Making soap that will not set!
Hello, I am new to soap making and have been following Anne L Watson's book milk soap making and also have her other book Smart soap making.
I first tried to make some soap with goats milk using the first recipe which called for 255g coconut oil, olive oil, 255g fluid milk and 116 lye, after a day the soap was still wet so I put it into a fridge for a day. After a day in the fridge the soap still was not hard but I still managed to shape it into soap, took it out of the moulds and was using a knife to smooth some soap around the edges and then wrapped it into clinge film!
I have just thrown away one batch of soap from the Smart soap making book which called for almond oil and fractionated coconut oil with 119g lye made with water, after 3 days, one day of which it was sitting in the fridge it was still a thick paste and not soap.
Now I have got digital scales and have measured the grams exact and have been trying to keep the goats milk cool but mixed the goats milk lye with the oils between 85 and 90C and the temperature was between 89 and 94 for the almond soap.
The only fault that I can see that I might have made it that I have used an electrical hand held blender to mix the oils and lye, it does not say what temperature the oils and lye should be.
I have put the steel bowl into a plastic bowl full of cool water to
keep the lye cool with the goats milk. I have used tea tree essential oil as well as grapefruit extract.
I have plastic moulds that I bought online for soap making.
The only thing that I think is maybe there is not enough lye but that would mean that the recipe is wrong in the first place because I have been careful measuring exact quantities.
Thanks Steph XAnswer:
Sorry Steph, I am not familiar with Anne Watsons recipes or methods at all.
I suggest running the recipe through a lye calculator to see if it has been printed correctly.
I don't see how using a stick blender could be the problem...I think that is fine. Just be sure that you have reached a full trace when you do use a stick blender. A stick blender can thicken the soap batter and make it look like the soap has traced which is called a false trace. To see if the soap is at a true trace you will need to stir the mixture for a couple of minutes with a whisk or spoon. If the mixture loosens up and becomes runny again then you will need to continue stirring to reach a full trace.
I have a couple questions - Why are you putting the soap into the fridge? Are you trying to stop the soap from going through the gel phase?
I've not done this myself but I have heard that this can prolong the time it takes for the soap to harden. I've also read that curing soap does not like to be subjected to extreme temperatures.