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 Post subject: Lye & oil temp.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:17 am
Posts: 168
Location: Western Australia
Help. My head is spinning. I have 2 soapmaking books, plus info from a workshop I attended, and they all give different temperatures for mixing lye and oils - 38, 54, 60, all celcius. Is there a best temp, or should they just be equal. On that subject, I've been browsing Kathy Miller's site, and I'm sure I saw a positive comment about pouring hot lye into cold oils! Did I misread the comment?

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 Post subject: Re: Lye & oil temp.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:16 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Hi Suzanne,

I don't recall reading about mixing cold oils into hot lye. My understanding is roughly the same temperature.

I made up a batch of coconut, olive and rice bran this morning and mixed them at 50 degrees C. Trace happened in 3 minutes.

My previous batch of olive and coconut oil took 1 1/2hr to reach trace and they were mixed at 110 degrees F. Would I have achieved a quicker trace using a higher temperature? Can someone please advise.
Sorry to butt in on your question!

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Lye & oil temp.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:14 pm
Posts: 22168
Location: Mistress Of Lather
Approximately 110 degrees for both is a good rule of thumb. The higher the temp, the faster the trace, but that won't always be in your favor. If you use a fragrance that accelerates trace, you could end up with a soap on the stick.

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 Post subject: Re: Lye & oil temp.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:16 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Thanks soapbuddy,

I don"t intend to use any colours or fragrances in my soaps so would the higher temps be more favourable at achieving faster trace? And what would be the maximum temp that you would recommend?

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Lye & oil temp.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:34 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:14 pm
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Location: Mistress Of Lather
countrygirl wrote:
Thanks soapbuddy,

I don"t intend to use any colours or fragrances in my soaps so would the higher temps be more favourable at achieving faster trace? And what would be the maximum temp that you would recommend?

Cheers

You're welcome. I wouldn't go any higher than 120.

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 Post subject: Re: Lye & oil temp.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:36 pm
Posts: 16
:shock: Country Girl I'm also wondering about the temperatures. None of the (many) books I've been reading explain the importance of the temperature. Why does the lye and oil need to be the same temp? Has anyone had experience when they aren't the same temperature? The CP soap I attempted today was blended at 110F. I stirred by hand (for the authentic feel) for an hour before finally pulling out the stick blender - the temp had dropped to 90F at that point. It then traced with just a few pulses of the blender...whew!

Happy New Year!


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 Post subject: Re: Lye & oil temp.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:14 pm
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Location: Mistress Of Lather
Lye and oils don't need to be at the same exact temp. I touch the soap pot and my lye pitcher and if both are comfortable warm, I know I'm good to go. I find if t here is a big difference between the oils and lye, it either acceleartes trace too much, or the stearic from on the the base oils starts to solidify. That can cause lye heavy soap or leaves bits of undissolved stearic as spots.

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 Post subject: Re: Lye & oil temp.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:51 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Upstate NY
I have found that if I let my oils get to 110, then my stearic acid shows up in spots in the soap (no longer melted)
So depending on the additives (fragrance, colorant, etc) I mix at about 120, sometimes a little warmer..
It traces fairly quickly (couple minutes), which just means i better have everything ready to pour..

Now if I am going to do any swirls...I have to cut way back on the stearic acid, and mix at a much lower temp - between 100-110...
otherwise there isn't enough time to work with everything.

I have recently begun using the CPOP method, (oven 170 for 1 hour then resting for 6+ hours) and I have to say, that the soap textures are some of the most amazing I have put out.

Hope this helps, this really is a lot of trial and error..

OH, btw - also pay attention to your humidity and temperature where you are working..My work area has a dehumidifier running to help the soaps cure..so that doesn't impact me very much, but the temperature is typically low to mid 60's.. You can definitely see different results, even if you do the EXACT same thing if your temp/humidity is different.

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