Mostly tallow soap

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

Joined
Jan 7, 2021
Messages
494
Reaction score
1,561
Location
Alabama
I did make 2 batches. One with 55% tallow and one with 80% tallow. Both were hard as a brick. The 80% tallow had a thick creamy lather, the 55% bar, which had more coconut oil in it had bigger bubbles. I liked them both. I made both hot process, so can't say about the batter.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2021
Messages
301
Reaction score
582
Location
Moved to The Oort Cloud...
The other day I got 5 pounds of beef fat from a local meat market. I wanted to see how hard it was to render. I put it in the freezer, because I was scared! Lol! 😳😜
If you have a meat grinder aka food chopper just grind the fat, slightly frozen into small bits, about a 1/4" or so. You can also use a food processor too, just do it in 1 lb. batches.
Put the chopped fat into a large pot and just cover the fat with water and bring it to a slow boil. Turn it down to a simmer and let it simmer for about an hour or so. Strain through doubled up cheesecloth and let sit in a fridge overnight to solidify. Next day, take solid tallow out off of the top of the water and dump the water down the drain. That's it.
There are a several good videos on YouTube as well for water rendering tallow.
 

WeLoveWabiSabi

Active Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2022
Messages
34
Reaction score
44
Location
Texas
I know this post was from last year but just wanted to chime in.

about a year ago I made a 100% tallow bar, just to see what it would be like. And because I have a friend who's mom is allergic to almost everything, including most vegetables, so I thought it could work for her. I didn't put any fragrance in it.It ended up super hard. I mean you can't use that soap up! I've had one in my shower for months and it just won't go away!! It does create a nice fluffy lather though and cleans well. No complaints there. The thing I didn't like about it is that it did end up smelling kinda fatty. It might have just been me since I was aware of it. And it was a really light fatty scent, but it was there. I also made some really high tallow bars that I scented with EOs. After a year they really didn't have much smell left.

A few weeks ago I shredded what I had left of them up and put them in the crock pot with some goat milk and rebatched them. I also added a small amount of fresh soap batter because it was taking to long to melt down and I didn't like that it seemed really dry. I then added some lemongrass EO and some turmeric. The bars turned out amazing. Not fuffy or anything, a nice hard bar with a strong scent, nice color, and a great lather. I probably won't make the pure tallow or super high tallow soap again but what I ended up with a year later is really nice. Also, I use tallow at 40% in most of my recipes. I love it in soap. It just makes a great lather and a long lasting bar once cured. I've tried veggie oil recipes and they all just seem to go to mush or use up too quickly.

As far as rendering tallow is concerned. I have a few tips. I rarely do it anymore because I buy my tallow in bulk already processed. But here is how I do it and it's not as messy or time consuming...okay, maybe still time consuming but you can do other things while it's going. I personally use nut milk bags but you can also use old pantyhose legs. Put the fat into the bag (or panty hose), and cinch the bag or tie off the hose. put it in a large pan of boiling water, I would use about 1/4 to 1/3 of the total amount of fat. let it sit in there a while on a low boil and then once it starts getting soft, use a hand held potato masher to just mash it every now and again. I would sometimes let it low boil for an hour or two, adding more water as needed little by little, mashing it every now and then. when there's little left in the bag, you'll know it's done. All the fat seeps out and floats on top. You can try to strain the bag a little more with your hands if you want, but leave it sit out in a bowl or something to cool off a bit, then wear a few pair of gloves though cause it's still going to be hot. Or just skip that whole mess. I just never like to waste anything. lol. After the bag is out, I turn it up to get it to a good boil for a minute just to get it really hot so that all the fat will float on top. make sure you watch it because water and oil boiling can get pretty angry. Then turn it off, remove it from the heat, and let it cool for a bit. I then put mine in the fridge or freezer, gently without sloshing it around, with a towel laid down so not to crack the glass or anything. I also have an extra fridge outside that I store my tallow in and use for extra fridge space. if you are putting it in your daily fridge, you may want to let it cool a bit more and make lots of space around it because you don't want the heat affecting your food. Once it's good and cooled, I usually let it sit overnight in the fridge, you can cut the tallow in triangles out of the pan and rinse the solid pieces off under warm running water at the sink to get all the gunk off the bottom. years ago, I used to use rendered hamburger and bacon fat from when I was cooking when I first started making soap for my family. when I did that I often had to render it twice to get all the specks out. but if you have to do it a second time it's just a quick boil with more water and back in the fridge. no bag required. Anyway, I didn't intend to get into so much detail of the process, I just thought the nut milk bag/panty hose trick would be a useful tip, then thought that if someone reads this who never has done it before, they might need the full instruction.

ok. I'm going to bed now. I'm sleepy so I hope that my comment makes sense. :)
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
8,507
Reaction score
15,270
Location
US
Thanks for sharing that tip about the bag! I don’t tend to render a lot of tallow, just lard, but I’ll try it for my next batch.

My experience with high tallow bars is like yours. I have to let them cure a long time before they lather well, and I have to put some scent in them to cover the tallow smell. I don’t get that smell from my home-rendered lard, especially when I can get the leaf fat which renders so cleanly and quickly.

Two things I do differently:

1. I don’t put mine in the fridge until it has cooled. I find that more particles settle to the bottom that way. While my cooled lard goes into the freezer to get hard, the fridge makes the tallow more than hard enough. The sloped sides of the dollar store mixing bowl that it goes into allow me to turn it over and pop out the solid block with ease.

2. I don’t like to wash my rendered solid fats bc I don’t want them to absorb any water that might encourage rancidity. Instead, I scrape the bottom and sides with a knife to remove all the discolored bits. I also cut the block and look at the inside surfaces. If I see specks, it goes through another cleaning cycle.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
12,649
Reaction score
13,249
Location
Southern California
All of my non-vegan soaps are 40% beef shortening 20% lard and I do not pick up any "meaty" odor when they get old. I know have soaps going on 4 yrs old that smell just fine even though the scent in many is fading. Beef shortening is beef tallow.
 

WeLoveWabiSabi

Active Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2022
Messages
34
Reaction score
44
Location
Texas
Thanks for sharing that tip about the bag! I don’t tend to render a lot of tallow, just lard, but I’ll try it for my next batch.

My experience with high tallow bars is like yours. I have to let them cure a long time before they lather well, and I have to put some scent in them to cover the tallow smell. I don’t get that smell from my home-rendered lard, especially when I can get the leaf fat which renders so cleanly and quickly.

Two things I do differently:

1. I don’t put mine in the fridge until it has cooled. I find that more particles settle to the bottom that way. While my cooled lard goes into the freezer to get hard, the fridge makes the tallow more than hard enough. The sloped sides of the dollar store mixing bowl that it goes into allow me to turn it over and pop out the solid block with ease.

2. I don’t like to wash my rendered solid fats bc I don’t want them to absorb any water that might encourage rancidity. Instead, I scrape the bottom and sides with a knife to remove all the discolored bits. I also cut the block and look at the inside surfaces. If I see specks, it goes through another cleaning cycle.

I will try letting it cool before going in the fridge next time. I guess i always just thought that the faster it cools the less chance it would get mixed up again.

I don't have any problems with any smell with 40% tallow. But then again, I've been buying processed grass fed beef tallow and it's super clean. It doesn't even have much of a smell coming out of the package. Even the 100% tallow experiment I did, which was with fat I rendered myself, it was unscented, and wasn't horrible. But you could still smell it and I didn't like that.

My soap does lather better the longer it cures. My year old soap was luxurious, despite not smelling as good. But the soap I make and smell has a lovely lather after my usually 4-6 well cure. Tallow does make a nice later. I think it's great for shaving.
 
Top