Carneval 2012

One of the things that I like the most about soapmaking is the fact that soaps can be endlessly recycled. All the scraps, bits and leftovers can be used to make a new bar of soap. And the best part is that the new bar of soap will be definitely one of a kind, by appearance in color, ingredient combination and fragrant mixture.
I have been saving all of my cold process soap scraps from 2011 and finally decided to make use of them. I was surprised myself by the quantity and total weight of all. Overall, I had almost 400 grams of unused bits.
soap scraps and bits from 2011

Beside the soap shavings, there were some larger bits too. At first I thought to grate them as well, but changed my mind afteral and decided to keep all the chunks in. I also had a few dollops, leftovers form sugar-peach cupcakes I made in November. The fragrance bouquet is not easly desciable. It contains a lot of fruty notes (peach, strawbery, chery, mango, papaya), but also accords of mint, tobacco, white flowers and butter (from plain unscented soaps).

Total weight of 2011 scraps

After weighingall this, I decided to substract the 390 gr from my usual recipe and add the srcaps at trace. I wanted to make the base soap with coconut milk instead of purified water which I usually do. I had some coconut milk in freezer, but something went wrong when I added the lye. It never happen to me before with milk soaps. I got separated sour milk.

Although technically you can use any liquid, I wasn't really prepared to experiment this time with such a large batch. Finally, I decided to toss away the substance and use green tea instead. Bearing in mind that any other type of liquid appart from water can morph your fragrance and alter the soap color, I decided to play it safe. Or at least, safest I could get. That's why I decided to color the soap in light green wth a mixture of titanium dioxide and green chrome pigment. I have not used green tea before, only chamomille, and the solution was quite dark. I was wondering how will it affest my fragrance combo.

As for the fragrance, I decided to use up some leftowers. At first I thought I'll try to mix up only complementary fragrances, but later on I thoght to give it a try to some crazy mix. After all, if you don't dare to risk, you may never end up with a masterpiece. On the other side, the chances that you will fail miserably and end up with a stinky smell that resembles the bottom of a swamp are equally high.

In my FO line up were: black tobacco, strawberry, peach, mint-rosemary, zucchini flower and daffodil. I usually put 28 grams of FO's per 500 grams of soap and this was a 2 kilo batch, so in total - 112 grams. I know that it seems like a fruty punch, but I could not reallydistinguish specific notes within the mixture at the end.

I always like to wait for a bit thicker trace. What can I say, I am just too terrified to get separated soap at the end. It never happen before dough, but I rather play safe than sorry. It just hurts me in my stomach to think of all that money that I gave for my precious oils and butters go waisted.
The scraps adding part was the easiest part..

The mixture did not look promissing and I kept my fingers crossed that the color will turn into something, well - prettier.

The whole batch did seize up quite quickly. I soaped this time on room temperature. It is my favorite since the beginning of these cold months. It makes the whole process a bit longer and my time spent in our cozy kitchen, more enjoyable during cold and gloomy days.

This time I did not do anything fancy with the upper surface. I just smoothened it down. Personally, I am not a big fan of preventing the gel phase, so I kept this one on the room temperature only using a towel to cover the top. For the mold and conditions that I am using, I figured it out that it is not necessary to completely wrap the mold into blanket.The result will still be the same. After 24 hours, I revealed the towel, and saw that the soap did crack just a little bit on the middle, so no worries.
It was still a bit soft to cut, but I simply could not wait another day. It was only the second soap I made this January and I was anxious to see how my experiments turned out. 

The thing that struck me the most when I cut off the first slice was the inenssity of mint that was breaking through all the scents. It gave it a sort of zesty sharpness that I quite like. I appologize about the light, it is quite off here, so I will still owe you better photos.
You can see the random shapes and dots from the inserted soap bits and scraps. The sliced dollops look quite strange, and I belive I could not guess the origin of the shapes like this from the looks of it it myself if I have not known what I put.

the morning after
This photo (on the left) was taken a moning after I cut the soap loaf. Now, it has been around tree weeks since I made it, and I did obeserved a slight change in color. It went a bit on a pale yellow side. As for the fragrance, I must say that it morphed as well. The sharp mint tone that was overwhealming at the beginning, got mellowed down, but it still lingers giving the whole mixture a kind of sauna freshness. One might expect more prominent fruty tones judging from the FOs that I used, but I must say that I do not sense any of them in particular. I guess they all spread into a warm and brisky middle tone. Something I can compare with good white wines with a fruty flavor. However, I cannot tell with certainity that this impression comes only from the fragrance combo I used this time, cause I believe that the scraps brought quite a lot of integrity in the whole mix. I was also happy to notice that tobacco did not took over too much. Instead, it contributed with a sort of bitter, musky dry down.

I am curious to see what my friends will say about this one. I decided to name it Carneval 2012 as it is a noisy, colorful celebration of soap art and an ode to creativity in general. This soap is unique and due to its versatile origins it cannot and will not be duplicated in the future. Nevertheless, I will continue collecting all my soapy scraps that will be passed on into a new creation in the future. Maybe Carneval 2013?
I will be back in few days with updated photos in a proper setting.

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3 коментара

  1. Thank you very much for this detailed instruction which helps to visualize real CARNEVAL! I have to admit that I am pretty lazy when it comes to rebatching (have one objectionable batch of soap waiting to be reprocessed for months..) but reading this post helps to realize that it is not complicated and could be possible. I am just wondering why this coconut milk lye solution failed? I am complete inexperienced with coconut milk soap preparation but want to try it although can’t make up my mind weather to be CP or HP… Best regards, Gordana

  2. I'm wondering about scraps and chunks: considering their date of production and some of them having 'stand by' status the whole year, did they smell the same as at the time they were made? Did they look the same (colour, consistency...)?
    The scraps look like some delicious spaghetti, I wish you had tried MP. I know it's not your favourite, but hopefully one day you'll give it a try. This Carneval, with its scraps would have been a great chance to see you operating at MP process.

    Keep in touch!
    Take care

  3. @Gordana, I have no idea about the coconut milk. I made once before CM soap, and everything was fine. I have to do more research on this topic. Actually, this is kind of half way rebatch. I incorporated the scraps into new soap cause I wanted to preserve the visual effect and their fragrance. When you do the real rebatch, everything seems to morph into one not-so-nice color and I do not like that. Email coming up today, I hope!
    @maja, I keep all my soaps&scraps in good conditions (cold, dry, dark, air sealed), so they were fine, still very fragrant - one of the reasons I wanted to preserve them as they are and not make rebatch. I would not use them if they were no good any more. Maybe I will do some more MP this year... :)