Thursday, April 11, 2013

And WHERE is my promised acceleration???

I know - sounds CRAZY right? A soaper looking for acceleration....hmmm...perhaps I have lost my mind? Aren't most soapers trying to find ways to fight it so they can create beautiful swirls and designs? Nope, I promise I am of sound mind - barely - but sound, and I was ready for this particular fragrance to create and issue or two and ti didn't, which then affected my plans a bit. Have you ever planned a batch around it's warnings and then not gotten any of that stuff? For example - it says "slight accel." - and then nothing? Hmmm....maybe I have lost my mind...see, what had happened was:

I went in yesterday thinking I wanted to soap "da Lime in da Coconut" from Rustic Escentuals.  The plan in my head was:  dark brown and white swirl base with green drop swirls down the middle and a pearly white mice swirl top.   Sounds REALLY pretty doesn't it? However...I paused to check the specs on this one and to quote the manufacturer:  "CP Notes: slight accel., no discoloration, scent holding well, no scent morph"  See it?  Yeah - slight accel - uh oh....I'm not a "loosey goosey" kinda soaper...generally slight accel = soap on a stick if I am not VERY careful....

No really, I KNOW part of my "thick soap batter no matter what I do" problem is my milk.  Milk, when subbed for water 100% in your lye mix, is not actually all liquid itself!  No really, milk is made of part solids and part water!  Now, when your milk is raw straight from the goat, you have ALL the fats, and all the proteins and such that came in that milk too!  Oh yes, store bought milk, even goat milk, has been stripped down of quite a bit before it hits the shelves!  I tried once using store bought goat milk and FINALLY got a "thin trace" and ya know, I hated it! I'm use to my soap tracing in like 2 whirs of my blender - well, it's emulsified at least :)  The store stuff was horrid, took forever to trace and smelled funny since they add lipase to it :(  Just YUCK!  Never did that again ever! (My girls were all dry at the time...and I was desperate to soap but I got over it pretty quick and waited for them to come back into milk after that.)

I know, I hear you, you're saying "What about your oils???"  No, really, even 100% olive oil soap goes thick on my in like 5 minutes of barely trying!  And no, it doesn't seem to matter if I add MORE milk to my lye solution - I still get THICK batter and SQUISHY soft soap that takes MONTHS instead of weeks to get remotely hard!  It's got to be the milk - Nubian milk is pretty rich and my saanens are far behind them...I'm okay with that - the more butter fat in my milk the happier I am.  I actually have learned to like it and don't really like working with thin batter, thin trace, thin anything - heck, I'm a chubby girl, thin is NOT in my vocabulary anyways lol!

So...back to the point.  Slight accel = don't risk crazy swirls!  At least in my world, that's what it is "code" for.  So, I sat down and re-planned this batch in my head.  After sniffing the bottle a few more times, I decided I smelled more LIME than COCONUT anyways and it came to me:  MAY A KEY LIME PIE!!!! Well - I don't have any nifty pie thingies...but I can make a loaf that LOOKS like a pie!  Okay - so now I was set!

I went on in, got ALL set up - oils weighed and measured and melted CHECK, mold lined CHECK, colors ready CHECK, milk and lye prepped CHECK.  And away I went...First I mixed it all up to that nice emulsified point, and poured off a tad for the "crust" and colored it a medium brown - NO fragrance!
Very "crusty looking" - should have added some spices or ground walnuts or SOMETHING to make it more "graham crackery" but alas, I didn't think of that until later :(  Still...nice smooth crust....on to the "pie"!  I split the rest and adjusted my fragrance into the correct portions for each.  The plan was to add fragrance AFTER color was in there and then pour before it could set up - like I said, this ain't my first rodeo with the phrase "slight accel." right....

So, in goes my minty lime green - a tad more mint than lime - but that's okay:
See how it's already thick enough to stick to the sides there?  No fragrance yet either - thick is just "my thing, my style, how I roll".  So, holding my breath, I grab my wisk - NOT the blender - and dump my fragrance, stir like a mad woman and into the mold!
Wait a minute, just wait one stinking minute here!  See how SMOOTH that is???  A few lumps, yes, but not my usual consistancy with something marked "slight accel."!!!  At this point, I am thinking to myself "WOW! Maybe I FINALLY worked fast enough this time!"  You know, one of those "If I had given it a minute it would be more gloppy, I'm just lucky moments"....oh no!  No, no no no no NO!  I was more than lucky, I had a reverse curse!

Curse you say?  What's WRONG with this lady???  Well, see, I was banking on that slight accel bit for the top - I wanted to be able to frost/pipe the top and then go make dinner.  I wasn't in a hurry, but I figured I wouldn't have to wait long as it would set up and I would move all speedy like and then be done right?  Nope...I mixed my white into the top and it's little bit of fragrance and sure, yeah, it was thickER, but not THICK.  Not like I was thinking it would, I put it into my piping set up and thinking "It's coming any minute now I better hurry!" I began to pipe and got this:
Why yes, BLOBS of soft soap batter!  WHERE IS MY SLIGHT ACCELERATION?????  Now I am kinda mad...I REALLY wanted that swirly white brown marbeled soap with green in it and a mica swirl top as I am digging the mica swirls at the moment!  I was thinking I should have gone with said design, I was ready to walk away for a bit anyways, and so I did, I went and started dinner.  Seriously, like 15 minutes later it was STILL soft!  WHAT????  Only me....

I FINALLY got this - still a bit soft - but REALLY pretty when it's all dusted with pearly mica no?  Yes, very pretty indeed I think!  I unmolded it this morning, but haven't cut it yet - I had to go out and feed and milk first and felt like blogging a bit before I got all soapy cutting stuff.  REALLY shiny pretty soap!  Not quite as fun as swirls would have been, but unique unto itself and yes, it smells VERY key lime and not so much coconut still, so I am happy with my decision there :)

It really is crazy how soap can do sometimes isn't it???  I suppose the last few weeks have gone "not as planned" for a reason though - probably the universe setting me up to get a bunch of buck kids instead of does next month - but still....I'm kinda excited to go cut stuff up now. I REALLY am in love with that top now that I look at it again.  Bet I couldn't get so lucky twice that's for sure!


  1. ooooh...I like how the tops came out. very nice. I liked how the piping came out and the dusting of the mica :)

    1. Thank you :) My neighbor just LOVES them and my husband asked "What, no REAL pie?" They smell just heavenly too!