Crumbly lard

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by MGM, Jun 17, 2019.

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  1. Jun 17, 2019 #1

    MGM

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    So I've made 4 batches of lard soap so far
    The original "alien-brain-without-overheating mystery one", then I chopped up one alien bar to use as confetti in these two loaves, which I waited too late to cut and they were hard and crumbly. The first picture is the soap that I just threw out yesterday because it's crumbly and doesn't smell good (Christmas Even from NDA; photo is fresh cut, but it darkened quite a bit, which I had expected). The other one I quite like due to a nice fragrance (Sandalwood Amber), and have been using consistently for a few weeks. But there were some crumbs from cutting it, so I used them as confetti in yet another 100% lard batch with the same fragrance. This time I cut when it was fresh, but it still crumbled. I thought it was because of the (cured soap) confetti in it, but I'm pretty sure the fresh soap is crumbling, too.
    Does anyone else have this crumbling happen with 100% lard soap? 2.65:1 water:lye; 5% superfat. BTW, I don't find the lard soap to lack lather...it's quite creamy and dense. But maybe I'm not looking for big bubbles.
     

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  2. Jun 17, 2019 #2

    Obsidian

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    How long are you waiting to cut? I use lard at 50% and sometimes I can cut within 6-8 hours.
    Was it soft crumbly or hard crumbly?

    Since the cuts are really uneven and I can see places where the embeds have came loose, I'm blaming this on the embeds. They were probably too hard and caused the soap to rip apart.
    I wouldn't use chunks for embeds, only shreds which will be easier to slice.

    You knife might be part of the issue too. Chef knives with their thicker top can act like a wedge and cause cracking.

    A knife or cutter with a blade that is the same thickness would help, a wire cheese cutter would he even better.
     
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  3. Jun 17, 2019 #3

    Susie

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  4. Jun 17, 2019 #4

    MGM

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    Innnnnnnteresting....thanks!!
     
  5. Jun 17, 2019 #5

    DeeAnna

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    Yep, cut sooner. Look for the soap to be the consistency of colby cheese or mild cheddar cheese. If it's more like aged cheddar or parmesan, you've waited too long. Also don't use a knife -- either use a wire or use a bench scraper, aka dough cutter.
     
  6. Jun 17, 2019 #6

    MGM

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    I unmolded (this time) after about 24 hrs, and it was still soft and tacky, so I left it overnight and cut in the morning, so maybe around 36-38 hr? On the cheese scale, it was more like Boursin after 24 hr! But even at 38hr, it definitely wasn't parmesan. I am currently eating aged cheddar for lunch and my wife just asked me to stop squeezing it ;-)

    Ok, this wire-cutting business has finally pushed me to investing in a proper cutter...that ought to help with my uneven bars, too....
     
  7. Jun 17, 2019 #7

    DeeAnna

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    Your soap might have been at a decent firmness for cutting with a flat blade or wire, but just a little too firm for cutting with a knife, especially if you used the one in the upper right of your photo. It looks like a big, sturdy chef's knife, and that's probably a little too much of a good thing for cutting soap.
     
  8. Jun 17, 2019 #8

    MGM

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    Sold! You've all convinced me to buy a proper wire cutter (might as well get a full-on mitre box -style, since my bars could use a bit of uniformity).
    Funnily, I don't have any of this crumbling problem at all with my other recipe, and that one takes 3 days to unmold and another day or two in the open air to be ready to cut. It's very soft at first.
    You're right about the knife though....my soaping kitchen is in the basement apartment we recently reclaimed from tenants and some of my soaping items are things they left behind...probably not be wisest way to decide on tools ;-)
     
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  9. Jun 18, 2019 #9

    Susie

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    I am using tools from here, there, and yonder, also. So no shame there. I have a plastic mitre box off of Amazon (the cheap yellow one). I now use the wire cutter rather than my wavy potato cutter. Spoons, spatulas, bowls from everywhere. Who cares where they came from? What matters is that you know how to use them to achieve the outcome you want. And practice helps that tremendously.
     

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