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mmonette100

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Good evening all,

Well. I am hooked on soapmaking and have made my 3rd batch tonight trying to learn as much as I can and boy is there a lot to learn. There are so ,any variables.

I made a new recipe tonight and soaped a little hotter than I do the last 2 batches. My Lye was about 120 and my oils about 115.

I put it in my wooden log mold and since I made a fancy top, I didn't use my wooden cover, (cover fits inside and would have crushed my top) just a piece of cardboard and then in a towel. Well.. after looking at it after about 1 1/2 hours, There was a huge crack on the surface!! AHHH. My last two batches did not really crack like this and I HAD the wooden lid on those ones. Now it cracks without the lid but just some cardboard on top. I soaped at around 90F for the other batches.

Could soaping at a bit higher temp have caused this crack?

oh...

here was the recipe I used in case you need to know...

Rice Bran oil 35%
palm oil 30%
coconut oil 30%
Castor oil 5%

30% Lye concentration
5% superfat

2 TBSP pink clay
1/2 oz grapefruit EO
 

Soapmaker Man

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The crack was caused from heat building up in the log, in the mold and not being able to escape, caused like a "earthquake" split in the soap log. You soaped pretty warm and insulated too much. It will be a fine soap, just a crack on top. As it cools, the crack will settle down a bit, but not go away. Also watch as it cools for separation. You can trim the top after unmolding though.

Paul
 

mmonette100

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Thanks!

Would you suggest soping at a lower temp or not covering the mold at all? Or both?

Mike
 

Soapmaker Man

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Most of the time, I soap everything at room temp. When I do add a bit of heat, I soap when I can barely feel heat from the container I'm mixing in. If not RTCP, then I soap about 95 to 100 degrees. I put the wood lid on my TOG log mold for about an hour or so, when the soap hits full gel, off with the lid, on with a fan to cool quickly.

Paul :wink:
 

mmonette100

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Thanks for your help Paul. I appreciate the time you take to answer all of these questions. The people on this forum are awesome!

Mike M
 

cdwinsby

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Mike,

A little while ago I decided to try soaping hotter than my usual 90 - 95 just to see how things went. Did everything else as usual and got cracks just as you described. The inside of the soap looked like crackled glaze as well. I tend to insulate quite well and haven't had this ever happen to me before and I've been soaping for 10 years.

So I my conclusion is that I'm not one for soaping higher than 95. I guess it gives me more time while everything is cooling to plan the next batch. :D

One thing you can do to help to prevent this is to check the soap every hour or so until you get a full gel and then take all insulation and the cover off of the soap so it will cool.
 

Becky

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I had that happen just a few batches ago. I caught it in time and put it in the fridge straight away. It settled down, and now that it's cut you wouldn't know it happened.
 

bassgirl

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*lightbulb moment* :shock:

So am I understanding correctly? You insulate only until gel is complete and then it's best to cool it off by uncovering it?? I've always kept it covered for about 24 hours no matter what.

TIA!
 

cdwinsby

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So had I in the past but have found that as you change things....like adding milk or sugar, moving your location where you insulate, different size molds, oils, etc.....so do you need to adjust your methods.

I feel like I'm constantly learning new things every day even after soaping for so long. I don't think that will ever change either....there is just way to much to learn and experince.

Currently I uncover as soon as I reach a gel or else my soaps overheat...my recipe includes some sugar and milk. I also use a wooden mold with a wooden lid and cover with wool blankets. I probably could skip the blankets but have a fear of a partial gel and would rather be more attentive to the soap than have that happen. :D
 

Soapmaker Man

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bassgirl said:
*lightbulb moment* :shock:

So am I understanding correctly? You insulate only until gel is complete and then it's best to cool it off by uncovering it?? I've always kept it covered for about 24 hours no matter what.

TIA!
Yes, once your batter has achieved full gel, the saponification process is at its peak, and cooling as soon as possible by removing the lid and turning on a fan if possible is the next step. There is no need to keep the heat in after you have reached the full gel stage.

Paul :wink:
 

carebear

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I dunno - I think that rapid cooling can promote ash, so while I might take the insulating blankets off, I leave the cover on so that it slows the cooling.

But I've not completely solved the ash mystery so it may be faulty reasoning

(and I have textured tops or the like, so saran wrap ain't gonna cut it for me)
 

Soapmaker Man

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I guess I'm lucky, in over 3 years of soaping, I have never experienced ash, ever. :) I've seen pics of soapers problems with ash, and it is definitely there, I just have not had it. I always cool my logs mold or slab mold, top off, under a ceiling fan on medium.

Paul
 

cdwinsby

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Soapmaker Man said:
I guess I'm lucky, in over 3 years of soaping, I have never experienced ash, ever. :) I've seen pics of soapers problems with ash, and it is definitely there, I just have not had it. I always cool my logs mold or slab mold, top off, under a ceiling fan on medium.

Paul
That actually might be why....if you think about it....ash seems to be an evaporation produced from the hot soap. So if you're blowing the condensed air away, it's not settling back down on the soap to dry. :D

Cool....I'm going to use my fan for awhile to see what happens.....thanks Paul!
 

bassgirl

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Oh, good! I happen to have a ceiling fan right over my work table, so I'll try that next! I don't really want to use plastic wrap on my soap either.

The only soap I've made that seemed to get significantly hot had pumpkin in it. Everything else just feels warm and I've been leaving it covered and under a wool blanket. Cool, another new thing to try! :D
 

bassgirl

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So I made a batch yesterday and uncovered it when it was almost all the way gelled. I was afraid to uncover it too soon because it didn't look like it was gelled all the way into the corners, but the corners were starting to get ash. So I set it uncovered under the ceiling fan and, lo and behold, there is no ash, except what was already in the corners! WOOHOO!!! :D

I'm especially happy about that since I tried wiping the ash off all my other bars yesterday with the alcohol & water method, and didn't have much success.
 

Sudsy Bubbles

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Coconut and palm both tend to overheat in my soap.

I use a lot of coconut and palm because it make such a nice hard bar. I rarely cover my soap except to help the corners of the mold to gel.

Honey,beeswax,sugar and milk also cause overheating and cracks.
Been there...done that!


Sudsy Bubbles
 

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