Monday, March 16, 2009

Soap Diaries Chapter 6 - What went Wrong? or did it?

This is it. The true reveal. Did it work or not? All three have water spots on the top. While I was waiting (over 24 hours) for this to cure I did a lot of research on line to see what could have been causing this. I found some references to Lye separation (very bad) to condensation (not bad, crosses fingers). I don't have litmus paper so there may not be any way to see what the liquid is, is short of licking it (um , I think not!). So I forge ahead, not one to throw away potential and, now, seeing every thing as a learning experience.
I pop out one of the smaller molds and find a little more water in the mold as well as the bottom is sticky. I wonder if I should have let it sit longer. Just as determined as I am, I am also just as impatient. Maybe not a good combination!

I take the slicer and slice through. The color seems pretty consistent except for the thin "crust" on the top. I know from what I have read that comes from too much heat loss during saponification. (again, Darn cold front!)

I pop out the next mold and it is pretty much the same. Watery bottom and thin crust on top. On to the the large log. As you can see, the bottom also had some moisture. I have a couple of cuts on my hands and that REALLY stings! I wonder if it is the lye separated out. That is also a problem from too little insulation. Darn!
The consistency is fine but look at the color change from one end of the mold to the other. One end was more insulated than the other. (funny it looks a little like brie cheese! especially with that crust on the outside.

So, once again I forge on, cut and arrange this soap for curing. Now, this does have more hope than the first batch because it really smells nice.

And, at the cleanup, it was nice to see a nice lather. Smaller but more bubbles. At least something went right!

(edit: reading on i found a forum where it indicated it would be okay to touch your tounge to the soap to see if the lye separated. it should feel like a "shock" if there is too much lye. So I tried it and, yes, it felt like touching your tounge to a battery! funny, but disappointing. but the lye should neutralize during curing since it was just a slight separation. only the top feels like a shock, the rest of the surfaces are fine. Have a good laugh picturing me licking the soap. hey, it was just one piece!)


Anonymous said...

You are so funny! I love your soap stories and can't wait to hear what happens next. It's really looking great. I am so pulling for you!!

Soap Licking? LOL!


Kathy-Catnip Studio said...

I'll be catching up on your Soap Diaries - I can't wait to see what I've missed! I'm looking forward to your mastering the process and showing us your beautiful soaps :-)

Burnt Mill Candles and Soap said...

hang in there takes awhile and a number of mess up batches to get this all figured out.

you were visted by the soap gremlins it seems :P

Self Production Design said...

Ohhhh, Amy, if you used 15 oz more water that explains some of the separation as well as under insulation - and you're right, it should all cure out. Sooo, even though you're still working on this batch - it should be considered a success!

I'm so glad it worked out, can't wait to hear more stories. You make me miss it oh-so-much!

Mia Sophia said...

not 15 oz more, just 15 oz total! lol....really? missing it??? i guess you would if you knew what you are doing...I feel I'm not doing much to support the handmade soap industry! lol...or maybe I am...those that sell it though!

AliciaMae said...

you are so much more courageous than I - I can't bring myself to the challenge of making soap let alone licking it! lol If you prefer a paper test (I'm sure you probably do lol), since lye is alkaline (pH 13) all you should need is the red litmus (cheap!!)