Translucent soap?

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TheDragonGirl

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Okay I've successfully made translucent soap using everclear, that was an adventure and I enjoyed it

However I've been gifted some bourbon and whiskey and I dont drink, so I immediately thought of soaping with them- they're only 80 proof instead of the standard 190 that is usually called for in translucent recipes

does anyone know if its possible to actually use 80 proof alcohol as a solvent to make the soap translucent?

I tried looking it up via google but the one recipe I found (repeated a couple of times) called for making soap then grating it up and I was sort of dubious about rebatching into transparency, I'm willing to give it a try but I'd rather have it all happen in one cook
 

nikkisessence

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I'm curious about your results, If you try. Could you try using 50/50 w/w caustic solution - while maintaining remaining ingredients in the recipe.
 

Chefmom

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I have a book that has a recipe for translucent soap that uses 80 proof vodka or whiskey. It's the Complete Soapmaker by Norma Coney. She pretty much has the whole book making large batches and then "hand milling" or rebatching as we call it these days small batches of specialty recipes. I have been reading about translucent soap recently and pulled it down from the shelf. Many older books use a rebatching technique over hot process, personally I think they did it that way because back then hot process wasn't the norm. I don't see why you can't hot process and then take the recipe from that point with the solvents.
 

Saipan

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You have to discount the alcohol, and I think that may not be enough, I've only attempted it once myself, and I did get translucent soap, but that was with 150 proof Everclear, so I'm not sure.

Here is the formula:
90% Alcohol

80 Proof Bourbon = 40% Alcohol

.90/.40 = 2.25

So if the recipe calls for 10 ounces of 90% Alcohol, multiply by 2.25
10 x 2.25 = 22.5 ounces

That's a lot.

If you can find 150 proof it will work.

150 proof = 75% Alcohol

.90/.75 = 1.2
10 ounces times 1.2
10 x 1.2 = 12 ounces

As a side note I'm willing to help drink the Bourbon and Whiskey.
 
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Seawolfe

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What about half 40% alcohol and half glycerin? Doesnt glycerin count in the alcohol department?
 

galaxyMLP

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I have a book that has a recipe for translucent soap that uses 80 proof vodka or whiskey. It's the Complete Soapmaker by Norma Coney. She pretty much has the whole book making large batches and then "hand milling" or rebatching as we call it these days small batches of specialty recipes. I have been reading about translucent soap recently and pulled it down from the shelf. Many older books use a rebatching technique over hot process, personally I think they did it that way because back then hot process wasn't the norm. I don't see why you can't hot process and then take the recipe from that point with the solvents.

I have that book too! I have the older version of it that tells you to pour water into the lye. And it also says you can and should use fabric dyes to color your soaps. However, some of the information is still useful.

I have the book open now and the recipe for translucent soap doesn't look too bad. She uses more water up front than I would but she doesn't add any extra in when she adds the sugar to it. She does add a lot of whiskey to it.

If you have access to it, try to see if you can find sorbitol instead of regular sugar (sucrose) because sorbitol is a sugar alcohol and will help make the soap clearer.

This is the book:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080694868X/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 
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TheDragonGirl

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I have a book that has a recipe for translucent soap that uses 80 proof vodka or whiskey. It's the Complete Soapmaker by Norma Coney. She pretty much has the whole book making large batches and then "hand milling" or rebatching as we call it these days small batches of specialty recipes. I have been reading about translucent soap recently and pulled it down from the shelf. Many older books use a rebatching technique over hot process, personally I think they did it that way because back then hot process wasn't the norm. I don't see why you can't hot process and then take the recipe from that point with the solvents.

thats actually a good idea honestly

I see everyone's recommendations about that recipe and book! I'll have to see if I can get up the shipping to buy one of those one cent copies
 

TheDragonGirl

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I'm seeing one recipe on google calling for 30oz of oil for the soap with 8 ozs of sugar and 10 oz of 80 proof vodka, for one of the rebatch types

What I'm probably going to do is use my last batch's oil mix percentages, as I was very happy with how that came out, and hot process with a 50% lye concentration, and do this amount of alcohol and sugar after the cook and see where it gets me

I will report back on how that worked
 

Seawolfe

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I don't think so.

It's usually also added as a separate ingredient.
When I made transparent M&P soap, I made a basic 0% SF lye soap, then added glycerin, propylene glycol and sugar water. My understanding was that the glycerin was in the place of alcohol that other recipes used, so you could use both to overcome the extra water in the low proof alcohol. Or perhaps less water in the sugar water? Gotta be some way.
 

TheDragonGirl

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When I made transparent M&P soap, I made a basic 0% SF lye soap, then added glycerin, propylene glycol and sugar water. My understanding was that the glycerin was in the place of alcohol that other recipes used, so you could use both to overcome the extra water in the low proof alcohol. Or perhaps less water in the sugar water? Gotta be some way.
Usually you use all three! propylene glycol was actually acting as your alcohol in that recipe though :)
 

Chefmom

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I have that book too! I have the older version of it that tells you to pour water into the lye. And it also says you can and should use fabric dyes to color your soaps. However, some of the information is still useful.

I have the book open now and the recipe for translucent soap doesn't look too bad. She uses more water up front than I would but she doesn't add any extra in when she adds the sugar to it. She does add a lot of whiskey to it.

If you have access to it, try to see if you can find sorbitol instead of regular sugar (sucrose) because sorbitol is a sugar alcohol and will help make the soap clearer.

This is the book:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080694868X/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

I checked my copy, and it must have been after the lye into water thing was fixed. It states clearly ""carefully and slowly pour the lye into the water"" and then at the end states ""Don't make the mistake of adding the water to the lye"".

I'm glad it did get cleaned up!! That's a doozey of a mistake to put into print!

The good news is that her recipe works spot on in soapcalc at a 5% superfat and full water. She says to "give the soap a day or two, then shred it and heat it (no water) until melted. I don't see why you couldn't skip that part and hot process the soap, then take the finished batter after the cook and add the sugar and vodka. I mean WHO would use whiskey in soap!! That should be mixed in the fridge for sipping while the soap sets up!! :D
 
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TheDragonGirl

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Now I'm curious though

Has anyone ever tried using the glycerin method used in LS when making translucent soap? Would that come out too sticky/weepy?
 

nikkisessence

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How about this? I would try but I'm still having tremors after my last attack. According to Catherine Failor's basic recipe 1, she has:
Lye solution 1lb9oz d2h2o, 12oz lye
Oils 2lb8oz palm/tallow/lard, 1lb Coconut, 1lb9oz Castor
Solvents 1lb12oz ethanol, 8oz glycerin
Sugar Sol 15oz d2h2o, 1lb4oz sugar

What about this?
Lye Sol 6oz lye, 6oz d2h2o
Oils 20oz palm/tallow/lard, 8oz Coconut, 12.5oz Castor
Solvents 28oz alcohol, 4oz glycerin
Sugar Sol 7.5oz d2h2o, 10oz sugar

That should acct for approx 50% red in alcohol conc (according to proof approx 47.5%)
*please let me know if I completely off track! My thinking still gets fuzzy at times!!!
 
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TheDragonGirl

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4/25/16

attempt was made to create a transluscent soap using 80proof alcohol:


Coconut: 5.5 oz
Lard 14.0 oz
Stearic Acid 7.0 oz
Castor 5.5 oz
lye 4.7 oz
water 4.7 oz

alcohol 80proof 10.55 oz (rum)
sugar 8.3 oz

based on a 30oz oil to 10oz alcohol and 8 oz sugar ratio recommended in a few places on google search

I hand wisked the soap together as the stearic set up extremely quickly, found it to be very lumpy even after

Sugar and alcohol added after tongue testing neutral, along with 2oz vegetable glycerin when it was apparent it wasnt going to become completely translucent

partial transparency achieved but not readily apparent to the eye Light shines through thin slices

small spots of overcooked zapping soap that didnt take colour found throughout bars, not enough liquid in the cook

to make sure eveything properly incorporated, or not stirred well enough by me.

Torn on whether to let those attempt to cure out, or to go ahead and rebatch this.

scented with eucalyptus and peppermint oils, tinted with chrome oxide

I'm afraid attempts to make up for the weakness of the alcohol are going to leave it far too soft in the end, with as much liquid as is being proposed
 

nikkisessence

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Stearic has done that to me before. I usually rebatch or use for toilet cleaning. Do you mind if I try to back calculate and reformulate? Perhaps making up for water with excess in alcohol step just can't be done? I may try later this week - I just don't know if I'm quite up to it yet.
 

Beans

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You have to discount the alcohol, and I think that may not be enough, I've only attempted it once myself, and I did get translucent soap, but that was with 150 proof Everclear, so I'm not sure.

Here is the formula:
90% Alcohol

80 Proof Bourbon = 40% Alcohol

.90/.40 = 2.25

So if the recipe calls for 10 ounces of 90% Alcohol, multiply by 2.25
10 x 2.25 = 22.5 ounces

That's a lot.

If you can find 150 proof it will work.

150 proof = 75% Alcohol

.90/.75 = 1.2
10 ounces times 1.2
10 x 1.2 = 12 ounces

As a side note I'm willing to help drink the Bourbon and Whiskey.

I have plenty of everclear(moonshine) around the house. Could you expand on the recipe? I'm a semi newbie and would like to give it a try.
Thanks Curt
 

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