SMF April 2018 Challenge - Sous Vide (HP) Soap swirling!

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by SaltedFig, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. Apr 14, 2018 #61

    DeeAnna

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    "...How long do the soap in the bags need to be simmer for it to gel?..."

    The real answer is "it takes as long as it takes". The recipe, your technique, etc. will all affect this. SaltedFig mentioned about 30 minutes to gel. I think mine are taking more like 45-60 minutes to reach full gel. See my pics and notes in post 43. I can see that time might shorten with more practice with this method, but that's what it's taking now.

    I'm keeping the temp of the water bath about 180 F (80 C). That's plenty hot enough to drive saponification.

    I would worry about using a full boiling water bath (212 F, 100 C). For one, the hotter the temp, the harder it is on the fats -- heat increases the rate of oxidation of fats and thus will increase the chance of rancidity.

    For another, temps at or near boiling can cause soap to expand in volume and water to turn into steam. This will cause pressure to build up in the bag. Most people want to avoid this in a "normal" soap making method and you definitely don't want this to happen when using this sous vide method.
     
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  2. Apr 14, 2018 #62

    SaltedFig

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    The Sous Vide hot process method is a low heat method.

    If you are using a water bath, the water surrounding the Sous Vide bags should be below boiling point.

    Visually, you want to keep the surface of your water calm.

    From Post #1

    From Post #13 Sous Vide Soap example water bath with rack.jpg The water in this photo is being heated gently, so the temperature stays below boiling point.
    The easiest way to do this visually is to look at the surface of the water - it needs to be unbroken and calm.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  3. Apr 14, 2018 #63

    SaltedFig

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    I think this is perfect!

    Mine have consistently taken about 20 to 30 minutes for my high olive recipes in the water bath and slightly longer (about 25 to 40 minutes) in a very gentle steam environment. I am getting different times for different recipes, so your recipe will make a difference to your Sous Vide time.

    The change to gel is very easy to see, and I've left bags continue past the gel point without negative effect (so if you go a little over, that is ok too).
     
  4. Apr 14, 2018 #64

    SunRiseArts

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    Thank you all! Thank you DeAnna for refereeing me to your post. You are such a great teacher!

    Is there any specific reason why the bags need to be sealed? I thought of using foam coffee cups (I always use those for my lye) instead of bags, and sit them in the water bath. I could put plastic wrap on top.

    Is this acceptable?
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  5. Apr 14, 2018 #65

    dibbles

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    I have been dragging my feet giving this a try, and I'm not really sure why. We are pretty much stuck at home all weekend with the snow storm, so I decided today would be the day. I've never done HP before, so I'm not sure if I have a success or a fail. It did gel in the baggies, which were in cups as shown in the first example. I only made a 1 lb. batch, and I would say it took about 30 minutes - maybe 35 - to get full gel. Soap is in the mold cooling off.
     
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  6. Apr 14, 2018 #66

    SunRiseArts

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    dibbles is 8o degrees is Dallas ......
     
  7. Apr 14, 2018 #67

    SunRiseArts

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    Ok I just finished mine. Everything went perfect, until the end when I put the FO, and forgot how quickly the FO could eat through the cups. Amazing the cups can withstand the oil, and the cook in the crock pot, but bot the FO. I had to work so quickly at the end.

    I took pictures of everything, except of the colors mixing, because of above. It was very interesting. My batter looked the same as when I do HP. So in all honesty would be easier to make HP and then divide your batter.

    I do not do much HP anymore because I think it has affected the super amazing sense of smell I had. It has diminished.

    I think also added too much color. Been heavy on that lately. Hopefully is all good, because this is the last batch I am making in a while. I need to start packing to move in a couple of weeks.
     
  8. Apr 14, 2018 #68

    NsMar42111

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    I disagree LOL....this was way easier than messing with 6 different bowls or cleaning all that extra stuff when I want to do all different scents. My receipe was way more fluid than when I normally do HP...this might be receipe dependent too. Good luck with the packing! ugh I hate that!
     
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  9. Apr 14, 2018 #69

    SaltedFig

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    Wow, that was quick SunRiseArts! I'd only just seen your post and was in the process of replying.

    The SousVide Hot Process method is to cook the soap in a vacuum at low heat, to retain liquidity without additives.

    I suspect that the plastic wrap over the top would not have been sufficient to maintain a vacuum.

    Effectively you made ordinary HP, not SVHP (sorry Maria)

    The plastics used in foam cup manufacture are often more soluable than #5 plastic. Essential oils will dissolve them quite well too.

    Good luck with your move Maria! I hope it goes smoothly for you :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  10. Apr 14, 2018 #70

    DeeAnna

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    "...Is there any specific reason why the bags need to be sealed?..."

    I can think of a couple of reasons. First and probably the most important is a sealed bag eliminates the problem of evaporation. The neat part of SaltedFig's sous vide method is you can use a "normal" cold process recipe. You don't have to adjust the water-based liquids to account for evaporation, so you can use the HP process and make a smooth looking soap, minimum amount of water, and still deal with a pourable batter.

    Second reason is heat transfer. A bag is thin and allows the heat from the water bath to warm the soap really efficiently.

    I'd be careful about using the foam cups -- be sure to check what they're made of. If polystyrene, they are truly not safe for lye, fragrance oils, and essential oils. The FOs and EOs will literally melt the plastic. Lye will make the plastic brittle and very easy to break. (Oops, I see you've already found this out.....)
     
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  11. Apr 14, 2018 #71

    DeeAnna

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    I forgot to add a detail about my second batch, so I'm adding this tidbit --

    I'd added sodium lactate in my first batch. I did it mostly out of curiosity -- seems like a lot of people use it and I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. I didn't use sodium lactate in the second batch. I didn't notice any difference in the pour-ability of the two batches. As far as I'm concerned, using SL is kind of a non-event.

    What is different is the bars from the second batch is definitely harder than the bars from my first. The bars are still not quite as hard as my usual CP bars at the same age, but pretty close.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  12. Apr 16, 2018 at 4:37 AM #72

    SunRiseArts

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    Thank you all. Sadly, I will not have time to make another one. So I will go ahead and post pictures here with my experiment, when the soap is ready to cut. I took it out of the mold, but since I made it yesterday, I want to wait an extra day before cutting.

    I know about plastic and FOs, don't know what I was thinking. I always mix my lye in those cups with no problem. I like that they are seamless, so no risk of spilling.

    Interesting process. Maybe a try it again at another time.
     
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  13. Apr 16, 2018 at 7:24 AM #73

    Primrose

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    1. dibbles - Never thought I'd do HP. Never say never.
    2. BattleGnome - Adventure!
    3. SunRiseArts - ╭(◔ ◡ ◔)/
    4. earlene - I've got to try this!
    5. amd - looks like I'm moving back into the kitchen...
    6. scard - Maybe I can use my neem oil?:D
    7. Penelopejane - maybe a good time to use a pesky FO.
    8. Serene-Someone save me from myself.
    9. SoapAddict415- I may not get a chance to try the challenge but I'd still like to vote.
    10. DeeAnna -- I need more practice with HP, so HP-in-a-bag -- here I come!
    11. Redhead1226 - Ill give it a go!
    12. Neonstudy
    13. nsmar42111-I have an idea for a use for this....
    14. Primrose

    I wasn't going to join this one because I've not really any desire to try HP ... but I may give it a go anyway
     
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  14. Apr 16, 2018 at 3:10 PM #74

    DeeAnna

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    Third batch done last night. It gelled faster than the first two. Since I used the same basic recipe for all three, I'm chalking the difference up to operator error. I didn't fuss with batch 3 nearly much while the soap was in the hot water bath. Don't remove from the water to take pictures, ogle, smoosh, or poke -- just let it do its thing as much as possible. And use a deep enough water bath so the soap batter can stay at or below the surface of the water.

    I was careful about rolling the top of the bag well so it was sealed tightly and about not opening it until after the soap had gelled. I did not notice any obvious gas buildup in the bag. Nor did I smell any hint of fragrance that would hint at gases escaping from the bag.

    I tried stick blending in the bag again. I held the bell just below the surface of the soap batter, so it was submerged, but well away from the bag. It worked. It only took about 5 seconds of SB'ing to get the batter to emulsion, and I didn't SB any further once I got it to that point -- I didn't want to tempt fate. But the soap also didn't need any more mixing either.

    For 500 grams of fat, the additives I experimented with were sodium lactate and yogurt --
    Batch 1: 1.5% ppo sodium lactate up front and 1 TBL yogurt after the soap gelled
    Batch 2: 1 TBL yogurt after the soap gelled
    Batch 3: nothing

    I can't say the sodium lactate made any great difference as far as making the soap more fluid and workable while hot. The yogurt, however. Hmm. I really think a bit of yogurt makes the hot soap more plastic and workable a little longer. I don't know if it has to be yogurt; I know some people use nonfat dry milk powder to add fluidity to rebatched soap. My guess is it's the sugars that are making the difference.

    I thought the molded-up soap with yogurt was easier to tidy up and smooth. The no-yogurt batch quickly formed dry bits here and there that didn't want to combine smoothly with the rest of the soap. I saw more defects around the outside of the loaf and where different layers of the soap met. It looked like the soap was a little too stiff to adhere to itself easily and to flow and settle nicely into the mold. This is not a night-and-day difference, but I think the subtle benefits of yogurt are worth the trouble.
     
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  15. Apr 16, 2018 at 3:21 PM #75

    NsMar42111

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    DeeAnna-great! It worked better!

    So I'm not confused, you added your oils/butters to the bag, then added your lye water , then stickblended, then added your FO, then sealed it up and cooked it? Do I have that right? Or did you add FO before stickblending the whole thing?

    How long did yours take to gel? I do think not lifting the lid makes a difference :).

    Sodium lactate for me only makes the bars harder later and I've been leaving it out because I don't see a huge difference with my current recipe....yogurt does indeed seem to make everything more fluid but I'm shy of DOS issues right now so I stopped using that too LOL. Glad to hear you had sucess with it! The sugars in the yogurt maybe held the heat a little better and that's why the soap was more uniform?
     
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  16. Apr 16, 2018 at 4:24 PM #76

    DeeAnna

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    Here's a step-by-step, NsMar --

    I found a "batter bowl" with steep sides that supported the bag well and put the bag in this bowl. I put bowl and bag on my scale, and measured my room temp fat, FO, and EDTA directly into the bag. I then took the bag out of the bowl and floated the bag directly in the hot water bath to let the fat mostly melt.

    While that was going on, I got my alkali ready in a separate containers (water and KOH in one and 50% NaOH masterbatch solution in another).

    When the lye solutions were ready and the fat was mostly melted, I put the bag back into its bowl, poured the lye solutions into the bag, and stick blended the batter to emulsion.

    The first time (Batch 1), I tried to SB when the bag was floating it the water bath. I really don't recommend that! The bag is too "squirrely" in the hot water and much more likely to get caught in the blender. When in a bowl (Batch 3), the bag conforms to the bowl so the bag is more open and safer to stick blend in.​

    I think the batter for Batch 3 was in full gel in 15-20 minutes. Definitely a LOT shorter time than the 45-60 minutes as with the other batches. That was nice!

    "...The sugars in the yogurt maybe held the heat a little better and that's why the soap was more uniform?..."

    I suspect what is happening is the milk sugar (lactose) in the yogurt is reacting with the soap and any residual alkali to create a small amount of fatty acids -- in effect raising the superfat a bit, but with fatty acids, not fat. It's the fatty acids that are modifying the texture and making the hot soap easier to work with.

    Part of the reasoning behind my idea is this -- Kevin Dunn did some experiments that showed using full milk as a replacement for water would increase the superfat by (speaking from memory here) around 4-6%. About 1-2% of this superfat increase is due to the milk fat according to my calculations, so the rest of the increase is coming from the milk sugar. A mere tablespoon of yogurt ppo won't change things nearly that much, but it is apparently enough to make a useful difference.

    IMO, it may not be the yogurt specifically that is the key -- any source of dairy might work just as well. But this is just my guess. I don't know how a tablespoon ppo of yogurt compares to using the same amount of other dairy or extra fat or even glycerin. Maybe any of these would help?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018 at 6:57 PM
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  17. Apr 18, 2018 at 9:46 PM #77

    SunRiseArts

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    Well, here is my failed experiment (in pictures), since I will not be able to enter. At least the soap is usable, and is smells so good. I used rock candy and sour watermelon FOs.


    20180414_160705.jpg 20180414_160708.jpg 20180414_160903.jpg 20180414_161333.jpg 20180414_163945.jpg 20180414_170920.jpg 20180417_162328.jpg
     
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  18. Apr 20, 2018 at 4:00 PM #78

    Serene

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    I had a soaping first two days ago. I think its decent enough for an entry on the first try. Planets aligned that day? Seriously this never EVER happens. Water got into one of my bags so it was not without problems but it worked out in the end.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018 at 4:54 PM
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