And my First Batch is in...

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

kc1ble

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
145
Reaction score
101
Location
Concord, Vermont
And my First Batch is in...NOW WITH PICTURES

I finally found time to make my first batch and now its poured, like most I have some questions. First the recipe

50% Lard
45% Olive Oil
5% Castor Oil

5% Superfat
38% Water

No colors or fragrance/essential oil

I melted my lard in the microwave until clear, mixed in Olive oil and Castor oil. When mixing the oils, the color went from clear to white. I'm hoping this was because of the oils emulsifying and not because my oils were getting too cool. I cooled my lye water down to 90* before adding to my oils, which were now at 87*. I'm hoping my temperatures weren't too cool. It took about 5 minutes of blending/stirring until I got to what looked like light trace. I now poured into my home made wooden molds (12x3.5x2.5") which I lined with plastic wrap and then some sheets of HDPE plastic to avoid the wrinkles in the plastic wrap. I now have it wrapped in a towel and we shall see tomorrow after work how things are cooking.

Sorry no pictures this time around as I was more focused on keeping things straight than taking pics. I'll post the finished loaf tomorrow.

Questions:

Did I let things cool down too much before I mixed the oil / lye water?
Should I have gone to thicker trace before pouring in my mold since I'm not using any fragrance oils or colors?
Will the smell of lard go away as the soap cures since the soap is unscented? (My wife is already not liking the smell and I want her to use my soap.

Any tips or pointers are appreciated.

For those that are interested and saw my previous post about oil weight to fill my mold, 42 oz oil weight filled my mold perfectly with less than an ounce of batter left over.
 
Last edited:

topofmurrayhill

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 11, 2015
Messages
1,183
Reaction score
1,420
Location
New York City
The oils should be clear when you begin, and the temperature should remain comfortably above the point where the oils begin to cloud up. I've never made that exact recipe but it might indeed have wanted to be warmer. You were just gently stirring the oils together and they were going opaque?

As far as the lardy smell is concerned, it should decrease or go away, but I have noticed people reporting various experiences with different batches of lard and different noses.

To me, my Soapers Choice lard doesn't smell and neither did the leaf lard I just tried, or before I scented it anyway.
 
Last edited:

kc1ble

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
145
Reaction score
101
Location
Concord, Vermont
The oils should be clear when you begin, and the temperature should remain comfortably above the point where the oils begin to cloud up. I've never made that exact recipe but it might indeed have wanted to be warmer. You were just gently stirring the oils together and they were going opaque?
No, I was stick blending and stirring
 

galaxyMLP

Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
1,838
Reaction score
1,333
Location
Florida
Did I let things cool down too much before I mixed the oil / lye water?
Should I have gone to thicker trace before pouring in my mold since I'm not using any fragrance oils or colors?
Will the smell of lard go away as the soap cures since the soap is unscented? (My wife is already not liking the smell and I want her to use my soap.

Any tips or pointers are appreciated.

Yes, you may have soaped a little cool. Your oils should stay clear when you mix them together. I like to melt my oils to be pretty warm then add the liquid oils after that. Or, you can melt it all together and let that cool down. I would've soaped that recipe at least 100 F. And with no fragrance or color, as high as 120 F.

You should aim for a thicker trace when using no fragrance or color (or one color) because it will decrease the likelihood of separation. Trace is the beginning of emulsification and the start of saponification. Getting to a thick trace ensures the reaction is well underway and will reduce the chance of your oils/lye separating.

The scent of lard should almost completely go away. Some people's noses are quite sensitive and can still pick it up. However, I'm sure you will notice it goes away almost completely.

Watch your batch to make sure it doesn't separate in the mold. If it does, you'll need to rebatch it which involves cooking it (either in the crock pot, oven or double boiler). It should be just fine though.
 

BlackDog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
582
Reaction score
842
Do you mean it became opaque as you were blending the lye solution into the oils? If so, you did everything right. It should become opaque!

If you meant that they became opaque just while mixing the oils alone, then I would say it was too cool. But I have used similar recipes in terms of hard/soft oil ratio and soaped at around 90-95 degrees without issues. It's my preferred temp (if I'm not using butters) to work if I have several colors.
 

kc1ble

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
145
Reaction score
101
Location
Concord, Vermont
Do you mean it became opaque as you were blending the lye solution into the oils? If so, you did everything right. It should become opaque!

If you meant that they became opaque just while mixing the oils alone, then I would say it was too cool. But I have used similar recipes in terms of hard/soft oil ratio and soaped at around 90-95 degrees without issues. It's my preferred temp (if I'm not using butters) to work if I have several colors.
Yes, It became opaque before I added the lye, I have watched a ton of videos, but in the heat of the moment I couldn't remember if that was normal or not, I'll keep my fingers crossed
 

IrishLass

Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
17,279
Reaction score
11,084
Location
Right here, silly!
Did I let things cool down too much before I mixed the oil / lye water?
The reason your fats/oils turned white was simply because the temp of the olive oil and castor oil was cooler than the temp of the melted lard when you added them together- it was just enough to bring the lard back out of it's melted suspension. This does not cause any problems if the lye reaction is able to kick in and heat things up in time, but there are times when it can be an issue, depending on the type of fats used, their melting points and the temp of your other ingredients when added, etc....

Basically, things such as pseudo-trace can occur, which can lead to harmless, though unsightly stearic spots in your soap. Pseudo-trace looks just like real trace, but what is actually happening is that the batter is thickening because the temps are too cool for the hard fats in the formula to stay in melted suspension long enough for the chemical reaction between the lye and fats to kick into full gear and create a true trace.

Pseudo trace happens to me like clockwork in my tallow/lard formula if I soap too cool. Besides tallow and lard, I also have hydrogenated PKO and mango butter in the formula (the perfect mix of pseudo-trace bait, lol), and if my temps are too far out of the sweet-spot range for that formula, it's not pretty. lol I'll get a very thick trace very fast, and my finished soap has unsightly white polka dots throughout it. But if I manipulate things so that the temp of my batter never goes much below 110F, all is well with the world. :)

Should I have gone to thicker trace before pouring in my mold since I'm not using any fragrance oils or colors?
If it were me, I would have poured at medium-thick trace, because of the amount of water in your batch. A 'full amount' of water, such as what you used, and too light of a trace at pour can sometimes (but not always) put one's batch in danger of separating. But it looks like things went well for you, so I wouldn't worry. :)


Will the smell of lard go away as the soap cures since the soap is unscented? (My wife is already not liking the smell and I want her to use my soap.
In my experience with my own lard batches, the smell always goes away during cure. But fair warning- there are folks whose noses are overly sensitive to the smell of lard, and they have the uncanny ability to point out the lard soap from a sea of non-lard soaps. lol I don't know such people personally, but I have run into a few of them on the different forums. lol


IrishLass :)
 

kc1ble

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
145
Reaction score
101
Location
Concord, Vermont
Good news, I just got home from work and my soap is white, and fairly hard, I will take it out of the mold in a couple of hours and post pics.
 

kc1ble

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
145
Reaction score
101
Location
Concord, Vermont
And the pictures...






I think everything turned out great, the loaf is set, but still soft enough so it must be handled carefully, normal? I hope.

There is just a bit of clear liquid on top of the loaf, not sure what this is yet, maybe water coming out? Hope this is normal too. The color is very white and I think it will be very hard to wait a month for testing, but we are on our way now.

Sorry for the poor quality pics, I can't get my camera to do close ups well. Let me know what you think.
 

lenarenee

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
3,703
Reaction score
3,314
It looks wonderful! Congratulations - and just wait 'til you try it!

I soap a similar recipe and usually very cool (oils might be on the edge of fogging ) but I'll either make sure my lye water is "sippable tea" warm, or I'll stick the oils in the microwave for 20 seconds. The batter turns opaque after I pour the lye. I've never had stearic spots or separation whether I take it to emulsion or beyond. And I've made hundreds of plain lard bars this way.

I think you're going to love the soap!
 
Top