M&P Cooled Too Fast, Help?

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kitchwitch

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I just got my first loaf mold, which I adore. My first batch was amazing, but a learning experience. I made my second loaf last night and wanted to get some expert advice.

The first layer (about 12 oz. in a 50 oz. mold) worked beautifully. The rest of the batch, I wanted it all (about 32 oz. plus add-ins) the same. So I melted the largest amount of M&P base I've ever done - 32 oz. I have a medium-sized microwave. It took a long time, which I expected, but started forming a skin as I was stirring/melting the last bits of soap in. By the time I added fragrance and extras (ground oats and cinnamon) I had a thick solid ring around the edge of the bowl and it was cooling fast. I got it in the mold and I think it'll turn out okay, but I've not experienced this before. I lost about 10% of it, stuck to the bowl.

My thoughts: Too much soap base in too small microwave? Add-ins somehow accelerated cooling and should be reduced in amount?

My idea is to split that chunk into two parts. Melt and pour half at a time. Since it'll be the same both times, where the two layers meet should be seamless.

But I am open to suggestion. I may have done something wrong and not realize. I'd love to hear feedback or similar stories.

Thanks!
 

Seawolfe

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Its very common to have to re-heat M&P during a soaping session. Which is why some people prefer double boilers right by their soaping station.
 

galaxyMLP

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Did you try re-heating that last bit before pouring it? Even with additives or fragrance in your MP soap, you can re-melt in very short bursts. I've re-melted after adding additives and fragrances many times when I was doing MP more often. It won't hurt your base/additives to do that.

I feel like maybe I'm missing something though. I'm a little confused by your explanation.
 

kitchwitch

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Thanks for the replies! Re-melt probably would have been the smart thing to do. Previously I worked with much smaller batches and got a much longer window to mix things in and pour. This happened so much more quickly that I thought I had made an error.

Let me know what I can clarify about my explanation. :)
 

galaxyMLP

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I was just confused as to whether or not you had tried to re-melt it during the process of adding things in/layering.

I'm also wondering what the finished soap will look like. I love pictures! :mrgreen:
 

kitchwitch

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I did not try to re-melt, but I see that I should have. Probably a stupid question, but - re-melt the whole thing at the end, or pour what I can, then re-melt what's left and pour more?

I will unmold tonight after work and post a photo. I put bubble wrap down in the mold first in hopes of a honeycomb effect on the top, so I'm excited to see if it worked!
 

galaxyMLP

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OoOoO, honey comb tops are pretty!

And the first one you said is the way I would do it. Just melt all of what is in the bowl. Its easier to do that and youre less likely to scorch the soap.
 

snappyllama

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I have the same problem with M&P setting up too fast - especially in the winter when I let my house temperature get pretty chilly. I don't attempt anything fancy with M&P but even coloring embeds and pouring was becoming a pita. One thing I've found to help is to crank up a heating pad on my counter top and rest the M&P container on top of it. That gives me more a lot more time to work.
 

kitchwitch

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I apologize that this has taken me so long, but here is a photo of how that batch turned out. I have since made the same recipe again with much greater success (and confidence). I increased the clear portion and poured the opaque in smaller sections.

Thank you again for the great advice. Every time I have a problem or question, I search the internet and always get about half the answer. I come here and am overwhelmed by the knowledge, patience and willingness to share what you know. I know what it's like to answer the same question a thousand times.

 

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