I only wanted to make up a small batch as this was an experiment after all so here is the recipe I used if anyone is interested:
Coconut Oil Soap with Aloe Vera
510g Coconut Oil (I used Copha)
150g Aloe Vera gel
21g Rosemary and Lavender Essential Oils combined
Firstly I scraped the required amount of Aloe Vera gel as we have lots of plants growing, then it was put into the fridge to chill.
Although I often use the room temperature method of making soap this batch required the oils to be heated up so I heated the oil to 50C (122F) and while that was heating up....
I added the lye to the Aloe Vera gel and I was a bit concerned as I thought it would dissolve the gel and make it like liquid but it didn't. So when the lye solution and the oil were the same temperature....
...I added the essential oil to the coconut oil before adding the lye solution and then used my stick blender to bring it to trace which didn't take all that long. I had read that this soap will harden really quickly and would need to be taken out of the moulds well before a 'normal' batch of soap would need to be so I was interested to see how it reacted once poured into the moulds.
Within ten minutes it was starting to crack...
... and I was wondering if I was going to have a volcano on my hands that I had read about on blogs but five minutes later it started to go brownish in the centre so I then presumed that it had already started going through the gel stage. I didn't cover it as suggested but kept checking on it every half an hour or so.
After one and a half hours the small soaps were ready to come out of the moulds and four or so hours from being made the heart shaped ones came out of the moulds easily as the soap was already hard. The white ones were really, really white but the hearts have a tinge of pink which I guess must be from the Aloe Vera although I thought that would turn it yellow or green. Unless the colour was caused by the combination of lavender and rosemary essential oils. I have never used rosemary oil before but I had some a friend gave me that she picked up at a garage sale as well as some lavender so I thought I would try them together. Now I just have to wait six weeks to see how it feels on the skin.
In the original recipe Aloe Vera liquid is used so I have no idea of how much water is added to the Aloe Vera so this was just a trial as I have mentioned. Hmmm, now what to try next?