Scary HP microbatch!

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

nalisarhodes

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
7
I just moved to an area with incredibly hard water and thought I'd quickly knock out a batch of HP soap so that I could try find a recipe suitable for hard water using Citric Acid. I also recently found a mini slow cooker that I want to dedicate to soap making and decided to try it out for the first time. I chose to use limited oils so I can have a bit of a control batch (I'll post the recipe at the end). Within a few minutes of cooking it bubbled up like crazy and went basically straight into the Vaseline like stage! I pulled the inner out of the cooker part and stirred it when the bubbling stopped, and have it back in the machine now. I am switching it on and off as it looks like its getting too hot (keeping it arounf 95 dec C). Have I completely ruined this batch with a slow cooker that gets too hot??

As it's currently cooking, I'm going to babysit it for about 30min and then stick it in the mold to see what happens...

Recipe:
Olive oil 66.7% (200g)
Coconut oil 30% (90g)
Beeswax 3.3% (10g)
Honey 0.7tbs (~10.5g)
Citric acid 3g
Water 84.1g
NaOH 43.8g (slightly incr for the CA)
 

Attachments

  • 20221127_091611.jpg
    20221127_091611.jpg
    925.4 KB · Views: 0
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
8,924
Reaction score
15,932
Location
US
Although the sudden expansion can be scary, you didn’t hurt it with the high heat. Once it goes to vaseline like that, you can mold it right away. It may or may not be done saponifying, but it will finish on its own in the mold.

BTW, honey is a heater. Any time you add it to a batch, your batter will heat up faster even at low temps.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
9,301
Reaction score
9,938
Location
Austria
Is it set to low or high heat? That said, I can't use mine for melting oils unless I wait a long time and if I turn it up then it's too hot for the actual hp part - most likely user error though. So I end up melting my oils on the hob and then pour it in to the slow cooker for the hp part, which helps me avoid too much heat
 

nalisarhodes

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
7
ooh - I don't know much about HP, but just checking that you have a ceramic slow cooker there and not aluminium?
Gosh, I didn't even think about that, it seems to be some sort of metal, but with a ceramic coating.
Although the sudden expansion can be scary, you didn’t hurt it with the high heat. Once it goes to vaseline like that, you can mold it right away. It may or may not be done saponifying, but it will finish on its own in the mold.

BTW, honey is a heater. Any time you add it to a batch, your batter will heat up faster even at low temps.
How will I know when the saponification is finished if I didn't do a full process? Will I have to wait 4-6 weeks like with the CP soap?

I ended up cooking it for about 30min after the bubbling up part, but I was stirring regularly and fussing over it like a bit of a neurotic parent so I think I allowed too much liquid to evaporate. It was basically setting at I was putting it in the mold, so looks a little cracked and crumbly on the outside. It cut fine the next day and I've left it to dry out a little more.
Will see what the quality of the soap is like in a few days (like I said, I wanted to quickly whip up something that will work in hard water) but I'm sure it's the most unattractive bar I've ever seen 😂
Thanks for everyone's input!
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
8,924
Reaction score
15,932
Location
US
How will I know when the saponification is finished if I didn't do a full process? Will I have to wait 4-6 weeks like with the CP soap?
Soap will saponify on its own, whether you cook it a lot, a little, or none at all. I stopped zap-testing my HP soap a long time ago. Now I simply put it in the mold when it is at vaseline stage, when it is more fluid and less crumbly.

Wait until it has cooled and feels like cold cheddar cheese, and it is ready to cut. After cutting, wait for two days to make sure saponification is complete. It’s completely safe to use at that point, but not ideal.

All soap, including HP, benefits from cure time. The soap will be harder and last much longer, instead of getting mushy and melting away quickly in the shower or bath. Also, the lather will be so much gentler on the skin. Of course, there is nothing wrong with using a test bar during this time - for science, you know. 😉

I’ve had HP and CP soaps that I thought were just meh. So, I put them away and forgot about them. When I found them many months later, the lather was absolutely delightful. Nothing changed except time. Maybe do some experiments with yours and see what you think about your soap at one week, two weeks, four weeks, and six weeks.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2022
Messages
36
Reaction score
72
Location
Ottawa Ontario Canada
Hi @nalisarhodes 👋
Welcome to the forum!
I have been making most HP these days.
You will need to get used to your crock pot, and the heat it will generate in each setting.
In my opinion lower setting and leaving the soap undisturbed works better you looose less water.
I find the batch folds in itself and I don't need to stir at all. I also use 2:1 water, it seems that I get less volcanoes this way, if more water is needed, during cook you can use a spray bottle with some distilled water and spray the soap/dry sides of the crock pot. I add some liquid at the end to make it more fluid before putting into the mold.
Once you make a few batches you can start working on making it more fluid before putting into the mold.
If you prefer to use more heat to speed things up, don't fill your crock pot too much, stay on top of it like you did with this batch. You will get volcanoes and they can be messy and dangerous. Don't ask me how I know this 🤦🏻‍♀️. Yes I am working on being more patient!

I have hard water too and use Citric acid at 3-5% and it's great, soapmaking friend app does all the calculations for the extra lye for you.

How will I know when the saponification is finished
You will see that it goes thru different stages during cooking, starts to smells like soap, it has a waxy feel/look, after you see these steps you can do a zap test if you wish.
Good luck! The more soaps you make the better you will get at it!
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
8,924
Reaction score
15,932
Location
US
I also use 2:1 water, it seems that I get less volcanoes this way, if more water is needed, during cook you can use a spray bottle with some distilled water and spray the soap/dry sides of the crock pot. I add some liquid at the end to make it more fluid before putting into the mold.
That's pretty low water for HP. I typically use 2.5:1 or 3:1. Also, any soap that has dried on the sides never reincorporates well for me; it always leaves white chunks in my finished soap. So I scrape down the sides quickly and don't let anything sit there to dry out. If it does dry on the sides, I don't scrape it in but save it for later to squish together with all the pot scrapings to make a personal bar of overcooked soap. :D

I do like adding some liquid at the end, as well. However, adding cold liquid will make the soap less fluid, so it should be warmed up first. Hot sugar water, warmed yogurt, warmed sodium lactate all work well for me. :)
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2022
Messages
36
Reaction score
72
Location
Ottawa Ontario Canada
Thanks for all the insights, you guys are amazing!

Regarding yogurt, I understand that it provides lactate in a way, but does this provide any specific qualities to the finished soap?
I haven't noticed any particular benefits, ( I guess you can maybe know if you make 2 exact recipes and only change the yogurt) I does make the soap a lot more fluid. I add 11% greek yogurt, a full teaspoon PPO.
You can read this:

How did soap turn out?
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
8,924
Reaction score
15,932
Location
US
Thanks for all the insights, you guys are amazing!

Regarding yogurt, I understand that it provides lactate in a way, but does this provide any specific qualities to the finished soap?
Some people notice a different “feel” to milk soaps, but the amount of yogurt added to HP for fluidity isn’t usually enough for that.

You do get additional sugars from the yogurt, which not only help with fluidity during the cook, but will also help the soap bars lather more freely.
 

nalisarhodes

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
7
How did soap turn out?
I'm not sure if it's because this was the first lather I've seen since moving here, or that I'm glad it turned out okay, but this is currently my favorite soap ever!
Really nice feel to it and a hard bar that hasn't melted in the shower after curing for only a few days 👍
Considering doing a bigger CP version to make into "prettier" bars for my neighbors etc.
 

Attachments

  • 20221205_071257.jpg
    20221205_071257.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 0
Top