Confetti Salt-out: A few “firsts”

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ResolvableOwl

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salt_rebatch_showcase.jpg


First time to
  • use that second-hand cheese cutter that I've got in a thrift shop some weeks ago, but hadn't had an opportunity to use on a soap batch of sensible size yet. I LOVE it, I'm an instant convert! No more sticky knives, no more tear marks!
  • re-use confetti embeds. In a former project, foolish me had embedded those white/tan/brown chunks, then inch-sized, into a M&P soap matrix. Just to find that they fall apart when used 😳. The embeds were packed too tightly for the M&P to hold them together. Luckily, M&P is reversible, so I heated up the M&P matrix until molten (more on this later), took out the embeds, and cut them into much smaller cubes this time.
  • Not the first salting-out I've made, but the first I'm actually happy with. A few weeks ago I had cleaned out my curing rack, thrown out some mediocre bars 🥺, and decided to give some others (unsightly but of decent quality) a second life. Part of above M&P soap was among them.
    Upon adding salt to the simmering soap paste, initial precipitation was highly unsatisfactory (I panicked a bit and wasted a ton of salt). For one I have under suspicion my softie/low-INS/high-IV notoriety (unsaturated soaps just don't give hard soap curds, and love to slip through strainers). But then, there is also an above-average amount of polyols (glyerol, propylene glycol etc.) from the M&P in there, that might impede a swift salt precipitation on the first run.
    I needed three rounds of heating→adding brine→cooking→sifting off curds until I had a satisfactory purity. Good thing I didn't make photos of the kitchen after that party 🤣.
  • I tried hard to get soap curds and brine separated as thoroughly as possible, but there is still a ton of salt in there (so tells my tongue). So this does not only qualify as kernseife, but as brine soap/soleseife as well.
  • M&P base to re-add glycerol to the salted-out soap. Salting-out removes most of the non-soapy constituents, including the glycerol that is naturally present in lye-based soap. IME, this makes the bars feel somehow rough, scratchy and irritant at times. So, how to enrich the soap with glycerol again after salting-out? I still have that leftover M&P base, that is, roughly, a third glycerol by weight 🤔. I saved an amount of M&P soap that would hold an amount of polyols about 10% of the amount of soap I've put in in the first place. Once salting-out was eventually finished, I melted up the M&P base and whisked it into the still soft-ish soap curds. They instantly “gelled”, i. e. turned from a crumbly-curdled consistency to a sticky, reasonably smooth paste. Then it was time to add the confetti embeds, and to squeeze all into the mould.
  • I know exactly why I'm so reluctant with adding fragrance to soap. But I eventually succumbed. This batch was the first time that I used an EO blend that deserves this name. I had found a tiny bottle of citriodora eucalyptus (an impulse purchase a few years ago). Too penetrant for any use I could make up back then, but throw away? Gnah, c'mon.
    Now this soap is the stage for its final performance, backed by rosemary, elemi, cedarwood and camphor. I knew it would be risky to dive into the whole perfumery/EO blend topic, and I was not disappointed. Rabbit hole ahead!
    Though motivated less by experience than by EO availability, I do like the smell. The single weird point about it is that its fresh, green, herbaceous uplift doesn't fit at all to the look of the soap. It's really weird. I hadn't anticipated that my brain can be so stubborn to refuse any cooperation between the eyes (chocolate shop) and the nose (cough drop/arboretum/botanical/herb garden).
  • I hadn't expected that cocoa colour is able to migrate. Even less so how quickly it'd happen. Some of the the dark embeds are made with literal chocolate as part of the oil blend (cocoa butter as 23% of the oils, which makes 12%TOW dry cocoa solids and 15%TOW sugar). Said soap is terribly soft and super soluble even after months (looking at you, overdone sugar!). The M&P into which it had been embedded has turned into a dark cloud. What was going on there? Apparently, the cocoa darkness is remarkably mobile in a moist soap matrix, and will migrate into adjacent soapy regions. I hadn't anticipated this; such things don't happen with multi-coloured chocolate either – but who knows what lye does to the cocoa colourants?
    Anyway, this sheds another questionable light on the usage of cocoa (powder/cocoa mass/chocolate) as a soap colourant.
  • Not the first time bevelling, but I don't usually do it, just for the lack of a loaf/slab mould. You can tell I have improvised here too, from the irregular dimensions of the individual soaps. It took a few days until the soaps were solid enough (more importantly: the matrix hardened up enough so that the embeds wouldn't rip out) for cutting and bevelling. I still expect them to be hard enough to be easily handled in two weeks at least.
 
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Tara_H

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I wish you'd taken a video of that - it all sounds fascinating but I'm having a hard time visualising some of the steps.
(I've only ever salted out soap once and I'm not sure if call it a success...)
 

ResolvableOwl

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I'll maybe do it, once I've understood how I get salting-out as reliable and cleanly as I wish it to be. The existing videos (like the one of @DeeAnna) look so foolproof but really aren't, there's a lot of implicit preconditions in them that are invisible and difficult to reproduce if one doesn't know all the thingies going on in the background.
 

ScentimentallyYours

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View attachment 60836

First time to
  • use that second-hand cheese cutter that I've got in a thrift shop some weeks ago, but hadn't had an opportunity to use on a soap batch of sensible size yet. I LOVE it, I'm an instant convert! No more sticky knives, no more tear marks!
  • re-use confetti embeds. In a former project, foolish me had embedded those white/tan/brown chunks, then inch-sized, into a M&P soap matrix. Just to find that they fall apart when used 😳. The embeds were packed too tightly for the M&P to hold them together. Luckily, M&P is reversible, so I heated up the M&P matrix until molten (more on this later), took out the embeds, and cut them into much smaller cubes this time.
  • Not the first salting-out I've made, but the first I'm actually happy with. A few weeks ago I had cleaned out my curing rack, thrown out some mediocre bars 🥺, and decided to give some others (unsightly but of decent quality) a second life. Part of above M&P soap was among them.
    Upon adding salt to the simmering soap paste, initial precipitation was highly unsatisfactory (I panicked a bit and wasted a ton of salt). For one I have under suspicion my softie/low-INS/high-IV notoriety (unsaturated soaps just don't give hard soap curds, and love to slip through strainers). But then, there is also an above-average amount of polyols (glyerol, propylene glycol etc.) from the M&P in there, that might impede a swift salt precipitation on the first run.
    I needed three rounds of heating→adding brine→cooking→sifting off curds until I had a satisfactory purity. Good thing I didn't make photos of the kitchen after that party 🤣.
  • I tried hard to get soap curds and brine separated as thoroughly as possible, but there is still a ton of salt in there (so tells my tongue). So this does not only qualify as kernseife, but as brine soap/soleseife as well.
  • M&P base to re-add glycerol to the salted-out soap. Salting-out removes most of the non-soapy constituents, including the glycerol that is naturally present in lye-based soap. IME, this makes the bars feel somehow rough, scratchy and irritant at times. So, how to enrich the soap with glycerol again after salting-out? I still have that leftover M&P base, that is, roughly, a third glycerol by weight 🤔. I saved an amount of M&P soap that would hold an amount of polyols about 10% of the amount of soap I've put in in the first place. Once salting-out was eventually finished, I melted up the M&P base and whisked it into the still soft-ish soap curds. They instantly “gelled”, i. e. turned from a crumbly-curdled consistency to a sticky, reasonably smooth paste. Then it was time to add the confetti embeds, and to squeeze all into the mould.
  • I know exactly why I'm so reluctant with adding fragrance to soap. But I eventually succumbed. This batch was the first time that I used an EO blend that deserves this name. I had found a tiny bottle of citriodora eucalyptus (an impulse purchase a few years ago). Too penetrant for any use I could make up back then, but throw away? Gnah, c'mon.
    Now this soap is the stage for its final performance, backed by rosemary, elemi, cedarwood and camphor. I knew it would be risky to dive into the whole perfumery/EO blend topic, and I was not disappointed. Rabbit hole ahead!
    Though motivated less by experience than by EO availability, I do like the smell. The single weird point about it is that its fresh, green, herbaceous uplift doesn't fit at all to the look of the soap. It's really weird. I hadn't anticipated that my brain can be so stubborn to refuse any cooperation between the eyes (chocolate shop) and the nose (cough drop/arboretum/botanical/herb garden).
  • I hadn't expected that cocoa colour is able to migrate. Even less so how quickly it'd happen. Some of the the dark embeds are made with literal chocolate as part of the oil blend (cocoa butter as 23% of the oils, which makes 12%TOW dry cocoa solids and 15%TOW sugar). Said soap is terribly soft and super soluble even after months (looking at you, overdone sugar!). The M&P into which it had been embedded has turned into a dark cloud. What was going on there? Apparently, the cocoa darkness is remarkably mobile in a moist soap matrix, and will migrate into adjacent soapy regions. I hadn't anticipated this; such things don't happen with multi-coloured chocolate either – but who knows what lye does to the cocoa colourants?
    Anyway, this sheds another questionable light on the usage of cocoa (powder/cocoa mass/chocolate) as a soap colourant.
  • Not the first time bevelling, but I don't usually do it, just for the lack of a loaf/slab mould. You can tell I have improvised here too, from the irregular dimensions of the individual soaps. It took a few days until the soaps were solid enough (more importantly: the matrix hardened up enough so that the embeds wouldn't rip out) for cutting and bevelling. I still expect them to be hard enough to be easily handled in two weeks at least.
Love seeing your chocolate soaps @ResolvableOwl!!! I’ve recently made 4 batches of salted out soaps. They ALL retained high levels of salt in the finished bars.

I think I used much more water for my scraps than you did, because there was no possibility of gelling. 😊 The chunks of soap in water would appear to gel/melt, and then dissolve in the water. Once everything was pretty much dissolved, I poured the solution through a coarse strainer to catch any missed bits of soap, then returned it to the pot for salting out (graining). I have pictures of most of the steps. The next day I separated the soap from the salty water with impurities, them squeezed the soap in a cheesecloth to eliminate the excess water. I broke the soap into smaller chunks and let it dry on a cloth for a few hours, then tossed them back in the pot for a rebatch. I added glycerine, sodium lactate, color and fragrance. The bars start off a bit spongy and damp, but they are solid once they cure. I must give credit to @DeeAnna for her instructions on salting out soap. Thank You!
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ResolvableOwl

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Thanks for CONTEXT! 😇 The photo series alone starts like you're making some sort of cheese? But pic 4 nearly made me gag, if I hadn't known it is soap curds, haha.

Yeah, thanks for sharing the photos and your experience! I've used cheesecloth before, but this time, straining with a sifter appeared to suffice. As if I'm slowly getting the hang of it?

Consistency of the curds sounds very familiar. And hardening of the final bars, I roughly know what to expect from it. I know that it's not worth it testing them earlier than at least three weeks in. Point with rebatched/salted-out soap is that it is not “young” soap (in the same way as CP or HP soap is young few days after saponification). Appearance is stable, skin feel agreeable, and lather abundant. But still it's absolutely worth letting them sit for at least a month, so that they have time to properly solidify and no longer crumble away (unless there still was too much salt in them).
 

ScentimentallyYours

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Thanks for CONTEXT! 😇 The photo series alone starts like you're making some sort of cheese? But pic 4 nearly made me gag, if I hadn't known it is soap curds, haha.

Yeah, thanks for sharing the photos and your experience! I've used cheesecloth before, but this time, straining with a sifter appeared to suffice. As if I'm slowly getting the hang of it?

Consistency of the curds sounds very familiar. And hardening of the final bars, I roughly know what to expect from it. I know that it's not worth it testing them earlier than at least three weeks in. Point with rebatched/salted-out soap is that it is not “young” soap (in the same way as CP or HP soap is young few days after saponification). Appearance is stable, skin feel agreeable, and lather abundant. But still it's absolutely worth letting them sit for at least a month, so that they have time to properly solidify and no longer crumble away (unless there still was too much salt in them).
Forgot to mention that I added a couple tablespoons of yogurt, and along with the sodium lactate, they helped the soap form a batter-like consistency. Don’t know the whys and wherefores, but it worked! I also added a little extra oil with the coloring, so there’s a slight super fat in the finished bars. In the batches that followed, I didn’t grate the soap, just chopped it up with a knife. Saved lots of work and aggravation and the chunks still dissolved. Yes, the finished soap took at least four weeks to really become decent bars that wouldn’t melt away in the shower.
 

Tara_H

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I'll maybe do it, once I've understood how I get salting-out as reliable and cleanly as I wish it to be. The existing videos (like the one of @DeeAnna) look so foolproof but really aren't, there's a lot of implicit preconditions in them that are invisible and difficult to reproduce if one doesn't know all the thingies going on in the background.
You're right, on reflection what I want is a video that's accompanied by your meticulous explanations so I not only know _what_ is happening, but also _why_ and what processes led to that outcome. (And what would have happened given various extremes on either side. What, demanding, moi?!? 🤣 )
 

ResolvableOwl

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What, demanding, moi?!?
I'm not overly concerned about you specifically. In last consequence it is your thing, not mine, when you ask the right questions and have the same demands to a comprehensive in-depth description 😀.
 

ResolvableOwl

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Just stumbled upon
where @Anstarx also reported weird behaviour (discolouration, migration) of cocoa solids as a soap colourant. Oddly enough, you cannot rely on it, since at times it stays where it should. 🤷‍♀️
 

Marsi

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i dont know how i missed this

the soap looks delicious
the scent blend amazing
the description of your brain reaction to the combination ... hilarious

thank you so much for posting dearest Owl

Ive made a few salted out soaps
and i rather like them
 

ScentimentallyYours

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Just stumbled upon
where @Anstarx also reported weird behaviour (discolouration, migration) of cocoa solids as a soap colourant. Oddly enough, you cannot rely on it, since at times it stays where it should. 🤷‍♀️
Has anyone used unsweetened chocolate as a colorant? I used some years ago in a chocolate soap swirl and it behaved beautifully. Even color, no migration, no spots. I assume it would be no different from using cocoa butter?
 

ResolvableOwl

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@Douging has done it. Can't positively say anything about it, since I only learned over there that unsweetened baking chocolate is a thing in the US, for an affordable price. 100% chocolate (“cocoa liquor”) is either an obscenely expensive luxury here, or you just get it by the ton for industrial purposes.
Back in the days when cocoa butter was hard to get, I mailed a chocolate company if they had an idea how to get cocoa butter in the kg range, – they laughed and told me that I'd have to buy it by the tank wagon 🤨. Fortunately, things have changed over the years.
 

ScentimentallyYours

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@Douging has done it. Can't positively say anything about it, since I only learned over there that unsweetened baking chocolate is a thing in the US, for an affordable price. 100% chocolate (“cocoa liquor”) is either an obscenely expensive luxury here, or you just get it by the ton for industrial purposes.
Back in the days when cocoa butter was hard to get, I mailed a chocolate company if they had an idea how to get cocoa butter in the kg range, – they laughed and told me that I'd have to buy it by the tank wagon 🤨. Fortunately, things have changed over the years.
Next time I buy unsweetened baking chocolate, I will know how privileged I am! 😁
 

earlene

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Speaking of Chocolate, and this may come as a surprise to chocolate connoisseurs, but my very favorite chocolate to eat used to be Mexican Chocolate. I used to buy just to eat, even though it is commonly used for making Hot Chocolate.

But alas, I cannot eat or drink chocolate anymore, so I no longer buy it and have even managed to not crave it anymore.

I so still love the smell, which may be why I am so fond of Cocoa Butter.
 

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