hi there. im fairly new to soap making but have done it a few times really well(from luck) and a few not so well.. i've read a book and im starting a new one which has helped me heaps. im compiling the info in my brain and have been, over time, despite the overload. (wish i was better at science and math!) i've just learned about soapcalc(thank goodness) and have what appears to be my best soap to date curing in a shoe box. i am in New Zealand and working off grams so recipes i usually convert or put into soapcalc now that i am familiar with it. i have just got a bit big headed after having a basic batch turn out well and went for a more advanced recipe. i used a soapqueen baby bastille recipe http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/baby-soap-buttermilk-bastille-baby-bar/ i put the basic figures that worked for me into soapcalc and i think that the recipe is all good.. so says soapcalc. she states to put the milk in the freezer to keep from scalding but also to ice the liquid when adding the lye. my oils and lye started out at about 46C/114F when combined, seems ok. i put the mixture into my table top mixer and whisked away on med/low... it just didn't trace. and didn't trace. hours passed and she says it should happen quick. yes its olive oil... but a huge water discount.. what i need to know is it the carrot? the buttermilk? the icewater bath i used combined with the temp of the mixture and frozen milk possibly brought it down to quick? is it possibly the heat and humidity of the day? its gross out.... is my lye off? if my lye is off how do i tell? i just used it last week!! are my gram measurements not small enough? after 4 hours (nearly) ive got light trace. its happening. so id like to know maybe what went wrong... and if i did the right things to solve it. its still going but not to medium trace yet. (4 bloody hours!) i put it in a crock pot just after it looked like it maybe would trace (3 hours in)and brought it up to the 114F again.. popped it back into the mixer and its not to med but still looking like it may... was this the right thing to do? if it doesn't go to medium trace i'll be dumping the sucker in the mold anyway... is that the right thing to do? i searched and searched the forum and got lots of bits and pieces(thank you all) but no real info on my exact problem. im totally stoked to get into some peoples heads and read up on this forum. i hope i can learn to navigate it properly! yay!