Early Tracing

Bloodrock

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Joined
Dec 10, 2019
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3
Over the years I have made several batches of soap. Each and every time the same problem occurs. While pouring the lye water solution into the melted tallow and oil mixture the mass immediately begins to emulsify. This happens so quickly there is not enough time to thoroughly mix the ingredients together before it has to be emptied into the mold.

The most recent recipe was developed on this web site. Care was taken in measuring out the ingredients and the lye was weighed out with a grain/gram electronic scale. Bottled water was used as the liquid. A crock pot was used to heat ingredients and a digital thermometer was used for temp check.

The ingredients included: tallow (deer), shea butter, castor oil, coconut oil (76).
The only additive for this batch is honey.
The lye concentration 33.3%, liquid lye ratio 2:1, superfat 5%.

I have not been able to discern the reason for the immediate tracing. I need help. Ideally there should be sufficient time to thoroughly mix the ingredient before the batch point of no return,” is reached. I would appreciate any insight or recommendations to correct what’s happening to me.
 

ChemicalPyros

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Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
16
Location
Lebanon
Hello Bloodrock,

it seems to me that the culprit is the high temperature. You could try working at lower temperatures ideally at 35 to 40 degrees Celsius. I would recommend that you mix your oils, fats and butters and melt and mix them, then leave them 48 hours to cool down. before making your soap, heat the mixture to achieve the wanted temperature. this should slow considerably the tracing time.

other steps that you could take to slow the tracing time:
- reduce or remove the honey
- use a lye concentration of 25%
- remove or change the fragrance oil you are using for the soap.

If everything fails, i suggest that you prepare your soap via hot process.
 

Yooper

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Sep 7, 2019
Messages
118
Location
Upper Peninsula of Michigan/ Florida Gulf Coast
I agree that it sounds like a high temperature, and that soaping cooler may fix it. Also, add the honey at the very end as sugar causes soap to overheat as well.

Do your lye and water first (use more water, 2.5:1) and let that solution cool.

I would only melt the tallow and shea butter, and cool enough that it stays melted but is not hot. Add the liquid oils to that.

Once both are cooled down, then begin soaping.

With tallow, you want to keep the solution warm enough for the tallow to stay melted so you don’t get a false trace- but definitely not hot. I think deer tallow melts at around 110 degrees or so, so that would be a good temperature for your oils. It will still heat up when you add your (cooled) lye water, but should not seize up on you like you’re describing.
 

TinLee

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Dec 12, 2019
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2
When did you add your honey? I have found working with honey that it is a bad about causing my soap to false trace immediately. I have to wait until the end to add it and mix it in for best result.
 

Bloodrock

New member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
3
Not fully understand how critical temperature is to successful soap making had eluded me. Thanks to the thoughtful advice that I received my last endeavor at soap making worked.

The fats were melted and the oils were added. By the time the lye solution temp dropped to 110 degrees the combined oils temperature had reached 106 degrees. After the two were combined tracing started quite quickly but not before they were thoroughly mixed.

Next time I plan to wait until the lye solution temp drops to below 90 degrees before mixing.

Thank again for the help
 

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