First things first.... We're finally on instagram!
Now, to the real point of this blog. Today I will give you a little pictorial demonstration on part of the soap-making process. These pictures cover the basics after the lye has been added to the oils. Consider it part two in a two part series (read: I had an assistant to take pictures during this part - thanks Katie!).
|This is what the soap looks like after the lye has been|
added to the oils. I have added Rose Clay and am mixing
with my immersion blender.
|Once the mixture has reached "trace" (it leaves a trace |
when you drizzle it over the top of the mixture)
we pour it into the mold.
|This is what the soap looks like after it has been poured|
in the molds. Molds are lined with freezer paper.
|Some varieties go through what is called "gel phase,"|
meaning they heat up and begin to gel in the mold.
Some soap makers believe this helps set the scent.
At this point, the soap is covered with a layer of freezer paper, a wooden lid, and allowed to set overnight to thicken. Twenty four hours later, it will still be soft, like the consistency of cheese. This is when we cut the soap.
We then cure the bars for 4 weeks to ensure the lye has fully saponified with the oils to create a long lasting, fully cured bar of soap. The curing process also helps the soap last longer, as moisture continues to evaporate from the bar.
|The soap is unmolded.|
|Inspected for any bits of freezer paper left behind.|
|The initial cut turns our large loaf of soap into two smaller logs.|
|The cutter is made using a guitar string (Isaac's craftmanship).|
|We then use a second homemade soap cutter to cut the log into bars.|
|Just a little muscle required... Another guitar string cuts the loaf into bars.|
|Individual bars are removed|
|This is our Gardener's soap - featuring pumice and speckles of poppy seeds.|
|Bars are evenly spaced for curing.|
Come see us at the Lithopolis Honeyfest this Friday and Saturday- we'll have lots of soap, honey, and more!