Tuesday 3rd June 2014
During our stay in Colorado the lads managed to make a significant dent in my soap supply. I had to whip up a couple of batches to keep us going. I keep one container with my soap supplies in the basement, I just needed a nice sunny day as I only make this stuff outside.
First I line the molds with freezer paper. Each batch makes 2 pounds of soap.
I melt the oils (coconut, palm, sunflower, vegetable, cocoa butter) and mix the lye with water. Then I have to get both mixtures to the same temperature.
One of the few tools dedicated to soap making is this stick blender. It makes short work of getting the soap to the correct consistency.
When it looks like custard it’s ready for additives. This batch had peppermint leaves and peppermint oil. The other batch, just has the peppermint oil.
I quickly pour into the molds as it starts to set up fast.
It all goes on the dashboard of the camper, covered with a big blanket to set up overnight.
The next morning the blocks are hard enough to uncover and cut into bars.
Another dedicated soap tool is this cheese slicer. After cutting, I smooth the edges of the bars with a damp paper towel and place back on the dash for a few days to really harden up. Then they go into a box to cure for a month. A very important step as the soap is still quite caustic for the first couple of weeks. In a month these bars will be ready to deliver frothy, creamy, minty goodness.