As an aside, don't put your Shea Butter in with your other ingredients right away. Wait until the others have melted, then turn off the heat, add the Shea in small chunks and allow the residual heat to melt it. Shea will get 'grainy' if it overheats.Then I weighed out my solid oils (Cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil) and melted them over boiling water.
It could be a combination of both...floral and spice tend to trace faster. Unless I'm making a double 2lb batch, I tend to whisk my lye in, then give it a couple 2-second bursts on low, check the bell of the blender for emulsion and then a little stirring with the blender if needed. A second seems like a short amount of time, but you have to remember that a stick blender blends at high velocity. And a second is "one Mississippi", "two Mississippi". "three Mississippi", etc...so 10 seconds is actually a long amount of time for 40 oz of oils.Then I added my lye, stick blended the mixture for around 10 seconds (TheGecko - looking at your comment I wonder if the stick blender IS too much for 40 oz!)
- Added in my fragrance oil and quickly stirred in with a spatula. The fragrance oil was floral so I wonder if you are right, shunt??
True dat. You have your initial ingredients...combination of oils and butters. Your lye solution. SuperFat. Temperature of your oils/butters, temperature of your lye solution, the type and amount of scent you use, the type and amount of colorants you use, the type and amount of additives. Then then is the actual mixing of the batter...stirring, whisking, stick blending. Even the temperature of kitchen/garage/studio/attic/second bedroom can affect how your batter behaves. When I was first starting out, I took tons of notes for each batch of soap I made and cured so I could understand the variables. During the Spring/Summer I use a 33% Lye Concentration, during the Fall/Winter I use 35%. I'm in the Pacific Northwest and it gets chilly and we have a lot of rain. So I lower the water content in my soap and cure for about 10 to 12 weeks in my garage. It's not a perfect solution, but it works. And when I make GMS (goat milk soap), I refrigerate it during the Spring/Summer, but don't during the Fall/Winter.There are lots of variables here so I understand that no one is able to give me an easy answer, but I really appreciate all your tips!!
I feel the same way about candle making. It is completely different than what it was when I was a kid (I'm almost 60). Back then you just melted your paraffin on the stove, added some McCormick's liquid dye from the baking section, tossed in perfume from Mom's dresser and you had candles. No you have all these different kinds of waxes and wicks and the science of matching wicks to containers and temperatures and what not. Not me...I just go to the store and buy what looks and smells good.Also I am a candle maker and soap making is on a whooooooooooole other level..... I'm so jealous of you seasoned soapers!! Thanks again