Bizarre, shocking color change

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by luluzapcat, May 18, 2019.

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  1. May 18, 2019 #1

    luluzapcat

    luluzapcat

    luluzapcat

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    This is the second time this has happened. I am making CP soap from 100% lard, which I rendered from bacon fat. In the pot is nothing but 33% lye solution and liquid fat. Upon pulsing the stick blender, suddenly a blood red transformation spread out from the blender. Before I knew it the batch looked like the picture. It also seized, but maybe my temperature was too low (I had prebatched the lye so it was room temp and my fat was only just melted at start).

    I've made soap this way about 5-6 times and only gotten this reaction twice. Any idea what this could possible be due to? Thanks for any thoughts!
     

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  2. May 18, 2019 #2

    SaltedFig

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    I don't make bacon soap (although I do like the frugality of using the drippings for soap :)), but one thing did stands out for me ... the colour is almost identical to the colour lye water goes when honey is added to it.

    If it's not honey-cured ham/bacon, then the only thing I can suggest is that it will be something else in the curing mixture (of the bacon) that has reacted with the lye - the effect is likely to vary between different bacons (it would be interesting to find out what particular ingredient is causing this effect).

    I'm also curious to know whether the colour of your other batch that did this faded during the cure (honey soaps mellow to a tan colour during the cure, so I wondered if bacon soap also loses some of the vibrant colouring during the cure)?
     
  3. May 19, 2019 #3

    luluzapcat

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    [QUOTE ... the colour is almost identical to the colour lye water goes when honey is added to it.

    If it's not honey-cured ham/bacon, then the only thing I can suggest is that it will be something else in the curing mixture (of the bacon) that has reacted with the lye - the effect is likely to vary between different bacons (it would be interesting to find out what particular ingredient is causing this effect).

    I'm also curious to know whether the colour of your other batch that did this faded during the cure (honey soaps mellow to a tan colour during the cure, so I wondered if bacon soap also loses some of the vibrant colouring during the cure)?[/QUOTE]

    Thank you for that thought! I have collected drippings from friends, so it's entirely possible there is honey in there. That is, if it would survive the multiple "washings" I did melting with water/straining/scraping. I'm going to ask what they buy!

    I have made soap with honey as an additive (to the lye), however, and never got anything this dramatic happening. Seems strange that I might have MORE honey in the bacon fat soap than in the honey soap--but as you say, there could be stuff it was cured with that I'm just totally unaware of.

    My other soap that did this did indeed fade to a tan. So...maybe indicates honey...
     
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  4. May 19, 2019 #4

    KiwiMoose

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    Clever girl Salty!
     
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  5. May 19, 2019 #5

    Mobjack Bay

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    Honey seems like the better answer, but for what it’s worth, curing salt contains red dye to give it a pink color so that it is not confused with table salt. I think that all commercial bacon is cured that way unless it’s nitrate/nitrate free. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curing_salt
     
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  6. May 19, 2019 #6

    luluzapcat

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    Ooh that could also be it! I think the bacon I myself used was nitrate free which would explain the different behavior. What I got from my friends might not have been. Although...it wasn't pink (tomato red) until the lye and blending.
     
  7. May 19, 2019 #7

    plantiest

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    Learn something new every day! I used to think that I was allergic to bacon, because I always had reactions when I ate store-bought bacon. When I found a local farmer, I tried his bacon and have had no problems. I wonder if that added red dye (which I am known to react to) was causing at least part of it. Very interesting indeed!
     
  8. May 19, 2019 #8

    lsg

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  9. May 19, 2019 #9

    cmzaha

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    I have used bacon fat for soap after boiling it, it worked well, but took me a long time to collect enough bacon fat to have enough for a batch of soap
     
  10. May 20, 2019 #10

    lsg

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    In the summer, we love bacon and fresh tomato sandwiches, so it wouldn't take too long for us to collect enough bacon grease to use as part of the ingredients for a small batch.
     
  11. May 20, 2019 #11

    luluzapcat

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    I will say I really love the soap I get from the rendered bacon fat (aside from the very slight smell, which I'm experimenting on ways to remove.). It's hard, creamy, extremely long-lasting. At least in my rookie estimation. Just not big bubbly lather, which I don't particularly favor.

    Having stopped mostly eating meat this past year though, I'll be relying on friends fully, or going other routes. I did love the idea of using what would other be wasted, not to mention it came for free...
     

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