Still having partial gel problems

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Jessrof

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I have tried multiple batches of soap in my acrylic slab mold (after the GM soap that partially gelled) and I still keep getting a partial gel. It isn't too noticeable after I unmold it, but I can see it...

Things I have tried:
-tried non-"hot" recipes (no milk, sugar, etc)
-freezing mold before pouring
-soaping at a cooler temp (usually soap around 100F, tried 90)
-let mold stay in fridge for 2 days
-put mold in freezer


Any advice would be appreciated
 

Genny

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Do you not want it to gel at all? That will be harder to stop from happening.

If it's a "non-hot" recipe, you could always force gel instead.
 

misskat22

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Just to be clear, when you say you're putting the mold in the freezer, is that with the soap? If so, I say embrace the gel and force it. I'm not sure how true it is, but I've heard a few places that sometimes there is no way to stop soap from gelling, if it's going to.
 

WallFlower

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I'm able to stop gelling by putting my mold in the freezer before using it for soap, then leave the mold with the soap in it for 24 hrs in the freezer. :)
 

Jessrof

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I am putting the mold in the freezer beforehand, then after with the soap in it. I just find it hard to believe that every recipe is so prone to gelling. I love the way non-gelled soap looks (more creamy imo) and that is why I got this slab mold....
 

Genny

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How long are you putting your mold in the freezer for? I'd think that if you left it in there overnight and then transferred it to the fridge for a couple days, it would stop any gelling.
 
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WHat FOs or EOs do you use? There are some you cannot stop from heating up and gelling. There are some, like Lime and fruity scents that don't seem be problematic. Scents that accelerate seem more prone to gel.
 

sistrum

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Your soaps want to gel because that's the natural way of cold process. That's the what it's suppose to do and has done for over a hundred years. It's only lately that people have have started to force non gelling.
 

Parke Co. Grapevine

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larger batch and larger mold

What size is your mold and your batch of soap? I don't have a lot of experience, only about 5 yrs, but...

in my experience, with any recipe, GM or not, a slab mold of 3 lbs or more will always at least 'partial' gel, even when I try to stop it. OR, when I *want* that size and type of mold to gel, I tend to get a partial unless I CPOP it or insulate really really heavy. If it is a 'hot' recipe like pine tar, the slab mold will fully gel with unsulation.

I finally settled for:

*Loaf or deep slab molds for a full gel, with heavy insulation a/or CPOP if necessary.

*Very small slabs or individual molds for no-gel, and keeping recipe and molds cool to cold. Actually, I have been getting very nice no-gel GM soaps by using frozen milk and a 'cool' recipe, soaping in a winter-drafty kitchen (lol), then pouring soap in individual molds (recycled cookie containers), setting the filled molds on a cold *metal* cart, and parking the cart in front of the drafty back-door. They set up nicely without even using the freezer. And I do add FOs and EOs to my GM soaps.
 

Parke Co. Grapevine

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Sorry, I realized the title on my reply may be confusing. I meant to imply that a medium to large batch of soap in a slab mold (3lbs or larger) always seem to gel at least in the middle, in my experience. The only way to ensure gel when I want it is to use a *larger* batch of soap (like 7lbs or more) in a *deep* mold, loafs or slab but very well insulated. a/or CPOP to get a full gel.

And when I do *not* want gel, the only thing that works for me is to use smaller or individual molds in a very cool environment, or very small batches of soap that can be quick cooled all the way to the center of the mold.
 

RocknRoll

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I prevent gell on about 50% of my soaps. They were all 2 1/2 lb batches and I had no problem with partial gel. After pouring (and soaping at room temperatures) I put in the freezer for at least an hour, maybe two, then transfer it to the fridge for a couple more, sometimes less. I then move it to a cool area of the house. I think they are right about the bigger the soap batch, the harder it is to prevent gel thus ending up with partial gel. Your best bet may be to do a smaller batch for your non gelled soaps because it sounds like you have done everything right to prevent it in my opinion. Hope that helps somewhat :-D
 

Jessrof

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This mold is a nine bar mold (I use 37.5oz oils) so I dont think that is too large. Can you recommend an individual mold you like?
 

Parke Co. Grapevine

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You can find many suppliers of slab or individual molds, pick your choice of size and shape. The 9-bar mold should not be too large a batch to prevent gel. So, it sounds to me like you are doing everything right so far.

I figured out to set my GM soap (in small or individual molds) on a metal cart in front of a draft, because my computer-geek son has told me about the use of metal 'heat diffusers' inside computers. The metal absorbs the heat; the lil fans diffuse the heat away. Maybe if you froze an empty metal baking pan, ready to place the mold of fresh soap onto it, then set it all back into the freezer ? Just a thought.

I have learned that the temp *underneath* my soap molds is key to either preventing gel or insuring a good, full gel. For a hot soap I set the mold on a big piece of styrofoam and then insulate over the top ... for a 'cool' non-gel soap I set the mold of soap on the metal cart in front of a drafty door. I'm sure you will figure out something that works for your situation!
 

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