Josh-D. S. Davis

Xaminmo / Omnimax / Max Omni / Mad Scientist / Midnight Shadow / Radiation Master

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Soapmaking - Second and Third batches
Josh 2004 Happy
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.

* I need to calculate the glycerine and water contents, print out specs, percentages, etc.
* May need to rebatch both of these, or combine them.

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.

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.

* 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.

Best References

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:

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If you're not following Foam on the Range over on G+, I highly recommend you do. She blogs & posts about soapmaking regularly, and loves to chat with other makers!

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