* [http://omnitech.net/soapmaking/supplies/ Supplies and Equipment] – [http://omnitech.net/soapmaking/ingredients/ Ingredients] – [http://omnitech.net/soapmaking/lessons-learned/ Lessons Learned]
* [http://omnitech.net/soapmaking/first-batch/ First Batch] – [http://omnitech.net/soapmaking/second-batch/ Second Batch] – [http://omnitech.net/soapmaking/third-batch/ Third Batch]
I used caustics from Essential Depot. Let me tell you, their jugs are SO MUCH EASIER TO USE! They are large, but tall and slender, with a decent sized spout for pouring. It was so much faster and easier.
Also, I used a stainless steel pot for the caustic + water mix rather than a glass bowl. I did the mixing on the glass-top stove, and it was much easier.
Ultimately, I re-melted all of this and added oil, as I’d made a pretty big error in oil vs caustic. The resulting soap was a pH of 12, which is way too high. The other soap was fine, beautiful actually, but it was way too soft. We’ll see how it works out mixed together, at a pH of 9.75-10.25.
==SECOND BATCH – Part 1==
This was my non-vegan batch. I used collected kitchen fats which had been strained, washed, and filtered several times. These started out fairly orange, due to some paprika I’d used in a few pork recipes. The end-product ended up looking like butter, but pretty crumbly.
* 6floz Chicken Fat
* 1floz Coconut Oil, Fractionated
* 1floz Beef Tallow
* 15floz Pork Lard
* 2floz Shea Butter
* 2floz Sweet Orange Oil – added pretty late
* 14g Zinc Oxide
* 2g sodium benzoate + 20g water
* 101g NaOH + 294g Water
My caustic and oils were both pretty warm, so saponification happened pretty quickly as little pellets of soap. Time and mixing helped a bit, but I ended up fighting with a mashed-potato phase for a long time. My fragrance oil was added in pretty late, and it didn’t really integrate well. I think I could have gone with a little less Zinc Oxide. I’m wondering whether that should have been added at trace, to limit reaction with the caustic.
Several times I swagged measures because I forgot to measure, or forgot the measure. I decided to superfat pretty substantially, since I was using floz measures rather than oz measures. 1floz of melted oil varies from 27 to 27.8g, wheras a dry ounce is 28.35g. My calculator expected dry ounces, but I was going to be about 2% under weight for my oil. My normal superfatting is 3-5%, so I set it to 8% just to be safe. I probably should have stuck with 5%.
My preservative mixed in nicely when dissolved in water first.
The soap smells great, and hardened quickly in the mold. It just crumbles, and hasn’t really absorbed the essential oils well. In fact, it’s so crumbly that I will likely have to re-batch this.
==SECOND BATCH – Part 2==
This had a lot of hard oils, so I thought I’d try out the KOH I have to limit how hard of a bar I’d make. Adding it all at once into a stainless pot was convenient, but it did leave a little patina on the utensils and pot that needed scrubbing (green Scotch Brite).
Also, because the KOH was about 3x the volume and 2x the mass of the NaOH, there were big pockets of dry flakes under the water. Stirring was a bit dicey, and it would boil and spittle here and there. I should do this in smaller batches next time, though that makes weighing it difficult.
* 785g Palm Oil
* 414g Coconut Oil – 76 deg
* 229g Palm Kernel Oil – Hydrogenated
* 226g Olive Pomace Oil
* 7g Candelillia Wax (should have used more)
* 30g Rosemary Oil
* 20g Melaleuca Oil (I meant to go more, but forgot)
* 35g Zinc Oxide
* 3g Sodium Benzoate in 25g Water
* 364g KOH in 654g Water
All of my oils were measured properly, but the add was a little hot. I got soap granules early, and it was a bit annoying. I tested out my new stick blender (cheap, plastic, will probably die from the lye). It was great. The first run through really chopped up the existing soap granules, and mixed the potash water and the oils really well. Reaction time was MUCH slower than I expected.
When it finally caught, it went from separation to volcano rather quickly. I stopped before mixing in all of the volcano, and did some stirs by hand. This is when I pulled out a bunch of the soap and mixed in the essential oils. It stayed white, so WOO HOO, I mixes it all back together. Still, It was great. Keeping it warm on the stove was enough to keep it very moldable. Even down around 170, it packed into the molds well, with a few clumps, but mostly good. It was only on the spreader that it was hardening up.
This is probably the most beautiful, wonderful soap I’ve ever seen. It also smells great, though at 6 hours after packing it into the mold, it’s still pretty soft. I’m worried it won’t actually harden up. If not, I’ll have to rebatch it. I’m considering whether I would mix the first 2 batches together. Orange, Rosemary, Tea Tree might be alright, though that would be a lot of non-vegan soap.
==UPDATE 2013-01-27 14:54==
Ann from SoapImpressions had a nice article about pH strips which I mentally incorporated in Batch 1. http://www.millersoap.com/phtome.html
I didn’t think to do this yesterday, but I found one of Kathy Miller’s pages that indicated too much caustic leads to a crumbly soap. http://www.millersoap.com/trouble.html
So, in checking by mass, my crumbly soap is about 1 kilogram. My SWAG measures show it should have been close to 2 kilograms. The pH tested at almost 12. The photo won’t show right, but visually, it was about 11.9 or 12.
I decided to:
A) Mix the two together to improve the hardness
B) Add additional oil to help neutralize the rest of the Lye.
This will take a while of heating on the stove, but at least I can walk away from it most of the time.
==UPDATE 2013-01-27 16:56==
Mixed soap was very pale. Added more essential oils, spices for color, and almond meal for texture.
Using lined cardboard tubes instead of tiny muffin tins for most of the soap. Unfortunately, not all had bottoms, and my stamping to settle the soap let some leak out of the bottom. The empty oatmeal box was really good though.
* 1317g H2O
* 785g Palm oil
* 414g Coconut oil 76F
* 364g KOH
* 330g Pork Lard
* 323g Cottonseed oil
* 229g Palm Kernel Oil – Hydrogenated
* 226g Olive Pomace oil
* 128g tea tree oil
* 113g sweet orange oil
* 101g NaOH
* 70g Chicken Fat
* 68g Almond meal
* 50g Shea Butter
* 49g zinc oxide – makes opaque
* 28g Beef Tallow
* 20g Coconut oil
* 28g Rosemary oil
* 10g Paprika – Ground
* 7g Candelillia Wax
* 5g Sodium Benzoate – food grade preservative
* 2g Turmeric – Ground
Also, I found that while the temperature per stove notch was less with the doubleboiler, net heating was much better due to it heating the sides of the pot. Also, direct heat would dry out the bottom soap and form an insulation layer. On the flip side, overfull water caused boiling water and steam to spray up on me. At 180, the stick blender works pretty well, though there were still a few bits of the potassium soap that stuck to the sides and I didn’t get mixed in very well. They show up as creamy-white blemishes. Otherwise, the soap is speckled orangey-tan.
Last night, I rebatched this again because it was still WAY too soft… As in, freezer made it like soft butter.
I experimented with all of the `hard` and `sieze` stuff I could find online. Candellila wax helped a small amount, sugar was a TINY bit noticeable, alcohol just made it translucent.
But SALT! NaCL did it. The sodium ions swapped out for the potassium, and it’s all good now.
I got tired of using cooking trays for my bars, so I bought some 5` x 20` x 1mil plastic bags as liners for 3` tube. Worked really well, though, it’s slightly too big and leaves a few vertical lines on the sides of the soaps. No matter.
I cut them into roughly 5oz rounds, and despite looking like salmon patties, they are beyooteeful.
Ultimately, I put in as much sodium ions as I had potassium ions.
|0414.00||008.17%||Coconut Oil, 76F|
|0229.00||004.52%||Palm Kernel Oil, Hydrogenated|
|0224.00||004.42%||Salt, Table, Iodized|
|0227.00||004.48%||Lard, Pork Tallow|
|0226.00||004.46%||Olive Pomace Oil|
|0126.00||002.49%||Tea Tree EO|
|0112.00||002.21%||Sweet Orange EO|
|0028.35||000.56%||Coconut Oil, Fractionated|
* Double-Boiler LOW is 135, 1 is 160, 2 is 175-180.
* KOH should be mixed in 3 adds into ice water, rather than all at once.
* Be more cautious measuring by weight
* Add Zinc Oxide at light trace
* Hot oil and caustic go straight to the separation phase.
* Mix additives, water soluables, and fragrances at TRACE, not after full-soap.
* Adding things at full-soap requires more water
* Hot caustic gives off hydrogen fumes which are not fun to breathe.
* 3 heaping tsp of Zinc Oxide per quart is awesome.
* Stochiometry is important.
* [http://www.essentialdepot.com/servlet/StoreFront?affiliate_no=642 http://www.essentialdepot.com]
Part 1: http://xaminmo.livejournal.com/1353782.html
Part 2: http://xaminmo.livejournal.com/1355446.html
Part 3: http://xaminmo.livejournal.com/1356346.html