too much sodium lactate because it can reverse and start to harden your batter before you are ready
Is it possible to masterbatch sugar water for colorants?
 

msunnerstood

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Is it possible to masterbatch sugar water for colorants?
Sugar water would mold. I generally put a 1/4 cup of water in a small crock pot and add sugar so its warm until i need it or you could prep some distilled water and sugar in a cup and microwave it for 30 seconds when you need it.
 

KimW

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I have limited experience but agree with what @Dawni said, in that FluidHP is not always so "fluid". I make small batches and use large stainless measuring cups (6-8 Cup), to carefully heat my oils on the stovetop. So far, I've found it difficult to reach and maintain the oil temperature of 220F+ prescribed for most FluidHP that don't add lactates (yogurt, sodium lactate, etc), without being in a hurry - which can take some joy out soaping! I've also found the amount of fluidity depends on the oils used, but I don't yet understand why. For instance, even the latest "champion" of Fluid HP has a video where she uses 100% OliveOil and the batter ends up like typical HP, but she doesn't add any lactate. Here's that video, just FYI:

Because the most fluid FluidHP seems very dependent on oil temperature and type, I'm leaning away from this method except for making M&P bases. I mean the FluidHP bars might ready to use when cooled, but the wise still allow HP bars to "age" 2-4 weeks, and preferably even longer.
 
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Angie Gail

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How much powdered milk do you usually add ppo?
I don't remember now where I read it but one soap site said you could hold back 15% of the water from the lye solution. For my recipe that was 2oz. I mixed a 1/4 oz of the powdered goat's milk with the 2oz of water.
 

msunnerstood

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I mix my goat's milk with a little bit of oil and add it just like I would a color and after the cook I use one tablespoon per pound of oil. You just have to make sure your temperature is less than 180 before you add it or it will s orch and turn brown.
 
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