Monday, January 17, 2011

More Soap

If you have been following this blog, you know that I have been working on perfecting my Trout House Soap recipe. The batches that I've made so far have all been good enough to use—a soft, creamy lather and subtle, clean scent. But, there has been a slight discoloration in the bars that I want to resolve before actually marketing the soap for sale.

Since I am a stickler for measuring the ingredients and making certain that the temperature for the oil and lye solution are equal before mixing, I believe the discoloration is a result of one of two things: either I'm not achieving the necessary state of trace or something is happening during the cooling/hardening process in the mold.

I have three new recipes that I am testing. Each one offers a slightly different mix of oils, water and lye (all adjusted with the help of the Majestic Mountain Sage lye calculator). I have also invested in a Hamilton Beach hand-stick blender to aid—and speed up—the trace-making process. And, perhaps my smartest move to date, is to experiment with one-pound recipes rather than four-pound batches. It will save me both money and time. I've even gotten creative in "make-do" molds. My new batch is curing in a milk carton as we speak.

The sample bars shown below are from a new recipe I tried last weekend. I just removed them from the mold yesterday and have them out to air dry. I won't know for a couple more weeks, but from all accounts the coloration looks consistent and the bar quality firm and nicely formed. I'll let you know how the experiments progress.

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