Trouble shooting liquid soap

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Jun 18, 2013
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Idaho, USA
I attempted cold process liquid soap today. Technique was basic, dissolve lye in water, add to melted oils. It seemed to be ok at first but whenever I stopped blending, it would separate. I tried for about 45 minutes to get a stable emulsification before I gave up and put it in a crockpot on low. After it had warmed back up, I started blending again and it eventually hit light trace. I covered the crock and let it cook 15 minutes only to discover it curdled and completely separated. It absolutely wouldn't come back together until I poured it back into a bowl and let it cool down. I did finally get it together and it gelled. The resulting paste is quite soft but not zapping.
It seemed to get too hot while cooking, I can smell the lard. I might go ahead and scent the paste unless there is a reason not too. I don't want to keep smelling it while it rests.

I'd really like to figure out why it was so fiddly, a few things come to mind. 1. My potassium hydroxide is a little old, maybe it has lost some potency. I'll know more on that once I dilute it. 2. High lard, since lard traces so slow, maybe its exaggerated with potassium. 3. I tried a new oil (algae oil) that isn't on any lye calc, I found the sap value online but thought maybe it was wrong. I made a small test batch with 100% algae oil and sodium hydroxide, it traced fine but I think its going to take awhile to set up.


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