Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Hot and Cold Process Soap Making

Justin Marrus: image

When not occupied with his work with the Kings County District Attorney's office, Justin Marrus likes to make things. One of Justin Marrus's preferred crafts is soap making, which involves the combination of fats or oils with lye.

Making soap from scratch can be accomplished through a cold process or a hot process. While both require heating the ingredients above room temperature, the cold process only requires the oils to reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit and adds no further heat once they are combined with the lye, while the hot process heat-cures the soap.

During the cold process, the soap maker heats the oils in a pot until they reach about 100 degrees, then adds a lye-water mixture and blends the soap until it is thick enough to where stirring leaves visible lines or deformations that remain for some time. Fragrances, colors, and additives are added at this time, after which the soap is poured into a mold. Cold process soap takes four weeks to cure before it can be used.

During the hot process, the soap mix is put into a crock pot or similar slow cooker before additives enter the mix. It cooks for about an hour total, being stirred every 15 minutes, until it has a consistency similar to pancake batter or mashed potatoes. Additives can then be placed in the soap, and the soap can subsequently be placed into the mold. This process takes only two days to reach a usable state.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Things to Consider Before Cycling Across America

Things to Consider Before Cycling Across America
Justin Marrus is an experienced New York City attorney who has been a senior district attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office since 2011. Outside of the professional arena, Justin Marrus is an avid cyclist and camper who once traveled across the United States by bike unsupported.

Over the years, many people have made the transcontinental cycling trip on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail and through other extended routes. These people have amassed a number of key tips to educate and inform others in advance of this grueling and potentially perilous trip.

First and foremost, experts recommend doing extensive research on every stretch of one’s proposed route to ensure that it is safe and that it contains the specific amenities needed at that stage of the journey. Even if one plans to camp for the majority of one’s trip, it is wise to line up several indoor sleeping options in advance, as cross-country cyclists almost always appreciate the occasional soft bed and warm shower.

The second major thing to consider is what to pack. Like other cross-country cyclists, National Geographic Travel contributor Tyler Metcalfe recommends packing extremely light. As far as gear goes, cross-country cyclist and bicycling contributor Caitlin Giddings recommends spending extra money on a high-quality, all-weather sleeping bag.