As you can see, my soap making was put on hold during that time, and I forgot how important it was for me to express myself, be creative, and share my passion with others. I am hoping you will allow me to pick up right where we left off last time :)
As you know, I love making milks from scratch to use in soap. Yes, it is more time consuming, but I am always fascinated to learn about and try new types of milk soaps. Those of you who follow my blog will remember that I have made vegan milks from scratch a few times before, including banana milk, oat milk and almond milk. The latest that I tried was hemp milk that I made from scratch using these hemp hearts:
To Make the Hemp Heart Milk:
I found these hemp hearts at our local health food store. To make the hemp milk, I combined ½ cup of hemp hearts with 2 cups of water in a blender, and blended until the mixture was smooth. Then I strained the hemp milk through cheesecloth to remove the pulp.
To Make the Hemp Heart Infused Oil:
Unfortunately, I didn’t have any hemp oil to use in my soap, so I thought I would try infusing my olive oil with hemp hearts to use in my soap. I did this using a quick-steep method; combining 2 tbsp of hemp hearts per 1 cup of oil in a saucepan, and bringing the mixture to a gentle simmer and then turning off the element and covering the infusing oil for 2 hours, then straining the infused oil through cheesecloth.
To Use the Hemp Heart Milk in Soap:
As with any milk soap, I had a couple of options of how to use the hemp milk. I could have frozen the hemp milk into cubes and added the lye to the frozen cubes, but I always find this is risky when working with a new milk ingredient, plus I would have had to wait for the milk to freeze…and you all know how impatient I am! So instead, I chose to use the milk as part of my total liquid amount and add it at trace.
If you are not familiar with this method, it involves dividing your total liquid amount into 2 portions; using one portion as water to dissolve your lye (always remember to use slightly more water than lye to dissolve it), and then adding the remainder of the liquid as the milk of your choice at trace. Having said that though, next time I would try adding my milk directly into my oils, before I added the lye solution, as the soap traced very quickly and I barely had enough time to mix the hemp milk in properly.
I chose not to fragrance this soap, instead leaving it as a pure hemp soap with the hemp infused oil and hemp heart milk:
As with any milk soap (because of the sugars), keep in mind that these soaps can heat up in the early stages of saponification. I was hoping to avoid any gelling or cracking, so I put my milk soap in the coolest place in our house (the garage), but when I checked on it an hour later this is what it looked like:
That, my friends, is a sure sign of a partial gel...it starts in the center and moves its way out. Now, there is nothing wrong with a partial gel, but I am an all-or-nothing type of girl :) I prefer not to gel, because of the opaque and creamy look of ungelled soap, but that is completely a personal preference. Once I see that my soap has started to gel, there is no turning back. So, I encourage it along until it is in full gel, but putting in on top of a heating pad and then covering it with a towel to encourage full gel.
You could alternatively put your mold (if it is heat safe) into a really low oven (150 degrees F) until it is in full gel, but my oven does not go down that low, and I end up with bubbles on the surface of my soap, even at the lowest temperature, which is 170 degrees F.
Also, to avoid any gelling in the first place, I could have put my soap in the freezer or fridge for 12-24 hours, but I have not had any luck doing that either (I end up with crumbly soap).