Bacon grease

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scotsman

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Just a few quick questions. I am a professional chef and have access to a steady supply of free bacon grease. If I were to purify and filter said grease, would if behave the same way in cp soap as traditional lard? Would it have the same saponification value as lard? I use lard in soap frequently and thought it might be fun to try the bacon grease. Has anybody here tried this before? If so, did you get decent results? Also, is there a way to deodorize it so as to lessen the smoky smell? Any input would be greatly appreciated. The bacon is cooked on sheet trays in a large convection oven so there are no other oils or fats mixed in.
 

inkyfingers

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I am looking to do the same thing, too. I've googled beer and bacon grease soap, and have discovered that some say it smells like pretzels! You're not looking to use beer too, are you?
 

Candybee

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Yes you can use bacon grease and use the lard setting in soapcalc to get your lye amount. The more you are able to filter out the bacon bits and clean it up the better soap you will have. I remember reading some posts in another forum about a couple people over the years that used bacon grease to make personal soaps. If I recall they did not mention any significant smell after the soap was saponified but I have no way of knowing how well they cleaned it up or how long the grease had been cooking or if it was reused, etc. The soaper who posted their experience might be a member of The Dish. At least there are quite a few very knowledgeable soapers there who can offer some more help on this.
 

HoneyLady

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Bacon grease IS lard, it's just been smoked (or had smoke flavor added).

Strain the grease and refrigerate. Or if you have to, melt it and strain it.

Weigh the grease and put in a large pot with an equal amount of water. This should not fill your pot over 2/3. Bring to a simmer, cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes.

Turn off the heat, and let cool to room temp. Strain again if needed. Pour mixture into a clean container. (Almost full is fine now.) Wider is better, if you can do it.

Refrigerate over night. Scrape clean grease off the top, just like you would for a stock. Discard the water. Grease is ready to use, and should smell fine. If it's really bad, you can repeat the process.

Also remember, your supplier probably has 35-50 pound containers of rendered lard for cheap prices. Cheaper than we, the public can usually buy. Depends on how much work you want to put in.

Good luck!
~HoneyLady~
 

scotsman

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I can get the rendered lard from our restaurant supplier, and usually do to save money for my lard soaps. Just wanted to give this a go because I have a steady supply of free bacon grease that would otherwise be thrown away. Figured it would be a good way to recycle it into something useful. Maybe I'll keep the smoky smell, combine it with a bacon FO, and make a bacon soap for men. I could even maybe have a bacon colored bar with white stripes running through it to look like the fat marbling in a slice of bacon. Could be interesting. Maybe I'll do a small test batch and post up the pics.
 

scotsman

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@inkyfingers...no not looking to use beer. Beer soap and I don't get along. I have attempted more than a few batches of beer soap using everything from light beer to über-dark Russian imperial stout and every batch has turned out funky or disappointing in one way or another. So, I scrapped the idea of making a beer soap and just save all the beer for drinking which is just fine with me, lol! Conversely, I have had great success making soap with various wines. Being a chef I have regular access to a wide variety of wines for free. When guests come in the restaurant and buy a bottle or bring their own they will often not finish it and either leave the remaining wine on the table when they leave or send it back to the kitchen for the chef(me)...yay! I sometimes give my wine soaps as presents to my regular customers in the restaurant. I had one such regular, after receiving a couple of my wine soaps, bring in an ultra-expensive bottle of Chateau D'Yqem and request that I make a soap from it for his wife for her birthday. It was kind of a pain in the butt because it is a dessert wine with a really high sugar content and the soap fully gelled even though I pre-froze the mould and popped it in the freezer for almost 48 hours immediately after pouring. Came out really nice though. Got to keep a bar for myself and drink the remainder of the bottle. That was the best part, lmao!
 

Obsidian

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Thats too bad about the beer, it makes really nice soap. I do make mine a bit different then other people though, I condense a whole bottle down to roughly 2 ounces and add it at trace. That way I don't have any weird reaction with the lye or the icky smell.
 

scotsman

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I never thought of reducing it to a beer syrup and adding at trace. Do you subtract that 2oz from your water or just treat it as an additive like sugar, honey, etc? I think I may try another beer soap using your method. I have a nice bottle of Old Rasputin sitting in the fridge that would be perfect for it, lol!
 

Obsidian

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I subtract it from the water amount. I started making beer syrup after I had a beer/lye volcano from not getting all the alcohol evaporated first. I like using a nice dark stout, the Old Rasputin will be fantastic.
 

maya

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I might consider that the bacon fat you would use from your workplace has been heating and probably has additional ingredients in it (smoke flavor, etc.) and it might contribute to D.O.S.
 

DeeAnna

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I have made soap using about 25% smoked turkey fat. Turned out fairly good with almost no odor in the finished product. (The dilution of the smoked fat with other soaping fats will reduce the odor.) Either filter the fat or let any solid bits settle and decant the fat off the solids. You can then wash the fat with warm water (some add salt as well) before soaping to reduce any odor and added color due to the heat of cooking.
 

LunaSkye

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Thats too bad about the beer, it makes really nice soap. I do make mine a bit different then other people though, I condense a whole bottle down to roughly 2 ounces and add it at trace. That way I don't have any weird reaction with the lye or the icky smell.
Do you add sugar or glycerine when you condense beer? I liked the idea aof reducing the beer and figured a syrup may do well for my futue batch.

In addition, how many oz of beer do you start with? I was going to use a 12 oz guiness as a base, but I'm thnking I may want to reduce it to 3 oz if possible.
 

DeeAnna

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Not Obsidian, but I also reduce my beer to about 1/2 the original volume and use the reduced beer as 100% of the liquid. I just reduce some down, use what I want in the soap I'm making at the time, and freeze the rest for another time.

"...I was going to use a 12 oz guiness as a base, but I'm thnking I may want to reduce it to 3 oz if possible...."

So you can use some other liquid as well in your soap? Not sure why you'd want to do that otherwise. You risk scorching the beer by reducing it that much, especially Guinness, but it's do-able with care.

"...Do you add sugar or glycerine when you condense beer?..."

Um, I am wondering why one would want to add sugar or glycerin when reducing beer? Not sure what the point would be. I'd just use it directly or freeze the reduced beer as-is.

If you mean adding extra sugar to the soap batter when using beer, I don't. Beer already provides enough sugars, in my opinion. And handcrafted soap already has plenty of glycerin, so no need to add more to the soap itself. But I might well be missing the point of this question.
 
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...............But I might well be missing the point of this question.

Not LunaSkye, but I think it was reference to the use of the word "syrup" - most people just reduce the product (beer, wine, less often spirits) down until it becomes the syrup itself - a thicker version of what it was originally, with nothing else added.
 
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I usually simmmer my beer for 5 minutes or so then freeze it. I soap with a 50/50 lye solution and the remaining liquid I want to use goes into the oils before adding lye. I then add in the lye solution a little at a time and stir let rest a few seconds before pouring in more of the solution. I find my batter does not heat up as badly as it when when pouring in all the lye at one time. Truly, I have more trouble with wine than beer in soap. Do you scent your wine soap?
 

Obsidian

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My beer "syrup" isn't a sweet syrup, its just a thick beer concentrate. I start with anywhere from 12oz to 16oz. I cook it down until its thick, then weight it and subtract that amount from my water.

Like DeeAnna said, it can scorch so you have to use low heat and it takes quite awhile.
 

LunaSkye

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@DeeAnna: I originally planned to add glycerine for the sake of making the soap more bubbly. I also have some butters that I want to use up as well. I figured that it wouldn't hurt to add the glycerine to the beer since both would be included in the liquid percentage.
 

scotsman

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Sometimes I scent the wine soaps. It all depends on the type of wine I'm using. Some types leave a nice smell naturally after saponification. Some of the bolder reds leave a bit of a funky smell so I usually scent those.
 

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