Lard and Molasses

Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

lalam

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
22
Reaction score
87
Location
PA
Hi All!

I spent my early soaping days using no additives to focus on lye safety, emulsion, trace, controlling gel phase. I wanted to make sure I had a full grasp of the basics before getting fancy. In the last month I used my first FOs...then micas...and now I feel ready to experiment with sugars.

I already was planning a plain 100% lard soap and figured this would be a great opportunity to make 2 1-pound batches to compare lather. The control soap will be 100% lard, lye concentration 33%, SF 5%, no additives. The molasses soap will be the same, but with 1 tsp of molasses added to the lye water. (Molasses chosen over plain sugar for its color in CP soap.)

Originally I was excited to try my first Pringles-can mold for this, however I realized that the shape of the can might be problematic because of the heat generated by the molasses. Am I correct in assuming that a Pringles can mold is more likely to volcano in general? I plan to use my first cavity molds instead, in the hopes that it will help prevent overheating.

I normally soap around 100-110 degrees. I'm concerned about soaping too high for the molasses, but I also don't want to soap too cold for the lard. I'm thinking of pulling back to 90 or even 80 degrees.
Does anyone see any issues with my plan or have any experience that they would be kind enough to share?

Thank you!
 

Todd Ziegler

Circle Z soaps
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
1,481
Reaction score
2,076
Location
Tipton IN
Hi All!

I spent my early soaping days using no additives to focus on lye safety, emulsion, trace, controlling gel phase. I wanted to make sure I had a full grasp of the basics before getting fancy. In the last month I used my first FOs...then micas...and now I feel ready to experiment with sugars.

I already was planning a plain 100% lard soap and figured this would be a great opportunity to make 2 1-pound batches to compare lather. The control soap will be 100% lard, lye concentration 33%, SF 5%, no additives. The molasses soap will be the same, but with 1 tsp of molasses added to the lye water. (Molasses chosen over plain sugar for its color in CP soap.)

Originally I was excited to try my first Pringles-can mold for this, however I realized that the shape of the can might be problematic because of the heat generated by the molasses. Am I correct in assuming that a Pringles can mold is more likely to volcano in general? I plan to use my first cavity molds instead, in the hopes that it will help prevent overheating.

I normally soap around 100-110 degrees. I'm concerned about soaping too high for the molasses, but I also don't want to soap too cold for the lard. I'm thinking of pulling back to 90 or even 80 degrees.
Does anyone see any issues with my plan or have any experience that they would be kind enough to share?

Thank you!
I have never used molasses in soap making before but the high sugar content could cause some problems. However I'm sure someone else will be able to help you more than I am.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
7,828
Reaction score
14,112
Location
US
Hello @lalam! Good for you to take it slowly and experiment as you go. It's been noted by other SMF members that single-oil soaps often need a longer cure to reach their best. As someone who loves lard soap, I will say that 100% lard soaps fit that description and typically (for me) need an 8+ week cure to be at its best. Lard is wonderfully slow to trace and thus is great for making complicated swirl designs.

I've also used molasses in soap. It's definitely a "heater" - similar to honey. I've found the best way to add it is to follow the @IrishLass method for adding honey. She describes it very thoroughly in Post #16 of this thread. If you aren't using master-batched lye solution (I'm guessing not at this point), simply separate out a bit of your water for dissolving the honey, before adding any NaOH.

Good luck, and keep us posted with how it is going!

EDIT: I totally agree with Owl's post, below. Best to have all ingredients pretty cool. To minimize stearic spots, melt the lard until completely clear, and let it cool down to about 100F.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
2,571
Reaction score
6,917
Location
Germany
1 tsp per pound of oils, you say? … (rattling sound of unit conversions) … that's about 1.5%TOW. Sounds like nothing to be too concerned about. You'd likely get off with two or three times that amount, when your oils are slow-moving. Just make sure you dissolve the molasses in the batch water/lye (ETA: AliOop beat me to it with the reference to the famous honey thread), and your lye has cooled off down to the temperature of the lard.
 

lalam

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
22
Reaction score
87
Location
PA
I've found the best way to add it is to follow the @IrishLass method for adding honey. She describes it very thoroughly in Post #16 of this thread. If you aren't using master-batched lye solution (I'm guessing not at this point), simply separate out a bit of your water for dissolving the honey, before adding any NaOH.

Thank you (and @IrishLass!) for the tip! I'm all about safety, so this makes me feel much more confident about dealing with a new chemical reaction. And thank you as well for the guidance with heating and cooling the lard!!

You'd likely get off with two or three times that amount, when your oils are slow-moving.

Thank you for the calculation and the information! I get so nervous about the heat of the reactions involved with soap making so I'm glad to know that 1 tsp is a conservative amount! If this baby-step experiment goes well after an 8+ week cure, I'll definitely try a higher amount!
 

lalam

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
22
Reaction score
87
Location
PA
Back nearly 6 weeks later with mundane results! Plain Lard on the left and Molasses on the right. As expected molasses had some heating issues and most of the tops are cracked. Disappointingly small color in the molasses soap too. Per @ResolvableOwl I may try a larger molasses amount next time, but that will have to wait for winter when I can recreate the chill of the garage again so it can be compared to these two.

Honestly, there's not a memorable difference in lather either, but they're only 5 weeks old so I'll keep an eye on 'em. :) Thanks All for your guidance!
 

Attachments

  • Lard2.JPG
    Lard2.JPG
    142.7 KB · Views: 25
Top