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Questions about Traces

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NameThatCandy

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Hi there,

I just did my 1st batch soap, it is HP. I plan to do another soap Monday, this time I want to try CP.

I have a question about trace. I don't know how to distinguish medium and heavy traces.

After it starts to trace, it takes about 5 mins that my soap looks like instant pudding, I thought it is not thick enough, so I kept stirring, pretty soon it started to look like mash potato but with some liquid. So I got a little bit scared, so I stopped stirred and started to cook. I want to know that did I stop stirring too soon? Or did I stir too long?

thanks
 

PhillipJ

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When I do Hot Process, I mix my oils & lye till it makes kind of a runny pudding texture. Then cover it and put it in the oven set to 170. Afer about 5 minutes it gets real stiff. After more time in the oven it goes thru it's changes. Gets like runny apple sauce. I stir it every 15 minutes or so. Eventually it gets like mashed potatoes. When it doesn't zap the tongue, it's done and then the fragrance and anything else is mixed in. Mine turns out thick and has to be globbed in the mold and slammed on the counter to pack it in.

What you are describing sounds correct to me fo HP
 

NameThatCandy

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thank you for your reply.

For CP soaps, do I stop to stir as soon as it likes "instant pudding"? Or I still need to stir longer.
 

PhillipJ

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With CP soaps, as soon as it starts to thicken a little you can pour it in your mold.

Sometimes I think that I let mine get a little too thick because I end up having to spatula it out of the pot.

I know without seeing it done makes it hard to describe. I'd like to be able to swirl soap, and have tried with very bad results. I wish there was a video somewhere.
 

sofietje

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I've seen some videos about soapmaking on YouTube. Just search for "making soap" or "soap trace". Maybe that helps.
 

Soapmaker Man

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Light trace can best be described as when you take a spoonful of your soap batter and drizzle it back on top of the batter, it will leave a slight line where it runs off the spoon. Medium trace is just much thicker, it will still drizzle onto the surface of your batter, but it is thicker, slower to run off the spoon and leaves heavier lines in the batter. Heavy trace is about like thin pudding, it kind of glops out of the spoon. I like mixing until the oils, butters, fats are just completely mixed together (emulsified) and then I divide into cups and add colourants to swirl with. From this point, I only mix with a stainless steel whisk. I use the stainless steel wire whisk attachment on my stick blender to mix my colourants into the batter, but only enough to color the cup batter completely. It is fun to work these steps out in a matter of a few minutes. When you get more batches in, it seems like you have more time to do these steps! :)

Paul
 

CPSoaper

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It is important to note that your ingredients, temps, and amount of water used can affect how fast or slow you achieve trace. You can also achieve a false trace so be aware of that.

I also work at thin trace when swirling and use the oven heat to help my soap along. In all my years of soaping, I've never had a false trace nor have I ever had a soap that did not achieve full trace and set up properly. (I may have just jinxed myself lol)
 

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