Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Clavicula Press (March 16, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #47,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #3 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Chemical > Cosmetics #5 in Books > Science & Math > Chemistry > Industrial & Technical #8 in Books > Textbooks > Engineering > Chemical Engineering
Scientific Soapmaking is a book that takes soap very, very seriously. It's dense with information, but that information may not be exactly what you expect. While a lot of the book does indeed cover the underlying chemistry of soap and tackles some of the important issues soap makers face, a huge portion of the book is all about doing your own experiments. The entire first third of the book is teaching you how to make small (1-bar), highly accurate (measuring ingredients in grams to two decimals out), quick-turnaround (you're buying a roasting oven to speed things up) test runs.This degrees of accuracy and reproducibility is such that I can only imagine a full-time professional being interested in jumping through these hoops to get there. The problem is that he doesn't gear the book just towards professionals, or even experienced soapmakers; he tries to bring beginners - who have never made a bar of soap, let alone used a lye calculator - up to speed. Beginners who have never made soap before should not be relying on this book to get them started: he asks you to make a substantial investment in equipment, chemicals, and time (leaning how to do things in very specific ways) when you don't even know you're going to like the hobby or stick with it. He should have started with the assumption that anyone who would want to pick up this book has made soap already. The book grinds to a halt every time he starts talking about why you have to mix oils for the best results or what a slab mold is. Everyone who has read another soap book knows what coconut oil brings to the party, how to use an online lye calculator, and they've probably made their own castile at some point, so stepping slowly through these issues like you don't know a thing about them becomes tedious.
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