More Lessons Learned

Apple Sage Loaf

We made another batch of hot-process swirl yesterday and rebatched another cold-process soap that set up on us Tuesday. I did the hot-process swirl that I used to make the Patriot Swirl, only this time I followed the author’s instructions more closely. I used Apple Sage fragrance oil, which is very nice.

Amazingly, I’m not sure the results are better. Took the loaf out of the mold this a.m. and there are many little air bubbles. I used three colors, and when we mixed the titanium dioxide, the soap got noticeably thicker, like frosting. Which is surprising considering this was post cook.

It appears the rebatch (technically called hand milled) of the pear fragrance soap we made Tuesday turned out nicely — a light pink color with spots of darker pink and curls of very light-to-white color.

Hand Milled Pear

The lemongrass soap we made last week still is gummy in the black areas. We’ve determined that we used way too much black oxide, which can make washcloths turn black when using, but won’t stain them. So now I’m checking each color on Brambleberry to ensure we use the correct ratios.

We still can’t understand what’s going wrong with the cold-process setting up. Some fragrance oils are known for accelerating trace, i.e. making the soap get thick too quickly. But pear isn’t supposed to be one of them. However, we’ve never used it in CP, only hot process.

Also, the batch of soap we had to throw away had a new to us FO — Amber Romance, which immediately made the soap seize. There was no way to salvage it.

Almost every time we make soap we learn something even though we’ve been making soap for four years. Of course, there were long periods of time between batches back in the day and last year, when she was gone, we didn’t make soap after February (2016). We’ve made more soap in the past 30 days than ever — eight batches.