Accounts of a woman returning from USA to her parents’ farm in Brazil after several years and starting over. Adventures, new discoveries, old recipes, some heartbreaks, and many lessons.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Soapmaking on Thursday
It´s like Sunday. The sun and the rain gave us a little break, making our Thursday be quiet, hazzy, quiet day.
I actually started to make soap yesterday. I found a great recipe for household use, not totally from scratch, but it still feels like homemade. It takes 1 liter of liquid lye (lye solution at 50 Baume), 1 liter of coconut liquid soap, and 6 liters of reclaimed kitchen oil, properly filtered. I avoid using too smelly, dirty, stained, rancid or watery used oil. The biggest thing about this recipe is that it doesn´t require stirring (!)no, no, no!!!! That is the best news after Kitchen Aid mixer. All I have to do is to transfer the mixture from one bucket to another, only until it turns opaque, creamy, and homogenous, with no trace of oil. The recipe recommended 4 times of transferring, with the risk of the mixture hardening in the bucket. But, it may be for the type of lye solution, or the oil, or the temperature, or the humidity, or else, it took me about 12 pourings before the final pouring in the plastic rectangular container I usually use for molding soaps. I cut the soap today, not totally hardened, but enough to slide a knife with care. I ran a test and it showed a great foammy soap. Let me wait until it is cured for a final review on the product.
The second soap I made (today) was my regular tallow-reclaimed kitchen oil-alcool trio I have published as a slide show on the blog and also on youtube. The stirring took a bit longer, about 5 to 10 minutes, opposed to 2 minutes on other times. I can´t say it is for the different brand of lye, the ingredients temperature, or the weather. It is warm and humid. I think days like these are not good for making soaps. Sunny, lightly breezy, and dry days must be better. Specially because the soap doesn´t sweat by drawing air moisture.
The third soap is a toilette one. I had babassu kernel oil leftover from a previous experiment, as well as pomace olive oil. Flaxseed edible oil, rather unedible for its bitter taste, went to the mix as well. In order to lower the percentage of babassu oil, I added soybean oil, so it won´t get too brittle or harsh on the skin. I used a lye calculator provided on the internet (www.brambleberry.com), which is very useful. I started stirring with a whisker, but soon used a hand mixer. The saponification took place in less than 5 minutes, turning the mixture opaque, very creamy, and dense. It was almost difficult to pour properly into a cardboard shoe box.
So I left the soaps resting, and let´s see tomorrow...