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    • CommentAuthorlcwillson
    • CommentTimeSep 9th 2012
      0 points
    What is your favorite temperature of the lye solution and oil solution to make soap? Normally I try to hit the 110 range but have recently tried some lower temperatures. When I use lower temps it seems that the soap gets thicker faster and it doesn't gel.
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      CommentAuthorAnaBanana
    • CommentTimeSep 9th 2012
      0 points
    If I'm working with milk, I definitely go low temps, like 90 or sometimes even just room temp. It gives me a lot more time to work with the soap, especially if I'm trying to do something with the color, a swirl, or even texturing the tops. The more soap I make, the more I like a lower temp.
  1.   1 point
    After a few (read that as many) rounds of experimentation, I've settled on this method:
    (credit goes to Esther maybe? Someone mentioned it on the forum -- but I can't remember who - sorry!!!)
    Measure all oils/fats -- stick-blend all together so the hard fats are blended nicely wit the liquid fats.
    Mix up lye and water, stir until dissolved and then make soap as usual.
    I had been heating up the oils to melt the hard fats, but my raw soap mix was getting way to hot that way, so I switched to this method.
    So far, all the batches I've made this way have worked well - leaving me enough time to color, swirl etc.
    -Mollie
  2.   0 points
    I know a lot of soapers use room temp lye and oils for their batches. Or just when it *feels* right. I'm not one of those people yet. I tend to soap at 100-110, though I have to admit I'm not as picky if they're not in perfect range. Just as long as the lye or oils aren't super hot.
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      CommentAuthorchrima
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2012
      1 point
    that "feels right" coupled with a little impatience and anxiousness on my part has gotten me in trouble a couple of times recently when i mixed just a tad too hot and had the soap cook right in the mold, with me standing there, having to scoop whatever wanted to pour over the edge, right back in so it'd stay put. generally i don't mind the "cook in the mold" method so much, but if you're working on a swirl or other things to add visual effects, that may not quite be the way to go. i'm gonna take myself by the nose and be more patient, waiting for oils and lye to cool down more.
  3.   0 points
    I am a mix when teh temps are between 100 and 120. Preferred temp is 115. But that works for my formula. All of our formulas are so different, you just have to find what works for you. Room temps are too cool for me, I am too afraid to try the adding of hot lye to unmelted oils, chicken I guess. I like what is tried and true for me. :)
  4.   0 points
    My oils and lye are almost always well below 100. While waiting for them to cool, I usually get distracted doing something else. By the time I get back to the soap to mix it, VOILA!, it's almost room temp. <[;-)
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      CommentAuthorMesha
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2012
      0 points
    Mollie- sounds neat!
    Do you ever have problems getting fats like cocoa butter to mix with the other oils or do you melt really hard ones like that 1st?
    • CommentAuthorlcwillson
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2012
      0 points
    I am with Crystal on the too afraid to add hot lye to unmelted oils. I am curious for those who mix at room temperature does the soap gel?
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      CommentAuthorAnaBanana
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2012
      0 points
    I'm usually trying to avoid overheating when I soap at lower temps, so I'm trying to avoid a gel too. This is for milk soaps, and they don't smell very nice when they get super hot. Eventually the smell does dissipate, but, the high temp/gel will also brown the milk some. So, if I want a nice white(er) soap, then I try to avoid that gel too, but sometimes it's just not possible.
  5.   0 points
    I stick blend all the unmelted fats together actually, I blend it up until any hard fats I've used (cocoa butter, palm kernel etc.) are smooth - until the entire fats mixture is smooth all the way through.
    Yup, it still gels like this...
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      CommentAuthorchrima
    • CommentTimeSep 12th 2012
      0 points
    i don't think gel is what makes the milk brown. i've gelled many milk soaps, and the only time i ever get brown is if i mix too quickly and initially burn the milk with the lye. if i am patient enough to cool things down before mixing, i can let the soap gel and still get creamy bars.
    • CommentAuthormuffy jo
    • CommentTimeSep 12th 2012
      0 points
    I soap room temperature. If I want to get then I insulate afterward . If I am making milk soap, I soap with ice water bath in the sink. If the saponification is speeding up, I place the soap pan in the ice bath to cool things down. Milk soap goes into the freezer for a day and then fridge for a day . I have never had a partial gel .
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      CommentAuthorMesha
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2012
      0 points
    This unheated fats thing interests me! So- Mollie? Do you let the lye cool at all?
    Thanks!
  6.   2 points
    Eh, maybe like 10 minutes or so.
    Mostly it just sits while I finish putzing (getting together the colorants, other containers etc.), then I dump it in (well pour steadily I guess) and start blending it into the fats...
    I should mention that I pretty much stick to 2 lb. batches of soap - just in case that matters!
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      CommentAuthorping
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2012
      2 points
    I leave my fats at room temperature. That being said, the hardest fat I use is lard, so I am not trying to melt anything too tough. I mix the lye water in as soon as I have mixed it until clear, but do not measure any temps at all. I started doing this after I read the Soap Crone book years back and have not had a problem at all with this method. I insulate in the winter because we keep the house pretty chilly.

    These days, my thermometers are only used for candymaking. Sorry for the disjointed reply. I am in the middle of a stretch of 12 hour workdays and attempting to caffeinate...
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      CommentAuthorPollyFae
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2012
      0 points
    I mix my lye and set aside while I melt my solid fats. Then add my liquid fats. I also get distracted.. I'll cut the soap I made the day before, clean up the counters a bit and by the time I get back, the mixtures are room temperature or close to it. No problems at all.