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    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2013
      4 points
    For a couple of years now, I had been complaining that I couldn't ever make large batches of shampoo bars because my crock pot was simply not big enough to fill the whole mold. Subsequently I had to use a different mold and I always had these odd sized bars that didn't fit in with everything else.

    A week and a half ago, I went to a local flea market and found a brand new (in the box) 16 quart Rival Roasting Oven. I checked it out and found that it comes with a slow cooking option. The first thing I looked for was the inside pan. It's enamel. Not the best, but I had been using an enamel canning pot for years until it chipped and I had to retire it. So the rule is, only wooden spoons or silicon spatulas, so I don't accidentally damage it. I will also contact the company to find out if I can buy one or two replacement pans, just in case.

    I only paid 18.00 for it. A bargain I could not pass up, so I took it home and that very same night made a 15 lb batch of shampoo bars.

    Okay, 15 lbs is pushing it a little in the 16 quart pan, but if I watch it and continue to stir when it's at the point where it bubbles up and rises, I can get by! It still beats having to do this 5 times over with my small crock pot. I am so excited that I now have a full size batch of shampoo bars I can market aggressively, because I will be able to keep up if this product turns out to be a best seller.

    A couple of days later, I made a 15 lb batch of castile soap and I am definitely in love with hot processing!

    Today, I cleaned out my soap room. And I took all the little odds and ends bars of soap, cut them all in chunks, added a little water and a can of ccoconut milk, and ended up with an almost full size rebatch, approximately 12 lbs, of confetti soap. It's in the mold now, and I can't wait to cut it all up tomorrow.
  1.   2 points
    Way to go Christine!

    This will sound silly, but how did you go from the beginner 1-2 lb batch soap to 15 lb batches!
    I don't live off my soaps, but I keep thinking it would be very cool. So far I have limit myself to 1-2.2 lb (1kg) batches in part because that the size of my big glass measuring cup I use to mix my soap. But I was wondering if you need different equipment or use different methods when it comes to big batches?

    By the way if you are referring to the chamomile shampoo bar you send in a swap a few years ago. It was great!
    • CommentAuthorHannahobs
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2013
      0 points
    Good work Christine.

    After reading your entry I tried a rebatch. I chopped my old soap into small chunks and added a little water and left it for a few hours. Then I added a little more water and put it into my crock pot on low for few more hours. It looked like gel with small chunks. I put it into a loaf mold and 24 hours later it is fluffy, but still kind of liquidy. Should it be harder by now? What should I be looking for?

    Also, What are your tips for hot process? I've never tried it.

    • CommentTimeSep 17th 2013
      1 point
    Hannah - There are two tricks to rebatching. And both are equally as important.

    1) Don't overdo the liquid. As a matter of fact, if you are rebatching fairly fresh soap, you may hardly need any liquid at all, just a couple of spritzes should suffice. My soap was in the various stages of aging, some over a year old. So that one can of coconut milk was good for the entire 12 lb batch. Plus maybe a couple of tablespoons of water.

    2) Patience. Let your crockpot do the work for you. Just keep it on low and walk away and do something else for several hours. If you poke it and prod it, you will get frustrated with the gooey mess. And yes, it does turn into a gooey mess, with some of it melted and some chunks whole. The more you stir it, the uglier it gets. Just leave it alone and let it do it's thing and after about four or five hours, go check and see if you can squish the whole chunks. It might need another couple of hours, but if the chunks are pliable and can be squished into a mold, it's ready. It needs that amount of time to evaporate off any liquid you might have added. I believe the liquid isn't what melts the soap, it's the heat. All the liquid does is create a bit of steam to aid in the heating process. That's why it's so important to leave the lid on and let it do its thing.

    Depending on the size of your mold, you might have to squish it in there in layers, making sure you fill every cavity, tap out any air bubbles, spread it into the corners. Once you have it in the mold, you will have to practice more patience. It takes a good while to cool. The core will still be hot and gooey for a long time. Leave it alone for at least 24 hours and let it do it's thing. Once it's hardened and completely cool, it will release from the mold much easier and you can cut it.

    I will respond to your email separately with a picture of the finished soap. You will be able to clearly see that some of the chunks are still whole. And that's okay, as long as they're held together.

    Hope that will encourage you to give it another try. It takes a bit of practice, but over time you will learn when it's just right for you to do what you need it to do.