Soap slow to trace

Discussion in 'Soap Making' started by Whitney, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. Whitney

    Whitney New Member

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    I've made several batches of the walmart recipe now and each time it has taken f-o-r-e-v-e-r to trace. I think I just figured out what I was doing wrong. I don't have a microwave, so I've been heating the lard and CO in a double boiler. I've been completely melting them. Reading over the recipe (which I have read about 200 times so no idea why I'm just now noticing this :) ) I realize I'm only supposed to *soften* them, not actually melt them--right? No wonder it is taking so long to trace. :rofl I am seriously laughing at myself here--it took me several batches to realize the problem. :lol

    Since it was taking so long to come to trace I finally had to walk away from it to take care of other things. Every so often I would check on it and give it a stir but I mostly left it alone for about an hour. After an hour it was at a very nice trace and I poured it into my molds. It looks great. So my question is---does it need to be stirred continuously after the lye and oils are well combined or is it okay to give it some time to set up w/o stirring? This particular batch is unscented so there were no concerns about a FO seizing or anything like that.
     
  2. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    Are you using a stickblender? Using one will speed things up considerably. Stirring by hand is way too much work!

    Sara
     

  3. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    It shouldn't take that long to trace even if the oils are all completely liquid. I completely liquify my lard on the stove (don't need double boiler for this if you watch the heat) well sometimes I heat it just enough to emulsify the lard into a liquid form. remove the pot from heat, add solid coconut and stickblend until it's all melted. Add liquid oils. Then I usually let the oils cool a bit while I do other things. Sometimes I rush it and just soap right then, but I like the oils really cool.

    I too suspect lack of a stickblender. By a cheapie and it'll be worth a zillion to you!

    Bethany
     
  4. Whitney

    Whitney New Member

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    Thanks! I do need to get a SB. :)
     
  5. homeacremom

    homeacremom New Member

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    I had the same problem- slow trace - and on the recommendation of the girls here invested in a stick blender. It makes a huge difference!

    And since I can't post in OT right now...I still haven't had my baby :sigh
     
  6. Nigilover

    Nigilover New Member

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    Making a huge difference is an understatement! My first batch was stirred by hand with a spoon--- so I could experince the whole transformation process as suggested in the book--- an hour later, I was still questioning the trace thing! The stick blender gives results in 3-5 min! Can't pay enough for a time saver. :biggrin
     
  7. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    I have never used my microwave to melt oils. And I do the double boiler 'cause I'm known to forget things on the stove. LOL I've done a couple recipes that take forever to trace even with a SB. And my main recipe I don't need one at all.
     
  8. Whitney

    Whitney New Member

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    Thanks everyone. I just cut the batch from last night. It looks really good.

    Yeah, the double boiler is necessary for me. If I did it in a pan directly on the burner I would scorch it for sure. I have a habit of forgetting that I have things on the stove I'm supposed to be watching. :lol

    Homeacre, when are you due?
     
  9. homeacremom

    homeacremom New Member

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    I am now several days over the most generous EDD, but everything still looks fine so we are still waiting on nature to take its course. Should have had a baby a week ago... and would have gotten a shot if I had been a goat. LOL
     
  10. lynpea

    lynpea New Member

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    Lessons learned from stick blenders: use it to emulsify only.....and be ESPECIALLY careful with FO's that are known accelerators! I learned the hard way. Just using it to emulsify has helped so much. If I have a slow to trace then I might use it in short bursts. But if you are having air bubbles in the surface of your soaps... it's the stick blender. It's sooooo easy to overdo it.