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Old 03-21-2013, 04:50 PM   #121
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So, fun story. I gave a bar of soap from my first batch to a friend of mine. She loved it. So much in fact that she wants to do homemade soap for her wedding favors.

I.e., It's a very real possibility I will be making 25 pounds of soap for a wedding. For my fourth batch ever. Look what you've started, Yoop.


Edit: Any idea what the ratio is of oil weight to finished soap weight? If I use 1 lb of oils, what should I expect the finished soap weight to be?

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Old 03-22-2013, 06:01 PM   #122
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Lucky you!

Lucky you ... ?

Recently, I'm focusing on bare-minimum soap: no coloring, no scent, no additions. For my hippie granola friends with kids, or who themselves are trying to cut out unnecessary froufrou smell-um from their lives.

Hot process is perfect for this, because none of the drawbacks apply here. To me, the drawbacks of hot process include lack of ability to do intricate color patterns, lack of ability to put it in a precise mold (you can get a general shape -- cylinder, square, etc. -- but molds with detailed designs come out moofitty).

And the benefits include the ability to get a complete batch, ready to go, in a day or two, and it's much more "forgiving" in terms of getting it out of molds (I've just been plopping it into a cardboard cereal box; when it cools, the cardboard peels away cleanly).

So anyway, here's the tutorials that taught me hot process soap. It's really easy ... to me, easier than cold process because what you see is pretty much what you get:

  • Crock pot method My preferred method -- I have a 7qt slow cooker, which I fill with water in which floats a smaller ceramic bowl containing the soap -- good for 1-2lb batches, easy clean up, no fears about ruining the crock pot insert, although experience has taught me I don't really need to be worried about that since the soap, when soaked, just makes soapy water, but I totally understand the desire not to potentially ruin a small appliance with a first-time soapmaking adventure.
  • Improvised double boiler method Great pics of the various stages of saponification in this one. Gotta watch that it doesn't foam over. Depending on the ingredients, some batches want to jump for joy, and then you have a huge mess.

My one piece of advice would be: depending on the recipe, you soap may never get to the total-gel phase depicted in the photos, or it may pass through the phase very quickly. So you can't always go by that. Generally, when it becomes a held-together solid-ish gel-like mass, it's ready. I know that description is not very helpful, and all I can say is, try a couple batches and you'll develop a sense for the sweet spot.

The good news is, at least in my experience, you can't really over-cook a batch of hot process soap. I mean, sure, you could leave it over heat for more than an hour, and it might start to break down (?? I don't know, it's never happened to me, and I am one sloppy negligent soapmaker). But it's not like cooking souffle or a pancake; hot process soap is pretty durable and willing to put up with a wide range of abuse.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:24 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by TyTanium View Post
So, fun story. I gave a bar of soap from my first batch to a friend of mine. She loved it. So much in fact that she wants to do homemade soap for her wedding favors.

I.e., It's a very real possibility I will be making 25 pounds of soap for a wedding. For my fourth batch ever. Look what you've started, Yoop.


Edit: Any idea what the ratio is of oil weight to finished soap weight? If I use 1 lb of oils, what should I expect the finished soap weight to be?
I have no idea- as I've never thought about weighing the soap after it's done.

I normally do a 25 ounce batch (oil weight) for a silicone loaf pan. But I also add water. Some evaporates out, of course, but I don't know if 100% of the water evaporates or not.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:16 PM   #124
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Get it to boiling and I assure you almost all the water will leave. BTW, you can burn soap. I had that with my first batch that I did not stir and the center turned a brown color. I do mine in a pyrex measuring cup and microwave, stirring occasionally until it froths heartily on the top. Then I put it in molds and I'm good to go. I use frozen dinner dishes as my molds.

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Old 04-15-2013, 02:06 AM   #125
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I wanted to update this thread, as I'm not making much soap right now. It seems that once you get addicted to soapmaking, soap fills every available nook and cranny in your home. Unlike beer, demand doesn't keep up with supply so we either need to shower more (like 30-40 times per day) or I need to not make soap for a while.

Some of my older soaps (3+ years) are aged beautifully, and I'm very pleased with the way they have turned out. Age seems to really do great things for soap.

I also make lotions, lip balms, deodorant, body butters, bath salts, and so on. But again, since I don't sell, I have a large supply.

But today, I was itching to soap again. And I have a new project to talk about! Liquid soap.

Liquid soap is trickier than cold process (or hot process) soap in that you still hot process, but then you dilute and sequester (age) it. It can cloud up, or not be thick enough, etc.

I found a couple of websites, and I think I'll try three different liquid soaps: 1, shampoo, 2. hand soap in a dispenser 3. body wash.

I need KOH for this, instead of the regular lye so I have to order some. I am most excited about the liquid shampoo even though I like my shampoo bars just fine.

I'll try to remember to keep this updated once I get started!

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Old 04-15-2013, 07:34 PM   #126
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Yooper, I had the same problem with soap making. I made 4 successful batches and had soap for the whole family for a year. I gave very little of it away because I am nervous about the true fact you can hurt some people from poorly made soap. It is unlike beer that there is no real way to screw it up.

So I tried 3 batches this year in a new mold and had 3 batches go bad. Hops were used in one batch and it turned out to be gross green looking bar.

I will try your recipe and report back!!!!!

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Old 04-15-2013, 07:49 PM   #127
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Yooper, I had the same problem with soap making. I made 4 successful batches and had soap for the whole family for a year. I gave very little of it away because I am nervous about the true fact you can hurt some people from poorly made soap. It is unlike beer that there is no real way to screw it up.

So I tried 3 batches this year in a new mold and had 3 batches go bad. Hops were used in one batch and it turned out to be gross green looking bar.

I will try your recipe and report back!!!!!
I've been lucky, I guess, but I've never had a bad batch of soap. I'm very geeky, though, and enjoy the research and the measuring as much as the process itself so I'm fairly confident of my recipes when I do them.

I just looked through my notes today, and I've made a lot of batches of soap over the last few years, and even though I'm only making 25 ounces (a loaf pan full) at a time (about 6-8 bars), I've sure got a ton of it!

I've grown rosemary and lavender, and then infused them in olive oil and used that for soap and the scent fades but I like to think that some of the properties of those herbs stay in the soap anyway!
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:57 PM   #128
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I am thinking it was the heat of Texas that played some role in my process. Also I was using my own recipes and possible not up too that yet. I have not given up but had to purchase soap for the first time and can tell how dry my hands feel. I have almost everything to make your recipe so will give it a go!

I made a soap mold out of wood and think the insulating properties of the wood with the heat of a garage in Texas caused 2 batches to over heat. The third was messing with hops and french clay and that did not go so well.....

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Old 04-15-2013, 09:12 PM   #129
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Very interested to hear about the liquid shampoo! I'm in the same boat; there is so much soap in the hobby room that it's sitting on cookie sheets and stored in the wine racks.

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Old 06-16-2013, 02:16 PM   #130
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Very interested to hear about the liquid shampoo! I'm in the same boat; there is so much soap in the hobby room that it's sitting on cookie sheets and stored in the wine racks.
I've been making liquid soap now. It's come out very good so far.

I recommend Catherine Failor's book "Making Liquid and Transparent Soap" but for one batch I didn't want to use neutralizers so I went with a different method, using glycerine.

I used this method:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=3VUGV_H7bZU

I made hand soap for the dispenser in the kitchen, shampoo, and body wash. I really like the mildness of castille soap.
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