Pouring fresh mixed lye directly onto unmelted oils?

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mikvahnrose

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I am on a fb group, and a person said she just gets all of her oils (Like coconut, palm, etc) and pours fresh made lye onto it without melting the oils.

Anyone does this process? What is the result? Wouldn't you get a false trace?
 

shunt2011

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There have been some on here that have done this. It's called the heat transfer process. I believe they had good results. I myself haven't tried it
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I have done that. Depends on how cold everything is, of course - if the co and lard were in the fridge or freezer then it would be a lot to ask for the hot lye solution to melt it well. Also some of the harder, brittle butters could also use a bit of help before adding the solution. But it is a great time (and energy!) saver
 

Stacyspy

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I use this method often with several of my recipes. I've discovered that masterbatching lye isn't the best thing for me, so I mix my lye water as I go, and put the heat generated to work for me.
 

DeeAnna

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If you have a modest percentage of solid fats in the recipe, the heat-transfer method works well, but it's not the perfect solution for all kinds of soap making. If you want to use this method, the surest way to get decent results is to pour the hot lye on just the solid fats, so the heat of the lye solution is used only to melt these fats. Once the solid fats are melted, add the liquid fats.

This two-step approach allows you to heat up the liquid fats if needed to get the solid fats warm enough to fully melt. I don't recommend heating up soap batter with active lye -- it can be done, certainly, but it's not nearly as safe as heating up just the fats.

Once you get some history with a given recipe, you might be able to add the hot lye solution to the entire amount of fats and get good results, but I'd use the two-step method with a new recipe just to be on the safe side.

It's been my experience that this heat-transfer method doesn't work well with recipes that have a high percentage of solid fats, especially the stearic-palmitic fats such as palm, lard, tallow, or butters (shea, cocoa, etc.). It's likely there won't be enough energy in the hot lye solution to get the fats fully melted. These fats need to be melted so they are visually clear. This reduces the chance of hard "stearic spots" in the finished soap.
 
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Susie

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The temperature of your house also determines whether the heat transfer method is a good idea or not.

Before I got married to someone from Alaska, my house was 76-78 F during the warmer months. I was in the Deep South, so the warmer months were about 8 months of the year. I used the heat transfer method as long as the house was 76-78 F. Now I have to melt my solid oils, as my house is 72 F.
 

dixiedragon

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The temperature of your house also determines whether the heat transfer method is a good idea or not.

Before I got married to someone from Alaska, my house was 76-78 F during the warmer months. I was in the Deep South, so the warmer months were about 8 months of the year. I used the heat transfer method as long as the house was 76-78 F. Now I have to melt my solid oils, as my house is 72 F.
It also depends on the temp of where you store your oils. I store mine in my basement, so it tends to be on the cool side. During the winter I have a hard time getting a complete melt with the heat transfer method.

I personally don't like it - I feel like I am more in control of temps when I melt my oils and use room-temp lye.
 

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