I got up a little early this morning to make soap. That’s the only time of the day the kitchen is fairly cool. I was completely out of Bay Rum and had customers who wanted it. So I made that one and Nautica. I really do not like Nautica at all, but a lot of people love it.
I colored the Nautica blue, and left the Bay Rum natural, except for a small portion of oils I poured out and added gold mica to. I then drizzeled the colored soap over the main batch and swirled it before putting in the divider. I had to use to use the maximum amount of goats milk because both of these fragrances can cause seizing, and having more milk in the recipe for the lye to act on helps slow the process considerably. The last time I made Nautica, it seized right there in the pot and I could not pour it at all. Today it went great.
Using more milk means a longer cure time, and in all this humidity, the cure time is already longer than normal. So to speed things up a little I put the poured soap into the oven and turned it to 200 degrees for about 10 minutes, and then turned it down to 150, and finally turned it off. This will help more of the moisture evaporate out more quickly, without burning out the fragrance.
One other nice thing about doing a low-temp oven cure is that you get a more even gel. When using blankets as insulation, especially in the winter, the middle will often gel nicely and the sides will not gel at all. The finished soap will have a halo in the middle for a while.
Soap does not NEED to gel, but it does it naturally, and since I want it to be nice and even in color and texture, I prefer to encourage the whole thing to gel, and not just part of it. If I don’t want it to gel at all, I’ll put it in the freezer. The fridge won’t do it.
I’ll be making salt and kefir bars today too, and those MUST go in the freezer. The addition of the salt causes things to really heat up and we could have a volcano erupting if I’m not careful!
I’m still debating on the scent for those. My last salt bars were a citrus scent. I’m also doing a kitchen sink/gardens bar today with finely ground organic coffee beans. These bars will be good to sit by the sink and will help with odors on your hands such as onions and garlic…and even “buck in rut” if you have that problem come fall!
Well, off to my soap kitchen!
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