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A question about sheep fat

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tmn50

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Hi everyone hope everyone is doing fine.
Three years ago I melted a lot of sheep fat and stored it in plastic container and i totally forgot about it.
Is it still possible to use it in making soap ?
 

Obsidian

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I once used 23 year old bear fat. I still have the soap stored away as a experiment, its not gone rancid but it does smell old and freezer burned. Maybe try a small batch and see how it does.
 

TeaLeavesandTweed

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Since home-rendered fat can sometimes have excess moisture in it, I would check it for mold first. Any discoloration from a smooth, creamy white or just-off-white color is suspect. Then, smell it. If it smells awful, it'll either make stinky soap, or will at least mess with any attempts to scent it.

While animals fats generally have a long shelf life, so much depends on how they're stored, so just saying it was in a plastic container doesn't really mean much in terms of longevity.
 

tmn50

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I once used 23 year old bear fat. I still have the soap stored away as a experiment, its not gone rancid but it does smell old and freezer burned. Maybe try a small batch and see how it does.
thanks :)

Since home-rendered fat can sometimes have excess moisture in it, I would check it for mold first. Any discoloration from a smooth, creamy white or just-off-white color is suspect. Then, smell it. If it smells awful, it'll either make stinky soap, or will at least mess with any attempts to scent it.

While animals fats generally have a long shelf life, so much depends on how they're stored, so just saying it was in a plastic container doesn't really mean much in terms of longevity.
Well the containers were well sealed and completely dark. It's completely white and smells a little.
 

TeaLeavesandTweed

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Well the containers were well sealed and completely dark. It's completely white and smells a little.
Sounds like it's fine. Remember, some of the odor may persist in the soap, but you can't tell until it's cured. My high-lard bars smelled pretty piggy a week after I unmolded them, but now smell like nothing.
 

DeeAnna

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You say the fat has an odor, but I can't tell what you mean by that -- whether it's a musty-sour rancid odor or if it's just a meaty odor.

Anyways, if you want to reduce the odor before using it in soap, here's a link to a post by Grayceworks who explains how she washed fat with water to remove objectionable odor and color -- http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showpost.php?p=381830&postcount=15

One of the other posters tried Grayce's method with some pretty nasty fat and commented on the results here: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showpost.php?p=502963&postcount=22

ETA: I always wondered about why salt is often used when washing fat with water like this. I finally stumbled across a couple tidbits of information that clarified this. You can wash fat with plain water and this will work fine in most cases. By adding salt to the water, however, this creates a bigger difference between the density of the fat and the density of the water. This density difference helps the fat separate more cleanly and quickly from the water layer, compared with just using plain water. The salt may work in other ways, such as helping any proteins and other undesirable contaminants in the fat to separate better, but this is just a guess on my part.
 
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