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Gemmali

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After having a rough first batch and taking lots of notes about what I could do differently, I decided to buy some lard and see what that was about as I continue on this journey. I fixed my lye water ratio and really got thoughtful about what I was doing.

Lard 50%
Castor Oil 5%
Coconut Oil 15%
Olive Oil 15%
Cocoa Butter 15%
1 tsp honey
1 tsp SL

First lard based soap turned out great, though it did turn quite orange while I was blending it and it did go from no trace to pudding super fast. Maybe the small amount of honey? I let the everything cool down to about 90 degrees before I blended. I left it uncovered at waited about 20 hours before checking it. When I picked it up it was pulled away from the edges of the mold and was sliding up easily with little pressure on the bottom. When I inverted the mold it slipped right out! However, my corners and many edges crumbled away >.> I did not cover this soap at all. I am currently using this soap and it is nice and creamy and leaves my body and hair feeling great.

Back to the drawing board.

Same recipe with a few little tweaks..

Lard 50%
Castor Oil 5%
Coconut Oil 20%
Olive Oil 15%
Cocoa Butter 10%
1 tsp honey

Everything else was the same for lye ratio and such. I did cover my soap this time. though I woke up in the middle of the night for some reason thinking my soap had exploded and when I checked on it my husband noted how extremely hot the box was and the inside temp was wow. The center of the soap was bubbled up like a cupcake!! We opened the box and uncovered it and it was flat and nice and cool by morning. the outside of the soap was smooth and perfect. It slipped out of the mold with entirely intact corners and edges after 24 hours and I thought VOILA!! However when I cut it it was all crumbly on the inside >.>.. I used a tiny piece of it the other day and it felt fine, and its nice and hard right now after a few weeks.

I did get the same super hot and fast 0-60 trace though.

I tried again, this time using avocado oil and shea instead of cocoa butter. I did include the honey and a little kaolin clay. I hear honey helps with bubble and lather and is a great humectant which I need.

I used a round bar mold this time so I didn't need to cut it, but all in all it feels way smoother than the others. I feel like I'm getting better, but I also feel like I'm missing something simple here that's causing the fast trace.. I mixed the honey into the oils this time before adding the lye water and though it did accelerate it did so more slowly.

Am I missing the forest for the trees here?

IMG_20190102_131440.jpg IMG_20190102_131544.jpg 1546467321284.JPEG
 

dixiedragon

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First recipe:
After having a rough first batch and taking lots of notes about what I could do differently, I decided to buy some lard and see what that was about as I continue on this journey. I fixed my lye water ratio and really got thoughtful about what I was doing.

Lard 50%
Castor Oil 5%
Coconut Oil 15%
Olive Oil 15%
Cocoa Butter 15%
1 tsp honey
1 tsp SL

First lard based soap turned out great, though it did turn quite orange while I was blending it and it did go from no trace to pudding super fast. Maybe the small amount of honey? I let the everything cool down to about 90 degrees before I blended. I left it uncovered at waited about 20 hours before checking it. When I picked it up it was pulled away from the edges of the mold and was sliding up easily with little pressure on the bottom. When I inverted the mold it slipped right out! However, my corners and many edges crumbled away >.> I did not cover this soap at all. I am currently using this soap and it is nice and creamy and leaves my body and hair feeling great.

Back to the drawing board.​

The melting temperature of cocoa butter is 93-101 degrees. So you have have let your oils cool to the point of false trace. False trace is when the soap is thickening up b/c your oils are cooling down and starting to solidify, vs trace which is a result of your oils + lye combing to become soap. Your soap didn't separate, but I do think it could have used more stirring. However, the crumbling could also be because the soap was brittle, which could be a combination of the cocoa butter and the sodium lactate. Not sure about that - I've never used SL.

The orange color was the honey.
 

dixiedragon

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My suggestion - KISS! Keep it Simple, Soaper! :)

Lard: 40-50%
Coconut - 10-20%
Castor - 5%
Remainder - olive oil or sunflower (or split between those).

Honey - 1 teaspoon per pound oils.

Fragrance - make sure it is soap safe. Also, be aware that anything spicey - cinnamon, clove, etc - will tend to heat up and thicken up your soap.

Heat oils to 80-90 degrees. Let lye water cool to room temp (70-80). Put fragrance and honey into oils once they are 80-90. Blend with the stick blender as you pour your room temp lye water. Blast for 10 seconds (or so), then stir 2-3 times with the motor off. Repeat until trace. Pour. Put the mold on something that raises it up off of the counter, so air can circulate underneath. Such as a soup can at each corner.

BTW, tell me more about the fragrances you used. I think those might be a big part of the problem.​
 

IrishLass

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Honey has never caused me issues with fast trace (I use a little over 1 tbsp. ppo), but hard fats and butters do....as well as certain FOs. When working with a significant % of butters (any butter over 10% is significant to me, especially one as hard as cocoa butter) in combination with a large % of a solid-at-room-temp fat, I always soap on the warm side - at least 110 degreesF - in order to prevent pseudo-trace and the resulting stearic spots, which are those white dots peppering your cut bars in your pic.

Crumbling could be caused by any number of factors: 1) depending on how much sodium lactate you use in relation to your water amount, things can get crumbly upon unmolding/cutting. 2) ungelled soap will be soft and be crumbly at the edges if unmolded/cut too soon (I wait about 48 hours before unmolding ungelled soap for this reason); 3) lye-heavy soaps are crumbly, breaking into shards when cut into. Those are just to name a few.


IrishLass :)
 

Gemmali

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I keep trying to figure out how to minimize the coconut since I'm sensitive but so far I'm not having much luck. I will keep all this in mind as I go forward though. I found a new recipe I want to try that's Olive, coconut, castor and shea. Though I really do like the lard soap so far! Oh and I also want to try Zany's Castille soap :) I'll give your suggestion a try as well. I know a ton of people don't care for lard or other animal products in their soap but man it makes my skin feel so soft!!

In the first bar, my husband chose a blend of Jack Frost type fragrace oil from A&N Suds and Suck (only .5 oz) and a small amount of wintergreen and orange essential oils from the Melalueca Company.. like 35 drops between them.

The second batch was black cherry and coconut cabana. 1oz in total both from Rustic Escentuals.

The last batch was vanilla buttercream, used at 1.5 oz, from A&N Suds and Such :)

First recipe:
After having a rough first batch and taking lots of notes about what I could do differently, I decided to buy some lard and see what that was about as I continue on this journey. I fixed my lye water ratio and really got thoughtful about what I was doing.

Lard 50%
Castor Oil 5%
Coconut Oil 15%
Olive Oil 15%
Cocoa Butter 15%
1 tsp honey
1 tsp SL

First lard based soap turned out great, though it did turn quite orange while I was blending it and it did go from no trace to pudding super fast. Maybe the small amount of honey? I let the everything cool down to about 90 degrees before I blended. I left it uncovered at waited about 20 hours before checking it. When I picked it up it was pulled away from the edges of the mold and was sliding up easily with little pressure on the bottom. When I inverted the mold it slipped right out! However, my corners and many edges crumbled away >.> I did not cover this soap at all. I am currently using this soap and it is nice and creamy and leaves my body and hair feeling great.

Back to the drawing board.​

The melting temperature of cocoa butter is 93-101 degrees. So you have have let your oils cool to the point of false trace. False trace is when the soap is thickening up b/c your oils are cooling down and starting to solidify, vs trace which is a result of your oils + lye combing to become soap. Your soap didn't separate, but I do think it could have used more stirring. However, the crumbling could also be because the soap was brittle, which could be a combination of the cocoa butter and the sodium lactate. Not sure about that - I've never used SL.

The orange color was the honey.
I did heat the oils to about 120.. and I thought I was blending/stirring enough.. perhaps its just something that comes with practice? :) Glad to know I was right about the color being from the honey. I assumed it was but wasn't sure ^-^ Thank you!

Honey has never caused me issues with fast trace (I use a little over 1 tbsp. ppo), but hard fats and butters do....as well as certain FOs. When working with a significant % of butters (any butter over 10% is significant to me, especially one as hard as cocoa butter) in combination with a large % of a solid-at-room-temp fat, I always soap on the warm side - at least 110 degreesF - in order to prevent pseudo-trace and the resulting stearic spots, which are those white dots peppering your cut bars in your pic.

Crumbling could be caused by any number of factors: 1) depending on how much sodium lactate you use in relation to your water amount, things can get crumbly upon unmolding/cutting. 2) ungelled soap will be soft and be crumbly at the edges if unmolded/cut too soon (I wait about 48 hours before unmolding ungelled soap for this reason); 3) lye-heavy soaps are crumbly, breaking into shards when cut into. Those are just to name a few.


IrishLass :)
The shea seemed to work better for me overall, so i'm curious to see the difference. I'm wishing I'd used the same mold for comparison now actually. The lesson takeaway here: Work warmer, leave in the mold longer :) I think thats what I'm getting :) I only used a single teaspoon of SL with 7.o2 oz of water in second one. Are the spots cosmetic? I don't feel any negative effects when I use the first bar at all.. in fact everyone that has used it so far has quite loved it. I'd hate to think I'm doing harm to anyone unknowingly...thank you for your feedback :)
 
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SaltedFig

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@IrishLass - do you still add your honey to your lye water?
(I still think your honey and beeswax soap is one of THE prettiest honey soaps btw!)

@Gemmali Using IrishLass's technique of adding the honey to cooled lye water (and letting that heat and cool again) can help reduce overheating in honey soaps (and you'll get to see the orange in the lye water - it's quite impressive!)

Links on how to reduce the heating effect of honey:
https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/my-experimental-honey-beeswax-soap.55689/#post-536352
https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/cant-beat-the-heat-of-honey.71962
 

Gemmali

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@IrishLass - do you still add your honey to your lye water?
(I still think your honey and beeswax soap is one of THE prettiest honey soaps btw!)

@Gemmali Using IrishLass's technique of adding the honey to cooled lye water (and letting that heat and cool again) can help reduce overheating in honey soaps (and you'll get to see the orange in the lye water - it's quite impressive!)

Links on how to reduce the heating effect of honey:
https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/my-experimental-honey-beeswax-soap.55689/#post-536352
https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/cant-beat-the-heat-of-honey.71962
Thank you so much! This is extremely important to me to get right. I dream of making it great one day but first and foremost my family and friends come first and getting it right is key. I'm not in a hurry.. I am definitely willing to put in my time. I'm just feeling a little... frazzled? :) I fee l like I'm getting better with each batch even just a little so all this information is so appreciated ^-^ I'm putting things into a new notebook to keep track cause my old one looks a fright with all the stuff crossed out, 'corrected' and notated lol
 

dxw

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The melting temperature of cocoa butter is 93-101 degrees. So you have have let your oils cool to the point of false trace. False trace is when the soap is thickening up b/c your oils are cooling down and starting to solidify, vs trace which is a result of your oils + lye combing to become soap.
Whoah, TYVM. That is a new soap-fact to try and assimilate … and explains some of my mysterious observations. Thanks.
 

Obsidian

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Many coconut FO's will accelarate and heat the batter, a lot. Did you check reviews of the fragrances you bought?
 

Gemmali

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Many coconut FO's will accelarate and heat the batter, a lot. Did you check reviews of the fragrances you bought?
I did! and its not supposed to, but maybe :) I had only used it once before in melt and pour so I'm not sure.
 

penelopejane

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How much soap (weight of oils) are you using?
1 tsp of additives might be way too much.

You might be using a small amount of EO depending on your batch size.
 
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