Hot Process Soap Making
What I've discovered
When I began making hot process soap I did so using the familiar crock pot method. Putting oils int the oils and heating them before adding the lye and bringing to trace. Next, put the lid on to reduce loss of water and wait while it did its thing. But when it was ready the batter was always thick and I was tempted to go back to the cold process method. But surely there was a way to make it more fluid, I thought, but as a novice at soapmaking I didn't know how to tackle that particular problem.
So, I checked out umpteen tutorials including YouTube but the method seemed to be the same wherever I looked. So, I turned back to cold process, but my customers wanted the hot process 'cos it looked rugged and therefore very interesting and attractive they told me. It looked like cake, they said! Not only that but, they also told me that the cold process soaps I was making were too pretty to use. Sales slowed and I knew that I would have to bite the bullet and go back to hot process, and probably rebatch my cold process soaps in order to shift them.
Then one day while perusing the net who should I find online? Tina Moenck and her method of fluid hot process soap. Magic!! I shot into the kitchen switched on the crock pot and the rest is, as they say, history.
It was so much quicker and it was so FLUID. I made heaps, some with beautiful swirls others plain and so on but all with that familiar rugged looking top. I was so happy!
"Thank you so much Tina!!"
But hang on . . .
Hadn't I seen an online video on YouTube made by The Goat Milk Soap Store where they used their stick blender from start to finish!
Okay, let's give it a go, and I am so glad I did. Hot process soap made in minutes instead of waiting for what seems like an eternity using the old method
So here's what I do . . .
I follow Tina Moencks method by getting my oils to around 180-190 drgrees F. At that point I add my lye to the water that has already had sugar and sodium lactate added, then into my oils it goes. Once my lye is in I stick blend to trace and beyond. As I stick blend I do check the temperature when I stop for a couple of seconds to clean the sides of the bowl, but thats it. I continue to stick blend as the batter reaches the thick pudding stage, give the blender a couple of seconds to rest, and continue stick blending into and past the apple sauce stage and on to the mashed potato stage which is where I stop and check my temperature which is usually between 203-206 degrees F.
As I look at the batter I can see movement so I switch off the crock pot and lift the bowl out before whisking the batter down as it trys to climb out of the pot. As I whisk and whisk the batter gradually changes to a smooth creamy texture, bit like a custard.
Finally . . .
When the temperature has dropped to around 190 degrees F. In the case of the lanolin soap I was making this morning, I added the lanolin, next in goes my yoghurt and I allowed the batter to rest for a couple of minutes (couldn't do longer, tooo impatient!)
At 170-180 degrees F. I added fragrance and then went on to add the colours before spooning my lovely soft, silky smooth, fluid batter into its molds.
When I'm not adding anything like lanolin, or other senstive to heat ingredients, I simply add the yoghurt, colours and finally fragrance before pouring the fluid batter into the molds.
The Goat Milk Soap Store have been making their fluid hot process soap like this for over thirty years! You just need to watch your batter once you pass the apple sauce stage as it will becvome mashed potato in seconds! Quick, easy, and very enjoyable. Why not give it a try?