Shea and cocoa butter melting

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PapsSoaper

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Would be great of i can get some advice on the following...
I am using a recipe as per below
Olive oil 35%
Cocoa butter 15%
Shea butter 20%
Coconut oil 25%
Castor oil 5%

Pathouli+bergamot EO

How would you melt the hard butters there.. ps. The coconut oil is semi liquid at room temp. Also i am not confident with lye solution to melt my butters...
Lye soln at 2.1:1
Planning to use coconut milk 200 ml milk in oil method -making room from the water used to make the lye soln hence lye soln will be highly concentrated.
 
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Edited: @dibbles beat me to it and was so much less wordy 😂
I thoroughly melt just the hard oils (including CO) on the stove or in the microwave. Then I add in the liquid oils. This usually brings my total oils close to the soaping temp that I like.

But if your CO is already almost liquid, you could treat it like a liquid oils and add it to the melted butters. The residual heat will probably be enough in that case.
 

PapsSoaper

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I weigh my hard oils and butters first and then melt them in the microwave (others use stove top). Once melted, I add my liquid oils and any additives.
Heya Dibbles.. tried this in a previous batch but my shea butter came out a bit grainy and darker... Not burnt .. but really dark
 

PapsSoaper

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Edited: @dibbles beat me to it and was so much less wordy 😂
I thoroughly melt just the hard oils (including CO) on the stove or in the microwave. Then I add in the liquid oils. This usually brings my total oils close to the soaping temp that I like.

But if your CO is already almost liquid, you could treat it like a liquid oils and add it to the melted butters. The residual heat will probably be enough in that case.
Ok AliOop.. sounds like a plan.
But how to counter the darkening of the shea butter....
 
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Ok AliOop.. sounds like a plan.
But how yo counter the darkening of the shea butter....
I haven’t had that happen. Unrefined shea will be darker than refined, but generally not dark per se. Did you melt on low heat? How hot did the oils get?

edit: apparently I will be @dibbles ’ annoying echo today.
 

PapsSoaper

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I haven't experienced this, but I use refined shea. Maybe you used too much heat - or let the oils get too hot?
Probably so... Just checked my shea looks golden brown and not white.. and says raw shea.. has a distinct nutty amd smoky smell.. maybe i should heat it less? Even cocoa butter says raw and not white
 
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I waited awhile so as not to keep repeating what Dibbles was saying. By now it looks safe to reply, so here goes. ;)

The color of your oils and butters will definitely affect the color of your batter and resulting soap. If your goal is to have a lighter soap, you will either need to add some titanium dioxide, or use refined butters that are lighter in color. That's one reason, besides cost, that many folks use refined olive oil, which is very light, instead of EVOO, which is quite green and will add a green tint to your soap.

Other than EVOO, I love unrefined butters and oils, so I factor in their colors when I'm planning my color palette for a specific soap.

Back to your soap, the patchouli that you used can also darken your batter. If the prior batches that darkened included any vanillin, or dark-colored EO or FO, that could be the cause, as well.
 

PapsSoaper

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I waited awhile so as not to keep repeating what Dibbles was saying. By now it looks safe to reply, so here goes. ;)

The color of your oils and butters will definitely affect the color of your batter and resulting soap. If your goal is to have a lighter soap, you will either need to add some titanium dioxide, or use refined butters that are lighter in color. That's one reason, besides cost, that many folks use refined olive oil, which is very light, instead of EVOO, which is quite green and will add a green tint to your soap.

Other than EVOO, I love unrefined butters and oils, so I factor in their colors when I'm planning my color palette for a specific soap.

Back to your soap, the patchouli that you used can also darken your batter. If the prior batches that darkened included any vanillin, or dark-colored EO or FO, that could be the cause, as well.
Thanks AliOop .. will order refined shea and cocoa butter ... The color is brownish while melting the butters ... Yes patchouli does give a golden orange tint.. but i am talking about the point when i melt the butters even before adding the lye, yes TO2 is on my friends list on making the colour lighter.. but no more raw butter... I know they have a lot of pros but colour and fragrance is affected in the final soap. So refined butters here i come!
 
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Thanks AliOop .. will order refined shea and cocoa butter ... The color is brownish while melting the butters ... Yes patchouli does give a golden orange tint.. but i am talking about the point when i melt the butters even before adding the lye, yes TO2 is on my friends list on making the colour lighter.. but no more raw butter... I know they have a lot of pros but colour and fragrance is affected in the final soap. So refined butters here i come!
Sounds good! Be sure to post some before (unrefined) and after (refined) pics for our viewing pleasure, please. :)
 
A

amd

Cocoa butter 15%
Shea butter 20%
Coconut oil 25%
How would you melt the hard butters there.
My two cents, as there seems to be some concern about heating the butters too much... When I teach a group class I use a recipe that has quite a bit of tallow, shea, cocoa butter and CO, and during the class we use the heat transfer method without any issues. After melting the hard oils we add the liquid oils. I've never had a case where the hard oils didn't melt.
 
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My two cents, as there seems to be some concern about heating the butters too much... When I teach a group class I use a recipe that has quite a bit of tallow, shea, cocoa butter and CO, and during the class we use the heat transfer method without any issues. After melting the hard oils we add the liquid oils. I've never had a case where the hard oils didn't melt.

I've tried the heat transfer method a couple times and each time my batter accelerated immensely and I've not tried it again. I assumed my oils were still too hot. still not sure what went wrong. Maybe my percentage of hard oils too high for heat transfer?

How would you melt the hard butters there.. ps.

I also microwave my hard oils. Depending on batch size, 30 secs to a minute at a time, then stir. Then microwave for 30 more seconds, just until all my hard oils are clear and not milky. If I'm melting a temperamental butter I will stick with 30 second in the microwave at a time no matter the batch size.
 

ResolvableOwl

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I melted up my last cocoa + babaçu quota in the sunlight of a long summer afternoon (with the help of a west side winter garden, lol). The only other thing I can imagine is comparably gentle to the oils (and lengthy) is to put them into the oven at CPOP temperatures.
 
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When one says stovetop, do they mean direct heat? I melt my oils using a double boiler method. Since I use palm oil, I make sure the oils reach 160 F, then remove from stove and let them cool to whatever temperature I want to start soaping, usually 100F; unless I want to accelerate trace, then I start soaping at 130F. I give the oils a stir periodically while they are cooling.
 

Becky1024

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I melt in the microwave. When I started soaping, I was warned to melt butters on low heat so I played around a bit with settings on my microwave and found that 40% power for about 5 minutes was perfect.
 

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