So, what is this experiment? I am testing additives to see exactly what their properties are in soap, in this case 100% lye soap. The first soap was made with lye, water and lard. It was a different batch of lard than the next two, which are made with the slightly browned batch. The second batch substituted pale ale for the water, and of course used lye and lard. The third batch subbed rice water, the cooking water from boiling rice. Rice water is supposed to be skin loving, but whether it will actually make any difference in soap..well that will remain to be seen.
The soap is made cold processed. The liquid is weighed and the lye and lard as well. The lye is added to the liquid and then that is added to the lard. The lard is room temperature so technically the heat that is part of the reaction of lye and water is transferred to the lard and it melts it to a certain extent. Today, with the rice water, the exothermic reaction (the heat) was not nearly as much as with the ale yesterday, so I put the lard in the microwave for a minute to soften it. Yesterday's ale soap is still a little soft and does not want to pop out of the mold despite an hour in the freezer earlier today. So I am leaving it there for another day. The rice water soap should be ready to unmold tomorrow as it was already harder than the ale soap.
I need a helper to put the data and photos on an easily read table. I don't know if I want to take the time to do all that.
Anyhow, the Great Lard Soap Experiement has begun. Every day there will be a new soap created, first with different liquids and then secondly with the addition of one other oil. And lastly, two different oils and lard will make the last soaps. That is a lot of data to record. While I do not mind writing in paragraphs, doing tables has never been a forte of mine. Hmmm. Anyone out there want to volunteer? Happy Soaping!