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KeepItSimpleSoap

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This may end up being very wordy as I intend to explain how this all started, and it may as well serve as an introduction to people who have joined the group after me as well as an introduction to those veterans that don't "study" the other user's info and posts here. Also I will be posting my past and future results.
It was in the fall of 2019 after I got out of the Hospital to have a stint installed in my left Carotid Artery that was clogged and earlier in the year had caused a mild stroke. I am ok.
I was recuperating at home and had spent about a day watching TV and I knew that I couldn't do that for 2 weeks. I had been saving bacon grease for about 2 years in a small refrigerator in the garage. I started searching high and low on the internet for a bare bones, lol, basic, simple soap recipe near exactly as our ancestors would have used. I was coming up with all kinds of recipes using other oils, swirls of color and other artistic designs, but nothing basic until one day I found a basic recipe. This was before I started finding soap calculators. It was this, My soap process is CP:

amount of oil multiplied by .1388 to get the amount of LYE for the recipe.
multiply results by 2.3 for the amount of water.

Some of you may be fine with this recipe. Others may not be and use a lower LYE/water ratio. I've tried it both ways using a 2:1 ratio. For my application I need a thin fluid batter. I am pouring into molds to make single color bars of soap.
From my experience and seeing what many fellow forum users are doing to manipulate their batter, I can see why you would want a batter thick like instant pudding that is not quite set up yet.
I was well into my 3rd batch, early Dec 2019, when I finally discovered Soapmaking Forum. I have learned a lot from all of you here at soapmaking.com and by way of my own studying and experience. One time I found a wiki link about LARD. I learned a lot from the encyclopedia results and thought that I would share it so if there was anyone else looking that they might benefit from the info. Many forum users gave me a positive response. A few, not so much.
LARD
EVERYONE should make at least one batch of LARD soap.
After about rendering enough of "earth's pig oil" for 3 batches I made this handy tool for rendering bacon grease.
GKH1.jpg

GKH2.jpg

GKH3.jpg

Those are old pics. I forgot what the kitchen looked like before renovation.
I hope that someone has copied this device.

From the middle of Nov 2019 to the middle of Jan 2020 I made seven batches. I remember now and back then that I was starting to "veer" from my original objective. The objective was to take a "byproduct" from the "homestead" and turn it in to something useful. Bars of soap. Her is a picture from when I was starting to veer.
cocoasoap.jpg

cocoasoap3.jpg

Don't take that I'm implying that this soap is useless. I was trying something artistic and I was hoping that family members of mine that have decorative soap in a basket on top of there toilet would want to put my "decorative" soap in the basket too.
I've been relying on this soap for the past few weeks as I wait for the done date on the first batch of the 2nd effort.

Here is a picture from the past of the first 3 batches two and a half years ago
1st3batches1.jpg

I even made one batch with cold coffee in place of water and added an oz of dry coffee as a scrubbing agent. This is a great gardening soap. It removes red clay easily.
coffeesoap.jpg

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
This is where I am at now.
On April 2nd 2022 I made the first batch of soap that I have made in over 2 years. The first batch gelled up in 5 minutes. It caught me by surprise however I was able to get it in the molds. I had an issue with either the quality of the FO or a problem because I stirred it into the oil early on. Most of the next several batches the grease was too warm and the LYE/water was too. Thick batter but usable soap. Here is a picture of 7 batches as I was re-boxing them to get the oldest on top.
2b7x1284.jpg

Below are batches 8 through 11. I finally have my process worked out. Batches 8 and up have 18 bars. I purchased more cavity molds to be able to pour 18 or 36 bars at a time.
8-11batches18.jpg

more a little later...
 
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KeepItSimpleSoap

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Earlier in April I was having an issue with some untested FO that I had purchased. A Forum user here was kind enough to fix me up with some FO samples. Thanks Cheryl. Also thanks to @AliOop for helping me with a recipe issue. Here is a picture of one of the FOs that I used. I've used this, Fresh Cut Roses, Bourbon and Brown Sugar and two or three more.
monkeyfartsscent.jpg
 

KeepItSimpleSoap

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Saturday afternoon I did my first double batch. (batch 12-13). 6-6 cavity molds for 36 bars. It was a bit messy. I think that I will stick to 18 per batch. The batter was the thinnest that I have ever poured and poured it right after it emulsified. It looks like it will take a few days for the bars to set up to be able to unmold. I mixed Just Peachy and Lavender FO. Hopefully it will have a pleasant smell.
Edited: The FOs were Just Peachy and Jasmine from Rustic Escentuals.
 
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Saturday afternoon I did my first double batch. (batch 12). 6-6 cavity molds for 36 bars. It was a bit messy. I think that I will stick to 18 per batch. The batter was the thinnest that I have ever poured and poured it right after it emulsified. It looks like it will take a few days for the bars to set up to be able to unmold. I mixed Just Peachy and Lavender FO. Hopefully it will have a pleasant smell.
Great job! And thanks for sharing the pictorial of your progress - that is so helpful for visual learners (and fun for everyone to see pics). The peach + lavender blend sounds lovely.

I don't recall if you are still putting them in the fridge. If so, that will actually slow down the saponification process that causes them to firm up permanently (as opposed to temporarily while cold). If you want them to harden faster, you could insulate them with a towel, overturned box, or heating pad (or any combination thereof). Heat speeds up saponification and hardening. :)
 

KeepItSimpleSoap

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Saturday my first batch got to the 7 week mark. Somehow I figured wrong and originally didn't think it would be ready until the 24th. I had used a FO which is not a tested one. It seems ok and doesn't burn my skin.
@AliOop I'm still doing a 48 hour refrigeration process so that I can get them out of the molds and right into their storage/cure box. I probably don't have to however I don't have ANY counter space to let them sit for a few days. The fridge is as a good a place as any for me to put them for 2 days and it keeps dust and bugs off of them.
I have gone back to a 2:1 water/LYE ratio. The extra water being added with the dissolved sugar/warm water was making the batter too runny.
2 days ago I mixed and poured batch 14. I used Wild Cut Roses FO. Thanks @TheGecko .
Here is a picture of batch 14.
b14.jpg


I'm in the middle of batch 15 now. After the LYE and LARD oil cool down I will mix it. Just as soon as it emulsifies I will pour it into the cavity molds.
I have about a half of a batch of rendered LARD before I am finished with the last of the 2022 effort.
I'm still waiting for some more FOs to come USPS.
The last two batches I only used tap water.
Here is a picture of batch 15. The tops are a lot smoother than some of the earlier batches now that I am pouring just after emulsification.
batch15.jpg

16 more ounces of LARD to go.
 
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KeepItSimpleSoap

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Batch 16 turned out to be 17.4 oz of oil. This is the first time I did 2 separate batches in the same day. 12 more bars.
2.5 years ago I processed about 11 pounds of Rendered LARD.
This time 2022 over a 7 week period I processed ~26 pounds. I'm all out of LARD and I only had to throw out 3 pounds of some grease that I suppose had turned rancid. No matter how many times I boiled it, it still smelled.
I made 240 bars of soap. If I use 24 bars a year I will have soap for 10 years.
Here is a picture of batch 16 and it has RE Cinnamon Red Hot Fo.
batch16.jpg
 

KeepItSimpleSoap

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After using the first bar out of batch 2022, it is still in use. This soap is durable, and all 240 bars will last more than 10 years. I gave one to the neighbor. She saw a box full of bars of soap and ask what was going on? I told here that it was made from bacon grease and at first she didn't believe me. I told her that is how our ancestors made soap, more or less. She may not use it now but when we (as a country like USA) get to the part of empty shelves, food shortages etc, I'll bet she uses it. I'm mostly concerned about a toilet paper shortage myself. I hear that everyone poops.
The soapy thing that I did today and for the first time in two weeks was to re-box batches 12 through 16. They are all curing well. That's the last of the 240. 84 in the picture below.
batches12-16,2022.jpg

Sometimes different FOs tint or change the color of the bars
 
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After using the first bar out of batch 2022, it is still in use. This soap is durable, and all 240 bars will last more than 10 years. I gave one to the neighbor. She saw a box full of bars of soap and ask what was going on? I told here that it was made from bacon grease and at first she didn't believe me. I told her that is how our ancestors made soap, more or less. She may not use it now but when we (as a country like USA) get to the part of empty shelves, food shortages etc, I'll bet she uses it. I'm mostly concerned about a toilet paper shortage myself. I hear that everyone poops.
The soapy thing that I did today and for the first time in two weeks was to re-box batches 12 through 16. They are all curing well. That's the last of the 240. 84 in the picture below.
View attachment 67100
Sometimes different FOs tint or change the color of the bars
Love the pictures. Really love the use of lard for soaping. Just beginning to learn lard soap. Pigs are often used for transplant parts into humans. Several people have shared with me that their surgery involved pig bits n pieces. Heart valve in my brothers case. Here’s to pigs everywhere for their generous assistance. Tonight’s meal is homemade pork fried rice.
 

KeepItSimpleSoap

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Over the weekend, I got the box with batches 1 through 4 out and numbered each batch. Also I started using a bar from batch #2. I had used McCormick pure orange extract (food grade) as a FO. Either I didn't use enough or the FO evaporated. I t doesn't smell like anything. About 2 batches after that I used some FOs that I got from Cheryl. I almost used all of them up. Thanks to @TheGecko. More should be arriving soon.
 

earlene

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Over the weekend, I got the box with batches 1 through 4 out and numbered each batch. Also I started using a bar from batch #2. I had used McCormick pure orange extract (food grade) as a FO. Either I didn't use enough or the FO evaporated. I t doesn't smell like anything. About 2 batches after that I used some FOs that I got from Cheryl. I almost used all of them up. Thanks to @TheGecko. More should be arriving soon.

McCormick food flavoring? Is that what you used? Bought in the spices section of the grocery store? That is not a Fragrance oil and is not designed for use in soap. The first ingredient on the list is alcohol, the second is water and the last and therefore the least, is orange oil. I would not expect any odor to remain in lye soap.

As tempting as it may be to use food items in soap, many of them disappoint, not all, but many do. That does not stop us from experimenting, I know, but be prepared. Sometimes asking here first and waiting for answers from other soapmakers can help prevent those disappointments.
 

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As tempting as it may be to use food items in soap, many of them disappoint, not all, but many do. That does not stop us from experimenting,
I understand using some 'food items' in soap like like Goat Milk and Coconut Milk since you can do a full water replacement with them, but I don't get adding veggies (pumpkin, avocado, carrot, cucumber, etc). Yeah, there is 'label' appeal..."This Pumpkin Soap is made with REAL pumpkin", but that sees to be about it.
 
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I understand using some 'food items' in soap like like Goat Milk and Coconut Milk since you can do a full water replacement with them, but I don't get adding veggies (pumpkin, avocado, carrot, cucumber, etc). Yeah, there is 'label' appeal..."This Pumpkin Soap is made with REAL pumpkin", but that sees to be about it.
Many times I would use up over-ripe veggies by using them up in soap. Did it add anything to the soap, probably nothing more than label appeal but it sold soap and I never advertised that it added any properties to the soap. The two I did make one regularly and one seasonally were avocado soap, because avocados were readily available and pumpkin soap. My avocado soap was made with pureed avocado and avocado oil, it did make a nice creamy soap. My pumpkin soap was made during the holiday season with pumpkin puree and pumpkin-type fo's, which sold okay. The puree was strictly labeled appeal as was the avocado puree. Another over-ripe fruit that was fun to use and the sugar content added to lather with the tiny seeds adding some exfoliation was bananas. We did not need to eat banana bread, which we really like, the hubby and I, so I did not bake it and I hated throwing away over-ripe bananas.
 

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