Wednesday, August 20, 2014
I made this soap with the Hot Process method. CP would work, but who want to wait for a cure?
The first thing you will need to do is locate some fresh Jewelweed. If you are unsure what you are looking for, please google, "identifying jewelweed" or something similar. You don't need a bushel basket of it. Although some people disagree with me, there is enough evidence in book & on the internet to convince me that the weed HAS to be fresh. When you cut it, you want to use it as soon as possible. The weed contains a lot of juice. I have infused other fresh herbs in oil & not seen anywhere near the amount of juice you get from jewelweed! The juice is great as it contains the active ingredients to relieve itching, rashes, ringworm, etc. The juice is bad as it does not want to combine in the oil. Unless you use a very small amount in your infusion you will have juice pockets that can make your oil mold. I didn't mind the juice pockets as I was going to make my soap right away. If you are making this infusion to use in the future I recommend refrigerating or even freezing it to keep it mold free.
Rinse the jewelweed to knock off any bugs or dirt & chop or tear the whole plant into small pieces that will fit in your pan. I used about 1 part weed to 2 parts coconut oil.... well, maybe it was closer to equal parts, lol. Anyway, make sure the weed is covered with coconut oil. (You can use any oil you want. Olive oil may not be a good choice as it can burn). I used coconut oil since the soap is good for cases of poison ivy & I figured the cleansing (oil stripping) properties of coconut oil would be perfect to combine with the weed to get that nasty poison ivy oil off your skin. Do NOT boil the infusion. You can simmer it to get done faster but it turns brownish. I brought mine just barely to a simmer & let it cook for at least 3 hrs with a cover on. It may have been longer. Strain & discard the weed.
You're gonna need a little more jewel weed :) Rinse to clean & tear it up, again. This time add distilled water & simmer until the water turns a reddish brown color. I made some extra so I could put it in mason jars & stick it in the freezer.
Let your tea & oil infusion cool. The hard part is over. The following recipe is for 1 lb + 4 oz of the infused coconut oil. So, you are going to need 20 oz of the infused oil for the recipe.
These instructions are for Hot Process Jewelweed Soap. Just modify the recipe if you are more comfortable with Cold process. For HP soap you will make this at 0% superfat so you can add more of the infused coconut oil after the cook for the MOST benefits.
Take 16 oz of the coconut oil to make your batter (reserve the 4 oz as superfat. This will give you 25% superfat)
6.08 oz of the jewelweed tea to dissolve the lye in
2.93 oz lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
Cook till done & then add your 4 oz of infused coconut oil as superfat & mold.
Coconut oil soap gets very hard pretty fast. If you overcooked the above batch, you already know that. You can unmold & cut as soon as it is cool. If you wait too long it may be too hard to cut. If you are using a wire, you may have to find a knife.
Coconut oil soap cooks very fast, so when it looks done & you don't believe it, it really is, lol.