Sunday, June 8, 2008

Finally!

I had my first real "disaster" with soap making a few days ago. I was working on some HP Hazelnut Latte soap and had taken a little bit of a water discount so that I could add goat's milk at the end. Big Mistake. After about five minutes of cooking, the soap had risen up so high that it was lifting the lid off of my crock pot. I rushed over and added some more water to the mix to see if that would calm it down. It worked and I cooked it through the saponification and gel phases as usual.

When it was done, I added the fragrance, super fatting oil and some goat's milk. The result was very nearly pudding. Two days later and the soap still had way too much water. I decided to try putting the molds into the oven at a very low temperature for about half an hour and then turned the oven off to help speed the evaporation process. I did several cycles of this over two days and still had soupy soap.

Finally I scraped it all back into the crock pot and cooked it on the lowest setting for probably a couple of hours. I know that heat can cause the milk to darken, but I figured that it's coffee soap, so that would only enhance the color, and that I was at the point of either doing that or throwing it out anyway.

When it was done, I poured it into a flatter mold to give the soap a ton of surface area for evaporation. Twenty-four hours later, it had formed a thickish skin, but nothing more. I decided to wait another day to see what happened. I just checked it, and it has firmed considerably, so much so that I may be able to cut the soap tonight.

I'll still have to give the soap a thorough test to be sure that it survived whole process, but it looks as though I will end up with firm, fragrant bars of soap.