I'm having a Jo moment! She too is having to try the CPOP method of soaping to try to get soaps cured faster. I've never been so rushed for the run up to xmas so have had to take drastic action to get soap made rather than just sell out.
Let's face it, come January we may not get any orders at all so if I can make the most of this crazy period then it's all good. I'm just telling myself to remember to breathe deeper rather than fast and frantic. Stressed out or what!
Anyways, you may have watched the vids I put up on You Tube showing the results of my CPOP (if not, it's here and another here). Not sure what you make of the vids that I do but they're there if you wish to see 'em.
The first went badly! Crumbly tops, which I put down to not covering my soap when in the oven. I think the crumbling may be half due to the clay content in this particular soap (Elijah's Comfort with the red clay) and erm....yeah...not sure! they kinda puffed up but only on the first 3mm of topping...the bottom was much better but went a bit 'weird'. Not happy with that little lot so I will do another batch and see how it goes.
Sharon from Platypus Dreams told me to cover it up when in the oven so for the last two batches (No.11 & Herbaceous) I did just that and whaddya know?! Perfect 10! They are amazing.
Two days curing afterwards has hardened them up no end. I can't believe it. They're like smooth rocks...so shiny and new looking. Even when I cure for 6 weeks or so they don't go this hard. I will report on their ability to stay put once I've used them. By that I mean how long they last when using them daily.
Sharon from Morgan Street said I'll never look back once I've done this and if it all goes well like the last two then I'll be stoked.
I will put some pics up of the CPOP successes later...need to cut 'em up.
Now...as for Jo's batches I can't explain what on earth has happened there. I've tried and had a think but can't work it out. I guess after a few more goes at this we will have enough notes to pass onto others wanting to give it a go.
Next up on tonight's agenda is a new batch of Lavenders Black. God this soap smells good. A good un for blokes too. A blend of Lavender, Juniper, Black Pepper and Vetiver. Cooorrr!
We'll see how this one CPOP's.
Oh...what I did with last night's Herbaceous was cooked it at 80C/175F for 1hour then turned the oven off and left it in there overnight. My oven is relatively new and the top oven I put it into has no fan...whereas the bottom one does and I've heard that can cause more problems too....
I must say however that I love the tradition of regular cured cold process soap. It has a feel of old about it...a vision in my head of old barns in Marseille filled to the brim with curing soaps...and an old geezer going about his daily business making his soaps for the local yocals. Ya get me? Innit!