Superfat Suggestions for Aleppo type recipe

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gardengeek

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Hi everyone,
I'm thinking about testing a small batch of Aleppo type soap. I'm going to try one 50/50 and one 40/60 Laurel Fruit/Olive Oil blend. I am planning on using a dual lye (5% KoH / 95% NaOH) and adding my usual additives of Sodium Lactate, Sodium Citrate, Sorbitol, and ROE. I haven't decided if I'm going to add colloidal oats yet. I will probably use Fruit of the Earth Aloe juice for my H2O portion. No fragrance or colorants.

I'm stumped on the superfat percent. I really don't know what percent I should try and since the oil is pricey and the soap has a long cure requirement the pressure is on to really make it count. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,
Annette
 

shunt2011

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I did 70/30 and a 6% sf. I personally didn’t like it all that much. I have a few bars left somewhere and they are 5 or 6 years old now. But I’m not fond of high olive soap at all.
 

gardengeek

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Thanks, @shunt2011. I've never used a high olive oil soap so we shall see. I'm hoping it will feel good on one dry skin patch I have on my foot caused by chronic psoriasis breakouts.
 

JuliaNegusuk

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Hi Gardengeek, I have some real Aleppo soap which I have had in my curiosity box for several years. I've just looked at the label and it is past it's use by date (June 2020). I've just tried it and it is not slimy at all, quite good lather in fact, not super foamy but some bubbles and no slime. You wouldn' t immediately think it was different from most soap. Recipe says it contains laurel oil (22%), olive oil, sodium hydroxide and water - no quantities specified apart from the laurel oil. This is because it comes in a range of levels of laurel oil content. I think 22% is sort of middling. Interestingly it starts green and goes golden brown after a few months. I cut mine in half to see the green inside but now, after a couple of years the green faces are nearly as brown as the rest of it. I don' t know if this soap was made in Aleppo as they moved the factory to Turkey apparently due to the war at some point, not sure when. After only a thousand or so years of history in Aleppo! Hope this helps you.
 

Zing

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I have bought genuine Aleppo soap. I love the look and the scent is just awesome. However, it did not lather, it was more like applying lotion. I won't use it anymore but to each his or her own....
 

gardengeek

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Hi Gardengeek, I have some real Aleppo soap which I have had in my curiosity box for several years. I've just looked at the label and it is past it's use by date (June 2020). I've just tried it and it is not slimy at all, quite good lather in fact, not super foamy but some bubbles and no slime...
Hi Julia, It sounds like its a 22/78 laurel/olive oil blend. I read that as the soap ages it does lose the green interior, but that's a good thing unless it goes rancid. I ordered the oil yesterday so I probably won't be able to make it for a week or two. I'm excited about it. How do you like the natural scent?

The history is very interesting. I love to watch videos of the Syrians make it; quite a process!!

I have bought genuine Aleppo soap. I love the look and the scent is just awesome. However, it did not lather, it was more like applying lotion. I won't use it anymore but to each his or her own....
Zing, Is the look of your bar rustic? Was it thick? It seems that traditionally they are thick. I don't like the feel of a thick bar in my hand so I'll probably just keep mine around 1 1/8". People always comment on the scent. Can't wait for the oil to come in so I can take a whiff.
 

lenarenee

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I also have some well aged true Aleppo soap, 40% laurel berry oil. I used it for hand washing and yes, I got slime. Probably because it never had the chance to dry out during the day. My 30% laurel oil soap was worse. But again, it was younger (2 years) and used for lots of hand washing during the pandemic.

I guess sticky slime doesn’t bother me; I never gave it a second thought. I just love soap of all kinds!
 

lenarenee

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I have bought genuine Aleppo soap. I love the look and the scent is just awesome. However, it did not lather, it was more like applying lotion. I won't use it anymore but to each his or her own....
Any idea what the percentage of laurel berry in the soap? Some are only 7%, and it’s the laurel berry oil that has the bubbly qualities (although not a lot).
 

Zing

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Hi Julia, It sounds like its a 22/78 laurel/olive oil blend. I read that as the soap ages it does lose the green interior, but that's a good thing unless it goes rancid. I ordered the oil yesterday so I probably won't be able to make it for a week or two. I'm excited about it. How do you like the natural scent?

The history is very interesting. I love to watch videos of the Syrians make it; quite a process!!



Zing, Is the look of your bar rustic? Was it thick? It seems that traditionally they are thick. I don't like the feel of a thick bar in my hand so I'll probably just keep mine around 1 1/8". People always comment on the scent. Can't wait for the oil to come in so I can take a whiff.
It was like a cube, very thick. I actually tried to cut it in half but it was so hard that it just shattered into some oddball-sized pieces. There's a market nearby, mostly Iraqi, with labels all in Arabic. Thankfully my son knows Arabic and translated the label for me and it was "Aleppo Soap made with laurel oil and olive oil."
 

JuliaNegusuk

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I just admit that I just used it once and put it away again. Perhaps if you use it a lot and it doesn't dry out if will go slimy. I' m using a 75%/25% olive oil and sweet almond oil one at the moment and it is really slimy with no bubbles at all. In fact it's hard to see that it's actually working as soap at all. You can see kind of slathers of slime on the surface of the soap when you put it back on the rack. I' m going to get out the Aleppo soap again and use it properly to see what happens. I don't t know why I don' t just use it. Mine was also a very rustic looking kind of cube.
I think when I bought it I was going for a kind of soap museum/history experience thing but the project didn't last beyond Aleppo soap and some African black soap and a few experiments with Tudor washballs. Oh and soap nuts which I do use and quite like for washing clothes that aren't too dirty. I was going to try and get some soapwort too and try and use it but never got round to it. I' m afraid my projects start so well then often peter out after the initial wave of enthusiasm hits the first bit of rocky shore.
 

gardengeek

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@JuliaNegusuk I don't think I would like slimy soap. I don't even like them if they're too slippery in my hand. I thought if I made it with a higher percentage of laurel oil it would cut back on the tendency toward sliminess.

I'm kind of scattered in the same way you are - hence my current interest in Aleppo soap. I think I stumble upon things in the middle of the night when I can't sleep so I start reading. It must plant seeds in my pea brain that sprout sometime later and nudges me into different directions. I used to blame it on being a Gemini.
 

JuliaNegusuk

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Ha, I'm a cancerian and am just the same. I think it is known as having a "butterfly mind" . Too many interesting things and not enough time so I end up learning little bits about lots of (largely pointless) stuff. I really respect people who have focus to stay on one thing and know everything about it.
 

gardengeek

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OMG, what a fiasco this turned out to be…can you say soap on a stick?! Also, the laurel oil was so pungent I had to don my half-face respirator as soon as I opened the bottle. It reminds me of a mixture of pine tar and creosote from my old horse days only this smells deadly!

I don’t know what happened to make them accelerate so much, especially with the fatty acid profile these two oils have. I made two batches, one at 3% SF (#1) and one at 2% SF (#2), see table below. I did add a patchouli EO blend to #2 because I thought might mask some of the laurel oil scent (or stench?). Thank God I added it prior to adding the lye or I never would have had time to add it.

I figured since they had 50% OO it would be safe to use a 40% lye concentration, mind you I’ve never gone that high before but I was feeling pretty confident that I had plenty of room to work with. After the first batch accelerated so badly, I decreased the lye con to 37% for #2, but that didn’t help either. In fact, it was worse! I don’t think it was the EO because I’ve used this blend multiple times (my fave!) and I’ve never had any issues.

From the time I added the lye to the time I was frantically smashing the soap into the mold was less than 5 minutes. I recorded the time I finished and only 5 minutes had elapsed on both of them.

Since they both behaved the same I don’t think I mis-measured anything.
I was NOT expecting acceleration! What could have caused it? The laurel oil? I just used the rest of the ingredients for the May challenge so I’m confident they’re all good.

#1 (15oz oils)#2 (14oz oils)
SF %3%2%
Lye Concentration40%37%
Laurel Oil50%50%
Olive Oil50%50%
Oil temp84°81°
Lye temp106°96°
EO blendnone6%
Sodium LactateForgot to add3%
Sorbitol2.5%2.5%
Sodium Citrate2.25%2.25%
Sugar½ tsp½ tsp


#2 on left, #1 on right.
At least with #1 I was able to smooth it out. I'm sure there are big air bubbles in both :(

Aleppo 051321.jpg
:(
 

Cheeky Goat

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I’ve made this a few times, and yes, it can be soap on a stick.
Oddly, this was the soap that taught me a Higher water content would speed trace, so I do a lower one with my Aleppo bars.
I don’t know if I’m allowed to link to videos, but I’ve one on my YouTube where I did a OPW with 4 different concentrations of lye for a ghost swirl challenge.

If you lower the water, and keep everything at room temp, it should behave better.
 

Cheeky Goat

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Also, I should note, due to the expense of the LBO, I did a 40/60, not a 50/50. That may have also increased the fluidity.
 

gardengeek

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Thank you @Cheeky Goat. I'll look for it for sure! It is weird how that works. I recall @AliOop talking about that same phenomenon. So there's some point on the spectrum where the relationship of lye to water becomes inverse to the worklife? If I make these again, big IF, I think I'll use my usual 33% lye concentration.

I was going to do a 50/50 & 60/40 but thought I'd keep them the same until I settle on the SF%. I also thought reducing the oleic with a higher LBO % might help with rancidity since I live in a humid environment (near the coast in Florida).

I've already unmolded and cut them (~13 hours after mix time). They released cleanly but I could have waited a tad longer to cut - got some drag marks and those little pimply bubbles from cutting too soon.

#1 had partial gel. They were both in the same model of mold, I covered both with wrap and placed them in a box side by side with towels.
Aleppo 1 and 2 cut.jpg


ps. I enjoy your videos. You said something about the freckles on your arms in one I watched. It made me giggle because I've got many many more. I'm the classic redhead freckle face 👩‍🦰 :nodding:
 

Cheeky Goat

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Thank you @Cheeky Goat. I'll look for it for sure! It is weird how that works. I recall @AliOop talking about that same phenomenon. So there's some point on the spectrum where the relationship of lye to water becomes inverse to the worklife? If I make these again, big IF, I think I'll use my usual 33% lye concentration.

I was going to do a 50/50 & 60/40 but thought I'd keep them the same until I settle on the SF%. I also thought reducing the oleic with a higher LBO % might help with rancidity since I live in a humid environment (near the coast in Florida).

I've already unmolded and cut them (~13 hours after mix time). They released cleanly but I could have waited a tad longer to cut - got some drag marks and those little pimply bubbles from cutting too soon.

#1 had partial gel. They were both in the same model of mold, I covered both with wrap and placed them in a box side by side with towels.View attachment 57247

ps. I enjoy your videos. You said something about the freckles on your arms in one I watched. It made me giggle because I've got many many more. I'm the classic redhead freckle face 👩‍🦰 :nodding:
Hi other Florida soap maker! I’m in the Wellington/Palm Beach area, so I know the joy of our humidity. 😭

I’m at work, so I would have to check once I’m home, but I want to say my superfat was in the 5% range. Kept low on purpose as I wanted to get that out of the mold and onto racks so I could forget about it for the next 6 months to a year 😂

But I want to say I did a 31% water concentration as well for subsequent batches I’ve done, as I remember being shocked that the higher water was a Bigger pain with trace.

I wish I had bright red hair. I have that sort of muddy red hair that isn’t terribly pretty, but as there’s not much of it anyways, it’s always up in a clip. I’ve gotten better about wearing my long sleeves on camera now that I have my fancy ones, but my freckles do occasionally make an appearance from time to time.

I hope some of that helps. It’s an excellent soap!
 

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