Temperature for Oil Heater – Liquid Soaps

Question:

I was just trying to figure out what temperature to set the Oil Heater at for making the liquid soaps. When I do it on the stove, I usually heat the oils to about 170 degrees, and leave it at that until it pastes and then cook the paste for 4 hours or so. I have never tried to take the temperature of the paste while it’s cooking so I really have no clue as to what temperature to put the heater to. Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

Maybe this will help. Record your temperatures and note changes, etc. Do this as scientifically as possible as this will eliminate guesswork later when working with larger batches or making changes. Adjust your temperature slowly – start at around 150 F and check the temp of your liquid. With the first couple batches, take your temps every 15 min to 30 minutes. Adjust your thermostat. See what it does, how fast it goes up in temperature. You can experiment with the same volume of water, the same amount you would start with to see what it takes to get it to 160 F and hold it.

We found with our recipe that all you had to do was trace at around 100 degrees and when the soap itself raised in temperature from the reaction of lye and oils, we simply left the temperature dial where it was and let it cook. The soap would get up to about 160 F to 170 F and would stay there for a few hours and start cooling gradually till we decided to start the dilution stage. Very little work involved. The water jacket was heated by the soap itself and so became an insulator.