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timmy

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Hi,

I work in a restaurant, and we have an excess of good fat that has (before my time) just been thrown away. This is good hard, lamb, and beef fat, and I hate to see it wasted.

Ive rendered a bunch of tallow. A mixture of beef and lamb. Purified with water, strained though a coffee filter. It's nice, pure white, and hard.

I was considering making a decent soap out of it. I once found a charcoal soap that my skin loved, and would like to take a stab at that, and I figured since kitchen folk are pretty dirty a nice bar with some pumice in it would be nice for our hands. I ordered some good activated charcoal and pumice from amazon.

My thoughts on my recipes were to keep them simple and straight foreword:

Fat (havent weighed it yet), lye +water, charcoal, pumice

I was debating with fragrance, either to do without, or just try something simple.

What are your thoughts on the pumice/charcoal? Will I encounter any problems?


A side note: I haven't been browsing this forum too long, but it seems a lot of people who are making animal fat-based soaps are buying lard or bulk animal fats. I think if you're making your own soap, you probably care about whats going on/into your body. Support your local butcher/local farms and buy fat from the source. Butchers will always have fat on hand. Use fat from good, happy, healthy animals. Not commodity. That stuff you find in the 5 gal buckets is commodity crap, and I wouldnt want soap made from that.
 

Arimara

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I'm fairly certain that you will need to keep your fats separated somehow or at least know the proportions of what fats are in your blend. Different fats/oils call for varying amounts of lye and to haphazardly use an ambiguous mixture to make soap is likely to lead to some preventable mistakes (ie a lye-heavy batch of soap)

Is there anyway to keep the fats separated until you get home? Side question: are you a butcher?
 

Relle

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Hi,
A side note: I haven't been browsing this forum too long, but it seems a lot of people who are making animal fat-based soaps are buying lard or bulk animal fats. I think if you're making your own soap, you probably care about whats going on/into your body. Support your local butcher/local farms and buy fat from the source. Butchers will always have fat on hand. Use fat from good, happy, healthy animals. Not commodity. That stuff you find in the 5 gal buckets is commodity crap, and I wouldnt want soap made from that.

Timmy you say in your side note to support your local butcher/local farms etc and buy fat from the source. I'm not sure what country you are in, but in Australia, the butcher shops don't have fat on hand, so it's extremely hard to buy and there are not any local farms in a city.

We use to have a butcher shop, our fats, from good, happy, healthy animals, got picked up every few days and got sold off. We couldn't get 5 gal buckets here even if we tried, so please just don't assume our members can do this, without knowing what they have available to them, it's not always the case.
 

Dharlee

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I also second what Arimara said. You need to know the weight of each type of fat going into your soap in order to figure out the proper ratio of lye to use in your recipe. Do you have safety equipment such as goggles, gloves, etc. And the proper mixing equipment as well?
 

dillsandwitch

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Timmy you say in your side note to support your local butcher/local farms etc and buy fat from the source. I'm not sure what country you are in, but in Australia, the butcher shops don't have fat on hand, so it's extremely hard to buy and there are not any local farms in a city.

We use to have a butcher shop and our fats got picked up every few days and got sold off. We couldn't get 5 gal buckets here even if we tried, so please just don't assume our members can do this, without knowing what they have available to them, it's not always the case.
To right Relle. I would have spent a good month trying to get fat to render from our local butchers and they just dont have it. And even living in a rural area with heaps of farms around you still cant get it.

I would be over the moon if I could get 5 gal buckets at a decent price. Instead here I am stuck paying $4.50 ish for 250gm blocks of lard. :(


Its good to support local growers if you can but I wouldn't say store bough lard/tallow is crap and would make crap soap. They would need to follow strict guild lines to ensure a good clean product which I'm sure most people at home wouldn't even begin to get close to when rendering fat themselves. (not meaning to offend anyone here with this comment so sorry if I have)
 

Susie

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I normally tell newbies to stick to basic soap with no additives for a first few batches. The reason for that is there is less to go wrong while you are learning the mechanics of soapmaking. That does not eliminate using castor oil, though. I consider castor oil a necessary oil in all soap.

The other thing is this: while I respect your right to your opinion on what you want to use for your soap that goes on your body, please do not presume to tell me what to use on mine. I did buy "good fat" from a butcher and rendered it down. It was a great lesson, but never again. Just too much work to make tallow to then make soap. And the quality was no where near the quality of store bought.
 

Relle

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I agree with you Susie, about the fat, when we had the shop, I too, rendered down fat and thought, never again. The smell was vile and too time consuming.
 

Relle

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To right Relle. I would have spent a good month trying to get fat to render from our local butchers and they just dont have it. And even living in a rural area with heaps of farms around you still cant get it.

I would be over the moon if I could get 5 gal buckets at a decent price. Instead here I am stuck paying $4.50 ish for 250gm blocks of lard. :(


Its good to support local growers if you can but I wouldn't say store bough lard/tallow is crap and would make crap soap. They would need to follow strict guild lines to ensure a good clean product which I'm sure most people at home wouldn't even begin to get close to when rendering fat themselves. (not meaning to offend anyone here with this comment so sorry if I have)
I still haven't got any lard, must remember to look next time I'm in Coles, even though I think it's too expensive.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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The tip about different amounts of lye for the different oils is a good one -

500g of beef tallow needs 67.7g lye for a 5% superfat.
500g sheep tallow needs 65.7g lye for a 5% sf.
500g sheep tallow with 67.4g lye is only a 2.5% superfat.

You could go for an average if you don't know the exact amounts
 

timmy

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Yes, I have already mixed the fats. It's lamb heavy, Maybe 60-40 so I was thinking of using the mutton %.

Once I do have it weighed, would 5% SF be desirable for this or would a little extra be recommended?

Any thoughts on adding those dry ingredients and what they're effect will be?

And yes, I've got the safety dep. covered.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Make some without it and some with one of each and some with both - so that you can judge for yourself what you like best and what works/doesn't work for your skin.

With the difference that it makes, maybe go for 50/50 as the split as the calculator always gives some wriggle room automatically so you'll be fine. Many people routinely soap with a 2 or 3% superfat and as your recipe has no cleansing oils it shouldn't be too harsh if the sf is less than 5%
 

TwystedPryncess

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I've read somewhere here haven't I, that some butchers will not sell/give the fat so that we can render it? I may be going off faulty memory here.
 

Arimara

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Some areas in NY are building their pride in local business so I wouldn't be to surprised to find a butcher that would sell a soaper fat to render. However, since it's a bit of a side business, I'm not too optimistic in getting a good price for most tallows either.

Q- Can't you cook with rendered animal fat? I know next to nothing about it.
 
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