African Black (type) soap?

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by ChinahSea, Apr 4, 2013.

Help Support Soapmaking Forum by donating:

  1. May 29, 2013 #21

    Soapman Ryan

    Soapman Ryan

    Soapman Ryan

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2013
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    36
    I didn't know that it was the plantains providing the KOH, but I think I will stay with standard potassium hydroxide as I didn't want the grit, smell or color the burnt plantains give. Original african black soap is nice, but the smell and grit I don't care for.
     
  2. May 29, 2013 #22

    Soapman Ryan

    Soapman Ryan

    Soapman Ryan

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2013
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    36
    Since african black soap isn't made in the traditional soaping method, is there a way to determine its superfat?
     
  3. May 30, 2013 #23

    Lindy

    Lindy

    Lindy

    Soap Diva Queen Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    8,625
    Likes Received:
    1,624
    Location:
    BC
    Good question but I have no idea.... I see some research in your future ;)
     
  4. May 30, 2013 #24

    Lotus

    Lotus

    Lotus

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    147
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Hey! I have a soap making book that touches on African black soap. Let me glance at it, and I'll edit my post if I find anything of interest. Standby.

    Okay, there were no recipes or tips, but here are some excerpts of interest on the topic.

    photo-270.jpg

    photo-269.jpg

    photo-268.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
    Soapman Ryan and Lindy like this.
  5. May 30, 2013 #25

    bodhi

    bodhi

    bodhi

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    547
    Likes Received:
    228
    Im sorry I had to laugh at this. If ABS isn't traditional, what is?

    To answer you question tough, you could run some rebatch experiments and saponify the free fats.
     
  6. May 30, 2013 #26

    Soapman Ryan

    Soapman Ryan

    Soapman Ryan

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2013
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    36
    The lye is produced by the burn plantains and cocoa pods, as we just buy lye and add the measured amounts we want. If they are using the burnt ashes for their lye, how do they know how much lye is actually being added to their soaps?
     
  7. May 30, 2013 #27

    Lotus

    Lotus

    Lotus

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    147
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    This is why I wonder why such precisement is SO necessary. If trial and error can eventually produce an amazing bar. . . there's no way that a great bar can't be produced by actual blind trial and error. . . just my opinion. Not that I plan on making a bunch of random bars and selling them based on blind trial and error.
     
    Ruthie likes this.
  8. May 30, 2013 #28

    Lotus

    Lotus

    Lotus

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    147
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    My husband and I were just talking on this subject and he figures, they know the science, they know what they're doing. So, if you learn the science between ash water/lye-whatever you're doing, you've discovered the secrets behind what you're doing. . . . . case closed!! : ) heehee. I don't really know jack about what I've just said, but I've said it. : )
     
  9. May 30, 2013 #29

    Soapman Ryan

    Soapman Ryan

    Soapman Ryan

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2013
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    36
    I'll stick to the lye calculator method.
     
    Lotus and Ruthie like this.
  10. May 30, 2013 #30

    bodhi

    bodhi

    bodhi

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    547
    Likes Received:
    228
    Tradition :)
     
  11. May 30, 2013 #31

    Lindy

    Lindy

    Lindy

    Soap Diva Queen Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    8,625
    Likes Received:
    1,624
    Location:
    BC
    My grandmother and her mother made soap the old way by running water through wood ash. They knew it was strong enough when an egg would float. If it wasn't strong enough they would add more ash put a fresh kettle underneath and pour the lye water back through again until it was strong enough. A lot of it was taught from mother to daughter so they did know how much they needed of both the lye and fats. However, think back to the stories of how harsh lye soap was.

    Some were better than others.... but it wasn't always the holy grail that we like to look back at romantically....
     
    Lotus likes this.
  12. May 30, 2013 #32

    Lotus

    Lotus

    Lotus

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    147
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Hey, this would explain to me, the O'Henry story about the two women who were painters. They didn't have the money for both of them to practice their art. So they decided that the one would go wash dishes (or clothes, I can't remember), while the other studied art, and then they would reverse their roles. But, once the washerwoman was finished, her hands were so torn up, she couldn't hold a brush well enough to paint. His stories are full of random ironies which I love. But, I never understood this one. What you've said brings much more sense to the story.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
    Lindy likes this.

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page