My first attempt at Hot Process soapmaking using the enclosed method.
I am a true die-hard CP fan, but felt that HP was an area I needed to experience and draw my own conclusions from. I have to say that it was exciting and it was time well spent in trying a new technique. I don't plan on giving up my cp however, but if you're looking for something new to try, give it a whirl and see what you think. I don't believe that this process should be attempted by someone inexperienced in cp soapmaking, wait until you have a few batches under your belt before you go off on the HP bandwagon.
The most important piece of advice that I would give to someone attempting this process for the first time  is to make sure that the two containers you choose to use to make the enclosed double boiler set-up really fit together and will work together. You don't want to wait until you've started the process and realize that your pots just aren't easy to work with and find your fingers burned or wanting to just give up on the whole idea.
I do apologize for the quality of the pics, but I borrowed my kids' digital camera so you could see some of what my first batch looked like and maybe not worry so much about just leaping in there and trying it.

This pic is of the large stainless steel pot that I used as my water pot.

This is the enamel pot that I used for the actual cooking of the soap base.

Side by side comparison so that you can get a better idea of just what size containers I was working with.

first look First time the lid came off after the hour of cooking. Gave it a good stir and put the lid back on for the next 15 minutes.

hp temp check The pots are now off the heat and I'm checking the temp. First temp check registered just over 200 degrees F.
I let both pots sit covered to cool off, mixed in fragrance and herbs at around 190 degrees.

Soap is now in the mold, now to put the plastic wrap on and smooth it out as much as possible.

'No picture' Sorry, was so excited about unmolding this baby that I forgot to take the picture! Let me say that I did prepare the mold with olive oil and then a sheet of waxed paper, but I'm debating on whether or not it even needed it since it practically flew itself right out of the mold.
I did make a 3 lb. batch and I'm so used to making soap in larger molds that I couldn't find anything to use for a mold, until I spied an old plastic toy container, no longer in use of course and snatched that up.

Log of fresh unmolded soap, this is the bumpy side, which I have to tell you did scare me since I am a notorious hater of 'rebatching'. When I saw how the soap looked as I glopped it into the mold, I thought to myself ' Oh great, looks just like 'rebatch scratch'...............but.................

This is what the other side looked like! Just like real cp soap, I couldn't believe it!

A slice, which I sliced paper thin, this stuff cuts so nice it really is amazing! The juvenile camera can't capture the complete look of the soap, but what I want you to see is that there are no air pockets, caverns, massive holes of destruction, etc. Just smooth soap!

Well, that's it folks, hope you enjoyed my first attempt of HP......what you say? Would I do it again? Hmmmmmmmmm...........I do believe I will, can't wait to try swirling this stuff, sounds like something to try next weekend!
Where's the recipes or directions? Well, it's amazing that the pics even got up here, I don't have as much time as I'd like these days, so I'll send you on over to the link that I used myself. Being the kind of soaper and cook that I am, I of course did not follow the directions exactly, but I always like to change everything to make it my own.......maybe I'll post more on that later, but now I just want to fine tune my technique.
For more on making HP soap in an enclosed system, go here-

For more info and excellent directions on making CPHP, follow this link:

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