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Lye sweat on first CP batch


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Okay, my first batch I was so proud of... seemed to be doing okay after I cut it this morning (about 36 hrs after pouring). No zap, didn't see any lye pockets or big holes when I cut the soap. But I just checked and some of the bars are sweating a little, mostly on the bottom or side where it is resting on the counter top, not in any areas exposed to air. It is most definitely lye sweat. I touched it with my finger and then touched my finger to my tongue, and ZAP! Plus, I didn't use any FO or color in this batch. Also, it is not humid here. About 74 degrees in my house.

I am sure I measured everything correctly and didn't leave any oils out. The only thing is maybe I didn't stir it enough? Although it had the consistency of thin pudding when I poured, maybe I didn't get everything incorporated enough... I don't know.

I had planned to rebatch the soap anyway so I can add FO but am wondering now if there's just too much lye leftover?

Question is... is this normal? It's been about 44 hrs now since I poured into the molds. I used SoapCalc to get my recipe:

3lbs of oils:

50% lard

20% OO

25% CO

5% castor oil

193 grams lye

517 grams distilled water

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I like your recipe. It doesn't really seem like it should be sweating lye. Any chance you soaped it too cool?

My oils cooled to about 90 degrees, and my lye solution to about 100 degrees. They may have cooled a bit more once I mixed because it took a few more minutes for me to get set up after I took the last temps. I'm reading the Miller Soap site troubleshooting guide and see improper mixing could cause a bit of lye sweat, as well as ash -- and I sure have lots of ash. I know I also didn't insulate as well as I should have, and the batch never went through a gel stage at all, which I guess could also cause ash. I used a stick blender, and I definitely had trace. The mixture was a thin pudding when I first started pouring and was a thicker pudding by the time I finished.

I've moved the cut soap to a rack now, and they don't appear to be sweating any more. I have noted a few small holes here and there which I didn't notice before, but nothing oozing from the holes. Not sure if those are just air bubbles or if they are lye pockets. The lye sweat, as I said before, is just a thin, small amount on the areas that weren't exposed to air. The weird thing is, not all of the cut bars had this sweat, only a few.

Thanks for the help!

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I doubt it's gonna be a big problem. This recipe is going to be very good soap. Next time you could probably just tweak the technique a little and it may come out more uniform and without the sweat.

This isn't a recipe that would normally tend to separate from insufficient mixing, but the one thing that could mess you up slightly is if the batch gets cool enough for the harder oils to start congealing, which gets in the way of good saponification. I would aim for soaping it at 100-110 and keep it warm and cozy in the mold.

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