"Ultimate Guide to Hot Process Soap", anyone?

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KimW

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Hi all,

Have been intrigued by Ashley Greene's HP soap method, something I think she calls "Fluid Hot Process". Does anyone here have any of her books who is willing to give me their thoughts - pros/cons/etc?

I've tried a couple of her recipes with her Fluid HP method with success. After studying her videos as well as my own results, I've discerned she's making soap much the same way they do on a large scale in a factory. She heats and agitates the soap through to saponification, using agitation to speed the process and, depending on the oil used, achieve a certain amount of fluidity. She sometimes then takes it one step more and adds a liquid or solvent (coconut milk, glycerin, alcohol, etc) or the more common yogurt, while the soap is still hot, to make it more fluid - the science behind why this extra step works is the sort of thing I'd like to learn, btw. Sadly, many of her replies to people's questions on her videos seem rather crass and rude to me, which is subjective of course, but it is putting me off from buying her book. I'm hoping to find a book that teaches the science behind soap making, along with demonstrative recipes and lessons learned. In other words - not just a book of recipes and not just a book of science. I spent a lot of money on two highly recommended books on a sourdough bread making forum to progress my skills, and what a bummer it was to find they taught me no more than I had already learned through trial and error, and that they were both severely lacking in the science behind the "opinions" and lessons learned from experience. Perhaps I've been spoiled by Julia Child...

Am making my way through DeeAnna's "Soapy Stuff" and have found it most helpful, though confess I often get lost - but that's just because I do find it very difficult to learn from "just" reading, not because DeeAnna's instruction is lacking. I am happily muddling through and researching areas where I get confused, like a good little student, and awaiting my copy of "Smart Soapmaking", as she suggested. :) So, if you think Soapy Stuff and Smart Soapmaking are the answers, then feel free to let me know that too.
FYI - I just joined the forum (love it here), but I have experience in cold process, room-temp process, hot process, liquid soap making, soap making from wood ash lye, and limited experience with "hot fluid" process. Many thanks to all!
 
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Hi @KimW ! I actually have all of Ashley's e-books, and I benefited greatly from them, and from her personal assistance. Behind the Facebook posts, Ashley is actually a lovely person who is very committed to helping her students succeed. She's never failed to respond to any of my questions or pleas for help.

Her books do explain the science, including great detail about fatty acid profiles, how lye and fat combine, etc. Some of these science portions are repeated, almost word for word, in each book, since most of the applicable science doesn't change between CP and HP. But that's the nature of selling three separate books; she has to give you the science in each one, in case you don't buy the others.

The private, student-only section of her website contains more recipes that aren't shared with the public. They are all excellent. However, I appreciate that her books explain how to use the science she teaches in order to formulate your own recipes -- with the properties that YOU want. And her fast liquid soap-making process is so much easier than the laborious method that is shared on most websites (although the liquid soap thread written by @IrishLass on this forum is equally wonderful to Ashley's method).

Now, I did buy all of her books before I found this forum, which is another fantastic source of wisdom and practical help. And this forum contains much - but not all - of the same information. However, as someone who tends to think in outlines, and store learned information in outline format in my mind, I benefit greatly from having all of the information in a single resource, with a table of contents. Being able to print the e-books also helps me a lot, because I do learn better from a printed page than from a screen. Flipping physical pages back and forth is invaluable to me, too. If your learning style is different than mine, these things may not be as important to you.

Bottom line, for me: her books really upped my soaping game, more so than any of the other soaping books I've read. At the same time, information and assistance from this forum and from @DeeAnna 's blog have provided an incredible depth of knowledge, and a welcoming community, too. I'm thankful for both.

ETA: her fluid hot process videos don't explain all of the steps, or the ratios for the additives she recommends to achieve fluidity. Those principles are fully explained in the book, which does provide this additional information, a good bit of which I hadn't found elsewhere in such detail or with scientific explanations.
 
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Dawni

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Thank you @AliOop.. I'm an HP soaper so I must have watched all her videos repeatedly even though I know there will be information not in them haha..

Thank you for sharing what you know. I've been thinking of buying the book as well, but the shipping rates were putting me off..... Maybe after a few more soap sales hihihi
 
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@Dawni From the looks of your pretty soaps, I bet you know most of what is in there already! ;)

Fortunately, it is an e-book so you just download it - no shipping. If you decide to get it, be sure to use their coupon code, FACEBOOKSPECIAL to get 10% off the price. I think sometimes they have bigger sales around US holidays; check their FB group during Labor Day weekend (Sept 4-7), Halloween, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas, etc.
 

Dawni

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How embarrassing! I wonder if I was thinking of another book like Pure Soapmaking or something and got confused lol.

Thanks for mentioning the coupon!

@Dawni From the looks of your pretty soaps, I bet you know most of what is in there already! ;)
Awww shucks.. Thank you hihihi

@KimW the yogurt really works! I've seen some use it together with sodium lactate but for me, yogurt and keeping everything hot/warm works enough for my needs. A lot also depends on the recipe and additives - I have one soap that does not need yogurt, and I don't even use full water (3:1) for it.

There is info on fluid hot process on the forum, some of it mine lol, but not as much as CP.. So there's something to read til you get the book :)
 
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@KimW I agree with @Dawni that keeping everything warm, even warm utensils and warmed color containers - makes a big difference to fluidity. Adding reserved superfat, reserved water, and/or warmed yogurt (or other forms of warmed milk) also make the HP batter more fluid after the cook. Another trick is to dissolve your colorants in a small amount of hot sugar water, if they are water-dispersable. The sugar + water really loosens up the batter!
 
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I have been making fluid hot process for about a year now - I hold back some of the liquid - then after the cook I add it back in. My additives are yogurt, coconut milk, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, and sugar syrup. By the time I put my additives in, along with the superfat and fragrance - my batter is very fluid. And as mentioned, everything you add needs to be quite warm. I even keep my containers (that I will be using to color my soap) warm and that has been a big help.
 
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I have been making fluid hot process for about a year now - I hold back some of the liquid - then after the cook I add it back in. My additives are yogurt, coconut milk, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, and sugar syrup. By the time I put my additives in, along with the superfat and fragrance - my batter is very fluid. And as mentioned, everything you add needs to be quite warm. I even keep my containers (that I will be using to color my soap) warm and that has been a big help.
@linne1gi do you do high temp or low temp HP? And do you use your master-batched lye solution with your HP?

I am asking because one of the things with high-temp hot process is to add the lye solution immediately while it is still very hot. So I am in a quandary bc I'm in the mood to make HTHP, but I have all this nice cooled MB lye solution. I was thinking of experimenting to see if using the cooled solution made much difference as long as the oils are hot, and I keep it on low on the stove to maintain that heat. Thanks for any thoughts or tips you can provide!
 
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@linne1gi do you do high temp or low temp HP? And do you use your master-batched lye solution with your HP?

I am asking because one of the things with high-temp hot process is to add the lye solution immediately while it is still very hot. So I am in a quandary bc I'm in the mood to make HTHP, but I have all this nice cooled MB lye solution. I was thinking of experimenting to see if using the cooled solution made much difference as long as the oils are hot, and I keep it on low on the stove to maintain that heat. Thanks for any thoughts or tips you can provide!
I have made HTHP only 2 times. It's a little more trouble, so I usually stick with LTHP. In order to HTHP you need to have hot oils and hot lye or it won't work - as a matter of fact, the soap will probably seize because the temperatures are so vastly different. But if you are prepared to cook it - it would be a cool experiment.
 
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I have made HTHP only 2 times. It's a little more trouble, so I usually stick with LTHP. In order to HTHP you need to have hot oils and hot lye or it won't work - as a matter of fact, the soap will probably seize because the temperatures are so vastly different. But if you are prepared to cook it - it would be a cool experiment.
Good point! I think I will give it a try, and as you said, be ready to cook it if necessary. I like using a stainless pot for everything anyway, so it would be just a matter of turning on the stove if needed. Hopefully I can get to that today!
 

LilianNoir

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I've been interested in trying hot process for a while and found this thread as a result of searching for info on it. I'm considering getting her book now!
Ever since I've heard about fluid hot process with yogurt, I wondered what it is about the yogurt that contributes to the fluidity. Is it the pH, the milk, the bacteria, a by product of the bacteria(lactic acid)?

Can you make fluid HP with dairy free yogurt?
 
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I've been interested in trying hot process for a while and found this thread as a result of searching for info on it. I'm considering getting her book now!
Ever since I've heard about fluid hot process with yogurt, I wondered what it is about the yogurt that contributes to the fluidity. Is it the pH, the milk, the bacteria, a by product of the bacteria(lactic acid)?

Can you make fluid HP with dairy free yogurt?
It the lactic acid from the yogurt, you could use coconut milk (I use this in addition to the yogurt), but yogurt is better.
 

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