When we have a "soap day" around here, it really means a good 24 hours of time. First we decide which soaps are needed and we prepare the lye and allow it to cool for a few hours while we assemble all the individual additives and special ingredients for each soap.
Everything is laid out for each batch and the molds are lined.
After the lye has cooled, we go to town making the soap itself. With everything prepared ahead of time, we can usually get through 8 batches in about 2 hours.
Yesterday afternoon, we made 8 batches of soap. Here, you can see the molds for seven of them full and ready to be tucked away for the night. We usually throw a towel over them to hold in the heat and encourage them to "gel." The eighth batch was goatsmilk soap and it needs to spend it's overnight in the refrigerator to avoid over heating.This morning, bright and early, we turned the soaps out of the molds and here they are on the table, waiting to be cut.First, the slabs are cut into logs.Then the (short) logs are cut into separate bars.
The feeling of satisfaction when the shelves are reasonably well stocked is great. They will stay there for at least two weeks to continue their cure.
Of course, by the time these soaps are ready to be sent out, we will have already begun restocking those that they have replaced...