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Soap Making Recipes, Tips and Tutorials
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:43 pm 
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So I've heard of gel and not gelling, and I was hoping some of you would share what this process is!

Which is your favorite to gel or not to gel?

Just why it is your favorite?

Oh and one last newbie question, do you ever cross over and what would be the reasoning for that?

Ok that's all folks, good night Gracie! :D

Mella

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:14 pm
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Location: Mistress Of Lather
I prefer not to gel. I like the creamy feel, my colors morph less, I need less scent and if they are milk soaps they come out very light in color from the milk.
If I am in a hurry, I will gel. I put the mold with soap into an LOW oven til it completely gels. Then I take it out cover it with a towel or a blanket to finish off.
IN either process it's still good soap, Ungelled soap will take a longer to completely saponify.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:03 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:35 am
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Location: Marion, NC
I like to gel. I know everyone talks about the texture being smoother when it is not gelled, but I prefer the texture with gelling and the fact that it cures faster doesn't hurt. However, I also like my soaps to be very lightly scented so losing a little scent to the heat is typically not a huge concern and if I do want it strongly scented I just add heavy EO or FO knowing I am going to gel.

It's a very personal choice so do what makes you happy!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:09 am 
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So no gel is when you soap your oils and lye, then mold and insulate for overnight, while the soaponification does it's magic.

To gel a batch of fresh made soap, you mold, then put it in the oven for a certain time period then remove and leave at room temp without insulation overnight?

Not gelling takes longer, preserves fragrances somewhat better.

Gelling is quicker and sometime you need to increase fragrance a bit.

So am I understanding this so far? Thank you for the hand truly!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:04 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:35 am
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Location: Marion, NC
Gelling does not always mean putting it in the oven. A good portion of my recipes utilize honey or spice FO, which both heat the soap up and gels with just a towel covering it and not placing it in the oven. In fact, for those recipes, unless I put them in a cold fridge, on a pre-chilled baking sheet, or into the freezer, they will gel whether I want them to or not. No insulation for the non-gelled recipes.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:13 pm 
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mella wrote:
So no gel is when you soap your oils and lye, then mold and insulate for overnight, while the soaponification does it's magic.

To gel a batch of fresh made soap, you mold, then put it in the oven for a certain time period then remove and leave at room temp without insulation overnight?

Not gelling takes longer, preserves fragrances somewhat better.

Gelling is quicker and sometime you need to increase fragrance a bit.

So am I understanding this so far? Thank you for the hand truly!

With no gel, you don't insulate. I sometimes put my mold in the fridge or the freezer.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:00 pm
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Location: Toledo,OH
Hmmm...did not know this...I was told to always insulate soap. so if I'm not planning on gelling, I shouldn't insulate at all? I wrapped a thick heavy beach towel around mine but DIDN'T gel. should I have left that out?
Mandi


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:24 pm 
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I don't insulate at all. No towels or blankets or anything.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:30 pm 
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I have been sticking my soap in a barely preheated oven and let it sit with the light on overnight to force gel. One of the batches I made yesterday came out with a crack on top... was it too hot? The FO came out fine.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:05 pm 
I always gel. I preheat the oven then turn it off as soon as I put in the soap then leave it in overnight. I like the look and feel of gelled soap. Like Frozenfire, I wrap a towel around it for insulation to keep it warm. With a good gel, I can unmold when it's still warm....or about 1.5 hours after I pour. It will free up my molds and I get them in the curing rack faster.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:14 pm 
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vexvelour wrote:
I have been sticking my soap in a barely preheated oven and let it sit with the light on overnight to force gel. One of the batches I made yesterday came out with a crack on top... was it too hot? The FO came out fine.

A crack on top usually means it overheated. Some FO's will make the soap overheat too.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Location: Baltimore, Maryland
I usually prefer not to gel. I pre-chill my molds in the fridge, soap at room temp, and pop the molds back in the fridge for 48 hours as soon as they are filled. That almost always prevents any sort of gel for me.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:23 am 
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What is the purpose of gelling or non gelling, the benefits of each style of soaping/curing?

Is the texture of the soap different? Softer, harder, smoother, lumpier, creamier?

Why the preference for one over the other?

I must ask about this in my next visit, it wasn't discussed in two full blown days of mega soaping! LOL

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:45 pm 
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In the end both soaps cure out the same. I don't gel because I get a lighter color and the fragrances don't morph as much.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:57 pm 
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Thanks soapbuddy. So if you split a 4 pound batch and gelled one half and left the second half uninsulated and ungelled, the texture will be the same for each half??

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