Rebatch help?

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skinbyroi

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Hi all! So I made a cp soap with evoo, co, castor, and sunflower. I chose to use homemade aloe vera and a tea I made with calendula flowers for my water for the lye solution and it turned out a mess. I’m not sure where I went wrong. While mixing the lye, it began to create this sticky substance at the top. Almost like a film (which I chose to sift out before mixing with oils) and had a weird smell. I also added annato powder to create an orange color, which was mixed with calendula infused olive oil at trace. Now I’m on day 2 and my loaf looks crazy lol I want to rebatch but I’m not sure where to fix the problem. HALP? Lol
Note: the darker (black looking) speckles in the loaf are calendula flower petals that were blended

Oh! Forgot to mention that I also used bergamot, about 60grans for a total of about 1000g of oils
 

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You stated that you used homemade aloe. Did you use pureed aloe or aloe juice. When I use aloe, I puree the whole leaf. I deduct the amount of aloe used from the water for the lye. I dissolve lye with the water and add pureed aloe to the oils and blend, or add it to the soap at thin trace.
 
You stated that you used homemade aloe. Did you use pureed aloe or aloe juice. When I use aloe, I puree the whole leaf. I deduct the amount of aloe used from the water for the lye. I dissolve lye with the water and add pureed aloe to the oils and blend, or add it to the soap at thin trace.
Yes. I puréed and then strained the aloe. The recipe called for a cup of water. I used about 6.5 oz from the tea I made with calendula flowers and the rest with the aloe juice that I made. The reaction from mixing these types of “water” with the lye resulted in the “sticky film.” My gut tells me somewhere, this was the problem. I tried researching all that I could but couldn’t find anyone with a similar experience so I just assumed it was something that was minor and wouldn’t ruin my batch. I’m not too certain now.
 
The recipe called for a cup of water.
Did you weigh all of your ingredients or measure by volume?

If yes, then that's the problem. Most* ingredients should be weighed.

*There are some ingredients that are small units of measure - such as colors, clays, sodium lactate, etc - that in small batches it's easier to measure by volume teaspooons and tablespoons without impacting the final result of the soap.*
 
Did you weigh all of your ingredients or measure by volume?

If yes, then that's the problem. Most* ingredients should be weighed.

*There are some ingredients that are small units of measure - such as colors, clays, sodium lactate, etc - that in small batches it's easier to measure by volume teaspooons and tablespoons without impacting the final result of the soap.*
Yes 😩 I weighed them using a digital scale. Everything except the annato powder was weighed. The powder was measured as I used one teaspoon per pound of oils… do you think this could’ve caused the issue? Also, from my pics, is this the speckled orange spots or are those DOS spots?
 
Yes 😩 I weighed them using a digital scale. Everything except the annato powder was weighed. The powder was measured as I used one teaspoon per pound of oils… do you think this could’ve caused the issue? Also, from my pics, is this the speckled orange spots or are those DOS spots?

I think I @Maple_Street_Bath misspoke: if you measured everything by volume, that would be a mistake. We all weigh here. However, it sounds like you measured your liquid in cups. Measuring your liquid by volume would be a mistake. Smaller amounts like a tsp here and a tsp there are ok. Have I got that right, @Maple_Street_Bath ?
 
I think I @Maple_Street_Bath misspoke: if you measured everything by volume, that would be a mistake. We all weigh here. However, it sounds like you measured your liquid in cups. Measuring your liquid by volume would be a mistake. Smaller amounts like a tsp here and a tsp there are ok. Have I got that right, @Maple_Street_Bath ?
Okay, I’m a little confused. I weighed all my liquids by using a scale. The recipe was a total of about 1000g of oils with about 550 being evoo. The only thing that wasn’t placed on a scale was the annato powder. This isn’t my first batch but it is my first using eo’s. I’ve made milk soaps also and never had any issues. Which is why I’m maybe pointing toward the tea or aloe juice being the culprit? I truly do not know where I went wrong. I weighed oils, lye, and the “water” I used (being aloe juice and the calendula tea). Heck, I even weighed the calendula out before using it for the tea. Have I stumbled upon an issue no one knows about/has encountered? 😭
 
I think I @Maple_Street_Bath misspoke:
😂 Not really a misspeak so much as left out an inference. As in "If yes [you measured by volume], then that's the problem." Thanks for pointing out that this statement wasn't very clear!

Yes 😩 I weighed them using a digital scale.
Your previous posts are a bit confusing. You say the recipe called for 1 cup water, but then state that you used 6.5 oz calendula tea and the rest with the aloe juice. What was the total weight of these two ingredients? It's a bit confusing because ounces can be a volume measurement or a weight measurement. (This is also why many of us use grams, there's no confusion if it is volume or weight as it can be when using ounces.) It would help if you posted your full recipe in the quantities used, including your lye concentration and superfat.

The powder was measured as I used one teaspoon per pound of oils… do you think this could’ve caused the issue? Also, from my pics, is this the speckled orange spots or are those DOS spots?
I don't have experience with annato powder, I've only used the seeds for oil infusions. My guess would be that the speckled orange spots are the powder. It's too early for DOS, and DOS will not appear like that.

Quite honestly, other than your soap looks a bit soft where you've pulled it from the mold, I don't see an issue with your soap.
 
😂 Not really a misspeak so much as left out an inference. As in "If yes [you measured by volume], then that's the problem." Thanks for pointing out that this statement wasn't very clear!


Your previous posts are a bit confusing. You say the recipe called for 1 cup water, but then state that you used 6.5 oz calendula tea and the rest with the aloe juice. What was the total weight of these two ingredients? It's a bit confusing because ounces can be a volume measurement or a weight measurement. (This is also why many of us use grams, there's no confusion if it is volume or weight as it can be when using ounces.) It would help if you posted your full recipe in the quantities used, including your lye concentration and superfat.


I don't have experience with annato powder, I've only used the seeds for oil infusions. My guess would be that the speckled orange spots are the powder. It's too early for DOS, and DOS will not appear like that.

Quite honestly, other than your soap looks a bit soft where you've pulled it from the mold, I don't see an issue with your soap.
Sorry for all the confusion and thank you both for your help. Here’s my recipe. Do you think I just need to let it sit in the mold a bit? Maybe because I used more soft oils than hard? Is that a factor? I misspoke with saying “a cup of water.” It was actually about 16oz. Which is about 453g. Sorry sorry sorry! Charge my head lol I’m a newbie so I’m trying to get the hang of soaping 😭 but thank you guys a lot, again.
 

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I think the speckled orange spots are the blended calendula flowers. I've seen photos where they were just stirred into the batter and they retain their color.
 
Thank you for posting your recipe, it helps a lot when troubleshooting. The first thing I see that could affect the softness of your soap is that your water as a percent of oils is 38% which is quite high. I typically use 32%. That wouldn’t affect the usefulness of your soap but it may take a bit longer to fully cure. I don’t make a primarily olive oil soap but have read those also take a bit longer to cure. Is the soap still in the loaf mold? If it is, I would leave it there for at least a few days or even a week, depending on how it firms up. When it feels like a firm cheddar cheese, it’s ready to cut. After it’s out of the mold, it will likely shrink as the water evaporates. You may or may not be able to see the shrinkage.
To address your question, you could grate it or chop it up and rebatch which will evaporate some of the excess water but that’s not really necessary as time will take care of that. Personally, I would leave it as the thought of trying to grate or even chop up soft soap doesn’t sound fun at all. 😉
 
@skinbyroi , I don't have any input on why your lye water got sticky or what the orange spots might be. But, it sounds like you scooped out those sticky little particles from the lye water, so, I wouldn't worry about that.
The only thing I saw on your loaf was that it had little holes. When my soap gets holes, it's because I poured at a thick trace and there were little pockets that didn't get filled in. It might give it a more rustic look but I really wouldn't worry about it. I sometimes like that look!

I agree with @Tammyfarms re: the water as 38% of oils is on the higher side. I understand that recipes encourage higher water % for beginning soapmakers (like myself) because it gives us more time to walk around and think and be less likely to trip over ourselves.... which I often do :confused: But, more water does also take longer for you loaf to set and so, generally, it takes more time to get hard enough to be able to unmold.

Personally, I would not even think about rebatching it yet. I'd just hang in there and I'd just wait for it to get firm enough to unmold- could be an extra day or maybe even two. Then, I'd give it the zap test. You could do that right away after unmolding or even wait a week. If it doesn't zap, I'd say you're home free.
With 60 grams of bergamot, it will smell great!!! Let us know how it turns out!
 
I agree with the others and would also encourage you not to use the water as percent of oils setting at all. Instead, select lye concentration and set that to 33% for CP (or 25% for HP).

That setting will give you more consistent results as you scale your recipes up and down. And when you want to change the amount of water, you just change the number in that box.

Most soap calcs except soapmaking friend will default to the water as percent of oils, so you have to be diligent to change this each time you start a recipe.
 
Thank you for posting your recipe, it helps a lot when troubleshooting. The first thing I see that could affect the softness of your soap is that your water as a percent of oils is 38% which is quite high. I typically use 32%. That wouldn’t affect the usefulness of your soap but it may take a bit longer to fully cure. I don’t make a primarily olive oil soap but have read those also take a bit longer to cure. Is the soap still in the loaf mold? If it is, I would leave it there for at least a few days or even a week, depending on how it firms up. When it feels like a firm cheddar cheese, it’s ready to cut. After it’s out of the mold, it will likely shrink as the water evaporates. You may or may not be able to see the shrinkage.
To address your question, you could grate it or chop it up and rebatch which will evaporate some of the excess water but that’s not really necessary as time will take care of that. Personally, I would leave it as the thought of trying to grate or even chop up soft soap doesn’t sound fun at all. 😉
Thank you so much Tammyfarms. I’m going to try rebatching. It’s pretty soft already so I don’t imagine it being so much of a pain. Just gonna try scooping it right from the mold into my crockpot.

@skinbyroi , I don't have any input on why your lye water got sticky or what the orange spots might be. But, it sounds like you scooped out those sticky little particles from the lye water, so, I wouldn't worry about that.
The only thing I saw on your loaf was that it had little holes. When my soap gets holes, it's because I poured at a thick trace and there were little pockets that didn't get filled in. It might give it a more rustic look but I really wouldn't worry about it. I sometimes like that look!

I agree with @Tammyfarms re: the water as 38% of oils is on the higher side. I understand that recipes encourage higher water % for beginning soapmakers (like myself) because it gives us more time to walk around and think and be less likely to trip over ourselves.... which I often do :confused: But, more water does also take longer for you loaf to set and so, generally, it takes more time to get hard enough to be able to unmold.

Personally, I would not even think about rebatching it yet. I'd just hang in there and I'd just wait for it to get firm enough to unmold- could be an extra day or maybe even two. Then, I'd give it the zap test. You could do that right away after unmolding or even wait a week. If it doesn't zap, I'd say you're home free.
With 60 grams of bergamot, it will smell great!!! Let us know how it turns out!
Thank you so much for this. I’m sure you can imagine how much self-doubt we go through as beginner soapers but this makes me a bit more confident seeing as though you guys can’t see any issues with my recipe other than the water. I will definitely keep you guys updated.

I agree with the others and would also encourage you not to use the water as percent of oils setting at all. Instead, select lye concentration and set that to 33% for CP (or 25% for HP).

That setting will give you more consistent results as you scale your recipes up and down. And when you want to change the amount of water, you just change the number in that box.

Most soap calcs except soapmaking friend will default to the water as percent of oils, so you have to be diligent to change this each time you start a recipe.
Thank you for this resource! When would I change the amount of water? Only for a water discount correct? I’m going to try implementing the lye concentration of 33% for my next batch!
 
Thank you for this resource! When would I change the amount of water? Only for a water discount correct? I’m going to try implementing the lye concentration of 33% for my next batch!
You are welcome!

Increase the water for a recipe where you need more working time for swirls, or if you are using additives that tend to thicken batter by absorbing lots of water. Examples are activated charcoal and clays.

Decrease the water to reduce soda ash, glycerin rivers, or the time to unmold.

For instance, my recipe includes a lot of lard, which is very slow-moving. That means I don't need more water for more working time. So, I typically use 40% lye concentration to reduce soda ash and greatly shorten the time to unmold.
 
Thank you so much Tammyfarms. I’m going to try rebatching. It’s pretty soft already so I don’t imagine it being so much of a pain. Just gonna try scooping it right from the mold into my crockpot.
You are welcome! I just noticed I misspoke above, I use 35% lye concentration. Not water as percent of oils.
Did you rebatch? How did it go?
 
You are welcome! I just noticed I misspoke above, I use 35% lye concentration. Not water as percent of oils.
Did you rebatch? How did it go?
Hey Tammy. Thanks for clarifying. Idk whats up with this batch. I followed your suggestions but the soap is still in the mold and still very soft. I’m unable to remove it to even cut🤦🏽‍♀️
 
@skinbyroi , has your soap been in the mold for like more than 10 days? That's crazy!
Yes. 😭😭😭 I honestly don’t know what’s going on. At first I suspected that it was because I used soft oils but I used tallow and coconut oil as well. It’s been a little over two weeks now. I’ve even tried sticking it in the freezer for a day (like I’ve seen suggested on bramble berry) but nothing has changed *sigh*
 

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