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Weird experience regarding my shave soap

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Jackofhearts

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Hello all!

So, yesterday I made 2 batches of shave soap using one of my usual recipes. My last batch I used lard for fun and the soap ended up having a bit of a piggy smell (not a good thing considering how important scent is to a shave soap). This time I made an older version which was:
45% Coconut oil
50% Stearic acid
5% Shea Butter
3 tbls/ppo Glycerin
1 oz. FO/ppo

Now I added the shea butter after it was zap-less to ensure the SF was Shea. Once it was ready I let it cool to around 140 f. then added the glycerin and FO (one was a GIT dupe and the other was WSP Bamboo Lotus)
I then glopped it into a 3 inch round individual mold like I always do and once set I unmolded it. This usually works well and the pucks aren't the hardest thing but its good enough to, after a month cure, wrap in coffee filters and tie with twine (my usual packaging...I'm still too new to sell so its just for storage).

This time however, once I unmolded the pucks were shiny and quite hard. Like I squeezed them and they didn't budge. I was thrilled. Unfortunately, today after work I went to the tray I was curing them on and went to turn them and they weren't shiny and they were quite soft!

Any idea what happened? I'm stumped.

The only thing I can think of is that the glycerin (humectant that it is) absorbed some humidity from the August New England air and went soft. I was so excited too...

Thanks for any help!
 

aprice522

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I can't help, but this is on my radar to do soon, so I am subbing to see the masters' answers...
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Without more information, I can only say 'maybe'. Is it more humid there than it has been when you made it before? Was your water and cook time the same? I'm thinking something changed as you said the pucks were never so hard before leaving them to cure........
 

Jackofhearts

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Good questions!
The last time I made it was in March. My cook time is 1 &1/2 hours which I know is longer than I have to but its always worked for me. The only change I made is the timing of when I add the glycerin. I figured it couldn't hurt to simply add it when I add the FO which I did after the cook after it cooled down a bit to around 150f.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I usually add my glycerin after the cook, too - helps mix the scent in.

Is it a problem that they are soft? What lye did you use? Pure KOH or a mix? If a mix, what ratio?
 

Jackofhearts

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Oh it's not a problem that they're soft. In fact, I was surprised as to how hard they were (I use 100% KOH so they're usually soft but the 1 &1/2 hr cooking time seems to help them firm up enough to mold in a puck). Usually they come out a bit soft but over the cure they firm up enough to wrap. This time they came out harder than ever then went softer than ever. I'm hoping they'll firm up over the course of my 1 month cure but it's just odd. Shiny and hard to matte and really soft after 1 day. That's never happened before.

It's probably not a big deal at all. It's simply something going on that I don't understand which is unnerving.
 
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Seawolfe

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Could they still have been on the tail end of gel when you unmoulded? Were they still warm?
 

Jackofhearts

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Seawolfe, the batch is zapless at around 20 minutes into the cook but I cook for a full 90 minutes. When I unmolded they had been room temp for an hour.
Not sure if this matters but my mold is a BB 3 inch silicon round individual mold.
 

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