Bird in Hand Farm

Bird in Hand Farm is an imaginary place.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Holey Soap

A friend, "D.," won soap as a prize in the Animiguri KAL.  She and her daughter are really sensitive to scents, so we agreed that instead of taking soap that is ready, I would make her a batch of unscented goats milk soap with a bit of Aloe.  

Milk Soap gets really hot, so I had planned on using my tray molds so that it would have a large surface area to cool it.  Except, the Basil Soap is still in there.  Stuck.  Really, really stuck.  I decided to use PVC pipe instead of a box.  I wanted it to look really good for her.  

PVC pipe is risky for milk soap because they do not vent heat.  But, I have been successful before (maybe I was just lucky) so I decided to try it.  I had already delayed more than a week waiting for the Basil Soap to break lose.   Milk soap has a 6 week cure, so I didn't feel like I could delay any longer.  D won her prize at the end of June, but won't get her soap till the end of August.  That does not seem fair.  Time to get soaping.  There was another small problem.  It was 88 degrees out.  The house is air conditioned but somehow milk soap in air conditioning never quite works out for me.  I decide to go ahead with the project.
The batch traced well and poured smoothly into the mold.  Then all hell broke lose.  The pipes started steaming.  One looked like it was curdling and foaming up.  I put them out on the porch and prayed..  
The next morning the oil that had been floating at the top of the soap was gone.  Still, I fully expected that when I finally got to get it out of the mold, oil would pour out.  A week later, with the help of the freezer, I was able to break it free of the mold. 

It is holey and clearly shows signs or heat stress, but no oil leaked out.  I think that it sort of did it's own hot process soap thing.  One tunnel went straight through 5 or 6 bars.  It is dead center in the circle, which makes sense because that would have been the hottest part of the soap.  I decided that the hole would make it the perfect "Soap on a Rope."  
The cool thing is that even though it is unscented, it still smells good.  It is a clean, soapy, sweet smell.  It is not the perfect batch I had hoped for, but I'm still pretty happy with it.

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