MP from scratch

Discussion in 'Melt & Pour Forum' started by szaza, Mar 16, 2020.

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  1. Mar 16, 2020 #1

    szaza

    szaza

    szaza

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    So.. I made this recipe this morning and just wanted to get on here and share my experience in case anyone else is interested in making their own MP soap base. I think this will become a bit of a journey so might be good to document my troubles:p
    I chose this recipe because I can't use my gas oven to HP this soap since it requires ethanol which is flammable. I don't have a crock pot and they're hard to come by here so that's also not an option and I tried a similar recipe au bain marie on a hot plate, but that didn't work out at all (couldn't get the temp high enough). High temp HP seems like the only way to approach this relatively safely and I've been wanting to check out the ultimate guide to HP soap, because I have some very mixed feelings about them.

    (RANTALERT! You can just scroll down and read on after end rant) On the one hand they seem like they're very committed to delivering a great product that looks really awesome and it sounds like they did a lot of research. One thing I really liked about this recipe for example is that it has only the minimum of water that's necessary for dissolving the lye and sorbitol (or in my case sugar), which seems to make a lot of sense in a recipe which already contains so much liquid in the form of solvents. They also give exact temperatures that the solvents need to be when added to the soap. On the other hand, I read on their website that they claim that HP soap needs a shorter cure than CP, which is absolutely not true and it really annoys me when people say that. Also, they seem to advertise high temp HP as being THE way to make pretty, fluid HP, which I think is not true. I've been able to make very fluid HP with very low temp methods without a problem. Also, making a book for beginners and advertising high temp HP (which is not without risk, since you're actively promoting your soap to volcano) just doesn't seem right to me. I don't really have anything against the technique (I've tried it before out of curiosity), but it really shouldn't be set as an end goal for beginners. (END RANT)

    This recipe was advertised as an easy 10min project. I found it to be quite advanced which is logical, since making MP base from scratch is an advanced technique (they do advise reading their HP book first). I guess they meant that this is a relatively easy recipe as far as MP from scratch goes, It's not an easy recipe compared to regular CP/HP soapmaking.

    It also took me way longer than 10 minutes. Weighing everything alone was like 30. But I guess it'll get faster with experience. My soap cooled down too much somewhere halfway through and it took me a while to figure out I just had to put it in the microwave for a few seconds (duh), which lengthened the process as well. I think altogether I spent +-1.5 hours on this.

    It also didn't turn out as clear as shown in the pictures and video. Not really sure what went wrong there. I'll probably try a few more times and see if I get better. I saw a small bit of undissolved lye in the bottom of my jug after pouring it out, so maybe my soap has a slight superfat. Or maybe it cooled down too much in between. The soaping 101 video (which is a very, very similar recipe, only big difference is she uses a crock pot) says to keep everything at or above 200F/100C at any time during the process.

    The soap is remeltable (yay!) And actually works with food coloring. I'll probably bring some to my neighbor's kids to play with now all the schools are closed.
    Here's a pic of my very first MP soap:
    IMG_20200316_132626.jpg IMG_20200316_132519.jpg
    So lots of things left to learn!;)
     
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  2. Mar 16, 2020 #2

    Nona'sFarm

    Nona'sFarm

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    @szaza , thanks for sharing.
     
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  3. Mar 17, 2020 #3

    lsg

    lsg

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    Good Video!
     
  4. Mar 17, 2020 #4

    szaza

    szaza

    szaza

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    The soap is also really quite nice to use. It has a typical high CO lather (quite fluffy), it washes squeeky clean, but it's not drying. It does feel very different to my cp soap, but I'm guessing that's normal for MP.
     
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  5. Mar 18, 2020 #5

    szaza

    szaza

    szaza

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    I tried again yesterday evening. Same recipe (though only half) but I made sure not to make the same mistakes as last time: I made absolutely sure all my lye was completely dissolved and I kept the temps of my soap high by popping it in the microwave whenever the temps dropped too much. I needed to do this a lot, because I was only using half the recipe in the same pitcher and it lost heat quickly.
    It took me +-1,5 hours again. 30 for measuring, 45 for making the soap and 15 for cleaning up.
    I did have one problem, while cooking the soap it seemed like some liquid was seeping out and it didn't want to saponify. I heated it up in the microwave several times and dit 2 very positive zap tests (didn't dare try to do a third one because my tongue was too painful from the first 2). Once I thought I recognized gel phase and decided it would probably be cooked enough, so I added the alcohol.
    In the end I had a very transparent batter which seemed to stay transparent while hardening out, except at the very last moment it turned opaque anyway, which was very disappointing. I think it might actually be more opaque than my first try and this time I don't know what I can do to make it better next time.
    Has anyone tried this (or a similar) recipe before? And what is your experience? Any tips on what I should do differently next time?

    ETA: 100g of oils yields about 330g of MP base.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
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  6. Mar 18, 2020 #6

    Arimara

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    Interesting. I've always wanted to try my hand at making an MP base but right now, literally and generally, I just can't. Maybe one day, when my brain is less broken, I can try my hand at it. If TOMH popped up, he'd have some pointers somewhere.
     
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  7. Mar 21, 2020 #7

    szaza

    szaza

    szaza

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    Still don't know why my base turned out opaque, so haven't tried another batch, but I experimented a bit with coloring:
    IMG_20200321_210954.jpg
    Left to right:
    alkanet infused in isopropanol,
    indigo dispersed in isopropanol,
    spirulina infused in ethanol,
    Moringa infused in ethanol,
    Wheatgrass infused in ethanol,
    Annatto infused in isopropanol
     

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