Separating (?) batter: is it dangerous?

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LisaBoBisa

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I've been trying to master trace so I can play more with swirling techniques. My fragrance does accelerate a little bit (first batch turned into a panicked plop, but I really loved the texture),
55480273-A18E-4F77-BED5-C1E7302B496C.jpeg


so after watching a million more videos, this time I followed Tree Marie's method in her night violet video. I mixed to emulsion, divided batter up into my pitchers, stirred in my dispersed colorants, added fragrance, alternated mini-mixer, stirring, and waiting, realized I wasn't at trace, used a mini mixer to get to a thin-med trace, and poured. After Swirling, my pigments started to separate a little, but not much. (Fuzzy lines visible if you click on the photo) Is this just cosmetic? Or could the lye solution have separated from the oils?
I think next time I'll bring it to thin trace before dividing my batter and err on the side of too thick if necessary. But I'm learning a lot!
820CD550-16A9-4D88-B81B-E5718DD5CCAE.jpeg
 

earlene

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Titanium Dioxide? The fuzziness I see looks like TD seeping into the darker colors next to it; or is it the darker shades are soaking up the TD causing the blur? Is it possible your darker colored batters were more liquid than the white-colored batter? If the white was TD, that makes sense, as I've always found that Titanium Dioxide really thickens batter up quite a lot. And if the darker shades were not equally thick, they would most likely be drawn to the TD and start soaking it up, so to speak.

I would not actually call that separation. Yes, I do think it is cosmetic. But I'd try a little less TD next time & try for an equal-ish thickness of batters before the pour. You can just let the colored batters sit in their cups a little longer, &/or give them each a bit more of a stir to speed up the thickening prior to pouring.

It really is quite attractive, even with the blurring. In fact, I'd probably be really happy with that look, even if not exactly the goal. I'd probably name the soap "Icy Waters", depending of course on if the fragrance lent itself to such a name or at least did not clash with it.
 

TheGecko

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I mixed to emulsion, divided batter up into my pitchers, stirred in my dispersed colorants, added fragrance, alternated mini-mixer, stirring, and waiting, realized I wasn't at trace, used a mini mixer to get to a thin-med trace, and poured. After Swirling, my pigments started to separate a little, but not much. (Fuzzy lines visible if you click on the photo) Is this just cosmetic? Or could the lye solution have separated from the oils?
I think next time I'll bring it to thin trace before dividing my batter and err on the side of too thick if necessary.
That is some really pretty soap!

"If you build it, he will come". At noted by Teri in that video, you just need to be patient. If you go back and watch her video, you will see that blends her uncolored batter to a bare emulsion. She then separates, and then hand stirs her colorants in well and then uses the mini mixer to make sure her colorants are fully incorporated and then she stops and she waits...then stirs a bit and waits again...and then again until her batter reached a medium trace; which took about 20 minutes. She mentions at the end of her video that we have a tendency to get impatient...which you admit that you did since you poured a "thin-med trace" instead of waiting for a full medium trace. Lords knows I've done it plenty of times myself.

As far as your pigments separating...they didn't 'separate'...physically impossible. The lack of definition (fuzziness) can be caused by too thin of a batter for the design, a difference in the trace between colorants, it can be caused by 'bleeding' often caused by an oversaturation of colorant or it can just be the colorant or a combination of the scent and the colorant. As an example...if you want a darker blue, adding a little bit of black is better than adding more blue.
 

LisaBoBisa

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Titanium Dioxide? The fuzziness I see looks like TD seeping into the darker colors next to it; or is it the darker shades are soaking up the TD causing the blur? Is it possible your darker colored batters were more liquid than the white-colored batter? If the white was TD, that makes sense, as I've always found that Titanium Dioxide really thickens batter up quite a lot. And if the darker shades were not equally thick, they would most likely be drawn to the TD and start soaking it up, so to speak.

I would not actually call that separation. Yes, I do think it is cosmetic. But I'd try a little less TD next time & try for an equal-ish thickness of batters before the pour. You can just let the colored batters sit in their cups a little longer, &/or give them each a bit more of a stir to speed up the thickening prior to pouring.

It really is quite attractive, even with the blurring. In fact, I'd probably be really happy with that look, even if not exactly the goal. I'd probably name the soap "Icy Waters", depending of course on if the fragrance lent itself to such a name or at least did not clash with it.
Thanks so much, @earlene ; you're right about the TD being thinner than the others. I'll try fixing that.
That is some really pretty soap!

"If you build it, he will come". At noted by Teri in that video, you just need to be patient. If you go back and watch her video, you will see that blends her uncolored batter to a bare emulsion. She then separates, and then hand stirs her colorants in well and then uses the mini mixer to make sure her colorants are fully incorporated and then she stops and she waits...then stirs a bit and waits again...and then again until her batter reached a medium trace; which took about 20 minutes. She mentions at the end of her video that we have a tendency to get impatient...which you admit that you did since you poured a "thin-med trace" instead of waiting for a full medium trace. Lords knows I've done it plenty of times myself.

As far as your pigments separating...they didn't 'separate'...physically impossible. The lack of definition (fuzziness) can be caused by too thin of a batter for the design, a difference in the trace between colorants, it can be caused by 'bleeding' often caused by an oversaturation of colorant or it can just be the colorant or a combination of the scent and the colorant. As an example...if you want a darker blue, adding a little bit of black is better than adding more blue.
I actually ended up waiting for more than an hour, following her minimixer-wait-minimixer-wait strategy, so I definitely did start getting impatient by the end (actually ran to the pharmacy quickly after an hour while waiting). I think part of my problem was that I mixed the white and teal with oils, not batter, and added them by pipette like Teri did with her white and fuschia... She can get away with that for a cosmic pour, but I'm doing a swirl where they're supposed to look distinct, so I got bleeding and fuzziness!

FTR, I tried again tonight before seeing your replies, and stickblending the batter to trace before dividing it really paid off. I think the TD will still bleed on me, and thanks to you two, I understand why now. Finally succeeded at a cosmic pour for my bottom layer, and happiest with that layer (it looks better if I use a Pyrex pitcher instead of a long nose)! Here's tonight's bottom and top layers, and I'll hopefully try again tomorrow.
 

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LisaBoBisa

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Tried again (4th batch on the right), using 10% of my batter as the white. No fuzziness, but I got an odd crackly finish (glycerin rivers?). I think I’ll stick with my batch 3 (bars on the left) strategy. Surprised if it’s glycerin rivers, since I soaped at 95F and used a steep water discount.

FFD21DE1-DC2E-4897-8CC3-63B1D95FBBA1.jpeg


Really pleased with the underlayer for batch 4.
117213D7-BC4C-4606-ACC2-A5744EEAE341.jpeg
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dibbles

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I have to agree with @artemis - I think it looks like alien brains (but not a severe case). It is just cosmetic and you can plane or cut off the top. Since it is caused by overheating, you might see glycerin rivers as well. Very pretty soaps!
 

LisaBoBisa

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If so, the 👽🧠 started before I put the lid on, bc I noticed the texture change before I sprayed with alcohol, added the lid, and wrapped it up to put it in the warm oven. I’ll plane it off, but I wonder how to avoid this next time if it happens that fast?
 

dibbles

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If so, the 👽🧠 started before I put the lid on, bc I noticed the texture change before I sprayed with alcohol, added the lid, and wrapped it up to put it in the warm oven. I’ll plane it off, but I wonder how to avoid this next time if it happens that fast?
If you noticed it right away, I don't think it could be either glycerin rivers or alien brains. I have had some weird texture happen from spraying alcohol, which is one of the reasons I stopped doing that. I'll see if I can find a picture. But you said it started before you sprayed the top, so can't really blame that either.

ETA:
1653688332038.png
 

LisaBoBisa

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If you noticed it right away, I don't think it could be either glycerin rivers or alien brains. I have had some weird texture happen from spraying alcohol, which is one of the reasons I stopped doing that. I'll see if I can find a picture. But you said it started before you sprayed the top, so can't really blame that either.

ETA:
View attachment 67003
Oh, that’s so weird! Maybe I did it to myself. One of the swirls looked less than perfect, so I went back and re-swirled a corner after it had started to set up, and maybe that crackled the top. So tempting to mess with it 😅
 

dibbles

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Oh, that’s so weird! Maybe I did it to myself. One of the swirls looked less than perfect, so I went back and re-swirled a corner after it had started to set up, and maybe that crackled the top. So tempting to mess with it 😅
I don't know, but it seems unlikely that just reswirling in one corner could affect the whole top. Maybe the FO?
 

LisaBoBisa

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Felt healthy enough to try again today! Here's batch 5; seems consistent enough to scale up to using the big mold.

964B8E71-0DD8-4C19-AE66-49ADC7EF7D00.jpeg


After standing those glycerin river/alien brain bars from batch 4 next to the other batches, I realized what might've gone wrong. Batch 4 is 25% thicker than the other bars, same amount of oil, so maybe I added way too much water and caused glycerin rivers in batch 4 (although it does have a raised, crackly surface and started before I put the lid on)? I make mistakes soaping with a fever 😅
 
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Titanium Dioxide? The fuzziness I see looks like TD seeping into the darker colors next to it; or is it the darker shades are soaking up the TD causing the blur? Is it possible your darker colored batters were more liquid than the white-colored batter? If the white was TD, that makes sense, as I've always found that Titanium Dioxide really thickens batter up quite a lot. And if the darker shades were not equally thick, they would most likely be drawn to the TD and start soaking it up, so to speak.

I would not actually call that separation. Yes, I do think it is cosmetic. But I'd try a little less TD next time & try for an equal-ish thickness of batters before the pour. You can just let the colored batters sit in their cups a little longer, &/or give them each a bit more of a stir to speed up the thickening prior to pouring.

It really is quite attractive, even with the blurring. In fact, I'd probably be really happy with that look, even if not exactly the goal. I'd probably name the soap "Icy Waters", depending of course on if the fragrance lent itself to such a name or at least did not clash with it.
Thank you for this knowledge "Titanium Dioxide really thickens batter up quite a lot."
 
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Felt healthy enough to try again today! Here's batch 5; seems consistent enough to scale up to using the big mold.

View attachment 67084

After standing those glycerin river/alien brain bars from batch 4 next to the other batches, I realized what might've gone wrong. Batch 4 is 25% thicker than the other bars, same amount of oil, so maybe I added way too much water and caused glycerin rivers in batch 4 (although it does have a raised, crackly surface and started before I put the lid on)? I make mistakes soaping with a fever 😅
Wow. This is stunning. Can't stop looking at it. Beautiful.
 

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