Oil chart with trace acceleration amounts

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RobertBarnett

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Does any one know of a soaping oil chart that tells you how much trace acceleration the various oils cause if any? For example I know that castor oil can accelerate trace if you use too much, but what about the others?

And how much of the oil does it take?

Robert
 

newbie

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I'm not aware of chart that gives a quantified answer like that. People know which oils are more prone to speeding trace and which ones are slower, but as to quantities and actual speeds??? Never seen one.
 

DeeAnna

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Technique, amount of stick blending, other fats in the recipe, lye concentration, temperature, etc. can all greatly affect the time to trace, so I don't think your question can be answered in a black-and-white way. I suppose someone could do a research project and control all the variables except the % of a certain oil and draw some conclusions, but I would be skeptical if the experimental results could be reliably repeated using a different recipe, different technique, etc.

It's like someone making chocolate chip cookies from the exact same recipe -- for one cook, the cookies spread out in the oven and are crispy, and for another, the cookies are puffy and soft.
 

RobertBarnett

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Bummer. The reason I ask is the last batch of soap I made went from liquid to concrete in less time than it takes a politician to lie. I was able to get it to mold and it is a very nice soap, but now i am curious as to what other things can.

Robert
 

Seawolfe

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The only time I've had acceleration like you describe - it was the fragrance. Oh and stearic acid will do that too - but that's expected.

Now, some people target slow tracing fats and water amounts and temperatures to give them lots of time for intricate designs, but that's a different matter.
 

DeeAnna

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A soaper in another active thread explains her soap batter is reaching trace in a couple of minutes and she asks if that's normal. The poster talked about using her stick blender for (speaking from memory) something like 20-30 seconds at a time, hand stir, another SB for 20-30 seconds, etc. I replied something to the effect that this is normal when using a SB that much.

Just for grins, I looked at a video I did of a recent gardeners' soap that has lard, coconut oil, and 5% castor. The bottom layer of soap contains finely ground coffee. That is topped with a pencil line of cocoa and finished with a thicker layer of plain soap. That's a lot of fancy stuff for me!

I counted the seconds of stick blending from the time I added the lye until the soap was at a stable emulsion. I used the SB for a total of about 10 seconds in 2 minutes elapsed time. When the soap was at emulsion, I continued to color, manipulate, and layer the soap batter for another 19 minutes. The only reason why I was not able to work with the soap even longer was my EO fragrance blend was accelerating things -- the soap batter went from soupy liquid to a medium trace quickly after adding the EO blend.

At over 20 minutes of working time, I can't say the castor was causing any trouble! I wouldn't have guessed the elapsed time was that long, but the video footage is obviously more accurate than my memory.

ETA: So I guess what I'm saying in a roundabout way is that putting all the blame (so to speak) on a particular oil might be missing the boat. You may want to look at the whole method of how you make soap to see what you can tweak to get more working time with your soap batter. You might want to limit castor in some cases if you want to do really fancy intricate work, but you might see big changes just by altering your technique. If you want to troubleshoot your soap in this broader sense, tell us more about how you make your soap. You might get some tips that would be helpful.
 
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dixiedragon

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There's no chart that I know of like that. Deanna is right - too many variables. You can look at the soap making charts and look at the proportions of stearic and palmitic acid in the oil.

Like this one:
http://summerbeemeadow.com/content/properties-soapmaking-oils

But these don't tell the whole story. Castor is an odd duck - too much can speed trace yet also make a soft bar of soap. Lard makes a hard bar of soap, but slows trace. (Which is why lard is so very beloved here!)
 

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