Very quick trace/seizing with very old lye and oils.

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tyerod

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I soap infrequently lately so my lye and oils/fats have become very old. Since I am usually the only one using my soap, it doesn't really bother me. Anyway I recently added a little bit of coconut oil back to my recipe and upped my superfat to compensate for the drying affects of it. I have done three 16oz batches with this recipe and all three seized or were very quick to trace. Thickening within the first minute or so and being very thick within 2-3 minutes while trying to rush getting color and fragrance in. This happens before any colorant or fragrances are added. On the last two batches I loosely checked lye solution and oils temp before mixing. Lye has been around 70 degrees F and oils below 100 degrees F. I have used similar recipes with small tweaks for a while and while I have seen tracing in 5 -10 minutes regularly but these latest batches are going crazy fast. I tried a different, not as old, lye and
reduced the water amount a little on the most recent batch and had the same effects.

Lard - 40% - Within a year
OO - 40% - 3-4 years old
Castor - 15% - 10+ years old
Coconut - 5% - 4-5 years old

Lye - 6-7 years old

SF - 8%

W/L ration on first two was approx 3:1 and I reduced the water from 172g to 130g on the third batch.
Balance is wired so I believe it is still giving accurate measurements.

Both lyes are still free flowing with no clumping so they may be reduced strength but have not absorbed enough moisture to clump. The second batch, which I was able to power through, went full gel on my counter and two weeks out is still very soft. Just did the latest batch so will be seeing if it also heats to full gel. They are in wood mold with freezer paper liner.

Any ideas on why these might be moving so fast or did I just forget soaping with CO makes things go faster. I soaped last year with a similar recipe minus coconut oil and don't recall tracing quickly. I am almost out of all the old ingerdients so I will be getting fresh materials soon. More curious than anything.
 
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One issue could be your 15% castor oil which can certainly contribute to acceleration. When formulating a slow tracing recipe I found a 2% difference in castor would make a difference in trace. So keep in mind Castor does not create bubbles it only supports bubbles and lather so 5% is more than enough in soap. I am also guessing your old OO is a culprit and not your lard or CO.
 

tyerod

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I upped the castor from 10 to 15 %, removed 10% shea butter and added 5% CO for this recipe. Will try bumping castor down again. My problem is I am cheap and hate throwing things away so I get the big bottles of OO from Costco and it ends up sitting around. Same with the castor. I bought a gallon and recently saw the expiration date is 2012. Its almost gone, I swear.

I see the batch I did today is splitting so heating up and gelling.
 
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@tyerod If your oils will be around for awhile, consider adding Rosemary Oleoresin (aka ROE - not the same as rosemary EO!) at time of initial purchase. The price for a small bottle may seem high, but you only use tiny amounts and it is great at preventing rancidity. Refrigeration of your OO can also help.
 

DeeAnna

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Another issue is your older fats might have a higher than normal amount of free fatty acids. That's a normal process that happens to fats over time. Free fatty acids react almost instantly with NaOH. You can't tell if a fat is high in FFAs by looking at it or smelling it. The main clue is the batter is unusually quick to reach trace and thicken.
 
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