Poured too early
by Margie Miller
I made my first batch of soap today, a large, expensive batch.
Unfortunately, I used an older book as my guide that recommended hand stirring, no mention of a stick blender.
Well, I stirred and stirred for about 40 minutes. It thickened up and you could see a little faint dribble pattern but I don't think it truly traced.
Now that my soap is in the mold, I am worried that it won't set up. If that's the case, can I just put it back in the pan, warm it and use the stick (immersion) blender until I get a good trace and then re-pour? Answer:
Hand stirring with a spoon does make the soap making process seem very lengthy, especially if the soap recipe is high in olive oil and low in oils like palm or shea butter.
A whisk will vastly speed up the process if you don't have or can't use a stick blender. I alternate with both a whisk and a stick blender when I make my soaps.
Your soap might be okay if you were seeing faint trails...it may still set up since the saponification process will continue in the soap mold.
If you poured too early, the soap may separate somewhat, leaving an oily layer.
If this happens, you can re-batch the soap. Be sure to use everything that is in the soap mold, including any oil that has separated.
You probably won't be able to use the stick blender at this point since the soap will likely be fairly solid.
One thing I do recommend when first learning to make soap is to make small batches. Do not risk large amounts of expensive ingredients during the first flush of the learning process.
Even now after years of soap making, I do not make a large batch of soap with a new recipe. I always experiment with small sized batches like the ones you will find on this site. That way, if I mess it up, it doesn't hurt quite so much!!