Weird bumpy texture developed on my Bastile soap, any ideas what caused it?

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toxikon

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Hi folks! I tried my first batch of bastile soap a couple days ago and the top has developed quite an interesting texture! I'm not too worried about it, it seems to be setting up nicely, I'm just very curious about what caused it.

I have my suspicion that it got too hot during its gel phase (because of the sugar I assume) and that's what happened... but I'd still love to hear what other people think!

Recipe:

75% OO (Pomace)
20% CO
5% Shea Butter

5% SF
38% Water (too high for bastile, I know!)
26.4% Lye Concentration
1 tbsp sugar PPO

No fragrance, no colour. Poured at around 120 F at medium trace. Insulated with blankets for gelling. Looked nice and smooth while it gelled, then when I checked again in the morning it looked like this.

 
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toxikon

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Just throwing this out there.....Did the blanket touch the soap?
Nope! I put a big foamcore board over top of my mold. There was at least 1/4" unfilled at the top of the mold, plus the foamcore has a bit of outward curve to it, so I'm fairly certain it didn't touch the soap.
 

Gerry

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Could be localized alien brains where it got hottest in the middle. But the pattern looks less "organized" than what I'm used to. Wont affect the soap though... just cosmetic exterior that a little planning would fix if you want it smooth.
 

toxikon

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Could be localized alien brains where it got hottest in the middle. But the pattern looks less "organized" than what I'm used to. Wont affect the soap though... just cosmetic exterior that a little planning would fix if you want it smooth.
Thank you for teaching me a new term! I just googled it and it does seem like it was struck by "alien brains". I see that I can probably avoid the same problem if I uncover it and move it somewhere cooler after gelling - seems like I just overinsulated.

Any idea what the best way is to slice an even layer off the top?
 

Dana89

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It would probably be easier once you cut them into bars, and then you can see how deep it goes. Then cut from there. Or if it doesnt bother you too much, just keep those bars to yourself.

ETA- I find a cheese cutter to be great if you don't want to spend a lot of money on a soap trimmer, (I forgot the name).
A cheese cutter has always worked well for me.
 
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Gerry

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Any idea what the best way is to slice an even layer off the top?
The best way is with a soap planer. I built one from scratch using a bit of Home Depot left over cheap pine boards I make loaf molds out of, and this: https://www.amazon.ca/POWERTEC-128361-8-Inch-Planer-Blades/dp/B005NYXQO0

I guess that's about $10 now in American money. lol

If you like, I can post pics of my DIY planer to show exactly how it's built. I just used a hand saw and miter box from Home Depot and nails to put it together. Here's one of many Youtube videos on how they work: [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLxT3XDRvVg&t=1010s"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLxT3XDRvVg&t=1010s[/ame]
 
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toxikon

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Very cool, Gerry. Thanks for sharing. Seems like they function similar to a mandolin for slicing fruit and veggies!

I will probably just use the brainy bars for myself and keep the nicer looking ones for my family.
 
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