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Active Member
Aug 25, 2007
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Richland, WA
I am very curious about the variables that determine time to trace. This probably does not matter much, because the two batches that took longer to trace turned out fine. Anyway, last night...

While waiting for the boatload of new supplies I've ordered, I decided to use what I had on hand and experiment using soybean oil for the first time.

Soy: 900 gms
Coconut: 400 gms
Lye: 204 gms
water: 360 gms (near the very bottom of the 350 to 525 suggested by the MMS calc

I held out a couple tsp's of oil and mixed it with ground cinnamon since I wanted to experiment with swirling. I combined the NaOH solution with the oil at 110 F, and alternated 30 sec's of stick blending with simple stirring, continuing to add a tablespoon at a time to the cinnamon/oil mix.

Usually my soap traces within minutes, less than 5.

This time it took at least 30 to 60 minutes ('What! ME look at a clock?) and never got to a definite trace. It finally got thick enough in my not so humble opinion, so, since I was going to swirl it and didn't want a thick trace anyway, I poured and drizzled in the juice glass worth of cinnamon/lye/oil. Nice looking swirl (from the top, can't wait to unmold and see).

Six hours later it looks great, feels hard and the mold, covered with two sleeping bags, feels nice and warm.

So... apparently no problem. So, why so long? Is Soy THAT different than Olive? Use of bare minimum of water make those NaOH molecules take longer to find the fat?