Castile "superlye" method experiment

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Fiut

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Recently I stumbled upon very interesting thread about old recipe and method of making Castile, with superlye, SF -40. https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/deanna-i-have-a-question.42922/
The thread is huge and very interesting as experiment to follow. Stretching in time between 2014 to 2017 it gives great perspective of success and failures, different results and how they turned out in time.
As lately learned (thanks Primrose!) it is better starting a new thread.

The recipe given by AnnaMarie there is:
1 quart (yes, quart) of olive oil
1 quart water
3/4 cup water (to dilute lye)
6oz lye

I stick to the recipe from this blog page https://shemakesmagic.com/homemade-soap-traditional-castile/
So my version is
500 ml olive oil (200 ml laurel leaf infused)
600 ml water (200 ml Black sea lye)
100 g lye

Let me first summarize what I got from all soapmakers' results for me:

1. It is not a recipe to push with SB, at least use it very carefully and as little as possible. The batch water can easily separate from oils.
2. You can either make lye solution with part of water and SB to trace, then add the other water in small batches with spatula, or hand stir all together manually, SB a bit, with great care not to separate anything.
3. DO NOT SPOP.
4. Keep temperature low (despite there were results with keeping the batch warm, but not hot).
5. It is better to cut early, as set. It can become very hard very fast.

I wanted to make pure OO soap with big part of it infused with laurel leaf and Black sea lye used as a liquid (if you want to be informed it's a great thing to use https://www.luga.bg/en/lye_en/)
Made a small batch with 500 ml oil, 100 g lye and 600 ml water, 200 ml of it with Black sea lye (it has PH 6,59, so it is like water). First the lye solution turned a bit weird - white speckles formed from salted liquid, but soon it was just opal and homogeneous. Did not clear though. Put all the liquid at once to the oil and stirred for about 2 hours with spatula. It had a light trace, but I wanted more. So, pissed of, I SB pulsing very shortly a few times, just to help the trace thicken a bit. Worked. Put in a slab carton mold, hoping for better.
After 18 h the batch seemed like ivory with some greenish tint (I guess from laurel infusion). The feeling cutting it was great! It had some oilish lubricant cover and the pieces were like butter. I took pictures, if anyone is interested.
Now I'll wait. They are the creamiest and lovely soap pieces I've seen so far.
Maybe it is a good idea to make standard 100% OO recipe, 2:1 liquid:lye, 0%SF with the same ingredients to compare afterwards. I have some Black sea lye and laurel infused oil left for experiments.
Forgot to mention there are no additives - color or aroma. I want it simple.
And thank you all for such a interesting thread and efforts!:thumbs:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/UCFE9mZ17aQS2iyx8

Trying to show my result. The soap feels like butter from fridge. Feel chilly of the evaporating liquid.

A little update. On third day of curing it still has silky feeling and smells like Calamata olives. I know at least the OO is genuine.
Hardens good.
 
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Mobjack Bay

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And, I still look forward to your updates!

I understand the issues with necroposting, but in this particular situation I think it’s important to emphasize for any newbie soapers that the original “experiment” is based on a very lye heavy (“Super lye” or “excess lye”) recipe. Anyone who wants to try this technique for making soap will benefit from reading through the original thread and, in my opinion, should have experience making soap using a “normal” recipe.

ETA: SoapMakingFriend calculates 64 g of lye for 100% OO soap at 5% SF vs. 100 g of lye used in recipe given above. For 0% SF, the calculator returns 68 g of lye for 500 g of olive oil.
 
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Fiut

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And, I still look forward to your updates!

I understand the issues with necroposting, but in this particular situation I think it’s important to emphasize for any newbie soapers that the original “experiment” is based on a very lye heavy (“Super lye” or “excess lye”) recipe. Anyone who wants to try this technique for making soap will benefit from reading through the original thread and, in my opinion, should have experience making soap using a “normal” recipe.

Yes, it's quite lye heavy. And you are right, it's good idea to take a look at the old thread. That's why I added the link to it :)
I have to say the Black sea lye used in the liquid part is very saturated in minerals, up to 250 g to liter. 200 ml of it was OK diluted in water for superlye recipe. But today I made the same with common CP method. Tried to use it as it, 180 ml for 88 g of lye (I upsized the oil to 650 g). Nope. Mashed potato result. So I added some water - maybe 60-70 ml - just to make it liquid state. The batch traced immediately, so I poured 30 ml more. I SB it. It was like glossy pudding, but nice looking. Poured in the same carton mold to compare. The things become interesting! Tomorrow will see how it will set.
 

cmzaha

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:thumbs::thumbs: You could have a problem since you did not use the percentage of water used in the original recipe. I tried the recipe using a -30 superfat with a 31% lye concentration approx 2:1 and it never stopped zapping. I kept a bar around for around 3 yrs before chucking it in the trash. It apparently takes approx 6.5:1 water to lye to avoid zappy soap.

I also do not recommend newbies trying this without reading the entire original post, and I really find not much point in making it this way.
 

Fiut

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... I tried the recipe using a -30 superfat with a 31% lye concentration approx 2:1 and it never stopped zapping. I kept a bar around for around 3 yrs before chucking it in the trash. It apparently takes approx 6.5:1 water to lye to avoid zappy soap.

I also do not recommend newbies trying this without reading the entire original post, and I really find not much point in making it this way.
I can't figure out what was your recipe... lye solution of what percent? 31% seems pretty strong, because the main thing I got from this "superlye" method is lye is much more, but along with water it becomes a pretty weak solution. So the point is evaporating is doing its magic, somehow. Anyway, the recipe with "normal" concentration set to 0% SF will be a control batch.
 

Fiut

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Update. My control batch is a nightmare. The Black sea lye is very mineralised, so there is no way I add so much just like this. Diluted in more water it was OK, but trying ti make a lye solution with it just like this didn't work. Mashed potatoes state. Added more water just to make it liquid state. I panicked and finally poured it too soon, anyway. The result is very different from the lye heavy method. It sweated big drops of lye (I tried it) heavy liquid. Not soft, not oil separation, but much liquid lost. On the pic you can see the difference - left is the standard method pieces, and on the right is lye heavy sample. Still nice to touch, smelling like calamata olives. Harding in silence.
 

Fiut

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10 day after update. The soap bars shrink visually and are rock hard. I feel no more the smell of olives. No lye ash, none! The lather is quite nothing to mention, but there is some. Slippery feeling, but maybe it's the way it has to be. That's why I didn't took a pic.
I did a Ph test with soapy water and it was 9.9. The soapy water did wash all my dirty dishes, though :)
Waiting for a further cure. No itchy feeling on my hands, but I'm not so sensitive. Especially my palms.
And some pictures:
 

Teapot

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I'm part-way through reading the original thread, also finding it fascinating! Will keep an eye on this thread too, and possibly be back to comment when I've tried it :)
 

Fiut

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So exactly Why do this ? You have to wait a year anyway.
I'm not sure I have to wait a year. But I have a great motive to do it like this: I can't add Black sea lye other way. My attempt to do it standard method failed and failed with big F. There was big liquid leaking at first, yesterday I tried to rebatch it, adding lye solution as I have to saponify 20% of oils. After cooking and molding there was an oil leaking. It leathers, but I'm not satisfied. Will rebatch more. So I presume the great mineralization is making problems. My "superlye" castile is doing great on the other side, and I feel optimistic. The Black sea lye percent is more than in the other batch, but did not spoil anything. Maybe there is a reason andalusians make soap this way.
 

Fiut

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I want just to post some update on my batch. I's been a month curing. The soap still looks a matte hard block, just shrink. Doesn't make proper lather in hands, but with a sponge there is a wonderful dense lather, which leaves the hands like silk! The bar doesn't dissolve easy in water like my other castile. And I presume it has some invisible soda ash, because it washes my dishes like a devil. The glass is crystal clear, as from a dishwasher machine. I just slide the sponge over the bar, and then I have creamy nice cleansing lather to work with. I'll wait to see how it will change over time. Hope it will produce this silky lather without a sponge.
 

penelopejane

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I want just to post some update on my batch. I's been a month curing. The soap still looks a matte hard block, just shrink. Doesn't make proper lather in hands, but with a sponge there is a wonderful dense lather, which leaves the hands like silk! The bar doesn't dissolve easy in water like my other castile. And I presume it has some invisible soda ash, because it washes my dishes like a devil. The glass is crystal clear, as from a dishwasher machine. I just slide the sponge over the bar, and then I have creamy nice cleansing lather to work with. I'll wait to see how it will change over time. Hope it will produce this silky lather without a sponge.
I think it works because of the hand stirring. Also in the original andalusian grandma recipe she used to add a lemon. It took her 6 hour to hand mix.
Keep testing over a year. It will get better and better. Congratulations on your experiment.

Not quite sure why your standard recipe didn’t work. In the first experiment you mixed 100g lye and 100g water and it worked. Why didn’t it work the second time when you mixed the lye with more water? The second time you used 88g lye with 180g of water which is about 31% lye solution which is pretty standard. It shouldn’t have gone to mashed potato. Maybe you can try again with 35% lye concentration and see how it goes. Castile is pretty forgiving.
 
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Fiut

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I think it works because of the hand stirring. Also in the original andalusian grandma recipe she used to add a lemon. It took her 6 hour to hand mix.
Keep testing over a year. It will get better and better. Congratulations on your experiment.

Not quite sure why your standard recipe didn’t work. In the first experiment you mixed 100g lye and 100g water and it worked. Why didn’t it work the second time when you mixed the lye with more water? The second time you used 88g lye with 180g of water which is about 31% lye solution which is pretty standard. It shouldn’t have gone to mashed potato. Maybe you can try again with 35% lye concentration and see how it goes. Castile is pretty forgiving.
I will keep an eye for an year for sure! And agree it's something connected to the long hand stirring. Anyway, the experiment is very interesting.
What about the standard batch, it is not quite the same. Black sea "lye" is actually not alkali, like sodium hydroxide, so I'm afraid there is a misunderstanding on both names. I don't know why the name Black sea lye is picked, as it is just a very mineralized sea mud solution. Contains *calcium, sodium, magnesium, chlorine, bromine, sulphates, hydrogens, many trace elements, organic substances and others. In addition to the rich mineral composition, the lye contain many biologically-active substances such as microalgae (rich in chlorophyll, vitamins, etc.), zooplankton. As listed, it has:
- pH-6,59
- Total mineralization: 340-370gr/l.
- Content of magnesium salts (MgSO4 and MgCl2): 230-280gr/l.
- Content of alkali chloride (NaCl and KCl): 80-95 g/l. * Source: "mud therapy in pomorie", Prof. Diana Daniel and Dr. Antoinette Dam

That's the AKA Black sea lye to put in water. In andalusian version castile I put 200 ml of it in 400 ml water (whole 600 ml) and added then 100 g lye (sodium hydroxide). So I had a weak solution 1:2 BSLye to water+ Sodium Hydroxide to -40SF. Nevertheless the whole 200 ml are IN, because of the method. For the standard method though I can't use so much liquid (600 ml), so I put strong 180 ml BSLye plus 80 ml water. You can see it's a solution about 2,5:1 BSLye to water+ Sodium Hydroxide to 0% SF . That strong mineralization caused the "mashed potato" problem I suppose. And plus some liquid leaked out. In first experiment I have 200 ml BSlye incorporated, the second 180 ml, part of it not incorporated.
BTW I rebatched it, HP with some more lye water to saponify 30% fat. It worked, but still curing. The Ph is 10, so finally I'll save it, I hope.
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1...?key=RHdrQk5YbDhXNUVaM3hfV0ZKeDk0cFlpLTVBWWxn [/IMG]
 

Arimara

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:thumbs::thumbs: You could have a problem since you did not use the percentage of water used in the original recipe. I tried the recipe using a -30 superfat with a 31% lye concentration approx 2:1 and it never stopped zapping. I kept a bar around for around 3 yrs before chucking it in the trash. It apparently takes approx 6.5:1 water to lye to avoid zappy soap.

I also do not recommend newbies trying this without reading the entire original post, and I really find not much point in making it this way.
I agree with the Newbie Warning there. This is not a recipe you should attempt unless you have a very good idea of what you're doing and why. Also, I was successful making this soap with a -40 superfat. I stickblended minimally and kept my slow cooker on the low setting, alternating. After a year, it was a bit slimy but it smelled good for an unscented soap, almost familiar. If I can find my notes, I might try it again but I think I can benefit from reading the thread again.
 

Zany_in_CO

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@Fiut I am so very happy for you! As my mother would say, "You have a good head on your shoulders." Keep up the good work!
:nodding:
 
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