Questions before 1st liquid castille attempt

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Lyma

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Hi to everyone,
After many hours of reading the liquid soap forum i think i'm ready to give it a try for my first liquid soap. I have many experience in cp soap bars, but this seems like a new world to me and i feel as anxious as my first cp attempt! :)

I've read so many information, that i feel like i know nothing again, so please give me your lights to some questions i have.

Suppose that my batch is:
1.000g Olive Oil
205g KOH (according to SoapCalc, using 90%KOH and 3% superfat)
380g Water

1. I maintain the same lye concentration of 35% as in cp, which leads me to 380g water, or i need more. Because in some recipes i see the double amount of water, eg 600g.
I suppose that large amount of water will increase trace time with olive oil, and i don't want to use glycerin or soap scrubs to speed up trace or become old after years of stirring! :lol:

2. Since i mentioned glycerin, does liquid soapmaking process produces natural glycerin such as cold process with NaOH, or do we have to put it as an additive?

3. When the paste is ready (hope to get till that phase :)), i'll have to let it sit some hours and cool, and then do the dilution phase?

4. All the additives that i love using at cp, such as honey, herbs, aloe vera etc i must forget them? If so it's because these additives will reduce shelf life? I have to mention that i won't use any preservatives.

5. After i finish dilution and maybe adding any fragrance, after cooling off it's safe for use or it has to rest for a week or two before using?

6. Can i avoid neutralization, cause i'm not feeling comfortable with citric acid or borax?

Thank you in advance
 

topofmurrayhill

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1. I maintain the same lye concentration of 35% as in cp, which leads me to 380g water, or i need more. Because in some recipes i see the double amount of water, eg 600g.
I suppose that large amount of water will increase trace time with olive oil, and i don't want to use glycerin or soap scrubs to speed up trace or become old after years of stirring! :lol:
You don't have to dissolve your KOH in glycerin if you don't want to, but using some glycerin at this stage will help with the saponification. Make the lye at 50% strength (water equal to the KOH weight). Once the KOH is dissolved in water, add twice the KOH weight in glycerin. The final concentration will be 25%.

2. Since i mentioned glycerin, does liquid soapmaking process produces natural glycerin such as cold process with NaOH, or do we have to put it as an additive?
Yes it produces the same amount of glycerin as CP, plus whatever you've added as part of the lye.

3. When the paste is ready (hope to get till that phase :)), i'll have to let it sit some hours and cool, and then do the dilution phase?
The temperature isn't critical, but the paste has to neutralize. You could cook it to completion like HP, but you could also whisk it for 10 minutes or so and then leave it alone for 6 hours. Either way, when there is no zap it will be ready for the next step.

4. All the additives that i love using at cp, such as honey, herbs, aloe vera etc i must forget them? If so it's because these additives will reduce shelf life? I have to mention that i won't use any preservatives.
Some of those things could be used. I will let others advise you on what you can add and how.

5. After i finish dilution and maybe adding any fragrance, after cooling off it's safe for use or it has to rest for a week or two before using?
It's safe to use.

6. Can i avoid neutralization, cause i'm not feeling comfortable with citric acid or borax?
You calculated a 3% lye discount, which should be fine without neutralization.
 

Lyma

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Thank you a lot for your time and your useful information.:thumbup:

Regarding the lye concentration, if i don't use glycerin, then what would be the water proportion? Would i keep the 35% lye concentration as in cold process, or do i have to raise it?
E.g. in the recipe below, they use twice the amount of water (25% lye concentration) as i use in cp.
http://www.voyageursoapandcandle.com/How_to_Make_Natural_Liquid_Soap_s/367.htm

If the stirring until trace will take me hours, then next time i'll use glycerin.
 

IrishLass

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Lyma- when making liquid soap, use a 25% lye concentration. It's the best concentration to use for liquid soap and will give you smooth sailing. If you use the same 36% lye concentration with it that you use with your CP bar soap, you're only asking for problems.


IrishLass :)
 

Susie

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^What IrishLass said!

Also, you can use honey in the paste phase (what you get before dilution). But not during dilution. I would use nothing but glycerin and water for dilution.

Don't let the paste cool off before starting dilution. Once it passes the zap test, you can begin dilution.
 

Lyma

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Thank you IrishLass and Susie for your help. You helped me also a lot to many others threads i've read... :thumbup:

Regarding your remarks, i came with two more questions:
1. The increase of the water (25% lye concentration instead of 35%) will avoid me from problems in which phase? Because in the trace phase i suppose it will just increase the trace time.

2. Susie, as for the additives, you mean to put the honey at the cooking phase before it becomes too thicky to mix?
Can i add anything else like aloe vera, wine, beer, fruit juice either in the phase of cooking, either in the phase of dillution replacing a small amount of water, or at the end when we add fragrance? Of course i'm talking for small quantities (1-3% of the oils).
As i understand i surely exclude any clays that within few days will sit at the bottom.
I have to mention, that i'm not so concerned for the clarity.
 

Susie

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The only time you can add anything but water, oil, and KOH is during the mix water with KOH phase. Before cooking. Anything you add afterward will grow bacteria and yeasts that will spoil your soap. You just mix the honey with some hot water that you subtract from the water you need to mix with the KOH, and add the honey/water mixture to your oils. Or, you can subtract whatever amount of water that you want to add in Aloe Vera juice and add the Aloe Vera juice to the oils. Then mix the KOH into the remainder of the water., then add that to the oils.

Increasing the water (or other liquids) to a 25% lye solution yields a paste that is easier to work with. If you are using a stick blender, the time to paste for the 25% lye solution is nominally longer than with a 35% or so lye solution.

The issue with getting KOH soap to trace is TIME. I am talking 30+ minutes if you do not use glycerin or soap to kick start trace. I am getting the feeling that you also don't intend you use a stickblender. This means you will be all day getting this to trace. Just warning you.
 

Lyma

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Thanks Susie again. Just thought to add them at the end of the process to save some of their benefits, but for sure i don't want to spoil my soap, so maybe i'll try to dicrease a few the temperatures.

I won't use any glycerin or soap scrub, but i'll use a stick blender. I hope within an hour i'll reach trace.
For larger batches in cp i use something like this: http://soapequipment.com/images/MightyMixHighShearSide.jpg
and it takes me 2 hours to reach trace.
I suppose in liquid soap it will take me 5 hours with this.

Can't wait to make the batch. Just want to be prepared as good as possible.
I hate big failures. I prefer small failures :)
 

Susie

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The temperatures are not the problem with the aloe, honey, etc. It is the fact that bacteria and yeasts can use those items as food to grow. You will have to use a preservative in the liquid soap.

I don't know what you are calling soap scrub, but if you grate up some of your handmade soap, just add 14-15 g to the KOH/water mixture to help start trace. It works marvelously.

What size batch are you intending to make? I would not use more than 1 kg of oils in a first batch. I would honestly not use more than 500 g of oils.
 

Lyma

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Sure, i'm not crazy to dumb my lovely olive oil for experiments. At most 1kg. But not lower because i'm having problems with stirring with the equipment i have.

Just show you the kind of mixer i have, because i'm thinking if one day i want to make a large liquid batch if i can use this mixer, or i'll have to buy i big stick blender.
 

IrishLass

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By 'trace', do you mean 'paste stage? I ask, because if you and your stick-blender don't feel like spending the total, on-hand time it might take to mix your liquid soap batter all the way to the paste stage, you can do as I do- I whisk my batter for about 10 to 12 minutes to get a good emulsification going, which is sometimes, but not always necessarily indicated by the appearance of flying bubbles floating in the air above my soap pot. Then I just cover the pot and walk away and busy myself with other things for a bit. The soap batter comes to the paste stage all on its own, usually within the time span of 4 to 6 hours or so. I probably should specify that I use the glycerin method of liquid soap-making. I've not ever tried making an all-water version, so I'm not sure if the time to trace/paste would be the same..... but I'm sure it would still come to paste all on it's own once you've at least mixed to emulsification.

Regarding the 25% lye concentration- ditto what Susie said. The paste is much easier to work with. Without that extra water, you'd have something more akin to concrete than paste. lol

As an aside, I used a 20% lye solution in my last batch, and the paste was even easier to work with. I had to adjust my usual dilution rate later on by decreasing it a bit, but it all worked out beautifully.


IrishLass :)
 

Lyma

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By trace phase, i mean mixing with stick blender until it gets to thick trace, and then put it in low in the oven or crockpot and let it cook until it becomes a paste with a transculent vaseline look, stirring occasionally if it needs.
I wasn't going to mix with the blender until the paste is ready.
As i've read, i need to be patient, and as i understand with only olive oil and no glycerin, it may take several hours.

The lye concentration issue is really interesting, because as i understand, the more water in the lye, the less in the dillution and the opposite.
It will be interesting to experiment with different rates and compare the results.
I think i'll start with a 25% ratio as you suggested. I'm kind of afraid that with too much water in the lye, i will never get to trace with EVOO of very low acidity.

One last question and i'm ready to start. Using soapcalc and choosing the option KOH90%, what superfat% to use? I've read somewhere for 6%. I want to avoid neutralization and don't care a lot about the clarity at the moment.
 

IrishLass

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By trace phase, i mean mixing with stick blender until it gets to thick trace, and then put it in low in the oven or crockpot and let it cook until it becomes a paste with a transculent vaseline look, stirring occasionally if it needs.
Ahhh, gotcha! :thumbup: I guess I was a little bit confused on that point because I never actually mix mine to trace, not even my formula that contains 65% olive oil. My emulsified batter is still quite liquid/runny when I walk away from it to let it do its thing on its own (off the heat, btw). I suppose you could call what I do, "The Lazy Liquid Soaper's Method" :lol:


One last question and i'm ready to start. Using soapcalc and choosing the option KOH90%, what superfat% to use? I've read somewhere for 6%. I want to avoid neutralization and don't care a lot about the clarity at the moment.
I personally would go with 3% to start, but that's just me- I like to play things safe at first.


IrishLass :)
 

Lyma

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Ahhh, gotcha! :thumbup: I guess I was a little bit confused on that point because I never actually mix mine to trace, not even my formula that contains 65% olive oil. My emulsified batter is still quite liquid/runny when I walk away from it to let it do its thing on its own (off the heat, btw). I suppose you could call what I do, "The Lazy Liquid Soaper's Method" :lol:
:lol: You are heaving a good point. I'm not in a hurry. I'm waiting for two months in CP bar, a few hours more in LS is nothing.
Maybe in larger batches, i let it stir automatically in my mixer, and when it's ready i'll put it in the oven. I like your lazy method!
As they say: "Do it slowly, do it better".

Thank you again IrishLass. I'll get you informed if i'm having any problem.
:thumbup:
 
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