Strange occurance with lye mixture

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makes_scents

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So last night I was making a new batch of coffee soap...
I measured my oils, melted the lard and coconut oil...combined them...
I measured my lye and chilled coffee and coconut milk...I mixed my lye solution as usual...and let it cool a bit...

When i went to mix my lye with my oils it had done something strange...it was no longer fluid, but more like a tapioca pudding consistency. It was almost like it had started to saponify in the lye container....is that even possible as there technically weren't any oils in my lye pitcher.

Do the natural oils in coffee saponify when mixed with lye?
 

Seawolfe

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also some coconut milks also have guar gum or other thickeners/stabilizers in them, which might have contributed
 

makes_scents

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That makes sense...just took my by surprise since it didn't happen the last time I made this recipe. Only thing I changed was the brand and grind (espresso) of the coffee.
 

navigator9

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If you use enough coffee to dissolve your lye, you can add the coconut milk directly to the oils. That way you can be sure all of your lye has actually dissolved, which can be difficult determine if you've got "tapioca".
 

Deedles

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I had the same thing happen recently with goats milk. I needed to make a batch so it could be cured in time for a Christmas party so I had to make it NOW. I had run out of what I usually use and all I could find was a can of condensed GM. There was directions on the can to add water to it to make it whole so I figured it would be OK. As I mixed the lye into it I noticed the color was turning a dark caramel even though I was mixing very slowly. By the time the lye was dissolved it had a pudding texture. When added to my oils it sank to the bottom of the pot and looked like curdled milk. I figured I was having my first soap disaster! The trusty SB did it's thing, trace was a bit slow but it poured beautifully. When I cut it the next day the color was a creamy light beige as usual.
 

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