Pouring batter before emulsion.

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by Amaress, Feb 11, 2019.

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  1. Feb 11, 2019 #1

    Amaress

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    Ive been seeing a lot of YouTube videos lately where batter is being whisked for a short amount of time and then sectioned off, colored, and then finally stick blended right before it’s poured (mostly I see it for straight lines in layers). This seems cool, but makes me uneasy - can you be sure the oils and lye are properly dispersed if you’re not at emulsion? Do you have to lick the whole bar when you’re done ?
     
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  2. Feb 12, 2019 #2

    Hendejm

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    Emulsion and trace are two different things. Emulsion is once all the oils and water/lye are mixed and you no longer see oil on top. Trace is once the saponification starts and it starts to thicken. I rarely take mine to trace - if so - just a VERY LIGHT trace. This allows for swirls, designs etc. what you are seeing is once emulsified, they separate out - add separate colors, fragrance, etc and then take it to trace and pour. You have much longer working time this way.

    And no! You do not lick the whole bar...haha! Search “zap test” and you will find lots of posts on how to do it. Good luck!
     
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  3. Feb 12, 2019 #3

    lsg

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    I think what you are seeing is soap blended until it is just emulsified. You can then divide your soap for scenting and coloring. Stick blend a little to make sure each is blended well from lightest color to darkest color.
     
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  4. Feb 12, 2019 #4

    SaltedFig

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    The batter needs to be at emulsion before it is divided off, otherwise there is a risk of it separating in the mold. Emulsion does look very thin, but there is a slight change in the look, that @newbie addressed in her thread: https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/stickblending-to-emulsion.60618/

    Direct link to newbie's stickblending to emulsion video:


    If the soap is uniform in texture, then zap testing the top and bottom of a bar should be more than sufficient.
    Zap testing is described here (you don't need to lick the soap directly ;)):
    https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/how-to-properly-safely-conduct-the-zap-tongue-test.63199/
     
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  5. Feb 12, 2019 #5

    Amaress

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    I don’t see how they’re getting the batter to emulsion. They’re literally whisking it by hand (li for like 10-30 seconds tops. I guess by watching this video it looks like it’s holding together okay, but it’s so hard to tell.

    Anyway, this is a great example of what I’m seeing:

     
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  6. Feb 12, 2019 #6

    SaltedFig

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    I've been watching their video's!

    See the difference in the colour of the batter, from the end (in the bowl) and the start (in the jugs)? ... the jug batter has turned a creamy colour.

    I think they are not showing all of the mixing - there's a cut at 0.43 to 0.44, where they transition from stirring in the bowl to pouring into the 3 jugs.
    The gap is at least long enough for them to set the bowl aside, set out the jugs and begin the pour, but the batter colour is creamier/slightly lighter in the jugs, so I think we missed a bit of mixing in that cut.

    That bit that she drops on the counter at 0:48 doesn't thin out like oil.
    I think that the batter would be mixed together enough to be the same blend in all of the jugs, which is all she needs, until she gets to the final colour mixing :)

    *Edited to add ... she stick blends each layer before pouring it too, so it is well past trace by the time it goes into the mold :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  7. Feb 12, 2019 #7

    Amaress

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    I’ve seen a couple other soapers do the whisking by hand method in the last few weeks - I’d never seen it before that. I’ll have to give it a shot and see what happens - but it seems far easier to just do a very careful stick blending.
     
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  8. Feb 12, 2019 #8

    SaltedFig

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    Whisking is pretty handy for fast moving recipes, but I'd be there a month of Sunday's if I whisked my olive soaps! :D

    When you whisk, sort of move the whisk up and down through the batter, without breaking the surface too much (it's easy to whisk in bubbles, although they come back out pretty easily at the start).

    Whisking the soap is a very forgiving method :)
     
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  9. Feb 12, 2019 #9

    jcandleattic

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    I will sometimes only whisk my soap to emulsion. I've never had a batch separate, and sometimes it only takes about 45 seconds to a minute of constant vigorous whisking for my recipe to come to emulsion.
     
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  10. Feb 12, 2019 #10

    DWinMadison

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    Thanks for starting this thread and all the responses. I really like this technique and plan to try it soon.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  11. Feb 13, 2019 #11

    Amaress

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    Interesting! I’ll give it a try this week and report back. I do a lot of line work, so I’m really interested to see if it will be a useful technique for me or just a new tidbit of info to store away :D
     
  12. Feb 13, 2019 #12

    cmzaha

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    I usually wisk mine to emulsion and separate the batter for colors, because my two go to recipes are pretty quick movers.

    ETA: I should mention I sometimes SB with just a burst or two instead of whisking.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  13. Feb 13, 2019 #13

    DeeAnna

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    I haven't watched the videos, but here's how this could work --

    If you shake oil and vinegar together very vigorously to make a quick salad dressing, you know how it will stay mixed at least for a short time? This is an example of a short-lived mechanical emulsion. The emulsion is unstable -- it might last for only a minute or so, and then the fat and vinegar will separate. But while it's sufficiently mixed, it would have a consistent composition.

    If you mix the lye and fat together briefly but vigorously, you can create a similar temporary emulsion that could last long enough so you could separate out the batter for coloring. In the short time that the mixture is emulsified, the soap batter is going to be fairly consistent, but you'd want to divide the batter quickly or risk getting some lye heavy portions and other fat heavy portions. The divided portions of batter then have to be mixed sufficiently to form a truly stable emulsion before the soap is poured into the mold.

    It's an advanced technique that I wouldn't recommend to a beginner, but I can see why people might do it in the interest of getting the maximum working time out of their soap batter.
     
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  14. Feb 13, 2019 #14

    Hendejm

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    Woohoo......I gues that means I’m no longer a beginner! It’s my go-to method these days! :)
     
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  15. Feb 13, 2019 #15

    Amaress

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    This was my exact worry while watching this. Hence the joke of having to lick the whole bar :p
     
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  16. Feb 14, 2019 #16

    DeeAnna

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    I totally get it that you're joking, @Hannah Felton. That said, I want to explain a bit more in a serious tone for the benefit of other soapers who might not understand. I have a real safety concern about the idea of "licking soap" even if said in jest.

    A newly cut bar of cold process soap can sometimes be slightly zappier (aka slightly lye heavy, aka more alkaline) in some parts of the bar (often toward the bottom) and not zappy elsewhere (often the upper parts of the bar). I'd say the idea being discussed in this thread makes it more likely you'll see this variation in alkalinity. Unless there's a serious problem with the way the soap was made, however, this variability should dissipate in a few days after the soap is cut. In other words, it's usually only a short-term issue.

    Many of us zap test as a double check to confirm the soap is properly made. I advise waiting 2-3 days or up to a week, and zap test then. By that time, any variability in the alkalinity should have disappeared and the zap test will confirm that your soap was properly made and is skin safe. I strongly advise not licking the soap to do a zap test. Here's a more appropriate and safer way to zap test: https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/how-to-properly-safely-conduct-the-zap-tongue-test.63199/
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  17. Feb 14, 2019 #17

    Amaress

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    Thank you @DeeAnna. Wouldn’t want to give anyone the wrong idea.

    My 2 year old has his own safety mantra he says every time he comes into the soaping room: “Mom! We don’t put the soap in our mouthes. We don’t eat soap.” Sometimes he also says that at restaurants and we have to convince him it’s not soap :lol:
     
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  18. Feb 14, 2019 #18

    SaltedFig

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    @Hannah, the wink in my post #4 is there to acknowledge your joke :)
    Just a slight addition - while it isn't be a problem with this particular soap (each batter layer was stick-blended before pouring) - testing both the top and the bottom of a soap is a good habit to develop, and if you are to test just one face, the bottom is better ;)

    That is just gorgeous! :)
     
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  19. Feb 14, 2019 #19

    Amaress

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    Im just used to being the only one that thinks I’m funny :oops::D
     
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  20. Feb 14, 2019 #20

    SaltedFig

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    It is hard to interpret deadpan delivery of jokes in text
    (I try to remember to add a wink now, just in case it gets taken seriously :))
    But you're funny :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019

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