Formulating Bear Tallow Soap

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A good friend asked me to make her some soap from the bear fat she hunted. My soaps usually have tallow, but this formulation is coming out way different, I can’t get the longevity up with the oils I have. I don’t want to go over %20 CO, but here are the results using CO at %20 and %25. Also, my regular recipe I do not use shea butter, but I have a bunch, and I added it here to try and get the longevity up. Any advice? I do have SL, and I will add honey, because bear. TIA
 

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I made a 100% bear tallow soap and then I made another one that was mixed with other oils/butters. Let me see if I can find the recipe. The 100% bear soap was nice, very white and very hard, but low lather, so honey will be a great addition.
 
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I made a 100% bear tallow soap and then I made another one that was mixed with other oils/butters. Let me see if I can find the recipe. The 100% bear soap was nice, very white and very hard, but low lather, so honey will be a great addition.
I make a %100 beef tallow soap and the sugar really helps the lather! But this bear fat is much more like pig lard, it’s very soft. So, when it says longevity is low, I don’t want it to be too soft. But, you’re saying your %100 bear fat soap was hard?
 

earlene

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Hardness & Longevity are not the same thing. You can have a very hard soap that does not last long in use, or you can have a very hard soap that does last long. It depends on the oils used. (such as Castile made with only Olive Oil, and such as 100% coconut oil soap) I think you already know this & perhaps accidentally used the wrong word in your post.

But just in case...

To increase longevity, decrease CO. Coconut oil does not make soap last longer. You could increase the shea butter, but I would add cocoa butter to boost longevity. However if you have 'tons' of shea lying around, why not increase the shea to 25 or 30%. You'd end up with a longer lasting soap. If you normally like CO at 20%, then make the adjustments in RBO &, Avocado. You can get hardness 37 and longevity 23 with this:

Bear Tallow 35%
CO 20%
Shea 30%
RBO 10%
Avocado 5%

With the sugar and salt (in the form of SL) to enhance bubbles & hardness, and I think I'd be happy with the numbers I'm seeing.


You could tweak the percentages a bit and the numbers do change a bit, but they'd still be okay, I think.
 
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@earlene I don’t actually really understand longevity and hardness very well. I just figure it’s good to have them in the green range. I mean, I don’t imagine that a soft bar would last very long! Thank you so much! I wouldn’t have thought to adjust my liquid oils down that much! I’ll play around with the numbers where you’re at. Thank you!
 
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Oops! I almost forgot castor oil. I add that at my usual %5 and that boosted bubbles. The longevity is still a little low with these numbers, but I can’t seem to get it into the green now.
 

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earlene

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You are adding SL, which does contribute to a bit of hardness, but the calculators do not reflect that, so take that into account.

If you ever want to try out vinegar in soap, it also makes a harder bar. There are several threads here at SMF addressing the use of vinegar in soap and the adjustments to the NaOH that is necessary. Also DeeAnna covers it in the soapy stuff section of her website.

But I wouldn't start experimenting with vinegar with a brand new recipe; just pointing it out for the future if you're interested.
 
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What does longevity mean anyway? I upped my SL from 2 to 3%. Will that help, but not show on the graph? That red is bugging me. I’ve gotta make a decision on this recipe. These are the oils I have, shown in the image recipe.
 

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As I understand it, SL will help harden your soap to be able to unmold earlier and in my experience this is true. I don't think it adds to the longevity of the soap in use, but I've never tested this myself to see. FWIW, my longevity numbers tend to be right around the bottom line - sometimes a bit above or below, but rarely do I make soap in the 30 range. With average use of 1 shower per day, my bars last about 30 showers (5-5.5 ounce bar weight). That's long enough for me and my expectations, but I don't sell so that might make a difference to you. Do you have cocoa butter available? Even at 5%, that might make a difference.

Since this is a special order soap, I wouldn't worry too much about the longevity number if you are happy with the recipe as it is. You can explain to her that the bear tallow has a different profile than the beef tallow you normally use so she is aware that a bar might not last quite as long as what she normally gets from you. But, I think there mighht not be that much difference.
 
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Jeez Louise! What is it about bear tallow that affects the longevity SO much!? I wish I understood the chemistry better. This is with %10 cocoa butter, reducing the shea 10
 

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earlene

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What does longevity mean anyway? I upped my SL from 2 to 3%. Will that help, but not show on the graph? That red is bugging me. I’ve gotta make a decision on this recipe. These are the oils I have, shown in the image recipe.
Here are some past discussions on 'longevity' versus 'hardness':


Jeez Louise! What is it about bear tallow that affects the longevity SO much!? I wish I understood the chemistry better. This is with %10 cocoa butter, reducing the shea 10
It's the amounts of stearic acid and palmitic acid that contribute to longevity. These numbers only add up to 10 in Bear Tallow. Compare that to the total for beef tallow & it is a whopping 50. The reason is self evident when you look at those numbers.

I am not sure which recipe you are using now, but If you use only cocoa butter and no shea, that would increase the longevity number, but you give up some bubbles. Your soap would probably develop cracks as it gets older, down the sliver size, but it would last longer. And you would really need that sugar. Another option is to decrease your castor a bit. Here is another iteration with a few tweaks to get them all into the green since that's what you are seeking. Play around with all the oils & see what you come up with. It can be done:

1655760354845.png


What does longevity mean anyway? I upped my SL from 2 to 3%. Will that help, but not show on the graph? That red is bugging me. I’ve gotta make a decision on this recipe. These are the oils I have, shown in the image recipe.
Here are some past discussions on 'longevity' versus 'hardness':

See posts #8 and #11 in particular.

Excellent source for your questions regarding the difference between the two & how to achieve longer lasting soap, but still foster the other qualities you want in a bar.

As I understand it, SL will help harden your soap to be able to unmold earlier and in my experience this is true. I don't think it adds to the longevity of the soap in use, but I've never tested this myself to see. FWIW, my longevity numbers tend to be right around the bottom line - sometimes a bit above or below, but rarely do I make soap in the 30 range. With average use of 1 shower per day, my bars last about 30 showers (5-5.5 ounce bar weight). That's long enough for me and my expectations, but I don't sell so that might make a difference to you. Do you have cocoa butter available? Even at 5%, that might make a difference.

Regarding the question of SL contributing to longevity, it was something I read on a blog reporting testing done with soaps using the same recipe with and without SL, and how long the soaps lasted. As I recall, it was anecdotal, not scientific, but the accompanying pictures seemed to support the anecdotal reports. It's been quite a while since I first read it, and don't recall exactly where I read it, but I have seen it a few times & if I run across it, I will add a link.
Edit: Okay, here's a link where SoapQueen says it lasts longer in the shower with sodium lactate. Not sure if I'll find another link to attach, but at least here is one: How to Make Soap Last Longer in the Shower - Soap Queen
Another edit: Here is a discussion with anecdotal reporting: Sodium Lactate vs Salt & Sugar
 
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earlene

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I can't seem to find the other one I read, as apparently I did not save it as a bookmark. Maybe it was a link someone here provided, or maybe not. I found a thread in which @Dawni linked an experiment showing increased longevity in soleseife bars, but that site is currently under maintenance and the projected date of its return has passed by a couple of months, so it seems pointless including that link here. It's not the one I was referrng to because it was about solefeife bars and not SL anyway.

But maybe using brine water would help as well to increase longevity, although I cannot say having not personally attempted to evaluate that possibility.
 
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Here are some past discussions on 'longevity' versus 'hardness':



It's the amounts of stearic acid and palmitic acid that contribute to longevity. These numbers only add up to 10 in Bear Tallow. Compare that to the total for beef tallow & it is a whopping 50. The reason is self evident when you look at those numbers.

I am not sure which recipe you are using now, but If you use only cocoa butter and no shea, that would increase the longevity number, but you give up some bubbles. Your soap would probably develop cracks as it gets older, down the sliver size, but it would last longer. And you would really need that sugar. Another option is to decrease your castor a bit. Here is another iteration with a few tweaks to get them all into the green since that's what you are seeking. Play around with all the oils & see what you come up with. It can be done:

View attachment 67335
That’s so helpful and good to learn! Thank you for your crunching the numbers for me to get them all in the green. I’m nervous to use a lot of a new ingredient and change the recipe too much. But, I do think I’ll try two batches. I have enough fat. I doubt that the recipients of the soap would even know the differences.



Here are some past discussions on 'longevity' versus 'hardness':

See posts #8 and #11 in particular.

Excellent source for your questions regarding the difference between the two & how to achieve longer lasting soap, but still foster the other qualities you want in a bar.



Regarding the question of SL contributing to longevity, it was something I read on a blog reporting testing done with soaps using the same recipe with and without SL, and how long the soaps lasted. As I recall, it was anecdotal, not scientific, but the accompanying pictures seemed to support the anecdotal reports. It's been quite a while since I first read it, and don't recall exactly where I read it, but I have seen it a few times & if I run across it, I will add a link.
Edit: Okay, here's a link where SoapQueen says it lasts longer in the shower with sodium lactate. Not sure if I'll find another link to attach, but at least here is one: How to Make Soap Last Longer in the Shower - Soap Queen
Another edit: Here is a discussion with anecdotal reporting: Sodium Lactate vs Salt & Sugar
 
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Made the bear soap, it’s resting. I realized that I have used shea butter, but had not used cocoa butter before. It took SO much heat to melt it, whoowee! Had to wait a long time for it to cool. Soaped with oils at 124F, and lye at 100F. Separated out a little green and brown, because I couldn’t just leave it simple. 🙄 I poured a layer of mocha brown by NS first because it was such a pretty color, then did an ITSP with the remaining 3 colors. It got thick fast! I don’t think it was the FO, but I don’t think I’ve soaped with it that hot before. I was hoping for more of a swirl, but they’re a bit gloppy, still cute though!
 
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😊🐻🍯
I love the one un dissolved bit of honey on the one paw!
(Will that honey chunk get weird?)
 

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