Odd issue with shave soap

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Obsidian

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I tried a new HP shave recipe today, amongst other thing I increased my normal 20% steric to 35%.

Everything went just fine, added my melted oils and glycerin to the crock, slowly poured in my KOH while hand stirring. It immediately thicken and I used a wisk to whip to to a mashed potato consistency.

I turned the crock to low, covered and walked away for about 10 minutes. When I came back, it was a solid mass in the crock. It had completely set up.

I chopped it up with a knife, added some extra water and the SF. Turned the crock back on high and waited for the chunks to soften back up. I ended having to use the hand mixer to get it all mixed back together, at least enough so I could add the FO and get the mess into bowls.

Any ideas why it might have set up in the crock? Did it get too cool or did the high amount of steric mean I should have poured it as soon as it hit mashed potato consistency?
 

dosco

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It's probably a combination of the amount of stearic in addition to the amount of water you used.

-Dave
 

LBussy

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I use considerably more SA and less water, not had that happen (at least not to where I needed to address it). I don't drop the temp on mine till it starts doing that bubble thing up the sides at which point I stir again:

StartCook.png


The best guess I have is that it was a "phase" that maybe you never noticed? I know mine goes mashed potatoes, then semi-hard, then back to gloopy mush before settling into dryer mashed taters.
 

Obsidian

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Mine never even tried to boil up the sides. After I added the KOH, it thickened quite a bit but once I stirred it all together, it was loose like thin applesauce. It immediately went translucent but still looked oily, thats when I whipped it with the whisk and decided to let it cook more. Instead of cooking, it set up hard. It wasn't just stiff, it was quite firm.

I don't think turning the crock down had any impact, not enough time passed for the temp to actually drop. It was really strange, I'll just call it one of those weird things soap does and not worry about it.

I probably won't make this recipe again. It whips up into a really nice, thick slick lather but it dries out too fast. My original high tallow recipe doesn't lather as easy but it also doesn't dry or collapse.
 

LBussy

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Despite what Dr. Dunn says, there's still a lot which "just happens" I guess. My own recipe was created around that higher level of SA so ... who knows? It's certainly not dry and doesn't collapse but again, I went into it with that as the backbone. I've still many MANY recipes that look great on paper that I want to try, including a very high tallow and even (shocking for me) a vegan approach.

I guess it wouldn't be fun if it didn't still surprise us.
 

Obsidian

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I've seen enough weird "just happens" to never trust the soap making process. I'm sure there are reasons for it but with all the variables, its can be too hard to determine a cause.
I'm really surprised that this recipe dries out like it does but its only the very top of the lather, next to the skin its still nice and slick. I tried coco butter for the SF where I usually use shea, maybe that is part of the reason. I also used lard instead of tallow just because.
 

LBussy

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I do find lard (in a shaving soap) dryer than tallow. Not really sure why but I can always seem to pick it out.
 

Obsidian

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I went ahead and shaved my legs with this soap, it has a nice thick lather but its not slick enough. I have a fair amount of nicks now. I think I'll stick to my tallow soap. If I rub the lather between my fingers, there is a huge difference in slickness between the two. This did answer my question about lard though.

Now to figure out a use for this soap, maybe I'll rebatch, add in some melted steric and turn it into a cream soap for a sugar scrub.
 

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