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stanekster

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I need some help figuring out what I am doing wrong with my goat milk soap. I have had several batches of soap over the last few months where this has occured. Some of them are using EO blends that have not changed.....nor a recipe that changed. It seems almost to randomly to occur. You can see the photos have an orange liquid on top. I left it for a 3 days and it cleared up a little bit, but still did not get reabsorbed. Also when I cut into the loaf, I there are areas of liquid in them. This time around I was using Spearmint essential oil. I noticed when I tried to do swirls, there was some clumps in the soap. But other times, the clumps never appeared.
  • Scale seems fine (weighted and cross checked with another scale), it plugs in wall so no battery issues.
  • I make soap in basement - so colder weather has come in. I thought potentially a problem with oils & lye not being hot enough, so I made sure the oils and lye were at least 115 - 120F before combining.
  • I introduce the lye into frozen milk so not to scorch it. Then I even mix with the stick blender to make sure it is dissolving.
  • I double checked the recipe in soap calculator and it has a 5% super fat & 31% water by oil weight. I use Olive oil, palm, Castor oil, palm kernel flakes (hydrogenated), and cocolnut oil in the recipe.
I am trying to add a photo....let's see if it works.
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Any ideas of what the problem may be would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
 

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shunt2011

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Welcome! They overheated and cause craters and separation. You'll need to post your full recipe but I'm guessing its a combination of the Milk, PKO and Coconut oil and soaping a bit too warm for milk soap.

And, since you're new hop on over to the introduction forum and tell us a bit about yourself.
 
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Yep, as Shunt said, it is overheating. Those are actually the beginnings of a volcano. When that happens the best is to save all the liquid, dump in a crockpot and rebatch. It usually will not cure out to a good use-able soap. They will not turn out pretty, but you will have usable gm soap. Soap cooler. The bottom log actually is a partial gel and might be okay when cut. You will not know until you cut it. You can also try putting your molds on a raised rack when a fan so the air circulates around the mold to prevent gel. I find this works better than putting your molds in the fridge.
 

stanekster

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Ok, Thanks for the recommendations. I will get a fan setup to blow across them and elevate on cookie racks.

For the lower temps, what would you recommend? I found one site online saying 110 -140F (seems kinda high) and then another saying 70-80F for milk and 120F for the oils? And then another saying 90-100F. Is there any lower limit to temps?
 

Obsidian

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Your oils just need to be warm enough to clear, no reason to have them any hotter. Lye solution can be anywhere from room temp to around the same temp as the oils.

I soap with oils around 90, have no idea what temps the lye is. I just wait for it to cool down enough the container isn't hot to the touch.

Yes, you can have your oils and lye too cold. If they drop down lower then the melting point of your hardest oil, you can get something called false trace.
Its when the batter thickens from being too cold. I've never personally seen it, not even when using high temp melting point waxes.
 
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I can honestly say every GM soap I have made I freeze for at least 12, no more than 24 hours. Then I pull it out and refrigerate it on and off every 2 to 4 hours to see if it is overheating. I am in Texas and it is always hot lol. I do this and just always avoided gel phase with GM because it always overheated. Between pko and coconut I can see with the gm addition it overheated. Even if you cooled your lye and oils enough to emulsify that batter and/or achieved a light trace it is still going to heat up on it's own. If I wanted gel I'd eagle eye it til my mold feels warm but not hot, then freeze immediately. When I use a 40% lye concentration I will not gel with cpop (unless I use extra water with TD in a portion of the batter which will itself gel...hi vs low water test from auntie Clara specifies more). I do not ever use water as a % of weight anymore (thanks to Deeanna for explaining why in the past), so I am unsure to your calculations of water vs my typical because I am too lazy right now to use a soap calc and figure it out. Start using lye calculations vs water as a percent of, it is much more accurate...also post your recipe specifically for better understanding on your issues :cool:
 

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