The other night I finally got to make two new batches of soap. I really hate it when I get behind because instead of being able to experiment and create new batches I am having to make batches that I run low on...which I am not at all complaining about because it means that it is selling, and that is wonderful! I just want to make new stuff for the 2011 season and haven't been able to yet....okay enough whine.
I wanted to show off a couple of pictures of a stage that I don't often get to witness but think is very, very cool! It is called the gel stage, because as the soap heats starting from the center of the block it turns into this jelly like substance and it spreads all the way to the edges of the block and then begins to cool down from the edges back to the middle. It is very fascinating to me to see. Not all soap makers let their soap go through this stage for various reason, and there are some soaps that you definitely do not want to do this like some milk soaps, or soaps with essential oils that are more volatile because the heat will either alter, or make the essential oils evaporate from the batch and in some cases disfigure or completely ruin the batch of soap. This particular batch is a new batch of Rosemary Lemongrass, it seems to have gelled nicely. When I get the chance to cut it into bars we will see the actual results...but right now is looks pretty good.