Another issue to consider in addition to cost is quality. Cheap olive oil isn't necessarily -- in fact very likely not -- 100% olive oil.
I just checked my bottle of olive oil from Costco (Kirkland Signature). The label just says "Refined Olive Oil and 15% Extra Virgin Olive Oil."
Wouldn't they have to state if they were mixing it with something else?
I did some googling and found this:
Although the Costco assortment is mostly extra virgin, a great example of their leadership in the category is their regular “Olive Oil” product. “Olive Oil” is a grade, officially defined as a blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oil. Some official grades and standards—including those of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the European Union (EU)—require that the label state that the product is a blend of refined and virgin olive oils. Several years ago, Costco voluntarily labeled their Kirkland Signature Olive Oil in compliance with the standards of the CDFA, even including the percentage of extra virgin in the blend, despite the fact that they were not covered by this requirement.
Source: The Best Olive Oils at Costco 2021: Blind Tasted by Experts | OliveOil.com
The picture right above this quote is exactly the label that I am looking at.
The Costco website
- Pure Olive Oil
- Refined, 15% virgin
- 3 liter jug (101.4 oz)
Just made 4 test batches tonight with my newly tweaked recipe. Excited to see how they turn out!
I will say that this new formulation traced incredibly quickly. For my own speed of production I don't really mind, as it saves me time, but I could see this being annoying if I want to try out fancier designs.
I did four 1kg (oil weight) cold process batches with changes as follows:
(A) Subbed Aloe Vera juice for 100% of water. No other changes.
(B) Control. Just did the new basic recipe.
(C) Added 10g citric acid*, and 6.24g extra NaOH
(D) Control-ish - Base recipe-ish** + 1.5tsp mica and 1oz FO
Notes on Batch C
*Also ended up adding 10g extra water to this batch. I forgot to add the citric acid before
adding the lye to the water, so I dissolved it separately in 10g water and then added it to the lye-water solution (SLOWLY!). It fizzed and jumped but seemed to turn out ok. Since it's only 1% of the oil weight I'd be surprised if the additional water changes things much.
Notes on Batch D
This was actually meant to be a test batch testing hot process instead of CP, but it didn't work out that way!
I master batched the oil mixture for all 4 batches in my crockpot to minimize risk of measuring error and differences in oils to different batches. I thought I had measured everything carefully (and took notes!), but somehow ended up 25g short by this batch. I'm guessing it's just the extra oil that stuck to my spatula, measuring cup, and ladle. I think going forward I'll masterbatch a bit extra of my oils to avoid this problem (maybe 4040g instead of 4000g total?)
I ended up just adding 25g extra olive oil and using the batch anyway. Since it was already a bit off for experimentation purposes, I went ahead and added some mica and a FO that my boyfriend has been wanting me to try out (Smoke and Suede from CandleScience). It'll be a nice little surprise for him, and gave me a chance to see how this recipe plays with FOs and colorants.
This one seemed to trace even faster than the others, but I was also trying to do more with it so I may just have noticed it more. I attempted a drop swirl pattern, but by the time my 3rd color was mixed in all three were setting up on me so I just kind of threw them in haphazardly. I tried swirling with a drink stir stick, and ended up introducing air gaps to the bar since it was already so thick. I tried smoothing it back down and doing a simple swirl on top.
Luckily this one is just for my boyfriend and not a scent line I'm planning on testing for selling (unless he loves it, I guess?)
Overall I'm pretty happy with the recipe so far, although not sure how I'm going to deal with the fast trace in the future when I'm adding FOs and micas. I did use a water discount (40% or 1.5:1 water:lye) so I may try bumping this up to 2:1 water:lye the next go round, hoping it will give me some more time.
Very open to other suggestions on slowing down trace.
I'll keep you guys updated and post some pictures when I cut these loaves!