My first volcano!

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by John Harris, Nov 3, 2019.

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  1. Nov 3, 2019 #1

    John Harris

    John Harris

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    I have no idea how it happened. I used the basic soap making techniques that I have used for most of my soap-making life. But when I added the lye-water to the oils I heard a "growling" sound, and the whole thing began to bubble and rise to the top of the pot. I stick blended it into submission, but it still wanted to erupt.

    I poured it into the molds. It looked like soap curds. It began to expand in the mold's cavities, as well. Using a plastic paint-scraper type thing, we kept directing the "soap" back into the cavities. Finally, it seemed to settle down, but it didn't look happy. I covered it with cardboard and insulated it.

    I have read about miracles on here when a disaster soap is allowed to go through gel and it ends happily ever after. I am hoping. Fortunately it was my first small batch - 9 bars. If it had been my usual 40-bar mold, I would have been alot more upset!

    Any ideas why it might have erupted?
     
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  2. Nov 3, 2019 #2

    Dawni

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    You'll probably have to tell us your recipe and maybe also temps :)
     
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  3. Nov 3, 2019 #3

    John Harris

    John Harris

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    I hate to just give this out willy-nilly cuz it IS the recipe for the perfect bar of soap. But, what the heck. ;)

    ____________%___________Grams
    1 Olive Oil ____13.89 ________150.00
    2 Palm Oil______7.13_________77.00
    3 Coconut Oil___19.63________212.00
    4 Shea Butter____5.74________62.00
    5 Beeswax______2.31________ 25.00
    6 Canola Oil ____13.89________150.00
    7 Lard________29.44________318.00
    8 Castor Oil_____7.96_________86.00

    Water 300 grams. Lye 148 grams. Superfat 5. Lye concentration 33.

    The oils may have been too hot. I had just removed them from melting on the stove. I stuck my finger in the oils. They were quite hot. (Didn't use a thermometer.)
    The lye-water was added quickly. (Like all at once.)
     
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  4. Nov 3, 2019 #4

    Misschief

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    *touching wood* In all the years I've been making soap (five or so??), I have never come close to volcano. I always let everything come to room temperature before mixing. I've had overheating but never volcano. Scary!
     
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  5. Nov 3, 2019 #5

    Obsidian

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    You are probably right about the temperature being a bit too high. Next time, make sure things are a bit cooler.

    Sounds like you probably saved it but if it ever happens again, don't pour it until its settled completely down.
     
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  6. Nov 3, 2019 #6

    cmzaha

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    :lol: You are safe here with the "Perfect Recipe," while it is yours it would not be mine, and that is perfect! But you poured too hot, creating the volcano.
     
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  7. Nov 3, 2019 #7

    Millie

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    Haha you are lucky I have just enough beeswax for the lipbalms I have planned today, or I would steal your recipe. (Don't worry, I'll forget it by tomorrow).

    I soap pretty hot these days too, but I'm thinking your oils would need to get even hotter to melt the beeswax. Plus beeswax will speed the batter along once the lye hits. Do you use a bain marie to melt your oils or direct stovetop? I'm thinking ye live a fast and furious life matey.

    Hmmm.... I might just need to use that beeswax for a soap after all.....
     
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  8. Nov 3, 2019 #8

    SoapySuds

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    Soap on a stick, quick trace and volcano, for me, all happen when my mixture is way too warm. I soap cold, room temp or slightly warm, about 90deg.

    Lye mixture has to be room temp, I hate waiting an hour or two for the lye mixture to decrease, and so, I have fun things to deal with, all temp related.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
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  9. Nov 3, 2019 #9

    Dawni

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    Lol don't worry about me though, I don't have access to palm :p
     
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  10. Nov 4, 2019 #10

    shunt2011

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    I agree, too hot. I’ve never had a volcano in almost 10 years thank goodness. Seen others post and not something I want to experience.
     
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  11. Nov 4, 2019 #11

    msunnerstood

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    I have volcanoes every time I make soap, but then I do HP and thats sort of expected and controlled :lol:
     
  12. Nov 4, 2019 #12

    Dawni

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    I rarely get em. I've overcooked my first couple of soaps waiting for volcanoes but only got one small one when I made a Castile. Must be my recipes.
     
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  13. Nov 4, 2019 #13

    msunnerstood

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    I soap really hot. I can normally go from lye water to in the mold in 30 minutes. Ive never had one i let reach the top of the pot but they try.
     
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  14. Nov 4, 2019 #14

    Marilyn Norgart

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    knock on wood---I have only had one--it was when I was using a pringles can as a mold when I first started soaping. I didn't know what was happening at the time. But it reminded me of those smoke worms that you lit and they just grew and were kinda foamy looking (wow that was a long time ago, does anybody even know what I am talking about?) but I just watched it grow out of the pringles can more and more
     
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  15. Nov 4, 2019 #15

    dibbles

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    I do - but I was around a long time ago too ;)
     
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  16. Nov 4, 2019 #16

    Dawni

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    I soap hot too. Hot lye, hot oils also. My timings are anywhere from 20-30 mins or so. But it just sits there. So maybe it's my slow cooker, even if it says high lol
     
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  17. Nov 4, 2019 #17

    GML

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    From my own experience I have more volcanoes if I use stir or use the stick blender more and I'm now disappointed if the soap doesn't volcano.
     
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  18. Nov 4, 2019 #18

    John Harris

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    I unmolded the soap this morning. Not a pretty sight. The top half looked like sheep's wool and was quite hard. The bottom half looked like regular soap but was quite oily and soft. There were also some DOS. I put it all into my curing rack and will forget about it for two or three months.

    For my next soap, I will wait til things cool down a bit before combining.
     
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  19. Nov 4, 2019 #19

    GML

    GML

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    Have you considered trying to re-batch the soap?
     
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  20. Nov 4, 2019 #20

    Marilyn Norgart

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    if it has DOS toss it
     
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