More beginner soap questions HELP RIGHT AWAY PLEASE

Discussion in 'Soap Making' started by Little Moon, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Little Moon

    Little Moon New Member

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    OK. I am hoping to make some soap this afternoon. I have everything out on the kitchen counter and am reading and rereading the walmart recipe. I realized that I bought safflower oil instead of sunflower, so I take the recipe and plug it into the lye calculator at thesage.com and I don't know if I need to change the lye amount or not I must be not looking at it correctly - I can find anywhere where it states "the amount of lye for this batch should be X". Also in the recipe posted it says to weigh out the liquid which makes me think that 32oz. of liquid would not necessarily be a quart, but rather what ever amount of fluid ounces that weighs 32oz.??? But on the lye calculator it says to use between 28 -42 fluid ounces of liquid! UGH!!!! Am I just making this too hard, what am I missing? (Besides a brain!! and no I haven't been sniffing the lye!)
     
  2. MRFBarbara

    MRFBarbara Guest

    Hi Anne,
    First I can tell you that safflower has the sap value as sunflower, so the same amount of lye is just fine... Look at the lye calculator closely, it does tell you how lye in the far right column, there are different amounts of lye with sage depending how you want you soap.. Just go with the amount on the walmart recipe for now..
    And yes, you need to weigh out your water/milk or liquids because there are different weights for different liquids..
    Now the part of using between 28 and 42, If you are a first time soaper use the 42 oz, It is designed for soapers that want to do water discounts.. the reason for using less fluids. for now until you get some batches under your belt ALWAYS use the higher amounts of fluids in the recipe
    Take a deep breath, and go make your soap.. it is very easy...
    Barbara
     

  3. Little Moon

    Little Moon New Member

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    Thank you Barbara. I did make the soap - it never got to trace. I stirred for over an hour and arrived at the conclusion that it wasn't going to happen and went ahead and poured it into my mold and hope for the best.
     
  4. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    So did it harden up in the mold? Vicki
     
  5. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    Anne,

    You need a stick blender. :)

    You can get a cheap one at Wal-Mart for $10.00.

    Sara
     
  6. Sheryl

    Sheryl New Member

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    I don't think I even get to trace when I pour in my new 3" pvc molds. I just make sure everything is mixed very well. Don't care what the temp is on anything. Mix real good, and try to pour while it is still pretty liquid. And walla! gells and gets hard...wow. And I used to make it soooo hard. I checked all my temps, everything had to be perfect. Now I weigh, mix, and pour!

    Sheryl
     
  7. Little Moon

    Little Moon New Member

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    Well I went to bed last night rather disgusted with myself, and this morning after reading the replies I checked it and it had set up. It is kind of greasy and soft - like the lard was before I started, but I will cut it apart and set it out to dry - since I obviously don't know anything about soap :blush I do have to go to town today so I will pick up a stick blender @ Wally. Thank you ladies, I so very much appreciate you all "holding my hand" thru this - it has been a bit nerve wracking.

    Below I have posted what I did step by step - please let me know if I need to change something:

    Weighed out GM to 33.5 oz. put that in SS pan.
    Weighed out 16 oz. crystal lye. Very slowly added that to the GM while stirring. It turned an orange-ish color. Allowed SS pan to cool in a sink of water.

    Nuked lard - some was melted to a liquid state and some was very soft. Poured/scraped that into my bucket. Melted coconut oil, added it to the lard. Weighed the safflower oil (16.5) add that to the lard and coconut oil. Stirred these to mix.

    Very slowly added the lye mix to the oils/lard mix, stirring constantly. After all the lye mix was added, I began to stir faster. Then I put my hand mixer to work. All this mixing took about an hour.

    I never did see the signs of trace outlined in the recipe. It never got clear or even slightly transparent, it also never allowed the drops to sit on top for a moment before sinking back into the mixture.

    Finally I thought what the heck and poured it all into my mold - a parchment paper lined lid to a case of paper ;) I covered it with a big heavy beach towel and left it alone until a few minutes ago.


    Please let me know what I should do differently.
     
  8. Amanda Lee

    Amanda Lee Member

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    Anne, This is my process for making soap:

    --Decide the amount of oils and plug that into the lye calculator at thesage.com.
    ---It will tell you how much liquid you need. I weigh the goat milk, and then freeze it.

    The "How To Process" that it gives you on the oil /lye amounts is good. It is how I make my soap. I try to use the 6% lye.

    I weigh my oils, put those in a SS pot with a candy thermometer, I heat on low to melt.
    When they are just melted. I take them off the heat an mix my weigh my lye out.

    In a crockery bowl, I put my frozen but slushy goat milk. I place that in a shallow ice water in my sink. I add my lye. The amount that thesage.com said to add.
    It also has another thermometer in the lye milk solution. I pour the lye on the frozen goat milk then gently stir. I check the temp of my oil and lye. When the lye cools down to 125 and my oil is at 125 I add the lye solution to my oil.

    I wear the yellow kitchen gloves, long sleeves, and are extra careful. I have already opened windows. I have a large glass of vinegar near by just in case I spill the lye solution.

    I stir by hand the first 3 minutes, then use a stick blender for about 3 minutes (on low), I hand stir and then use the stick blender. My soap usually comes to trace within 12 to 15 minutes.
    Now that I have typed this my next batch will probably take 45 minutes to come to
    trace!
    I have my molds ready before I even start weighing my oils.
    This recipe and process works for me. Hopefully it will work for you.

    I do heat my oils on a very low heat only because this is how I learn to make soap and had never read about using the microwave to heat the oil prior to being on this forum.

    Good Luck! Amanda Lee
     
  9. MRFBarbara

    MRFBarbara Guest

    Anne,
    A regular mixer wont mix enough to bring to trace.. get a stick blender.. Your soap needs to be cooked more.. Put in a crock pot and cook until thick.. squish into molds.. don't throw it out.. it is good soap yet.. You don't need thermoters at all... just mix good...
    barbara
     
  10. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Anne I think your soap is fine. I bet it's only soft because of all the liquid you used in it. You might have to let it set in the molds for another 24 hours to be hard enough to unmold and cut, or if your molds are ovenproof you could also put the molds into the oven at 150 for 2 hours. I rarely pour soap at trace. vicki
     
  11. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Yep I am with Vicki on this as the very same thing happened to me when I started out.
    The soap ended up fine.
     
  12. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Yep, me too. My first bar of soap I stirred for 45 minutes or so. Stayed liquid, but I poured it in a mold anyway, just sure as heck I was going to start my house on fire with it. Next morning, I pulled off the dishtowel and it was hard as a rock, and I do mean a ROCK. I've had about 3 failed batches, but it really is much easier than it seems. Always use frozen goats milk. I freeze mine in ice cube trays, and store in freezer bags to use as needed. I pour the lye right over the top and stir. It stays very white most of the time. I do the lye/milk mixture after I had gotten my oils melted/mixed. I want to add the solution to my oils as soon as possible to avoid scorching the milk. I only need to stir for a total of about 10 to 15 minutes with the stick blender. This is for a 5-7 pound batch. For a bigger batch I'm looking into using a drill with a paddle as my stick blender is not long enough...unless someone on here has a better idea!
    It WILL get easier. Trust me.
    Good luck.
    Anita
     
  13. Little Moon

    Little Moon New Member

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    Oh Ladies. Thanks so much for all of the encouragement. :D I do think this batch will be fine- in spite of me. While I was making it I decided to not to use any FO since I thought it was going to fail and didn't want to waste any. Well now that it is set up I am kind of kicking myself - live and learn. However DS thinks it smells good. I am going to cut it tonight after work.

    I did buy a stick blender and more lye - I think I have caught the soap making bug!
     
  14. Amanda Lee

    Amanda Lee Member

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    I am glad to hear you are felling better about your soap. Keep trying it gets easier.