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Should I throw this batch out now?

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reallyrita

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I am very new to CP. I have been soaping since October and have had success with my very small batches (one and two pounders) until now. I have been using the same basic recipe each time : 37.5% olive oil, 37.5% coconut oil, 25% palm oil. I soap at only 5% superfat. I use the soapcalc and I add a few drops of liquid silk to my distilled water before adding the lye. I also use FO's, adding them to my oils. I have soaped this recipe at temps of just under 100, around 90 and twice now at room temperature. I have always gotten a good trace...my stupid little Oster SB broke on me after only a few whirls so I have been stirring by hand. So far , so good...and then came this last batch. I substitued lard for the PO. I meant to soap at around 90 but life got in the way and I ended up soaping at RT. I just peaked at my soap. It is in Paul's 1lb TOG mold and it has little white dots here and there that i can see on the surface. These dots are not raised they are in the soap. I have not unmolded or cut because I wanted to get your advice first. Here is exactly what i used and how it went:
6oz distilled water
few drops of silk liquid protein mixed into the water
2.31 ounces of fresh lye well dissolved in the water, stirred until clear
6 oz. grade A olive oil
60z. coconut oil
4 ounces lard
1 ounce of Cybilla (BB) OMH FO stirred into RT oils.

This was my first batch with lard. I meant to soap it warm but it turned out to be RT by the time I got my act together. All looked normal but it was slow to trace. My DH had just bought me a new SB...a cuisinart one
so I used it in short bursts. Things thickened up well but I think I never got that thick trace that I had experienced from my earlier batches. I stirred and SBed for about 30 minutes and then I poured...at what I thought was thin trace...it was just under the applesauce stage. Immediately I had a little leakage from the bottom of the mold...so I Knew that this was probably too thin. I put the top on the mold and put it to bed in my warm spot on the bathroom floor and checked on it before I went to bed. It looked good and smelled wonderful (I was worried about a piggy smell from the lard...but all good there). This morning I looked again and it appears to have gelled well but I have those little white dots. I suspect it is lye. I beat the "c" out of this plus SBed it about five times....sooo....should I just dump it out now and try again? Sorry for the overkill with info but i wanted you to get the whole picture. Also, the soap in the mold does fill firm this morning. Arrggg......
 

Lane

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Wow.. I noticed your soaping temps... Not that I think this was the cause or anything, just noticed.... I soap at about 113...

I used lard once or twice and never had a problem... But I have had a problem every time I have tried to hand stir! Possible the lard was firming up and caused a "false trace" causeing you to pour too soon?
 

reallyrita

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Lane...I think you might be on to something. I really want to figure this out so that I can learn from this....soaping is so technical and so frustrating at times. It is hard to be a newbie but if this was all too easy I would have lost interest by now. The challenge keeps me going! I wonder now if I panic-ed too soon on this one. After rereading my notes on rebatching (which i have not even tried yet!!) I decided to unmold my soap and cut it up and put it in the double boiler that I have for melting stuff. Well, I took it out of the dark bathroom just a little while ago and into the bright daylight. Little white dots still there but they looked suspiciously ashy to me. Also, there was now visible to the eye light ashy tracing across the top ,..almost like a snail trail! It is true that i kept on peeking at this soap after I put it to bed since it was so thin...wanted to see if it was firming up and it was.
When I peeled the liners off the mold (Paul's Tog 1 lb) there were no dots on the sides or bottom.. I cut into slices and no dots on the inside either...just a creamy lovely looking soap! Lots of lovely looking things can be dangerous though...we all know that by now!! LOL Maybe it is ash...maybe it is lye...I am leaving it out to cure and I will tongue test the top of one of them in two weeks or so....it is not like anyone else will be using this soap anyway but me!!! I have a lifetime supply already...and I have just started soaping. My husband will only use the goatmilk MandP I make for him. I think I poured way too soon....and I should have soaped it at least in the 90-100 range or maybe even at your temp of 113. It never should have leaked out of the mold like that....it was way not ready to be poured. I don't know what to think now. If it were lye it should have dots or even pockets of lye throughout it. It looks really good. I wish I could post pictures...errr....even take pics!! Well, time will tell me for sure. It won't hurt to cure it out for a couple of weeks and then try, test it. I can always rebatch it then. Sigh! trouble is....I don't know whether the soap fairies are at my house or not.....
 

Lane

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It's sounds like rebatching helped! That thin layer of "ash", just may very well be ash! I actually made my first batch of soap last night without ash! Other wise, every bar has had it and and I have just later polished it off... After I poured my soap into the mold, I smoothed it out and put cling wrap on top of it. I gently pushed the cling wrap right onto the soap to 'seal' it. Today, no ash!! The only thing is that this is also the very first time I was able to get my soap to completely gel. (I still am lost on whether to gel or not to gel...)

So after two weeks if you decided to rebatch again, toss some cling wrap on it and see if it helps the possible ash... if it gets rid of it, you know it probably isn't ash. :D

And yes, I agree, it's the challenge thats keeps me going too! Once I was comfortable with the process, I enjoyed experimenting and trying to break the "oil rules".
 

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