I tried to make a batch not too long ago and came to the conclusion that our home is just too cold to soap during the winter. My batch cooled far too fast and seperated. I quickly ploped it into my crock pot and whiped it togather. It worked but it was such a mess and hassel. Anyone else have this issue? I guess I have to wait till spring. how sad.
Our house is pretty cold too, but my soap comes out even when I make it in an unheated room. I put down cardboard on the table, then a folded thick beach towel. I put my plastic soap mould on this and then cover with annother piece opf cardboard cut to fit the top and then I have a pad that I made of an old army blanket. It's three layers thick and just big enough to cover the whole thing to the table surface. I stiched it together so it is easy to toss over it soap.
Do you let your oil and lye mixtures cool before mixing them? I discovered that I don't need to do that. I mix my lye water first, then melt the firm oils till liquid in the microwave. then I dump in the olive oil and mix the two together with a stick blender. (the stick blender may well be the most important step) hey are never the same temperature. As soon as I hit a soft trace, I add the scent and whatever else I'm going to add and dump in the mould. Then it's covered for 24 hours. I won't say I never have a batch seperate, but it's usually due to the stuff I add at the end, not the temperature.
I do about 60 batches a year and it takes a total of about 15 minutes, start to finish, for a batch. Last year I only had one that I had to rebatch and that was a buttermilk soap and thoes can be tricky anyway.
If you are not using a stick blender, you minght want to try one. It totally revolutionised the way I make soap. It certainly reduces the mixing time to mere minutes!
Yup you bet I have a stick blender! :) Not sure what my problem is then. I could only find refrence to say that it was either too fast cooling or mis measurement. Only batch in several years to have an issue. :( I was verry disapointed.
you probably had an incomplete emulsification, and certain oils are prone to this (tallow, lard, olive). it's also more common if you have cooler lye water than you do the oils - tho I'm not exactly sure why.
I recommend you stick blend to medium trace before pouring into the molds, and if your formula will allow for it, let it sit for a minute or two to see if it will separate or not.
also, depending on your mold, you may be able to stick blend to re-emulsify right in the mold - if it happens again. but it's not a good idea with all molds.
Redwing, is this a recipe you've used before? can you post it, maybe the recipe was off somewhere. I've not heard of soapmaking in a cold house bothering the mix. I don't do crockpot because it's a super mess.
You could take out some of the lard and add more coconut oil, up to 30 % of your batch 53oz of oils, that would make it lather more, you using the lard as a filler oil? i've never used lard before so I don't know how it is as far as lathering capabilities, but coconut oil is where your going to get your lather at.
a bit for filler. but it also makes the bars silkyer. Personal openion at least. it dosent dry like coconut. if I change to the 30% like you say it pretty much just leaves me swaping to 15 0z for coconut and 13oz lard I lose some moistureizeing and stable lather but do gain some lather and hardness. Ill have to try a batch and see if i like it more. Thanks! I am still convenced the house was just too cold though. It was 49 in our house.
I live here in blustery cold Ohio, so I too have had to rebatch due to the cold. Now that my work space in our basement I have found a method that works well.
My soaping area is close to the dryer; so before I begin soaping I place 4 or 5 towels in the dryer on high heat and let them get nice and hot while I soap. Once my soaps are ready to pour into the mold I take a towel out and set a large piece of old terra cotta tile on top of the warm towel. I set my molds on top of the terra cotta and pour the soap into my silicone molds.
Once they are poured and covered with plastic wrap I place another tile on top of the molds. Then I retrieve the rest of the toasty towels from the dry and cover my molds completely. The hot towels warm up the terra cotta and keep my soaps toasty warm for hours! I ALWAYS get my soap to gel using this method.
I got my tile from lowes, they were broken so I got a huge discount!!!