Shea and cocoa butter melting

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TheGecko

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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...

My Hard Oils are Coconut and Palm Oils and Cocoa and Shea Butters. I always start with the Cocoa Butter since it is the hardest. When it is about halfway melted, I would then add my Palm Oil, melt it halfway, then add my Coconut Oil and fully melt. Then I would cut up my Shea Butter into small pieces and let the residual heat melt it, then add my Soft Oils.

Even though I Master Batch my oils these days and use the stove top instead of the microwave, I still follow the same process.
 
A

amd

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?
The recipe I use for the class is 60% hard oils, and it hasn't been a problem. Are you also heating your liquid oils or adding them at room temperature? Does the recipe you're using normally accelerate?
I'm curious about what actual temperatures are, I'm hoping to do a class in October and will likely do a practice batch on my own (it's been almost 2 years since I taught a class) to refresh myself on the process. I'll make a note to stop and measure temps - lye water temp and once everything has been added. From memory though, I would guess by the time I added liquid oils, the batter is not very hot - the bowl is warm to hand but not hot. Possibly lye concentration makes a difference? I'm not sure.
 
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The recipe I use for the class is 60% hard oils, and it hasn't been a problem. Are you also heating your liquid oils or adding them at room temperature? Does the recipe you're using normally accelerate?
I'm curious about what actual temperatures are, I'm hoping to do a class in October and will likely do a practice batch on my own (it's been almost 2 years since I taught a class) to refresh myself on the process. I'll make a note to stop and measure temps - lye water temp and once everything has been added. From memory though, I would guess by the time I added liquid oils, the batter is not very hot - the bowl is warm to hand but not hot. Possibly lye concentration makes a difference? I'm not sure.
My liquid oils were room temp and my recipe was 50% lard & 20% CO- 20% OO, 5% Sweet Almond & 5% castor and at room temp it is a very slow moving recipe currently at my usual 33% lye concentration. , but that my have been a period when I tried a lower water percentage. It was a while back and I've been liking my master batch lye and soaping at room temp has been working for me so I've not tried again. I don't even remember measuring temp...I just started thickening up and I went into panic mode I'm sure. I hope you get back to your classes! I would enjoy one if they had them in my area!
 

MLSB

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I have never used the microwave to melts my butters and I feel this is why folks have so much trouble with their Shea butter. In almost 20 years of soaping I have been blessed with never having a problem with Shea butter as I melt in low on the stove.
 
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Moved to The Oort Cloud...
I melt my oils in a stainless steel pan with a thick laminated bottom on it. I set the burner to "2" which is a very low setting. Let the oils melt and check temp with a laser thermometer. Unless I'm melting stearic acid for my shaving soaps, the temps never really go above 140°F. I just wait and let them cool along with the lye solution cooling.
 

PapsSoaper

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Sounds good! Be sure to post some before (unrefined) and after (refined) pics for our viewing pleasure, please. :)
For you AliOop and all the lovely soapers here... An ode to you... My Avocado and shea butter with coconut milk soap! I am in love with the marbling effects ❤️
 

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