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More Soap Gremlins


GrandmaArial
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All I wanted to do was 2 batches. The first was a mechanics soap requested by my neighbor; he wants something that will cut the grease from working on his bike so I decided on a simple coconut oil, PKO, Crisco, and orange oil with coffee grounds and cornmeal. I infused citrus into some grapeseed oil and calculated it into my recipe.

Everything is going as planned… I get to light trace and add the grapeseed… and it went weird. It separated and became a curdled looking liquid. Very liquid, like water. So I attacked it with my trusty stick blender… it looked ok, back to medium trace, separated out the portion and added to the coffee and in the blink of the eye I had a lovely yellow clear liquid in my pot, no curdles this time.

I dumped everything back into the pot (coffee grounds with soap and cornmeal) and whisked it til it looked like it was gelling… no, it never seized, just went to what looked like gel… so I started tossing it in the mold when it became like a thick dough then started getting translucent and lighter colored, like cured soap. I’ll look at tomorrow, I know I’ll have to redo it, but I am curious what it’s going to turn into next.

Then, the second batch. Just sweet green tea. Everything as normal… except that when I was stirring the lye water the lights went out. I looked and in what light was coming in the window thought the water was clear so stopped stirring. After I had it finished and went to clean up the lights came back on. My guess is about half the lye was caked on the bottom of the pitcher. Yes… I tossed it. Hubby WILL be fixing those lights tonight!

I think I would rather have the color changing gremlins than these, so Meridith, please take them back.

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OK, figured out what I did differently for the mechanics soap. I use a lot of citrus zest infused oil, but normally I dry the zest first. this time I just got the fruit from the store and zested it and tossed it into the oil. Lots of it. Normally I use about i orange /oz of oil, this time I added the fruit of 5 fruit (oranges, lemons, and limes) per oz. I think I over did the acid.

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All I wanted to do was 2 batches. The first was a mechanics soap requested by my neighbor; he wants something that will cut the grease from working on his bike so I decided on a simple coconut oil, PKO, Crisco, and orange oil with coffee grounds and cornmeal. I infused citrus into some grapeseed oil and calculated it into my recipe.

Everything is going as planned… I get to light trace and add the grapeseed… and it went weird. It separated and became a curdled looking liquid. Very liquid, like water. So I attacked it with my trusty stick blender… it looked ok, back to medium trace, separated out the portion and added to the coffee and in the blink of the eye I had a lovely yellow clear liquid in my pot, no curdles this time.

I dumped everything back into the pot (coffee grounds with soap and cornmeal) and whisked it til it looked like it was gelling… no, it never seized, just went to what looked like gel… so I started tossing it in the mold when it became like a thick dough then started getting translucent and lighter colored, like cured soap. I’ll look at tomorrow, I know I’ll have to redo it, but I am curious what it’s going to turn into next.

Then, the second batch. Just sweet green tea. Everything as normal… except that when I was stirring the lye water the lights went out. I looked and in what light was coming in the window thought the water was clear so stopped stirring. After I had it finished and went to clean up the lights came back on. My guess is about half the lye was caked on the bottom of the pitcher. Yes… I tossed it. Hubby WILL be fixing those lights tonight!

I think I would rather have the color changing gremlins than these, so Meridith, please take them back.

That would be a very loud "NOOOOOOOOOOO!! Not those blasted gremlins!!" (saying while I shake both my hands back in forth in front of me - almost like jazz hands but to the front lol) You can keep them or send them on to someone else. :P

Not that it makes any difference but, I can feel your pain. You just never know, that mechanics soap may turn out. I hope it does since it sounds wonderful.

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Ok… a bit of research and I know what I did. When I ground and added the fresh citrus rind I allowed the citrus acid to remain active in the presence of water. Citric acid is not oil soluble so infusing oil with dried zest prevents the problem. But anyway, the acid reacted with the lye. Sodium Hydroxide + Citric Acid --> Sodium Citrate + Water + Heat. That explains why it went all liquidy… and the extra heat must have driven it to gel stage, just didn’t see the very thick stage because it was to “wet” at the time. My guess is the cornmeal absorbed the extra water and with the extra heat it “cooked” making it look like dough. I took it out of the mold this morning and the PH was already down to 9.5. It is the strangest looking “soap” I’ve ever seen… I did test a piece of it out of curiosity and it bubbles. Well, it’s a good lesson in what not to do. Fresh zest can be infused for cooking, but not for soap.

Gremlins seem to have gone, I managed to make the green tea and a batch of bayrum today with out problems. Whose turn is it now?

Oh, and I used the last of my Jamaican bay leaf, and the friend who sent it to me is back stateside. Anyone know of a source that won’t cost me a second mortgage on the house?

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The gremlins are still with me! Darn it. I made a batch of Honeysuckle Jasmine and with it being a floral,I totally expected and prepared for it to trace quickly. And it did. At first it seemed like it would behave but then, I had to go and blink my eyes. I haven't unmolded it yet but I expect that this one will be a rebatch or cut into chunks for other soaps. I can't imagine that it won't be what with the way that batch traced and had to be globbed into the mold after mine and DH's pathetic attempts to swirl which I am sure will turn out to be these globs of color in the soap. It was fugly when we put it in the mold. I can't imagine that the looks of it will improve. :undecided:tongue2:

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The gremlins are still with me! Darn it. I made a batch of Honeysuckle Jasmine and with it being a floral,I totally expected and prepared for it to trace quickly. And it did. At first it seemed like it would behave but then, I had to go and blink my eyes. I haven't unmolded it yet but I expect that this one will be a rebatch or cut into chunks for other soaps. I can't imagine that it won't be what with the way that batch traced and had to be globbed into the mold after mine and DH's pathetic attempts to swirl which I am sure will turn out to be these globs of color in the soap. It was fugly when we put it in the mold. I can't imagine that the looks of it will improve. :undecided:tongue2:

Opps.. disregard my previous post... they must have gone back to your house.

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