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LBussy

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One of the other members I think uses a salad shooter to grate the soap, zaps it in the microwave with a few drops of water, and adds the fragrance at that time. I've never done it myself but it's definitely done.

Cured is cured, I would assume it to be done after that if it was already cured.
 

Bagaudae

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Thanks for the replies, useful as usual!

I think I may have a bad batch of SA. Both for the intense smell, it smells more like tallow than tallow itself, and for the erratic behaviour. I did another batch, similar in every way as the first one and this time the soap turned out very hard. The first time it came out very soft, same or even softer than Cella (italian "croap"). Now it is almost as hard as any triple milled.
I tried to repeat the same conditions, so It might be an unaccurate scale (very possible) or the oven isn't accurate enough, not sure the temperature would change the result so dramatically.

Either way, I'm getting another batch of StearicAcid from a different supplier and see how that comes up.

Thanks all for the help. It has been a very interesting journey with lots of fun learning.
 

Bagaudae

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Greeting again. And again, sorry for the double post.

I got myself some new SA, this time palm SA. The datasheetcan be found here, in case someone wants to take a look.

This time arround it came out exactly how I would expect it would be. I followed the original poster recipe almost entirely (I was a couple of grams short on the coconut) and all the steps were pretty musch as described.

The result is also very good, even though I would like to tweak it a bit more to my taste.
A week after I made it, it lathers very very easily. It is also one of the most forgiving soaps as for the "water needed" that I have tried. It is a bit on the thirsty side, but I think it is better now than what it was a day after it's birth, so it can even improve further in the next couple of weeks until cure is complete.

I have also started to fiddle with fragrances and EO and also on that side I'm satisfied with the results. The fragrance is a bit on the dull side, It probably lacks the depth of a well thought and composed mixture. I just poured equal parts of "cedarwood" and "sweet orange" (bothe EO). I like it, and that's all that matters :)

I come again for Your help because I don't know in wich direction to go to tailor this recipe more to my preferences.
Right now recipe is as follows:
55%SA
45%CO
full KOH at 38%.
I'm using 5% SF and a total of 15% oil weight of glicerine. (200g Oils and about 30g Glicerine)


The lather this soap provides is good enough, but if I consider a range of lathers that go from lotion-like to bubble-bath or if you prefer, from very thick to very light and airy, this soap is a bit on the airy side. Note that the lather is great and it is superior to some other well known and generaly accepted soaps that I have tried. This is a matter of personal preference and fine tunning.

What I would like is for it to be a bit more rich and "heavy". It lathers so easily that I am willing to sacrifice some of that for a bit more creamy thick lather.
I was thinking in introducing some other one or two oils that can make this happen. And this is where I need some help.

Should I tone down on the stearic and introduce some olive oil, maybe shea butter, maybe both?

Thanks again for the time spent with a newbie. It is much appreciated.
 

LBussy

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I found myself in the same place as you ... lather exploded before you even knew it, but it lacked some protective properties. Here is an example of a way to go that's worked for me:

45% Stearic Acid
25% Coconut Oil
20% Beef Tallow
5% Lanolin
5% Shea Butter
5% Superfat
Additional Glycerin at 11% of the total oil weight

Tallow is THE fat to use for shaving soap as far as I am concerned. The shea and lanolin is split to use half of each after the cook as the superfat.

If you don't/won't use animal fats, well, maybe this will give you some ideas anyway.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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No olive. Never olive! It is the worst for a shaving soap. Try tallow, taking the co down to make room - try the tallow at 20% for a starting point and see what you make of it. Will be creamier.
 

songwind

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Tallow, lard, or castor oil will make it creamier. The bubbly factor is largely due to the coconut oil, so I'd look at reducing that moreso than the stearic.
 

Bagaudae

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Problem is I can't find tallow from a reliable source. Seems like all the online shops for soap making supplies are into the full vegan wave and animal based ingredients are hard to come by. I don't say this with any intent to depreciate, it's just what it is.

I can get lard easily though. Is culinary lard OK? If so, I can grab it at any supermarket. Sometimes I even have it laying arround the house.

I will try to cut the CO in, let´s say, 10% and substitute that for lard.
By doing so will I need extra care as for the SuperFat goes? I mean is it OK to end up with some lard unsaponified? I was thinking I can add the CO last and that would force all the Stearic and Lard to be consumed and all the free fats would come from the CO. Not sure this makes any sense at all, I think I read something in this direction and I think I also read that this is rubish and I can go and just melt all the fats and pour that lye in it.
 

Susie

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If you are in the US, you can purchase tallow online at several soap suppliers. Shaving soap is one place that you can't substitute lard for tallow.
 

songwind

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Problem is I can't find tallow from a reliable source. Seems like all the online shops for soap making supplies are into the full vegan wave and animal based ingredients are hard to come by. I don't say this with any intent to depreciate, it's just what it is.
I buy mine from soaperschoice.com, but you have to buy at least 7lbs. You can also order it from Amazon but it's pretty expensive that way.

I can get lard easily though. Is culinary lard OK? If so, I can grab it at any supermarket. Sometimes I even have it laying arround the house.
Yep, lard is lard. I haven't personally made a shaving soap with lard, but in theory it should be possible.

I will try to cut the CO in, let´s say, 10% and substitute that for lard.
By doing so will I need extra care as for the SuperFat goes? I mean is it OK to end up with some lard unsaponified? I was thinking I can add the CO last and that would force all the Stearic and Lard to be consumed and all the free fats would come from the CO. Not sure this makes any sense at all, I think I read something in this direction and I think I also read that this is rubish and I can go and just melt all the fats and pour that lye in it.
You could try to do it that way, but even then you wouldn't really control which oils are in the superfat. The only way to do that would be to wait until the soap was 100% cooked and add extra oils. You could do the math and withhold whatever weight of CO is equivalent to your superfat, I suppose.

I just melt it all and mix it all with lye.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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As Susie said, lard cannot replace tallow in a shave soap. I have made both, and the tallow is far better for this particular job
 

kc1ble

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Problem is I can't find tallow from a reliable source. Seems like all the online shops for soap making supplies are into the full vegan wave and animal based ingredients are hard to come by. I don't say this with any intent to depreciate, it's just what it is.

I can get lard easily though. Is culinary lard OK? If so, I can grab it at any supermarket. Sometimes I even have it laying arround the house.

I will try to cut the CO in, let´s say, 10% and substitute that for lard.
By doing so will I need extra care as for the SuperFat goes? I mean is it OK to end up with some lard unsaponified? I was thinking I can add the CO last and that would force all the Stearic and Lard to be consumed and all the free fats would come from the CO. Not sure this makes any sense at all, I think I read something in this direction and I think I also read that this is rubish and I can go and just melt all the fats and pour that lye in it.
I had the same problem so I went to the grocer and bought some suet in the meat counter. Chop it up and let it render in the crock pot all day. All you have to do is give it a little stir once in a while. So easy its not even funny, and worth it in the long run.
 

Bagaudae

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I'm in Europe. The tail of Europe actually (Portugal).

For what I heard in an unrelated business ( metal polishing pastes) the use of animal based fats was subject to heavy european regulations, for other than food uses. I will broaden my spectrum. There are a lot of spanish, italian, german and french and even a few well reputed portuguese soap makers. I'm sure I will eventually find some suplier who can give me cow fat rather than pig fat. That's mainly the difference, right?

I could also get in touch with my butcher, get some beef fat and render the tallow myself, as kc1ble said..
 
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IrishLass

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Bagaudae said:
What I would like is for it to be a bit more rich and "heavy". It lathers so easily that I am willing to sacrifice some of that for a bit more creamy thick lather.
To add more of a creamy oomph to your shaving lather, keep the stearic where it is, but reduce the coconut to make room for more of the 'creamy' fats/oils. Some excellent candidates for creating a creamy oomph to your lather are castor oil, avocado oil, lard, butters such as shea, cocoa, mango, etc... (especially the shea).

For what it's worth (to give you an idea of how low you can go on the coconut and still make a shaving soap with great lather), my shave croap contains only a total of 10% of the bubbly oils (a combo of coconut oil and PKO). Although adding lots of coconut oil will definitely make a shave soap that's very easy to lather, you can get by with reducing it way down by increasing your ratio of KOH to NaOH (or just by using 100% KOH).


Problem is I can't find tallow from a reliable source. Seems like all the online shops for soap making supplies are into the full vegan wave and animal based ingredients are hard to come by. I don't say this with any intent to depreciate, it's just what it is.
To kinda/sorta mimic the qualities that tallow brings, a ratio of 18% stearic acid to 82% lard just might do the trick.


I can get lard easily though. Is culinary lard OK? If so, I can grab it at any supermarket. Sometimes I even have it laying arround the house.
Culinary lard is actually pretty much the only kind we soaper's use, so you're good to go. :thumbup:

I will try to cut the CO in, let´s say, 10% and substitute that for lard.
By doing so will I need extra care as for the SuperFat goes? I mean is it OK to end up with some lard unsaponified?
Unsaponifiable components aside, it's actually very hard for specific "whole" fats, or only the fatty acids from an individual fat, to remain as a superfat. It turns out from experiments done by Dr. Kevin Dunn that things are much more complicated than that....

The following is a rough description, but basically, when fats are mixed with lye, they are broken down into their individual fatty acids, in effect turning your soaping pot into a big mishmash/smorgasbord of mixed fatty acids from all of your combined fats for the lye to feast on.... Although the lye has its preferences for what fatty acids it likes to eat first, it will eventually gobble down everything that agrees with it's digestive system (i.e. saponifiables vs. unsaponifiables), and as much of it as will fit in its stomach (i.e., however much of a percent you discounted the lye in your batch).

What this all means in the end is that if your recipe has a built-in/up-front superfat/lye discount of 5%, and you add all your oils/fats together up front (or even leave some out to add later at heavy trace when the lye is still very active), your resulting soap will have roughly 5% unsaponified fatty acids in it that are a generic mixture/mishmash of the fatty acids from all your fats combined (plus however much unsaponifiable material that the lye is normally unable to digest).........

If you are into Star Trek at all, you can basically think of lye as being the Borg- i.e., there is no more individualism- all the individual fats have been broken down into their basic components and have become part of the Borg (lye) collective......or something like that. lol

Many try to manipulate which fatty acids or which specific oils/fats will remain as a superfat by adding that specific fat/oil after the cook when there is no more zap, which will certainly give you the best chance at it, but it's not an 100% ironclad guarantee since soap does not exactly remain a static entity fixed in time and space. Microscopic changes continue to go on inside the soap to help it to maintain equilibrium, especially when it's lathered with water when you bathe/shower.

Your best bet, if you ask me, is to add some oils fats to your formula that are made up of a good amount of unsaponifiables, like shea butter, for example.


IrishLass :)
 

LBussy

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Once you try a shaving soap with tallow, you wonder why you ever tried all those other things. I've formulated some all-veg soaps which technically were materially similar in their fat profiles but it's just not the same. I understand and support people's choice to be veg, I'm just glad I'm not.
 

Bagaudae

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This has been very educating, as usual. Thank you all for that.

I have been browsing the forum, there is even a thread about UK based suppliers, and I did found ONE supplier that does sell tallow (soap kitchen) and it does ship to Portugal, problem is shipping prices are quite high. Considering I was planning on buying 1kg of CO and maybe another kg of Tallow, I would pay a total of 28-30€ for 8€ worth of supplies :(

I think I will keep searching and maybe try to get in touch with local artisan soap makers. Facebook groups and such will probably help me with that.

@LBussy: " I understand and support people's choice to be veg, I'm just glad I'm not." Although I would certainly like to see animal exploration a bit more "humane", I completely agree with that one!
 

mistral

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Once you try a shaving soap with tallow, you wonder why you ever tried all those other things. I've formulated some all-veg soaps which technically were materially similar in their fat profiles but it's just not the same. I understand and support people's choice to be veg, I'm just glad I'm not.
If possible, I'd love to see some of your non-tallow recipes which you are proud of :) Thanks.
 

LBussy

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If possible, I'd love to see some of your non-tallow recipes which you are proud of :) Thanks.
I don't have any which I think are a straight replacement, sadly. I don't know any man who make their own tallow soap who have ever come up with a non-tallow soap they like. That's a telling state of being. Of course I know maybe five men who make their own tallow soaps.

I believe the most critical use for a shaving soap is a straight razor shave on a face. Since that's generally on a man it's not a sexist thing, just a statistical probability. There's probably a lot more people out there who don't use a straight razor, so probably a lot more who would be just as happy with a slightly less protective shave. I'm just not one of those people. So you have this subset, this very small, very opinionated core of crazy wet-shaver dudes who demand tallow.

It's not like I demand an animal sacrifice, it's just that I can really tell the difference. I suspect it's the non-saponifiables in tallow which lend the properties which make it such a fine addition to shaving soap. I'd be more than happy to like a soap made with non-animal based fats. I've just not met one yet.

You might try:

40% Stearic Acid
18% Coconut Oil
18% Palm Kernel Oil Flakes
17% Shea Butter
7% Castor oil
7% Superfat
100% KOH

I've made this but I did not reserve the Shea as superfat. If I was going to do it again I would reserve a third of the Shea to be added after the cook with the fragrance oils. Don't tell anyone this die-hard Tallow user developed a non-tallow soap but this was a gift for a vegan friend.

It's not bad, I just prefer the tallow (and lanolin) better. Process is a big part of it too so maybe reserving the shea as superfat will make a big enough difference.
 

mistral

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I don't have any which I think are a straight replacement, sadly. I don't know any man who make their own tallow soap who have ever come up with a non-tallow soap they like. That's a telling state of being. Of course I know maybe five men who make their own tallow soaps.

I believe the most critical use for a shaving soap is a straight razor shave on a face. Since that's generally on a man it's not a sexist thing, just a statistical probability. There's probably a lot more people out there who don't use a straight razor, so probably a lot more who would be just as happy with a slightly less protective shave. I'm just not one of those people. So you have this subset, this very small, very opinionated core of crazy wet-shaver dudes who demand tallow.

It's not like I demand an animal sacrifice, it's just that I can really tell the difference. I suspect it's the non-saponifiables in tallow which lend the properties which make it such a fine addition to shaving soap. I'd be more than happy to like a soap made with non-animal based fats. I've just not met one yet.

You might try:

40% Stearic Acid
18% Coconut Oil
18% Palm Kernel Oil Flakes
17% Shea Butter
7% Castor oil
7% Superfat
100% KOH

I've made this but I did not reserve the Shea as superfat. If I was going to do it again I would reserve a third of the Shea to be added after the cook with the fragrance oils. Don't tell anyone this die-hard Tallow user developed a non-tallow soap but this was a gift for a vegan friend.

It's not bad, I just prefer the tallow (and lanolin) better. Process is a big part of it too so maybe reserving the shea as superfat will make a big enough difference.

Thanks Lee! I'll give it a shot.
 

dosco

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I don't have any which I think are a straight replacement, sadly. I don't know any man who make their own tallow soap who have ever come up with a non-tallow soap they like.
I like my lard-based shave soap. I know that you don't like it as much as tallow-based shave soap.

I do concur with your opinion regarding the lardy smell ... but with that said, my latest batches (which now incorporate shea butter as the superfat, and extra glycerine) are, IMO, very nice. At least as good as the tallow-based stuff I've made.

With that said, I do plan to purchase some tallow and make more tallow-based stuff.

Cheers-
Dave

PS: what "non-saponifiables" in tallow are you thinking of?
 
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LBussy

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You might try:

40% Stearic Acid
18% Coconut Oil
18% Palm Kernel Oil Flakes
17% Shea Butter
7% Castor oil
7% Superfat
100% KOH
An addendum - I would use between 11%-15% of the oil weight in additional glycerin on this. I might be forgetting something else so I would have made this just like my Tallow soap but with this recipe.
 
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