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What's this texture on the top of this batch?

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theplasticfantasty

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I poured this batch on Sunday, it's a very simple recipe - no fragrance or colorant, only olive oil, coconut oil and some castor oil (I don't have my recipe on hand at the moment but can update later with exact measurements of everything). The first two pictures are after I'd just poured it, the texture was like a smooth applesauce, presumably from all the olive oil. While I don't have a picture of it the next day it became an opaque white with a relatively smooth texture

The second picture is the batch today, and now it's got this strange wrinkly texture on top, I'm not sure how I would describe it. I've never experienced soda ash, is that what it is? Or something else perhaps?
 

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artemis

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"apple sauce" texture sounds to me like "ricing," which can happen with some fragrances.

The other texture may be "alien brains," which is a result of the inside cooling at a different rate than the outside, I believe.

Search the forum for those terms and you will find more detailed information.
 

theplasticfantasty

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This batch doesn't have any fragrance in it, though. And if it were ricing, wouldn't it have been apparent when mixing? This batch was totally smooth when I poured it, it looked like pancake batter. The "applesauce" texture came after it sat for a little bit, it looked like half melted butter, do you know what I mean? You can see it if you zoom in the second picture. It wasn't chunky in the slightest. It doesn't look quite like alien brain to me either, it's not super warped

Also, here is a more detailed description of my recipe

27.75 oz olive oil
7.40 oz coconut oil
1.85 oz castor oil

14.06 oz water + 5.05 oz lye

Mixed at around 75 degrees fahrenheit and poured at light trace, left to set in a cool basement
 
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gardengeek

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This batch doesn't have any fragrance in it, though. And if it were ricing, wouldn't it have been apparent when mixing? This batch was totally smooth when I poured it, it looked like pancake batter. The "applesauce" texture came after it sat for a little bit, it looked like half melted butter, do you know what I mean? You can see it if you zoom in the second picture. It wasn't chunky in the slightest. It doesn't look quite like alien brain to me either, it's not super warped

Also, here is a more detailed description of my recipe

27.75 oz olive oil
7.40 oz coconut oil
1.85 oz castor oil

14.06 oz water + 5.05 oz lye

Mixed at around 75 degrees fahrenheit and poured at light trace, left to set in a cool basement
I'm no expert, but it looks like it could be glycerin rivers.
 

shunt2011

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Looks like ash to me. It should wash off. It's only a cosmetic issue.
 

lsg

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It looks like ash to me, too.
 

AliOop

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I do see ash, but like @artemis, I was also noticing the underlying texture.

I wasn't sure whether it might be very slight case of alien brains, or whether the batter wasn't fully emulsified to begin with. Maybe both? Because even the wet batter looks to me like it has some sort of graininess to it.
 

Jersey Girl

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Looks like you used about a 26% lye concentration which is a lot of water Especially for a soap with 75% OO. That can contribute to ash and it will take a long cure. 33% lye concentration is a good place to start, but you can go even higher with that much OO. It probably took a long time to trace.
 

theplasticfantasty

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Hopefully it's just ash, but I won't know for sure until I can cut it! Thanks to everyone who commented 😊

@gardengeek I'll definitely post with an update when I unmold and cut it!

@Jersey Girl thanks for the tip! It did take a while to get it to even a light trace, and like @AliOop said I'm hoping it emulsified fully. I ran my numbers through a soap calc and that was the amount of lye it suggested to me, but I suppose I could've made it a little stronger
 

AliOop

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I ran my numbers through a soap calc and that was the amount of lye it suggested to me, but I suppose I could've made it a little stronger
No, don't do that! Use the lye amount given by the calculator to be safe. You can change amount of water used to create the lye solution, but you don't change the amount of lye. ETA: changing the superfat % will change the amount of lye, but again, you will use the amount of lye shown by the calculator. does that make sense?
 

theplasticfantasty

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Update! @gardengeek

I cut the batch today, after sticking it in the freezer for about two days to firm up. The inside is completely unblemished and it passed a zap test, so it seems like the texture on top was just ash (I might end up cutting it off, we'll see). I hand cut the bars so they're totally uneven lol but I wanted to avoid the air bubbles my wire cutter makes. Now to let them sit and cure :)

What do you think?
 

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AliOop

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Those look great!! I love how smooth and creamy they are.

It is best not to cure soap directly on metal racks. Even if they are supposedly stainless steel, they can still have oxidized spots that will cause rancidity or DOS. Some freezer paper or shelf liner on top of the racks to keep that from happening. 😊
 
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theplasticfantasty

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@AliOop thank you so much! I'm surprised at how smooth they came out myself haha. Thank you for the tip too, I shall lay them out on some paper 😊

@dibbles I did, but I'm thinking I didn't spritz enough or as often as I should have
 

dibbles

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I asked because I have occasionally had a weird texture on top of my soaps after spraying. I don't spray my soaps any more.

Here's a thread where I posted a picture: Alien Brain?
 
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