What is the right temperature for soap? (and water question)
I have a couple of books on soap making as well as perusing the internet. One book says to mix the lye solution and oils at about 130 degrees. Another book says about 80 degrees. That between 85 and 110 takes longer to trace and it gets better after 110, but makes an inferior soap. On some other recipes I see between 95-100 degrees. Is there one great temperature? What happens if you don't get the right temp?
Yesterday I made my first batch of soap and mixed them at just above 100 degrees (less than 110 though). They were both about the same temp--I think that the lye was slightly cooler. It did take quite a while to trace and they are still in the molds (that seems to be taking while too, but it could many factors and at this point, may not really be an issue--they are harder than when I poured them).
While I'm here, I haven't found anything about the ratio of lye to water. I've looked at different recipes and they are all different. The one book just said too much or too little have different effects, but didn't give a ratio. So far, I've been seeing about a 2 or 3 to one ratio. Is there a science to this part? What is a good rule of thumb?