Handmade natural soap inspired by nature and created using the best ingredients.
Saturday, 14 April 2012
Wine O'clock! (Week 4 of the Soap challenge)
Week 4 of The Soap Challenge set by Amy Warden of Great Cake Soapworks is to create a soap made using alcohol. We currently list a lovely beer soap but we have been recently trialing a wine soap, as there is no shortage of good local red wine in our area!
To see all the other soaps in Week 4 of the challenge go to this link.
All our neighbours make their own wine and we get given a lot (mainly red), so it seemed like the perfect thing to include in our range of Natural Portuguese Soap. I personally love the whole process and always get involved in the the grape harvest and pressing and, as some of you know already, we are both partial to a drop of the old vinho tinto!
I can't tell you how brave I had to be to post this photo of me pressing the grapes with my neighbour last autumn- but I thought it important that you know we at Puro will always go the extra mile when it comes to making our soap!!
Having done a little bit of research- I thought it best to simmer the wine first to reduce the alcohol as I had read about explosive results when mixing the lye and alcohol. While the wine was simmering away I felt inspired to add some other ingredients into the pan - slices of lemon and orange peel and a stick of cinnamon- I just fancied making the wine a little fruity and spicy- almost like a mulled wine or sangria.
After it had cooled down I bagged it up and popped it in the freezer ready for when the both of us could get soap making!
We added the caustic soda to the frozen wine which meant it didn't immediately get too hot. It didn't smell too bad either! but it did go a dark sludgy brown, so we added a small amount of red soap colouring to the batch which turned the soap a rich shade of cinnamon. We made the toppings to continue with the fruity theme and added soap citrus slices and cinnamon curls. The smell was absolutely wonderful!
After unmolding the following day, the soap mellowed to the warm wine red you see below.
The resulting soap which we are calling 'Sweet Vine' (Vinha Doce in Portuguese) is beautiful and smooth and surprising creamy and luxurious. You can see more pictures of this lovely soap and full ingredients by visiting this link to our website. If you missed the line up of Week 3 outcomes you can still see them here, there are some wonderful ideas, all based on piping cold process soap, along with our video entry, piping roses.
We'll leave you with a photo of one of our lovely neighbours Gloria, who in the typical Portuguese hospitable manner, is never far away with a jug of the local wine!