Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Overheated Soap

Okay - I'm back. There may not be any beads for a while, but I do have a bunch of things I've been wanting to blog about and I'll start with the most recent first!

We've been making soap since the early 90's and there is something I have never experienced before. That is overheated soap. Interestingly enough, I've been reading a lot about it lately and was about to ask what is the big deal? My soap gets really hot in the mold while it does its' overnight cure. It settles down and is fine by the morning.

I've heard of "alien brain", which is something else I've not experienced and thought maybe that was the thing everyone was trying to avoid. I assumed that was the problem, that it sort of formed a wormy looking top or something like that.

Well, last night, we were making a couple batches of soap and decided at the last moment to make a batch of Goat Milk soap. The lye mixture is a little different for that one, and I mixed it up just before we started.

We made the first two batches with lye that had actually been mixed the day before and was room temperature. They went fine, but they were normal soap.

The final batch was the Milk soap and even though the lye was still quite hot, we figured it would be fine... Not so much. I walked away to do somethingin the other room while Tina finished cleaning up.

When I walked back into the "kitchen" area, this is what I saw:
The soap had swollen up like a souffle! It had even overflowed a bit:

Since we had never experienced this before, our first reaction was to tape the liners together to form a collar which would contain the growing soap. The next thing to do, of course, was to take a picture! Then, we carefully carried the whole mess out to the cool, cement floor in the open garage just on the other side of the door.

A bit later, Tina checked it and it had begun to collapse. We brought it back inside and put it inside an open window to finish whatever it was going to do.

This morning, I came out to find this:
We might get a layer of soap out of it (we usually get three), but we sure have learned why we don't want to overheat soap!

1 comment:

Tina Sams said...

GAH! It looks like some kind of funky mushroom.