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  • Soap book

    I just requested this book through interlibrary loan - can't wait to look through it!

    Scientific Soapmaking: The Chemistry of the Cold Process
    by Kevin Dunn

    Some of teh reviews at Amazon make it sound a bit tedious, but still, I am excited about reading it!

  • #2
    I have checked it out on Amazon co uk, there are no reviews yet:-(

    Do let us know your thoughts on it, when you get it?

    Twitter JUSTSOAPS
    Natural Handmade Olive Oil Soaps and Skincare free from SLS, Parabens, and other Nasties


    • #3
      You bet! Hope it doesn't take too long to get it. One lender was in Capetown!! Oh dear.


      • #4

        Thanks for the lovely reply yesterday, I'll send answers to your questions asap!

        I haven't read this particular book, but there is something really wonderful about understanding the chemistry of soap, so I am sure you'll love it.



        • #5
          Wooooohoooooooo!!!!! It's here!!! I just got an email from the library - so I am off to Austin to pick it up!!!!! Also, Salt, A history of the World...I have some interesting reading ahead! =D


          • #6
  's a text book, but in a quite fun style. I LIKE IT!!! I'm going out to sit in the glider on the front porch to begin reading. I'm taking pen and paper, too. And a chocolate croissant...I'll report in later.


            • #7
              So, how many of you use food grade lye for soap making?


              • #8
                There are quizzes at he end of each chapter...


                • #9
                  Chapter 2 - weights and measures- UGH. I have a headache.

                  error and uncertainty
                  weighing analytically
                  weighing synthetically
                  weighing in two portions and three portions
         has to do with equations...


                  • #10
                    I have to say that the second chapter on weights and measures really brought me to a screeching, whimpering halt. I left the book alone for a couple of days and then faced it again - moved on to the next chapters...overall, I really like this book (only about a third of the way through). It explains a lot of things - and i can now figure lye amounts without using a lye calculator - i can figure it based on sap values and alkalai ratio. Etc.. But why would you want to, you might ask? Just use a soap calculator. Hey, did you know that sap values are figured using potassium hydroxide??? Don't ask didn't really explain why...or else I missed it. Just that that's the way it has been done.

                    I have even revisited the second chapter and it made more sense one I stopped fearing the math and equations. He tried to make it all cute, but it still put fear into me very bones - math makes me quake and babble.

                    This is NOT for the new soap maker - it isn't FUN. It has no gorgeous photography of mouth watering Joy of Cooking type recipes. It is fun after you are an experienced soap maker and want to go back and get into the nitty gritty of it all. Also, M&P peeps don't really need to read this.

                    This is a reference volume. A chemical investigation with experiments. I think it is valuable to serious soap makers who produce a lot of soap, and wide ranges.

                    But before anyone buys it, they should request it through their library and see if it really is something you want to purchase. I actually am going to buy it.

                    It points out some very obvious procedural things, once you think about them, that can cause problems. For instance, one supplier over here, Columbus, offers somehting called no stir cubes in certain oils. You can scoop off what you need from the cube and be assured that you get the even distribution of properties of that oil. Did anyone here know that when you heat most oils, it separates into various components, so if you pour out a portion from the heated oil, you may not get everything in an even distribution. Am I making sense? I.e., if you've heated some oil and as it cools it starts to coagulate, it is certain properties of the oil solidifying at various speeds ...not necessarily a proportionate sample. Well anyway, so once you heat your oil to measure some out, say coconut or palm, because it was semi-solid, you must heat all of it and stir it up, and then pour out your amount...

                    Also, sometimes the vendor from who you purchased your oils may not have stirred it up thoroughly before divvying it up and shipping it.

                    Also, the smaller recipe you make, the more you need to put the mold into a warming oven at about 140؛F for four hours, because smaller amounts do not retain the generated heat the way a larger batch does. A larger batch can be covered with a towel or two, but a smaller batch really needs to be heated for four hours.

                    I can't go into much further explanation of these examples without just copying the book for you...that would be a huge attachment!!! The more I try to explain, the more I fear I may confuse some of you.

                    After reading this book and doing all the experiments and taking the quizzes at the end of each chapter, you'll end up a real professional!!

                    More reports to come...
                    Last edited by removed10; 30-03-2011, 05:08 AM.