My first soap and it's a shave soap

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Str8t_Shaver

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Well I made my first soap yesterday and it's a shave soap. I basically followed the recipe in this thread
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=34264&highlight=shave
I used
52% Stearic Acid
28% Coconut oil 76 degree
10 Castor oil
I used a 30% KOH solution.
I added 7 grams of fragrance and 1.5 Tbls. of gylcerine during the cooling process.
Here is my problem.On the first attempt I did everything correct. When I poured the lye water into the hot oil in the crock pot it immediately turned to an apple sauce consistency. From there I took the stick blender and started to blend the mix. In about 1.5 seconds it volcanoed out the top and all over the counter. I wish I had video.
On the second batch I just used a spatula to mix and then let it cook for 5 minutes on high. It looked okay so I let it go 4 more minutes for a total of 9 minutes. There was no zap so I added my glycerine and fragrance and put it in tubs. The picture is after 15 minutes of sitting. It takes less water than the commercial brands that I own. I have not shaved with it yet so I can't say anything to how it performs. I will be trying that late tommorow.


Did I do things right? What do I need to do to mix and cook? That is the part I don't know anything about. If I could just get some help on what to do on a HP shave soap after I mix the lye water with the oils. Thanks for any suggestions in advance.

15min.jpg
 

snappyllama

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I like to leave out my stearic acid until my other oils + lye solution is fully emulsified. Stearic tends to insta-solidify so incorporating it into my crock pot a little at a time, combining, adding a little more, etc helps keep it under control.

I think what you saw was the stearic acid portion of your oils doing its insta solidification thing. You'll want to cook it until you get that translucent "vaseline" stage. Like all HP soaps, you'll want to give it at least full 4 weeks to cure before using. It will become better/more mild during that time.
 

Str8t_Shaver

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Thanks snappyllama. When you talk about leaving the steric out till the other oils + lye solution is emulsified does that mean until trace or until it has reached the Vaseline stage? At what point in the cook do I add the steric? I'm such a noob! :( Should I use a SB to blend? The first time I did this it literally blew up in a matter of 2 seconds all over the counter. Ah the joys of learning. My second attempt I stirred with a spatula and it only cooked for 9 minutes total. It was already at the Vaseline stage and I was afraid to let it cook another 45-50 minutes. Sorry for the silly questions, but I really want to learn.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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If it doesn't zap, it's cooked long enough. Even then, if you're not adding in any specific oils as superfat at the end of the cook, it's okay anyway.

Stearic acid is a funny old thing in that it will react instantly with lye, either KOH or NaOH. I tend to just break up this waxy mess and with some more heat it starts to mix in with the other oils very well - so I differ from Snappsford in that I have my stearic in with the other oils when I pour the lye in.
 

snappyllama

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We are happy to help, and there are no silly questions. There's a lot of ways to accomplish the same thing too. :)

I bring the oils + lye solution to very light trace on low heat. My crockpot is a newer model and its "low" feels like my old crockpot's "medium" setting. Then I put in my pre-melted stearic acid a little portion at a time - hitting it with a stick blender to make sure each portion is well incorporated before adding any more. Every time I add it, it tries to seize up and just turn back into a solid chunk of stearic acid so it takes a little finagling to get it all back to being fully incorporated. Then I cook it on low until I hit vaseline stage. For me on low that takes around 30ish minutes. Your crockpot on high might accomplish the same thing in only 9 minutes though.

Then I zap test it, add in my superfat and glycerin (you can add it up front, but I have the habit of adding it here - either way works), let it cool a bit, add in fragrance, and mold it. Still give it a nice cure... there's a lot of bad advice saying that HP doesn't need a cure or that cures are only to remove water. The soap itself becomes more mild - def. something you want in shaving soap.

It sounds like you made lovely soap, and shaving recipes aren't the easiest beginner recipe. Kudos and welcome to the addiction!

ETA: Cross posted with TEG. Snappsford, I like that! That can be my lord of the manor counterpart! Indeed!
 
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wearytraveler

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Hoping you keep at it. I'm still learning about the soap making process and have 6 batches under my belt and I have been reading up on shaving soap as I would like to try that eventually. Good luck!
 

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