I like to keep tabs of my soapmaking 'experiments' in blog posts so that I have a record of when I made a batch of soap and what recipe and method I used and this may or may not be of interest to any of my readers. On Friday I tried a new recipe which one of the helpful Down to Earth Forum members gave us on the soap making forum and she has given me permission to use it on my blog.
She makes and sells beautiful soaps and you can see some of them on The Curing Room. This is the recipe she uses:
400g olive oil
250g coconut oil (I used Copha)
250g palm oil (I used Carotino Oil)
100g cocoa butter
330g de-mineralised water ( I used full water discount of 380g)
142g sodium hydroxide
Apparently it produces it a hard bar with a soft creamy lather.
As I had been using the room temperature method of making soap for some time now, I thought I would heat up the oils this time which is how I first learned to make soap. It had been suggested on the forum that I add the full water discount of 380g of water which apparently slows down the time it takes to get to trace if you want to do swirls etc. which I didn't end up doing anyway. Anyway I did add 380g just to see what happened. I probably should have read Water Discounting Cold Process Soap: How and Why first though. I also used Carotino Oil which is a combination of palm oil and canola oil and I also replaced the coconut oil with copha which is made from hydrogenated coconut oil and is much cheaper.
You might be interested to read Formulating Soap Recipes where it is explained that Frymasta is palm oil and Supafry is tallow and they are in the supermarket aisle where the butter is and you will also find the Copha there as well.
Normally when I add lye to the water it takes about 20 minutes for it to cool down to 50C (122F). However it was such a cold day on Friday that I presume the water was so cold that it caused the lye to cool down to 55C in about 5 minutes which got me scrambling to melt the copha and cocoa butter which seemed to take forever to do.
When I added the 50C lye mixture to the oils at the same temperature it took about five minutes to get to trace with the stick blender instead of the usual two minutes or so... so I am thinking that that was perhaps due to the extra water I used.
Into the moulds it went and there was enough to fill my Gothic tile mould for 9 soaps and the rose shaped silicone mould which holds 6 soaps. The moulds were then wrapped up. We had been talking about gelling on the D2E forum and I thought I would check the soap now and again to see if I could take a photo of the gelling process taking place. Normally I make soap in the morning and can see it gelling later on in the day. This time I didn't start till nearly 3pm so I am not sure when it started to gel but obviously it did but only in the middle unless I am mistaken and that yellow circle in the centre is something else going on. What do you think?
The soap was quite soft so I was wary of taking it out of the moulds like I normally do 24 hours after making it so I left it for 48 hours and put the moulds into the freezer for an hour or so before unmoulding. Two of the six roses didn't come out well at all and their tops stayed in the mould so I had to smooth out the surface afterwards and lost the rose shape of course. The gothic themed soaps came out much easier but they were in a different type of mould and usually come out nicely after being in the freezer.
However it looks a tad blotchy on the bottom but I am sure it will cure alright and, as I don't sell my soap, it doesn't really matter as long as it doesn't take our skin off in the shower ;-) Plus the menfolk aren't going to refuse to use it because it doesn't look 'perfect'. We don't do 'perfect' here!
Now I just have to wait for six weeks until it has cured and then I will be able to see if it makes a hard but nice creamy lathering soap. Hmmm, what to make next? :-)