Friday, 4 March 2011

Wild Lavender, Honey Goat Milk & Question


Wild Lavender Soap - fresh out of the mould

I have finally achieved a Wild Lavender soap that I adore, although for some reason I am getting some serious bubbles! I don't really mind them but will work on getting this soap smoother in the future. For now, this is my soon-to-be-launched Naturalmente Mediterraneo Wild Lavender soap. In the end, I use Ratanjot instead of Alkanet but as I understand, they are basically the same. The wonderful thing about working with Ratanjot or Alkanet is the colour evolution during the curing period! This is the soap fresh out of the mould... I will try to remember to post a picture after 4 weeks curing.



Honey Goat-Milk


In my attempts to get a nice dark rich honey colour, it seems each batch of my honey goat-milk soap keeps getting lighter! As I have been soaping at lower temps lately (28º both oils & lye) I think that maybe that is what is having an effect on the colour of the honey soap. Usually when I make any soap with goat milk, I freeze the goat milk the night before, so when I mix the lye in, the temperature never goes over 30º. So instead, this morning I let the lye mix get up to 55º by half un-freezing the goat milk prior to mixing in lye! Then I mixed the oils and lye at 35º instead of 28º. Additionally, I have covered the moulds with a thin blanket. I usually do not cover my goat milk or honey soaps.

See what a rich colour the lye mix got! (without curdling the milk...)


So – I will unveil tomorrow and reveal if all of this has had an effect on the colour! Fingers crossed for a deeper, richer honey coloured soap!!

Question:

1) How can I stop the "crumbling" at the bottom of soaps? I do not mean salt soap. Sometimes when I cut my soap, as the knife gets to the bottom, it takes off a bit of soap. This happens if I cut same day I remove from the mould or even if I leave it for a week. Any thoughts? Here are some examples of what I mean. I would LOOOOVE your input and ideas!





Happy Soaping everyone! Have a super weekend!

xo
Jen

15 comments:

Briny Bar Soap said...

I've had the same problem with my soap! Was it a goat milk soap? It happened to my shea, oatmeal, milk and honey soap made with goat milk. I thought maybe it was only happening at the bottom, but when I turned to cut it on its side it did the same thing. I'm eager to hear what the problem might be.

Splurge Sisters said...

I've had the same problem with my soaps that use Shea or cocoa butter with palm or w/o palm. I've tried different knives etc.

Celine Blacow said...

I *think* it happens with soaps that have a higher content of hard butters/oils but I could be wrong! Lovely soap!

Jabonera said...

Jen que bonito el jabon de lavanda, acuerdate de poner una foto cuando lo tenga preparado. El sello en los jabones es precioso. Lo de las burbujas ¿será aire que te entro al batir?.
En cuanto al corte del jabón, normalmente yo no dejo que el cuchillo llegue hasta abajo, cuando se despega de la parte que queda sin cortar muevo el cuchillo ligeramente como en circulo, para despegarlo del jabón cortado. No sé si me explico. Un beso y feliz fin de semana.Ana.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the reason is, it happens to my vanilla heavy blends, and my goatsmilk soap.

Use a blade as thin as possible to cut them. Since I started using a piano wire cutter, I may only get one bar doing this, instead of the whole batch.

Jennifer

heirloomsoapworks.com said...

Hi Jen!

I had the same problem with the "crumble-thang" -chronic! Here's what seems to help: As I'm cutting and maybe halfway to the bottom I grab the top of the log and bar that is being cut....keeping them stable/held together....not letting the "bar" tilt away from the log at all. I did this today while cutting (the first bar did that crumble & I remembered my new "technique" -worked like a charm. I hope that made sense. I think it happens sort of like when you're cutting a board and the top starts to fall away and can leave the bottom "uncut" and sort of splintered. I hope this helps someone out there! xo Becky

heirloomsoapworks.com said...

Oh, and by the way, that purple is GORGEOUS!! :D

Hugs,
Becky

Miss Polly said...

Jen, that Wild lavender is such a beautiful colour, it's gorgeous.

I get the crumble bit at the bottom of the soap and I think it's as mentioned above, tilting the soap, or in my case, the knife when I get to the bottom of the cut.

Soap, fairies, and everything in between said...

Hi there, thanks for following my blog. How I've not found your blog before now I don't know!
Absolutely love the colour on your lavender soap;lavender is one of my favourite scents, so I bet that smells divine.
As for preventing crumbling, I have a jug of very hot water at the side of me when I cut my soap, and dip the cutting knife into it before I cut each piece. Maybe try that and see if it works for you :-)

Cocobong Soaps said...

truly a masterful shade of lavender, Jen. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

So beautiful Jen! looks like you've mastered the natural purple! I've had the cracked bottoms before too, but have no idea what causes it, but some good suggestions there.

Jennifer Young said...

Thanks for all of your brilliant comments! Muchisimas gracias por los comentarios geniales!

I love this natural lavender colour as well... it will still evolve during the curing period. I will reveal later how it turns out!

As for all the cutting advice - THANK YOU! It seems many of you have a similar problem and that instead of curing the problem, I may just have to live with it... but improve cutting tecniques!

So the suggestions summarized were - Do not let the soap tilt when cutting, hold them together. Cut slowly when reacing the bottom, maybe in a slow circular motion and dip the knife into hot water prior to each cut!

I have several logs to cut so I will let you all know how it goes!!

Thank you thank you!!!

Oh - for those of you who love the lavender scent, as I do, I have finally achieved a Lavender EO blend that sticks - with Lavender, Lavandin and a touch of Patchouli!!
xo
Jen

Harmony said...

My soaps used to crumble too. I never figured out why, some did, some didnt'. Then I bought wire cheese slicer like this one: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=13836248
I marked off where an inch is by slicing a slight mark (using a straight edge and the tip of a knife) into the wood, so that I know where to push my so to in order to have the thickness just where I like it. Now I slice and slice and it works so much better than a knife or blade or anything else I've tried.

With 100% coconut oil soaps, and salt soaps I have to cut within 12-24 hours for sure, or else they get too hard to cut with the wire. It was well worth the $13!

Harmony said...

Ooops, that is, "where to push my *soap* to" :)

Marina said...

I had that problem too, but now I cut my soaps with a handmade tool.I replace the saw blade of a saw with a tight thin wire (an electric guitar string) and things are going better now. Also, my cutting board has a slot, about four millimeters deep, so after cutting the soap, the wire ends placed into the slot and the soap doesn´t crumble. It´s a little difficult to explain, specially in english ;) but it works!