Slow to trace?

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Marshall

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What went wrong, if anything?
I Made a batch of 80% lard soap this morning. 80% lard, 15% CO, 5% Castor, default SoapCalc settings so I that puts my recipe at a 5%SF and 38% water % of oils. I had 2 sample FOs from BB.

The FOs are where I made one mistake I know. Using the BB Calc for the FO I should have added 1.4 Oz to the batch for the heavy side. I inteded to split the batch and add about .65 oz to each half. Instead in my haste, as I was nervous because this batch was to be my first attempt at a pencil line I split the batch and just dumped each jar in their respective pot, putting me around .7 Oz heavy for a 2lb batch. I soaped at 107 degrees and thought all was well

Here is the juju, it took me well over an hour to get them to trace. I feel that I was at emulsion when I split the batch. I did finally reach a good light to med trace but I have never had to work that hard to reach trace. Disclaimer - it's not like I have made a lot of soap, yea, newbie here :)

Did I do some thing wrong? Was it the extra FO? Or did I anger the Lard king by having a ham sandwich just prior to making lard soap?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!
 

IrishLass

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In my experience working with lard, it is a slow tracing oil. Seeing as how you used a 'full water' amount, I can only imagine trace would have taken even longer than it would had you used a lesser amount of water, although an hour seems like a long time. How did you mix it- i.e., did you hand-stir that whole time, or did you use a stick-blender at all? I can see it taking an hour if you hand-stirred only, but it should've taken less time if you used the stickblender intermittently.

Having said that, though, I've found that there are certain fragrance oils can actually slow trace down. I have one or 2 FOs myself that reverse trace- they will actually thin my med-trace batter out after adding them. It's possible that the FOs you used were of those rare, reverse-tracing types. If you don't mind me asking, which ones were they?

Do you happen know the IFRA usage rates of the FO's? It's possible that the extra amount you used of them was actually within the safe range.


IrishLass :)
 

Marshall

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i.e., did you hand-stir that whole time, or did you use a stick-blender at all? I can see it taking an hour if you hand-stirred only, but it should've taken less time if you used the stickblender intermittently.

Having said that, though, I've found that there are certain fragrance oils can actually slow trace down. I have one or 2 FOs myself that reverse trace- they will actually thin my med-trace batter out after adding them. It's possible that the FOs you used were of those rare, reverse-tracing types. If you don't mind me asking, which ones were they?

Do you happen know the IFRA usage rates of the FO's? It's possible that the extra amount you used of them was actually within the safe range.


IrishLass :)
Thanks for the input! I used a stick blender intermittently and stirred gently by hand in between sessions while I let the stick blender cool down. Not that I was running it so hard that I was afraid I would overheat it but I was worried that I was overdoing it with the blender.

The FOs were from BB and were Pumpkin Souffle and Butter Mints. I don't know what IFRA is but since you mention it I will look into it.

I will say, if nothing else, the house smells awesome. :mrgreen:
the IFRA usage rates of the FO's? It's possible that the extra amount you used of them was actually within the safe range.


IrishLass :)
I couldn't find the IFRA info but I did go back and recheck BB site, it appears the usages I had written down were not the heavy side but instead the middle of the range. So I was not as far off on the usage as I first thought.

Which still leaves me wondering what, if anything, I did wrong to make it take so long to reach trace. Of is this one of the nuances of the soapy world?
 
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topofmurrayhill

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Which still leaves me wondering what, if anything, I did wrong to make it take so long to reach trace. Of is this one of the nuances of the soapy world?
With a stick blender, it really shouldn't take an hour based on the information you provided. Castor oil, which I don't use in this particular recipe, should actually make it go faster than it does for me. I'm not the biggest fan of bakery scents, but they don't do this as far as I know.

Nobody can know for sure whether you mis-measured something, so at this point we await your 24 hour report. It should be coming along well at that point or be ready to demold.

I use plastic for everything, so if something like this was happening to me with a small batch, I would put it in the microwave and get it good and toasty to help it along. I'm inclined to doubt that particular recipe stayed nearly warm enough during an hour of mixing. You could conceivably have gotten a false trace after all that.
 

Marshall

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Thank you both for the input, here are the cut bars. When the noob panic subsides I have to say I am pretty happy with them. From all of the folks on this forum that sing the praises of the 80% lard bar I have high hopes and will remain calm with the next batch.

Guess you learn a little with each step, thanks again for the input!

20160404_183703.jpg
 

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