December 12, 2012

Experiment with Booze #1: White Star

Extra special labels for these babies.
So there are in soap-making (and in life) 'Happy Accidents,' 'Screw Ups' and 'Screw Ups That Don't Really Matter.' White Star will be filed under the later.

Surprisingly, adding Champagne to lye wasn't the 'Screw Up' part—due to my vigilant research on soaping with alcohol.  I let the Champagne go flat (fizz will cause a volcano), heated it in a sauce pan to reduce it, then popped it into the freezer. The sugar in Champagne (or any booze) can make the lye mixture heat up too much, causing scary and smelly things to happen. Ya gotta keep everything cool.

Which I did. Even the oils. Heated them up just enough so the shea butter melted.

The 'Screw Up' part was the almond fragrance oil I added at trace. It made the soap seize then separate. It looked and smelled like I was making some sort of cookie dough.

I took the stick blender to the mess, got it straightened out then blobbed it into the mold where a layer of grated clear melt and pour soap lay waiting. The idea was the melt and pour was going be 'bubbles' on top of the soap.

After just a few minutes in the mold, the soap began to separate again, so I dumped the whole thing—layer of 'bubbles' and all back into the pot for another round of stick blending.

The result was 'bubbles' throughout the soap rather than a layer. A 'Screw Up That Doesn't Really Matter.' It's still beautiful soap. And the sugar from the Champagne makes the lather creamy, fluffy and so decadent.

Still bubbly looking, but not what I planned.

I walked away with two lessons learned:

1) I love making soap with booze and will be doing more soon (vodka martinis this summer!)

2) I don't like fragrance oils and will stick to essential oils that don't play tricks and misbehave.

So, cheers. And please lather responsibly.

olive oil
coconut oil
shea butter
palm kernel oil
castor oil
Moët & Chandon White Star Champagne
almond fragrance oil

If you like this blog, check out my new one: The Haley Maxwell Soap Making Mysteries