I made soap with the CP process only once before and it has been
beginner's luck a success. OK, first time I used a recipe I found on a book and I made only a few minor changes (like using water instead of beer, and bamboo powder instead of kaolin clay). For my second time, I wanted to use the leftover oils/butter I had at home...I created the recipe myself, but I passed it through a lye calculator (twice), as textbooks require!
Here you have my recipe (I'm not violating any copyright, I'd say :-) )
I wanted to add a personal touch to this recipe and I decided to use coffee to color and scent the soap bar.
I prepared a medium Moka machine and kept aside the used coffee grounds.
After having mixed the oils and the lye solution, I've hand-whisked the emulsion, split it in two and added coffee (3 espresso shots) to one part and coffee grounds to the other.
I've poured the emulsion after reaching a very light trace and that's the result after 36 hours...
...I got extremely
disappointed surprised at the results: the lower layer was pretty ok, while the upper layer was kind of flaky and brittle!!! How possible is that?
I wrote the following message to a very renowned Soap making supplier with the hope of getting an explanation for this very unexpected result.
Hello ***** staff! I'm at my second CP soap and while my first try has been a success, this second one had a very weird outcome...How is it possible that two layers of the same soap bar and with basically the same recipe can behave differently? The oils/lye emulsion has been split in two before adding real coffee to one layer, and the used coffee grounds to the other. I did NOT add fragrances, essential oils, sugars or colours. The bottom layer (the one containing coffee) looks pretty nice (still very soft probably because I hand whisk and there's an high % of pomace olive oil) and it went through gel phase. On the other hand, the top layer (the one with coffee grounds) is flaky and brittle (see picture)... How could that be possible? I cannot believe coffee can make a recipe work!!! Thank you for any help, explanation or idea you can provide! From a very puzzled ROBScreations.wink emoticon
...but apparently, they got puzzled too!
I'll let the soap bar stay for 24 hours longer, then I'll cut it and let the slices cure...and will eventually tell you more!
If any of you has a suggestion, a theory, or an idea to explain what happened he/she's very very welcome!