Lessons learned and some questions

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rosyrobyn

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So I've just made my first few batches on my own (made some soap at a studio where everything was set up for me). I was a little nervous about doing it on my own so I wanted to set everything up perfectly so I wouldn't make mistakes.

First mistake - forgot the distilled water, had to go get some. Second mistake - didn't have the recipe in an easy to view area. Kept having to turn around to read it - I'll be taping my recipe to my kitchen cabinet from now on. First picture is my setup (just ignore the paprika - that was to color batch #4 and it turned out pretty ugly).

My first batch was fairly simple since it's for my son with psoriasis. 65% lard, 30% pomace olive oil, 5% castor oil, 6%SF, 2:1 lye ratio. Soaped at 115F. No additives. When I unmolded I put them on a metal tray and when I went to look at them they have little rust marks on them. Is this DOS? Should I cut the spots off? (Pic #2)

My second batch was the same recipe but I wanted to add oat milk for the liquid and powdered goat milk. More mistakes: oat milk + lye = bright orange, goopy mess. Had to dilute with water and pour down the drain with lots more water. Was this ok for disposing of bad lye mixture? Next I tried 1/2 of the water amount as just water to mix the lye with and added the other 1/2 water amount as oatmilk, blended with the oils. I also added 2 tbl goat milk powder and 1 tsp activated charcoal to the oils. This batch seemed to go ok. (Pic #3)

My third batch was a straight castille soap. 100% olive oil, 1.1-1 lye ratio (I had read that this was a better ratio for castille and high olive oil soaps). Got a little silly with the temperatures because I didn't take the time to wait for the lye water to cool down much (180F) and the oil was at 100F. It looked a little grainy when I first added the lye to the oils but smoothed out after I stickblended. Disaster avoided! When I poured the batter into a loaf mold I had way too much extra, had to use my other molds. One thing I noticed was the sides of the loaf have tiny bubbles on them. Could it be lye pockets since my lye was so concentrated? Or maybe it had something to do with when I tried to CPOP? Also it doesn't look like it gelled? Oven temp 170F, turned off after putting the loaf in and left overnight. (Pic #4)

I have lots of other little batches planned (1 lb) so I can see what works best for me and the family, making changes a bit at a time. How do I tell the different batches apart? Do I have to start using colorants (tried paprika and turned out pretty ugly)? I am trying to keep the recipes simple before I start adding scents and colors.

Sorry for the long post but it's all been so exciting for me and DH can only handle so much soap talk. Can't wait for the 6 weeks to be up so I can try some of these out!

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houseofwool

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The spots on the one that rested on a metal rack is unlikely to be DOS so quickly. More likely it was a reaction between the fresh soap and the metal. I would probably just trim the the spots off.

The Castile batch might not have gelled, even with putting it in the oven. Low water soap is less likely to gel.

Soaping just warm was fine. With anything other than 100% olive oil, trace will likely happen quickly.

I did not see the bubbles on the sides of the soaps, but those are not uncommon when doing CPOP in silicon molds.
 

RobertBarnett

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I recommend that you pick one of your soaps and try it week one, week two, week three, etc. this will show you the changes that your soap is going through as it cures. I would weigh it in grams before each use so you can see how much water is leaving the soap.

Good luck,

Robert
 

lenarenee

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Good work! Sounds like you researched well! Very smooth looking soaps too.

Come here a sec...*whispering...some people use their soap way earlier than 4 - 6 weeks! Especially my lard soaps....but don't tell....and don't sell or give them out before 4 weeks. But I'm not naming names!!*

And as long as your soap doesn't zap, I'm a firm believer in testing my soap.....whenever I want! (I just don't inflict it on others.)
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I would also come here more often - there is a lot of information about using milks and so on, which would of helped you out with that batch.

Even when you make soap "on your own" you don't have to do it completely solo. Any time I'm trying something new I check on here for tips and advice
 

Navaria

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To tell the batches apart, you can take a bamboo skewer and write a number in each bar while it is still somewhat soft. It won't be pretty but it will serve your purpose. If you have a place to lay them all out to cure then all you would need is a paper or note card with the number written on it that stays with that batch. I use this method to keep track of the different scents and also what additives a particular batch has.
 

Susie

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Paprika can be infused into a light colored oil, then used to color soap. You can get anywhere from a light yellow to a brick red color depending on how much you use. I did not like the appearance of paprika mixed into the soap, either.
 

rosyrobyn

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... I would probably just trim the the spots off.
... I did not see the bubbles on the sides of the soaps, but those are not uncommon when doing CPOP in silicon molds.
I'll give the affected bars a little shave. I don't want them to fester and grow into something unusable.

... pick one of your soaps and try it week one, week two, week three, etc. this will show you the changes...
Robert
Good idea. I really want to get a handle on how a good bar of soap feels.

*whispering...some people use their soap way earlier than 4 - 6 weeks! Especially my lard soaps....but don't tell....and don't sell or give them out before 4 weeks. But I'm not naming names!!*
Lol! Ok, so as long as I keep it on the down low I can give them a try.
Won't be selling and don't even feel comfortable with sharing since I'm still learning.

I would also come here more often - there is a lot of information about using milks and so on, which would of helped you out with that batch.
Here I thought I was playing it safe by using a milk from grains rather than animal milk for the lye water. But yes I plan on being around for a while . :)

Yes we're all here because we can talk soap ALL we want and nobodys eyes glaze over :)
So glad I found this place! I've learned more here than I have in some of my books. I'll be sticking around.

To tell the batches apart, you can take a bamboo skewer and write a number in each bar while it is still somewhat soft. It won't be pretty but it will serve your purpose. If you have a place to lay them all out to cure then all you would need is a paper or note card with the number written on it that stays with that batch. I use this method to keep track of the different scents and also what additives a particular batch has.
Thank you! This sounds so much easier than rustling through my kitchen trying to find things to color my soaps with! I'm thinking of little toothpick tags as well for when the marks wear off.

Paprika can be infused into a light colored oil, then used to color soap.
Thanks! This sounds like it'll look prettier. I'll file this away for later. Soap recipe first, then I'll try to get the hang of coloring. :)

http://www.soapmakingforum.com//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
 

rosyrobyn

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My oldest soap is from last summer but it was made with 50/50 coconut and olive oil at a studio. It does feel different as it aged but I felt it wasn't a well balanced recipe. At the time I only had the two oil options so I saved up my pennies and bought my own supplies. I did make a straight OO batch that feels very smooth and lotiony but my daughter has absconded all those bars (I did make her a 5lb loaf this week just for her).
 

topofmurrayhill

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My oldest soap is from last summer but it was made with 50/50 coconut and olive oil at a studio. It does feel different as it aged but I felt it wasn't a well balanced recipe. At the time I only had the two oil options so I saved up my pennies and bought my own supplies. I did make a straight OO batch that feels very smooth and lotiony but my daughter has absconded all those bars (I did make her a 5lb loaf this week just for her).
That probably makes your oldest soap considerably older than Robert's. ;)
 

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