What You’ll Need:
5 Pound Mold with Sliding Bottom
Silicone Liner for 5 lb Wood Mold
8.3 oz. Coconut Oil (15%)
44 oz. Olive Oil (80%)
2.8 oz. Cocoa Butter (5%)
7.4 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
10.5 oz. Distilled Water
3.3 oz. Kombucha Tea
5 oz. Kombucha SCOBY, chopped
3.5 oz. Egyptian Geranium Essential Oil
If you’ve never made Cold Process soap before, stop here! I highly recommend checking out our FREE four part SoapQueen.tv series on Cold Process Soapmaking, especially the episode on lye safety. And if you’d rather do some reading, Bramble Berry carries a wide range of books on the topic, including my newest book, Pure Soapmaking. You can also check out the digital downloads for that instant gratification factor.
SAFETY FIRST: Suit up for safe handling practices! That means goggles, gloves and long sleeves. Make sure kids, pets, and other distractions and tripping hazards are out of the house or don’t have access to your soaping space. Always soap in a well-ventilated area.
KOMBUCHA + SCOBY PREP: In a small container, measure out 3.3 oz. of kombucha tea. I used room temperature tea. Then, chop up the SCOBY into small pieces and measure 5 oz. Using a blender or food processor (I used a Magic Bullet), blend the SCOBY and kombucha together. You want the mixture to be extremely smooth.
NOTE: Even after plenty of blending, my mixture was not quite as smooth as I wanted it to be. To help blend it further, I added about 2 ounces of my measured and mixed soapmaking oils to help it blend better. If you find the SCOBY blend is not completely smooth, complete steps one and two below. Then, add a small amount of the measured soaping oils to your SCOBY puree and continue to blend. You could also use more kombucha or distilled water if you prefer, just keep in mind you may want to adjust your water amounts if you do so.
ONE: Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool.
TWO: Melt and combine the coconut oil, cocoa butter and olive oil. Once the lye water and the oils have cooled to 110-120F degrees or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye water to the oils and stick blend until thin trace. If you’d like a harder bar of soap that releases faster from the mold, you can add sodium lactate to the cooled lye water. Use 1 teaspoon of sodium lactate per pound of oils in the recipe. For this recipe, you’d add about 3.5 teaspoons sodium lactate. Because this recipe contains a large amount of olive oil, you may find it takes a little bit longer to trace.
THREE: Once the soap has reached a thin trace, pour the SCOBY mixture into the batter. Use the stick blender to mix in the SCOBY thoroughly.
FOUR: Right away, you’ll notice a color change! This happens because of the sugar content in the SCOBY and kombucha scorching as it comes in contact with the lye. Don’t worry, this is normal.
FIVE: Once you add the SCOBY mixture, the batter will start to thicken faster. Once you reach a medium trace, add the Egyptian geranium essential oil. Use the stick blender to thoroughly mix in.
Out of curiosity, I checked the temperature of the soap batter. It was a nice and warm 134 ° F.
SIX: Pour the soap into the mold. Tap the mold firmly on the counter to help release any air bubbles.
SEVEN: Use a spoon or spatula to spread the soap evenly within the mold. Cover the top with rose petals. To help them stick to the soap, gently press them into the soap with gloved hands. Spray the top with isopropyl alcohol to help reduce soda ash. I did not insulate or refrigerate this soap, but did experience some heat-related issues. Read more about them below. To help prevent them, place the soap in the fridge for 24 hours. Remove from the mold after 3-4 days and cut into bars. Allow the soap to cure for 4-6 weeks before use.