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Some CP questions

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I've made a few batches of Goats Milk, Oatmeal and Honey CP soap, and I'm learning new things with each batch. I took a break from soaping for about six months, then last week made a 5# batch with too much castor oil, lots of shea butter, and burnt goats milk... ugh... I am clearly out of practice :(

So after doing lots more reading I attempted another GMOH batch yesterday and kept my recipe simple:

Water: 38%

Superfat: 7%

Olive Oil: 35%

Coconut Oil: 30%

Palm Oil: 30%

Castor Oil: 5%

Honey at 1 Tbs ppo

Fine Oatmeal at 2 Tbs ppo

In an attempt to keep the CP from gelling, I tried the method where the honey is diluted in some reserved water and added to the GM/lye mix (instead of adding the honey at trace). So I subtracted the water amount from GM (I set aside about 10%) and used frozen GM. The lye and GM did very well together and I kept the temp below 70 F, resulting in a lovely ivory color.

When the GM/lye dropped down to 60 F, I added my honey/water mix slowly and although the temperature never got above 70 F, it turned light orange. Not sure if that was due to the color of the honey or the GM burning.

My oils had gotten hotter than I wanted so I had to wait for them to cool down. This is when I debated about what temps to mix it with the GM/lye since the lye was around 70 F. Once my oils reached about 105 F, I poured my GM/lye through a sieve into the oils. Is this too great of a temperature difference? A small amount of stuff was caught by the sieve... kind of translucent but I don't know if it was lye crystals or gummy fats, but no big clumps. Could that mean that not enough lye was carried over into the oils?

It took a long time for the mix to reach trace, even with a stick blender. The temperature of the mix hovered at about 86 F and the oils did not want to blend! I'm used to trace happening quickly with a stick blender so the 10+ minutes for this to trace seemed like an eternity, lol. All the oils seemed to eventually blend together, but I didn't stop to see if it would separate. Should I wait to check for separation? I was worried about waiting too long.

I added my oatmeal and stirred and stirred, and it seemed to be getting to about a medium trace.

I poured into a Pringles can (uninsulated) and popped it into the refrigerator for about six hours. If I want to avoid gelling, should I leave it in there longer, or was that too long? Does putting it in the refrigerator slow down the curing time?

After a few hours on the counter the Pringles can was still cool to the touch. A temperature on the inside showed about 73 F.

After leaving the Pringles can on the counter all night I could feel that the can had warmed up. Temperature was about 82 F on the inside in a 65 F room. What temperature do I need to stay below to avoid gelling?

Almost 24 hours later the soap is soft to the touch and seems to have sweated a slight amount of oil. Should I have lowered my Superfat %? Did I cure at too cool of a temperature?

And, when can I expect to demold? At the moment it looks no where near ready compared to other batches I've done in the past.

Sorry for all the questions, but I love doing this stuff and I want to get better :drool: Thanks in advance!

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Adding the honey to your lye mixture caused the color change and may have accelerated the temp causing a caramelization of the honey. I think you have nothing to worry about and should get a fine result (hopefully). It is odd that you had to work so long for medium trace with your sb. You could have left your soap in the fridge over night but you won't know if gel occurred until you unmold. Cut that sucker and lets see what you did.


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Thanks for the responses :)

After about 26 hours I got impatient and gave the soap a slight push on one end of the mold and was happy to see it sliding easily out. It still seemed too soft to stand the whole log on one end so I layed it on its side and cut with a crinkle cutter. It appears to have not gelled (yay!) and the color is a lovely creamy light yellow which is nice and even on all bars.

They are drying now and hardening up nicely. Still gives a bit when pushed but doing much better than the batch I made last week. I can't wait to use them!

Steve, you were right about the honey. Using the same amounts of honey, goats milk and water but no lye, I mixed them together and the honey barely changed the color of the milk. So the reaction took place even though my digital thermometer did not pick up a change in temperature.

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