Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WEEK 9 SOAP CHALLENGE peaked tops attempt #1

I must have watched four or five videos on peaked soap tops before attempting this loaf.  How difficult could this be, right?
With my head hanging low, I post the photos of my soap batch from last night.  Oh, there are peaks all right....they're just EVERYWHERE and pointing in all directions. hahaha!  Nothing uniform about this look !  I could live with that, but I'm not happy with the sodium lactate I used in hopes of getting a harder bar of soap.  My loaf unmolded easily after about ten hours (should have been my first clue), but I thought, "Okay, it's a one pound loaf, so maybe it just sets up faster than what I'm used to with my five pound".  It was very crumbly along the edges and the inside texture is, odd. 
I'll try again tomorrow night, but wanted to post this as a reminder of what not to try again!!
There are no failures - just attempts that teach - but I admit I'm a bit disappointed.  I'm just thankful I made a half recipe for this smaller one pound mold.  I hate to waste product, don't you?

For more soap makers peaked top soaps check this out  Week 9 Soap Challenge link up

Whooooa !   That's one crazy peaked top !!!

See what I mean about the inside texture?  Grainy...athough it really didn't look like that when I poured it (?) too hot maybe? Maybe the sodium lactate?  

Cutting the loaf

They look like funky biscotti !

A bit blurry, but a close up of one of the bars

The look I was going for was peaks along the edges and a color swirl in the center.
My swirls are okay, but those peaks are crazy wrong !!


Natalia said...

What a lovely swirl, Suzy! Beautiful green colour!

Suzy Whitten said...

Thanks for the kind comment, Natalia !!

Amy W said...

These are just way fun!! I love the non-uniform look! Not having used sodium lactate before, I couldn't tell you if that's the source of your crumblies. Usually it's a lye heavy problem, like forgetting one of your oils. Been there!!! But since you said it was a smaller batch anyway, it's hard to say. If your measurements were even a tad off in a small batch, it can also make a batch go lye heavy. Like you said, it's a good learning experience!

Suzy Whitten said...

Thank you for the pointers, Amy! It's great to have experienced soaper makers who are willing to help sort these things out. Being a totally impatient person, I can't wait for the day when I mix my memorized oils together and have at least some idea how it's going to turn out from many, many past batches. Until that time, I'll keep playing around with my recipes. I took this one straight from a soaper's website. I had a new 1 lb. acrylic mold I wanted to try and had only been using 5 lb. recipes until then. I trusted the recipe and didn't bother to run it through the lye calc, so you may be right about it being lye heavy or maybe I just spaced out on a measurement. Thanks again !! xx

lwal50 said...

Hi Suzy, I use Sodium Lactate all the time, especially in goats milk soap. However, only in small amounts. In my 1.2kg batch I would use just on a teaspoon of Sodium Lactate. It does help to set the soap up quicker (I also discount water), but if you are too heavy-handed with it you can end up with very crumbly soap. I started using it when I was making hot process and it's wonderful for smoothing out your soap mix before you blob it into the molds, and then I found if I use it in goats milk soap I had a better result with the hardening of the soap bar. Like your swirls, xx Linda

Pam said...

I love the look and color of the peaks and it reminds me of a lion fish colors. Hey those are peaks! Now off to see numba 2!

Suzy Whitten said...

Linda, this is good to know. So, 1.2kg would be about 2.5 lbs...I'm taking notes !!! I'm learning not to hear a tip or trick and rely on my memory. I won't give up on using it, I think I just need to measure carefully. A soap friend mentioned discounting my water as well, so that's the first step and then I'll add the sodium lactate back in. We've had high humidity the last two weeks and I've kept the air off, but I really think it was just an error on my part. Thank you, Linda!! xx

Suzy Whitten said...

Pam - I love that!! A lion fish! That takes the sting out of that batch quite a bit :-D It's funny how I'll look at someone's soap and think how beautiful and interesting it I'd be thrilled with it....and they comment that it's not what they were looking for. I'm notorious for setting my goals high, but I'm learning to be happy with the results I achieve. I start a craft and want to be knowledgeable and skilled immediately!! No patience here. But I've learned so much from reading and from other soap makers who've taken the time to offer suggestions - how wonderful is that???? Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. xx Suzy