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Questions about using aloe juice and using frozen anything

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gigisiguenza

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I want to cut my castor down, and I've cut my CO down, but I'm concerned about sacrificing lather and bubbles. So, as suggested, I'm going to try aloe juice, but I'm unsure what to expect when I 1) add lye to it, 2) add it to the oils, and 3) how it effects the end product.

Does it accelerate trace?
Does it make a softer bar?
Do I need to wait longer to cut?

Also, I've made a couple ice cube trays with the aloe juice for future use, but I want to try the ice cube method for alternative liquids. I'm unsure about how to do it though, or any limitations I should be aware of.

Do you just drop your lye on top of the ice cubes and stir?
Are there liquids I should avoid?
If I do this with milks, will it prevent the milk from scorching?


Tyvm in advance for help and advice :)
 

osso

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Aloe has always behaved perfectly for me just adding the lye to the chilled juice, same as I would for water. No need to freeze. Does not accelerate or make the soap softer that I have noticed.

I got impatient with adding lye to frozen cubes of anything real quick. Either it's a full liquid water replacement or split method for me. Kudos to anyone who has the patience to dissolve lye in frozen things.
 

gigisiguenza

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Aloe has always behaved perfectly for me just adding the lye to the chilled juice, same as I would for water. No need to freeze. Does not accelerate or make the soap softer that I have noticed.

I got impatient with adding lye to frozen cubes of anything real quick. Either it's a full liquid water replacement or split method for me. Kudos to anyone who has the patience to dissolve lye in frozen things.
Also I suspect will feel they same in the end,but want to at least try it once. TY for the feedback on the aloe juice, I'm going to toss the container in the fridge now. :)
 

BlackDog

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Gigi I'm afraid I have no advice for you with aloe, but I have made milk soaps lots of times so far using the ice cube method and have scorched my milk zero times. I just put my cubes in the bowl, weigh, add enough liquid milk to make my measurement right, and then add my lye a little at a time, stirring until the cubes are melted and the lye is dissolved. Never had a problem.

Twice so far I've not had milk frozen and been in a soaping mood, so I've used a different method and had good luck both times. I just use the well-chilled milk in liquid form, and put the bowl in an ice bath - a couple inches of water with ice cubes in the sink. Same as before, I just add the lye a little at a time and keep stirring. I think I actually like this method a little better and have not scorched any milk this way.

FYI I've been using coconut milk, so your mileage may vary with other types. Good luck!
 

gigisiguenza

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gigi i'm afraid i have no advice for you with aloe, but i have made milk soaps lots of times so far using the ice cube method and have scorched my milk zero times. I just put my cubes in the bowl, weigh, add enough liquid milk to make my measurement right, and then add my lye a little at a time, stirring until the cubes are melted and the lye is dissolved. Never had a problem.

Twice so far i've not had milk frozen and been in a soaping mood, so i've used a different method and had good luck both times. I just use the well-chilled milk in liquid form, and put the bowl in an ice bath - a couple inches of water with ice cubes in the sink. Same as before, i just add the lye a little at a time and keep stirring. I think i actually like this method a little better and have not scorched any milk this way.

Fyi i've been using coconut milk, so your mileage may vary with other types. Good luck!
ty :)
 

spenny92

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I freeze goats milk and beer (after boiling) and add the lye to the cubes. I try to let them sit in my container for 5-10 minutes so they soften ever so slightly, and add my lye a little bit at a time. I've scorched too much milk without freezing it to go back to that method. If my cubes are taking too long to melt, I sometimes add a teeny splash of water which helps it along. When I use coconut cream/milk, I just use the split method and add at trace - I don't have much more room in my freezer for more random cubes of frozen things for soaping!

I haven't used aloe, so can't help there!
 

Obsidian

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You don't have to freeze aloe, it behaves perfectly when you add the lye. I never freeze anything any more but I never mix lye with anything but water or aloe.
If I use beer or coconut milk (I never use animal milks), I'll make a 50% lye solution then add the beer/milk amount directly to the oils and blend it in before adding the lye.
 

gigisiguenza

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I freeze goats milk and beer (after boiling) and add the lye to the cubes. I try to let them sit in my container for 5-10 minutes so they soften ever so slightly, and add my lye a little bit at a time. I've scorched too much milk without freezing it to go back to that method. If my cubes are taking too long to melt, I sometimes add a teeny splash of water which helps it along. When I use coconut cream/milk, I just use the split method and add at trace - I don't have much more room in my freezer for more random cubes of frozen things for soaping!

I haven't used aloe, so can't help there!
Good to know, TY :)
You don't have to freeze aloe, it behaves perfectly when you add the lye. I never freeze anything any more but I never mix lye with anything but water or aloe.
If I use beer or coconut milk (I never use animal milks), I'll make a 50% lye solution then add the beer/milk amount directly to the oils and blend it in before adding the lye.
Whew, glad to know the aloe doesn't behave badly and no need to freeze. TY :)
 

rain_darned_owl

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What are you using for your aloe juice? Last night I made a batch using Aloe Vera Gel Juice (from NDA) instead of water. I store the bottle in the fridge and took it out just when I needed it. The lye/aloe mix was very cloudy and never did clear up. It reached around 180 F once I had all the lye added (I added sort of slowly) -- not sure if that is a high temp or pretty normal as I don't normally measure right away, but my mix was looking rather foamy so I was a bit concerned.

Are you using aloe directly from a plant in your house?
 

LoveOscar

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I just put my cubes in the bowl, weigh, add enough liquid milk to make my measurement right, and then add my lye a little at a time, stirring until the cubes are melted and the lye is dissolved. Never had a problem.
Do you use a powdered lye and add it on top of the ice cubes?

I'm thinking of using goat's milk in a batch soon and can't decide if I should freeze or not. And I have no idea how to add lye to it if it's not liquid haha.
 

Obsidian

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What are you using for your aloe juice? Last night I made a batch using Aloe Vera Gel Juice (from NDA) instead of water. I store the bottle in the fridge and took it out just when I needed it. The lye/aloe mix was very cloudy and never did clear up. It reached around 180 F once I had all the lye added (I added sort of slowly) -- not sure if that is a high temp or pretty normal as I don't normally measure right away, but my mix was looking rather foamy so I was a bit concerned.

Are you using aloe directly from a plant in your house?
I use aloe juice from walmart, its usually in the pharmacy section. Its the kind you drink, not the gel you use on your skin.
The aloe/lye mix gets a little yellowy but its clear. The one time I used fresh juice from my plant, it got kind of snotty but worked fine in the soap.
 

SunWolf

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I use goats milk for all my soaps. I tried using ice cube trays at first, but the cubes were pretty big and didn't melt real well. They seemed more prone to getting freezer burned, too. Now I freeze my milk in quart sized, heavy duty freezer baggies with a double zipper. I do not recommend the ones with the slider thingy that zips it closed for you, the ones I tried leaked really bad.

I weigh my milk out in the baggies in the amount I need for each batch, and freeze them lying flat in my freezer. They stack and store really easily and take up less space in the freezer.

To use the frozen milk, I hold the baggie by one corner and firmly whack it on the edge of my counter a few times to break the slab into small chunks. Then I add my lye an ounce or two at a time and stir constantly. If it starts to turn yellow, cool it down...it's starting to scorch. Also, if your milk has a high fat content, (Nubian and Nigerian Dwarf goats especially) it will start to saponify and can get quite thick if not used right away. It usually stirs up pretty good again, but if you're not expecting it, it can be a bit disconcerting. :shock:

I tend to enjoy a slow pace, so I'm very happy taking the extra time to melt frozen milk...I can stare out the kitchen window and watch my goaties play while stirring!
 

commoncenz

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I use aloe juice from walmart, its usually in the pharmacy section. Its the kind you drink, not the gel you use on your skin.
The aloe/lye mix gets a little yellowy but its clear. The one time I used fresh juice from my plant, it got kind of snotty but worked fine in the soap.
I also use the aloe juice from walmart. For me it has two benefits:

1. It doesn't have the bits of aloe floating around in it

2. It's cheap at $6 and change for a gallon

Interesting that you guys are chilling it. I never have and have never had a problem with it. I do store it in a dry, dark cabinet. I also just made my first masterbatch with aloe juice, so we'll see how that goes.
 

gigisiguenza

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I use aloe juice from walmart, its usually in the pharmacy section. Its the kind you drink, not the gel you use on your skin.
The aloe/lye mix gets a little yellowy but its clear. The one time I used fresh juice from my plant, it got kind of snotty but worked fine in the soap.
That's the one I got Obsidian
 

TeaLeavesandTweed

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I've used two kinds of aloe vera juice. First, I used fractionally distilled aloe vera juice, which is clear and basically looks like water. It behaves exactly the same as distilled water, with no discoloration or even too much heating.

The last time I made soap, I used some of the drinking aloe vera juice. It's 99.8% aloe vera juice with a little citric acid added as a pH balancer. I actually calculated the 0.2% of my liquid amount to see how much extra lye I would need to neutralize the citric acid and it came out to less than 0.01oz, so I just went ahead with my recipe. This time, the aloe turned yellow. I didn't notice a smell, but I was mixing it indoors for once and was obsessive about keeping it in my bathroom with the window open and the fan on so I didn't choke Boyfriend with fumes. It behaved fine in the soap. The soap has stayed a little softer than usual, but that's probably because I didn't let it gel.

Both times, I use the juice straight from the fridge. The perishable juice didn't have any cloudiness that would indicate spoilage, but I'm pretty sure it had been open longer than a month.

Hope that helps.
 

BlackDog

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Do you use a powdered lye and add it on top of the ice cubes?

I'm thinking of using goat's milk in a batch soon and can't decide if I should freeze or not. And I have no idea how to add lye to it if it's not liquid haha.
Yep! I have the tiny lye beads. works just fine with plenty of stirring.
 

Deedles

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.....I weigh my milk out in the baggies in the amount I need for each batch, and freeze them lying flat in my freezer. They stack and store really easily and take up less space in the freezer.

To use the frozen milk, I hold the baggie by one corner and firmly whack it on the edge of my counter a few times to break the slab into small chunks. Then I add my lye an ounce or two at a time and stir constantly.....
This is how I do it, too. Just add the dry lye slowly while stirring, it melts pretty quick. I haven't had any scorching this way.
http://www.soapmakingforum.com//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
 
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