Thursday, 15 July 2010

Alkanet Experiment 10

DIFFERENCE: This recipe has 5% less Shea Butter and Castor 5% more Castor oil than Alkanet Experiment 9. Alkanet Experiments 1 – 8 had 15% shea. This one has 5% Shea.


PROCESS: I decreased the Shea Butter by 5% and added Castor Oil not only at trace but also in the main liquid oils.

RESULTS: I am sooooo disappointed and actually fed up. Once again, I got that ugly soupy grey. But the reason I am so fed up this time is because I decided to use the EXACT recipe that I used last time I got a nice purple from Alkanet (made in early March). I felt confident that I would get a nice purple this time.


If I am using the EXACT same recipe, why shouldn’t it turn a beautiful purple???? The answer is I don’t know. The only changes in the recipe between this ugly soupy grey soap and this lovely demonstration of a Alkanet purple... is that 1) I lowered the quantities very slightly to fit the experimental mould... but all proportionally and correctly, 2) in the March recipe, used Alkanet coloured oil in half the mixture, then I used the funnel technique 3) The Essential Oil blend was slightly different but not much and 4) The atmosphere, temperatures I am working in now in mid-summer southern Spain - HOT and humid and February was cold and not-so-humid. I used the same oils. I mixed the lye and oils at the same temperature (37º). I am absolutely baffled and discouraged. Could the atmosphere and weather conditions be affecting Alkanet? Could the amount of time it takes me to pour (as with the funnel technique it all takes a while) affect the Alkanet? I cannot think of any other reasons why these two soaps are so different except that maybe I forgot to write something down in my notes on the funnel purple soap...? I DON'T KNOW! I do have enough Lavender oil for 1 more experiment. But, then I will wait until the colder weather is back and MAYBE try again.

CONCLUSION – Increasing castor oil and lowering shea butter quantities affects Alkanet colour in soaps but possibly not in a good way. Also, it is possible that atmosphere and weather conditions affect Alkanet colour in soaps.

CONFESSION: My patience is almost up... I would LOOOOVE someone else to continue where I have left off. Anyone interested?

TEASER... Next experiment will be adding baking soda and maybe in the pot swirling...

8 comments:

Polly said...

Jen, I totally get why you myst be fed up - take a break, work on some other soaps and then go back to it. Some distance might make you want to do another experiment. I admire your patience and perseverance - i coundn't possibly do what you've been doing. I'd have given at experiment 2. But you are going about things the right way, slowly, changing one wee bit at a time to difference that makes. Sorry you feel dissapointed by the last batch, but try making a few other soaps (and post pics of course lol) and then things might work out better when you're not so fed up.

Polly

Jennifer Young said...

Thank you for your nice words Polly. I agree. I have done one more and will post pix I believe but then I am taking a break and going to have fun making soap again!!! xo Jen

Amy W said...

Disappointing for sure. So many factors to consider, and I'd say weather must certainly play a role in how the soap will turn out. I agree - give it a break and come back later. I had to do that with my botched OMH soap. Finally decided to make it again today - the right way!

AromaBeauty Natural Soaps said...

I agree with the other ladies:) maybe time for a break, you amaze me with your patience, I wouldn't be able to do it, I think I'd give up after a couple tries. Now would be a good time to make something just for the fun of it and then come back to the experiments if and when you feel like it. Love your blog Jen!

Ambra said...

I look forward to the baking soda! I am curious about the effect of time on those soaps - have you noticed any change in them during curing? How old are they in the pics?

Atenea said...

Por lo que yo sé, el color que quieres hacer es muy dificil de conseguir. Yo no lo he intentado porque he leido en otros blog que es muy dificil. Unas veces sale y otras no. La temperatura puede influir bastante, al igual que el ph. No desesperes. Yo veo el jabón muy bien. El color gris no queda mal del todo. Besos.

Jennifer Young said...

Thanks everyone for the encouragement. Ambra, all of the photos are taken if not the same day they were taken out from incubation or within a few days. I have notices slight fading in the older ones but not a lot. I will keep you posted as to how the colours last and maybe even post new pix once the darker colour ones are a month or two old. Atenea - Muchas gracias por comprender y animarme. Yo creo que el clima ha afectado bastante y intentare de nuevo en noviembre/ diciembre. Estas aqui cerquita! En Murcia? Acabamos de pasar al Nuevo Condomina a comer un poquito en ruta desde Madrid. Estamos en Garrucha, al lado de Mojacar. xo Jen

Apothecare said...

Did you use the same amount of alkanet to color the swirl (in your previous soap) as you used to color the whole batch (in this soap)? Hmmm...maybe it was a concentration of alkanet color in the swirl that gave that pretty lavender color. I wonder. Like maybe the higher your % alkanet-infused oil to NaoH, the more lavender the color turns out? Because when you swirl/marble soaps, there isn't a complete diffusion of ingredients from the swirl to the base color. But I'm nerding out here. Thanks for all your experimentation - and yes, you are doing GREAT, this is amazing info and I appreciate you for posting it!