Scared to do hot process. What are the benefits?

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mikvahnrose

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Hi there, I'm really interested in doing hot process in my specialty soaps, as to control what the lye monster eats. But am scared of the volcanoes and all the crazy things i have heard about it.

I have a few questions about those familiar with this process.

-Natural colorants that normally morph in CP, do they fair better in HP? Like rosehip or beets?

-Do fickle scents like Orange E.O stick better than that of CP.

-Does it really prevent the lye from "destroying" or saponifying your specialty oils like hemp?

As for look, i don't mind the rustic-ness of it. I rarely ever do complicated swirls or multi-colored soap. But i hear there is fluid hot-process.

Thank you :]
 

Gerry

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I've only done HP a few times so I shouldn't be giving advice. But things like beet juice just turn brown with age. It even turns brown if you try to make a wine with beet juice in it (and that's acidic not alkaline). A lot of botanicals like that are just not stable with time and a little oxygen. So I wouldn't place much faith in those color sources being more stable just because it's HP.
 

kumudini

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Plant material mostly turns brown, people with experience say. Only calendula doesn't.
Orange doesn't stick any better with hot process, but it's flash point is so low, you have to really cool the batter down before adding, which would complicate things. Ask me how I know
The soap, even after full saponification is still in this chemical equilibrium apparently that lye moves from one fatty acid to the other. So, no guarantee that the hemp oil would be safe.

Most importantly, hot process is not dangerous. Just use big enough crock pot and be around until cooking is done.
Also, HP soap still needs to cure a full 4-6 weeks.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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As above, but even though the soap is still changing, hp is more likely to allow you to control which fat is not saponified. The process of the soap changing is not fast so if you are using your bars up in a reasonable time then it isn't much of a concern
 
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We only do HP. It's not dangerous at all, like was said above, as long as you get a large enough crock pot (assuming you're going to do CPHP). We have a 5 qt. that comfortably holds 70 oz of oils and all our other ingredients with room for expansion. We do CPHP differently than others... we don't stir ours. Merely turn heat off and on and take off heat when needed to regulate temp.
 

Scooter

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We do CPHP differently than others... we don't stir ours. Merely turn heat off and on and take off heat when needed to regulate temp.
Why do you do it in this manner? I do not do HP, btw, just interested in maybe doing it in the future.
 

dixiedragon

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Hot process is not scary. Just make sure your batch isn't too big for your crockpot. I like it for FOs that don't behave, and I also like it for the marbled look it produces. The top is a bit chunky/messy, but just cut that off.
 

Steve85569

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To answer the original questions.
1 No
2 No
3 Timing is everything. IF you wait until the soap is nearly ready to cool off and mold you can add the desired SF oil at that time. That way more of the special oil remains as oil just because there is less lye to react with it.
It will require being blended in well to prevent it from separating out of the soap.

HP and CPHP are really not scary, just a little bit different. Give it a go and see if it's for you. Different soapers prefer different methods and you will never know if it's going to be one of your favorites unless you try it.
 

lenarenee

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Can someone address the fear of volcanos for her? I don't know what causes it.

I rarely do hot process, but do love the process. It takes full water, sometimes even extra and my bar end up concave after the cure.

Sodium lactate can keep the batter more fluid, which reduces the amount of stirring needed and that reduces the dryness of the batter.
 

kumudini

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I never had a volcano but I also never used full water even for hp, I mostly use 33% lye concentration. I don't know if that's the reason though. I also don't stir while cooking.My soap just quietly goes to gel, at which point I add my fragrance and mold it up. My soaps don't warp too much, only the tops have a rugged look, which I cut off at times. So, a volcano is scary but it might not even happen. For when it happens, the suggestions for a generous crock pot size were already given.
 

IrishLass

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I'm mainly a CP girl, but there are certain batches that I regularly make using the HP method, such as my shave soap, and also any of my batches that include the use of an FO that doesn't take kindly to being CPed.....I'm looking at you Old Spice FO and Ahoy Matey FO!


Anyway, like the others have said- HP is not scary at all. In all the 11 years I've been using the method, I've never had a volcano.

For what its worth, I normally use "full water" when I HP, which for me is a 28% lye concentration/solution. And instead of using a crockpot, I HP in a covered stainless steel soup pot in my oven set to 170F-180F (180F is the highest I'll go). From what I understand, a lot of the newer crock pots on the market no longer go that low like the older ones did because of food-safety concerns. Maybe that is the cause of some of the volcanoing one often hears about- i.e., the temps are too high.

-Does it really prevent the lye from "destroying" or saponifying your specialty oils like hemp?
I would have to say Yes and No to that. In the short term, if done correctly- yes- but since soap is not exactly a static entity (i.e., there are always micro chemical changes going on inside it to help it maintain a certain equilibrium)- I would have to also say no, or at least not exactly. Time and exposure to certain things or conditions (such as humidity and/or water when bathing with it, etc..) causes a slight shift in the balance of things, so to speak, and to maintain equilibrium, it's not out of the realm of possibility for the shift to be enough to skuttle your effort to have a certain fat remain as the superfat.


IrishLass :)
 

dixiedragon

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"Volcano" is a slightly dramatic description. The soap doesn't shoot up out of the pot or anything. It just rises and glops over the edge. So your HP will technically "volcano" but it will do it inside of a pot (which is why you leave plenty of head room). You will stir it a bit and it will collapse back down. Depending on how hot it is, it might do it again. HP soap will do all kinds of things that we consider bad in CP - it may rice, separate, etc, but you just keep cooking and stirring it back together. So the advantage is that it goes through all the stages where things go wrong and when it's behaving properly THEN you add the element of the fragrance.

When I HP, I have learned it's best to leave my soap on low for the first 20-40 minutes or so, and then I put it on high to just bump it over the edge into Vaseline stage. This is very imprecise b/c I basically leave it on low until I get impatient and I JUST CAN'T STAND IT. :) So my suggestion would be to leave it on low for about 30 minutes, and if it hasn't reached Vaseline stage, turn it on medium or high and keep an eye on it. It should only take about 5-10 minutes at that point.

Don't add your fragrance until right before you pour. Otherwise you will have to smell a REALLY POTENT dose of that fragrance the whole time. Even if you love it, that gets old fast!

Volcanoes are bad in CP soaping b/c the soap is in the mold. So the top of the soap cools and the heat builds up in the center. The heat can't escape through the cool, solid top so it just builds and builds until it forces its way out, separates, and makes a big mess all over your floor and counter. If you see a crack forming on the top of your CP, give your soap a stir to break up that solid top and cool it down a bit. This will usually be enough to stop a volcano.
 
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earlene

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Heat and fast moving ingredients and inattention can lead to volcano problems in HP. Sugar, honey, etc. contribute to faster heating. Temperature control and attentiveness and appropriate reaction to rising soap batter can prevent an actual volcano.

Paying attention and responding is key. Knowing or learning your equipment helps avoid overheating. Some crockpots run hotter than others and some don't heat evenly.

Be aware that you can have a big mess all over your counter if you leave a crockpot with soap batter heating and then go take a nap. Cleaning up isn't on bad because it is soap after all and by that time it is saponified. But it is messy. Yes, I was too tired and left my crockpot turned on and fell asleep while waiting for the next 15-minute check.
 

Steve85569

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Heat and fast moving ingredients and inattention can lead to volcano problems in HP. Sugar, honey, etc. contribute to faster heating. Temperature control and attentiveness and appropriate reaction to rising soap batter can prevent an actual volcano.

Paying attention and responding is key. Knowing or learning your equipment helps avoid overheating. Some crockpots run hotter than others and some don't heat evenly.

Be aware that you can have a big mess all over your counter if you leave a crockpot with soap batter heating and then go take a nap. Cleaning up isn't on bad because it is soap after all and by that time it is saponified. But it is messy. Yes, I was too tired and left my crockpot turned on and fell asleep while waiting for the next 15-minute check.
I went in to have lunch during a HP. Once.
If a volcano does happen it can be easily stirred in to submission. As long as you are not in another room napping or having lunch.:mrgreen:

Got the counter and floor really clean that day...
 

earlene

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You asked for some benefits. So I'll list some advantages of doing HP.

1. You won't ever have to worry about partial gel creating a halo effect in your soap like can and sometimes happens in CP soap that doesn't fully gel in the mold.

2. Because the soap is already saponified before you put it into the mold, you actually don't have to worry about touching the soap with your bare hands when you go to unmold and cut it. With one caveat: Always do a zap test first; you may think it went through a complete gel phase, but to be on the safe side, do the zap test.

3. Possibly less to clean up if you do your measuring using your crockpot on your scale (some scales can handle this while others may not, so it depends on your scale and how heavy your crockpot insert is.)

4. You don't actually even need a stick blender to get slow-to-trace oils to come to trace faster. Heat and hand-stirring will bring it to trace.

5. You can add fragrances that don't behave well in CP after the gel phase in HP and you don't have to worry about acceleration, since saponification has already occurred. I have had some fragrances last a lot longer when added this way than when added normally in CP.

Regarding reserving an oil to add after the gel phase and be sure that it remains untouched by lye? If you really want to be sure that it is left 'intact', then I would say do the soap as a rebatch and add the SF oil then, like the hemp you mentioned. If you take already cured soap and rebatch it with hemp oil, the hemp oil will be intact. The only thing that should effect it at that point is the heat you use while rebatching.
 

nsmar4211

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One thing with the "volcano"-my 100% olive oil soap didn't volcano at all... but my 15% coconut oil soap does have that , and the 100% coconut oil soap almost wore my arm out stirring to keep it in the crockpot! It depends on your receipe.

My worst volcano incident was when I was gabbing on the phone while oils were melting on high...oils were very melted...I mixed my lye and didn't wait for it to fully clear before adding it. The combo of hot oil and hot lye is what did it I think! Worst volcano ever, I still have soap everywhere! Couldn't stir fast enough. My fault, I usually don't heat the oils on high (I melt them 80% in the micro and leave them on low)....
 
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