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Question about GM Soap (UPDATED)

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Dana

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Ok, I tried my first batch of gm soap a few nights ago.
Used Paul's RTCP method.
I have heard people say GM soap can turn orange (why?) And be white to brown in color.
What makes it that way? (that color?)

Should GM soap gel or no? I
know in soapmaking in general I have read to gel or not to gel is a user preference.
But I wondered if there was a definite answer with GM (or any milk soap).

Mine did not scorch or overheat, but it def did gel. And it is a a pretty dark color brown.

At first I thought it might be the color of the aloe vera juice but I also have made a castile soap with that same lye solution and it is pretty and white.

So........is it the milk? The temp? Is it ok? Not ok? If it was a bit more orangish I'd say it looks like pumpkin pie lol. I did add oatmeal and honey but I have seen pics of GM OMH soaps that are not dark like mine.

Insight? Advice? Answers? lol

Thanks

dana
 

Barb

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when your gm turns orange, you've burnt it. you want the milk it to be slushy frozen to solid frozen when you add the lye to it. you can also do a cold water bath to keep it cold. dissolve the lye slowly, pouring a small amount on the frozen slushy milk, and stirring till dissolved do this several times till it's all dissolved.

there are several ways to handle gm. first and easiest i think is powder. you can make a slurry of the gm and a very small amount of your lye liquid and after mixing it well you can either add it to your oils and sb it well before adding the lye liquid or add it at trace. you can also just add the powder to your oils and sb it before adding the lye liquid but i end up with soap that has a grainy feeling to it.

canned milk. which you have to reconsitute, you can dissolve the lye in the water amount and add the milk from the can at trace. now this is already a light tan color due to the canning process so your already at a slight disadvantage to begin with as far as having a darker soap.

fresh milk. freeze it into ice cubes. my method is to melt my hard oils, then add the room temp ones and stir, let cool down to room temp, then measure out the cubes, and the lye. pour the lye over the cubes and stir the daylights out of it till it is all dissolved. proceed to make soap. my milk will be a cream to lemon color. i will not have stark white soaps but cream colored. you can also add td to counter the darkness.

fragrance oils containing a big percentage of vanilla will make your soaps darker, for example an ohm fragrance. that being said gelled gm soaps tend to be darker due to the heating of the natural sugars in the milk. it carmalizes it. some milk soaps can become so hot that they expand out of your mold or will crack down the middle.

and some fragrance oils will get hot and gel no matter what you do. i have had a lilac fragrance gel in the refrigerator.
 

itsmeroro

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Re: Question about GM Soap

Dana said:
Ok, I tried my first batch of gm soap a few nights ago.
Used Paul's RTCP method.
I have heard people say GM soap can turn orange (why?) And be white to brown in color.
What makes it that way? (that color?)

Should GM soap gel or no? I
know in soapmaking in general I have read to gel or not to gel is a user preference.
But I wondered if there was a definite answer with GM (or any milk soap).

Mine did not scorch or overheat, but it def did gel. And it is a a pretty dark color brown.

At first I thought it might be the color of the aloe vera juice but I also have made a castile soap with that same lye solution and it is pretty and white.

So........is it the milk? The temp? Is it ok? Not ok? If it was a bit more orangish I'd say it looks like pumpkin pie lol. I did add oatmeal and honey but I have seen pics of GM OMH soaps that are not dark like mine.

Insight? Advice? Answers? lol

Thanks

dana
Hi Dana

Yupo, orange color is from the GM getting to hot in the lye mix. You can use ice baths but I have fiddled around with GM and what works great for me is to mix my lye and aloe juice - and add the remaining GM liquid right before trace. I have not had to worry about my GM burning - and it turns out to be a lovely tan color. Also, I am not too anal about the temps that I soap at and it has worked out well (so far) for me.

I am trying the "no gel" method lately and think I will set my next GM batch in the freezer to prevent gel - this will also help with it not getting too hot.
 

IrishLass

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Hi Dana!

I do pretty much what Itsmeroro does (the above post), and my GM soaps always come out a pale, creamy or off-white color, even when they gel.

What I do is I mix my lye with 2/3 of my water amount, and set it aside. Then I add the rest of my water amount as fresh and cold (not frozen) GM at trace. I've also stickblended the fresh, cold GM into my oils just before adding the lye/water mixture, or even right after, all with excellent results.

The thing I make sure that I don't do is allow any of the lye or lye/water mixture to touch any of my bare-naked GM in a direct manner, whether it's frozen or not. Some people have very good results mixing the lye and frozen GM directly, but I sure don't, let me tell ya! :lol: I've tried the ice cube method, the slushy method, etc, etc, etc.. and my GM would always turn orange, with the resulting soap turning tan/ brown. It was still good to use, by the way, but I was hoping for that elusive, lighter color that I happily have with the afforementioned method that I use now.

The GM I use is the refrigerated GM in a carton that you can find in the the refrigerated section of most grocery stores. It's made by Meyenberg, the same company that makes the canned kind, but unlike the canned, the refrigerated kind is creamy white and delicious (just in case you're into drinking it besides soaping it :wink: ).

As mentioned above, for my usual GM soap, I use 1/3 of my total liquid amount as GM, but when I want to make a 100% GM soap, I do the same exact thing as above, but with a twist. The twist is that directly to my 1/3 amount of fresh GM, I stir in 1 tablespoon of powdered GM for every 2 ounces of the water or aloe juice amount that I had mixed beforehand with the lye in another container. This makes a 100% GM dilution when all is said and done, and the beauty of it is that none of my lye ever hit any of my bare-naked GM in a direct manner, which givies me a nice, creamy off-white GM soap every time, even when it gels. WoHoo! :)


HTH!
IrishLass :)
 

Dana

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Ok thats good to know.

Barb, I used Paul's RTCP method. You aren't supposed to need to freeze the GM. The milk was cold though. I added at trace.
I used no FO.

Otherwise I pretty much did everything you all did:
Used 50/50 lye solution (w/aloe juice).
Everything was room temp, except the gm which was cold from the fridge.
Mixed lye solution with oils, brought to light trace, added gm, honey and oats.
Thats it.

Maybe I'm missing something that you are recommending that I did not do?

thanks
dana
 
G

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GM soap, especially with added honey - can overheat very easily. The honey can turn it dark as well. Do you think it overheated?
 

Dana

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I'm not sure Marr? This is the first time I've made Gm or OMH soap.
I can't remember if it turned in the mixing bowl, or in the mold. Mind is blank.
I think what I'll do is make another batch when I get home from work tonight.
Maybe even omit the oatmeal and honey just to test and see what happens.

I don't know what else to do than to try again and see if I get the same results?

Thanks!

Dana
 

IrishLass

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Dana said:
I'm not sure Marr? This is the first time I've made Gm or OMH soap.
I can't remember if it turned in the mixing bowl, or in the mold. Mind is blank.
I think what I'll do is make another batch when I get home from work tonight.
Maybe even omit the oatmeal and honey just to test and see what happens.

I don't know what else to do than to try again and see if I get the same results?

Thanks!

Dana

I'm putting my money on the honey. :) It has always tended to turn my soap darker unless I use a very small amount, like no more than a half teaspoon ppo or so.


IrishLass
 

itsmeroro

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IrishLass said:
Dana said:
I'm not sure Marr? This is the first time I've made Gm or OMH soap.
I can't remember if it turned in the mixing bowl, or in the mold. Mind is blank.
I think what I'll do is make another batch when I get home from work tonight.
Maybe even omit the oatmeal and honey just to test and see what happens.

I don't know what else to do than to try again and see if I get the same results?

Thanks!

Dana

I'm putting my money on the honey. :) It has always tended to turn my soap darker unless I use a very small amount, like no more than a half teaspoon ppo or so.


IrishLass
I agree about the honey -- its prob not helping much!
 

Dana

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Ok I've tried a few more batches, omitting the oatmeal and honey ;).

1. It doesn't scorch, smell bad, or turn dayglo orange. However, it DOES turn brown during the gel. I assume this is the sugars carmelizing?

2. I finally made a batch that stayed creamy white...the only way I could do so is to put it in the fridge to prevent gel.

Question: Honestly, I'm not really concerned with whether my soaps gel or not (just not a partial gel, lol). I've not made and compared enough bars to feel strongly one way or another.
However. Can the soap go through gel and still stay white? I'm thinking not but if possible I'd like to know.

Question: I've noticed the batches I have made have traced VERY fast. Is this common when doing milk soaps? I tried a few different recipes and they all traced super fast (no FO).

Question: For those who add gm powder at trace (or whenever) to make the liquid 100%gm........how much do you know to add?

Ok, enough questions. Thanks for your patience. :)

dana
 
G

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Dana said:
However, it DOES turn brown during the gel. I assume this is the sugars carmelizing?
If it's light color going into the mold and brown coming out, I don't see how there could be any other conclusion except for the sugars caramelizing.

Dana said:
I finally made a batch that stayed creamy white...the only way I could do so is to put it in the fridge to prevent gel.
I'm wondering what "no gel" does to the saponification reaction and the lye being completely consumed. From other discussions here at SMF we (the experts, not me!) concluded that saponification is barely started at trace. If you go into the fridge the cooling will fight the exothermism of the saponification. These exothermic reactions proceed at a speed determined by temperature, so cooling them slows them down. I wonder if that means the bars should be cured a longer time before use? Would be interesting to have a pH readout 1-2 days after pour.

Dana said:
Can the soap go through gel and still stay white? I'm thinking not but if possible I'd like to know.
Indeed that is *THE* question. Actually I sort of like the idea of brown soap although it probably limits your coloring options, but from what I read white GM soap is the holy grail of GMism.

Dana said:
Question: I've noticed the batches I have made have traced VERY fast. Is this common when doing milk soaps? I tried a few different recipes and they all traced super fast (no FO).
Would be interesting to know your oils. Some oils trace fast and some even catalyze the trace speed of the other oils/fats.

Dana said:
Question: For those who add gm powder at trace (or whenever) to make the liquid 100%gm........how much do you know to add?
IrishLass had a good explanation above on what to do, how to do it. However I think there's a method behind her madness ;) and without checking let me surmise.

You're going to add to your batch 1/3 part fresh GM to 2/3 part lye mixture (lye+water or lye+AVJ), but you want to have the 2/3 part of liquid matched (but not directly mixed) with an appropriate amount of GMP. So start out with your lye calculator's amount of liquid, measure 1/3 that of GM and 2/3 that of H20 or AVJ. Look at your measuring cup with the H20/AVJ and determine how many fl. oz. it is, then read the GMP directions for reconstitution and use the suggested amount of GMP for the amount of liquid you have. Then add the GMP to the GM, and separately add the lye to the H20/AVJ. Now you have enough GMP added to the recipe to be equivalent to 100% GM but all the GM is in the GM container and the lye has nothing but H20 or AVJ. I'm almost sure that IrishLass just gave you the same directions but without the chemistry lesson. ;)

Or explaining it another way, you want to add enough GMP to your recipe that had you added it to the H20/AVJ without the lye you would have made 100% reconstituted GM or GMAVJ (yuck!!!). ;) But instead of adding the GMP to the H20/AVJ you add it to the fresh GM instead, so that it never touches lye until after the lye is diluted in the oils/fats. There, that's clear, right?

Well actually it's probably white, not clear... ;)

--------

Obviously I'm thinking of my own GM attempt, not that I have any idea what GM soap is like, but I guess one way to find out, right? My thoughts on the best way to get the job done, what I plan on is:

1. Mix the GM & GMP as directed above. I like the idea of doing this first and letting the GM warm a little bit from fridge temperature to room temperature but probably still below RT when used.

2. Mix the lye into the H20 or AVJ and let it cool to 80-100 degrees. (I'm going a bit cooler than my usual 120).

3. Heat the oil/fat to 80-100.

4. Add the lye to the fats/oils and hit it with the SB, then when blended immediately add the GM mixture and SB again. At this point if you're adding any fragrance, do it now. Skip the colorant, remembering that GM's holy grail is white or cream, not green, blue, red or purple. ;)

5. As soon as you get light trace pour it into the mold and cover it.

one of the following:

6A. Put the mold where it won't be disturbed but at RT and skip wrapping it with blankets, leave overnight.

6B. Put the mold in the refrigerator overnight. This would be better as long as the "no gel" is guaranteed to eat up all the lye for certain. Putting it in the fridge would have the best chance of the saponification not caramelizing the milk sugars. If this is safe it's the best shot at getting white or light.

Hopefully the next day you'll have your creamy light GM soap. :) My biggest reservation is doing the "no gel" thing. I'd really like to understand what the chemical reaction is doing to the NaOH while it isn't gelling.

And let me remind everybody, my steps above are NOT instructions. They are my proposed recipe for my attempt at GM soap. I'll appreciate suggestions and critique.

This is a good discussion that seems to have halted before any conclusion was reached. I hope everybody can get this rolling along again. :)
 

Dana

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Lovehound said:
I'm wondering what "no gel" does to the saponification reaction and the lye being completely consumed. From other discussions here at SMF we (the experts, not me!) concluded that saponification is barely started at trace. If you go into the fridge the cooling will fight the exothermism of the saponification. These exothermic reactions proceed at a speed determined by temperature, so cooling them slows them down. I wonder if that means the bars should be cured a longer time before use? Would be interesting to have a pH readout 1-2 days after pour.
That I don't know...I prefer my soaps not to gel at all.
But I don't use them right away either...I always wait a minimum of 4 weeks.

Thanks for your input......I really enjoy the RTCP way of soaping...

dana
 

Laurie

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Thank you for that wonderful tutorial with pics. I just have 2 questions, 1 comment and 1 request.

1. Do you leave the crockpot on high when you add lye/gm?

2. Why does it turn orange? Is it the lye reacting with the gm?

3. Doesn't it get tiring to drill/blend it for 35 -40 minutes? OK, I guess
that was more of a question than comment.

4. Could you just add pics of the bars when they are done because I
would love to see what they look like using HP.

Really enjoyed your sharing. Laurie
 

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