So….had a soap making class yesterday. It was a full class with a fun bunch of ladies and I had a great time. We made our first batch of soap – easy peasy and everything went smoothly! When teaching a class I always use simple recipes that NEVER have problems….ahem.
We played with essential oils, colors, butters and began our second batch of soap. This is the fun batch where we play with color. Brought the soap to light trace in the pot – pulled some out to color and then went to pour it back in the pot….
It was like pouring liquid on cement! The soap in the pan had seized…that means it had begun to get hard in the pot. This was no ordinary seize. This was the worst seize I’ve ever seen in almost 15 years of soap making!!! I’m saying I was digging the soap out of the pot with a metal spoon and then finally with my hands.
It was coming out in chunks….chunks that were 8 inches long! Hard as a rock! I’ve never seen anything like it. I just made this soap a month ago and, of course, had no problems at all. Go figure!
We worked hard – several of my students helped me push it into the mold, chopping up the larger pieces. I was using my bare hands pushing it down and trying to use the smaller pieces to fill in the multitude of holes.
My students were great – helpful and very encouraging! They said they were glad they got to see a problem and to see how to handle it. Unfortunately they didn’t get to see how to color soap. I’ll have to see if I can video that and put that up. (I’m clueless here so don’t look for that anytime soon!)
I don’t know what this soap will be like until I cut it. Soap gets hotter in the mold and goes into a gel phase and my prayer is that it will gel and work itself out. We’ll see.
It won’t be a waste – it will be usable. Worst case scenario, it can become laundry soap, soap for personal use (although rose is not my boys favorite!) or I can re-batch it and make something special.
I went back to check my soap notes and found that years ago I had trouble with this soap seizing but by adjusting the temperature I was able to avoid that problem. Yesterday I was three (count them…three!) degrees off of my normal temperature for putting the soap together. Three little degrees. Evidently those three degrees were very important. I have made a note in my soap making journal that three degrees are a big deal.
I also won’t pick that soap to use in a class again.
I’ll post the results when I cut it later today. I promised my students – they wanted to see how the disaster came out.
My Father keeps me humble!