Recipe Suggestions (AKA Bullwinkle tries to pull a rabbit out of the hat)

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WeaversPort

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Hi there!

I recently introduced myself, but then quickly tumbled into a beginner frenzy trying to learn about everything at once. CeMoor kindly pointed me to the other forums so that the answers don't get lost in my excitement.

I'd like to make a simple, beginner batch of soap. I don't currently have any lard (though I'm not opposed to it). I'm hesitant to use palm oil because of deforestation.

What I do have is the following:
  • Almond oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Castor oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Macadamia nut oil
  • Rice Bran oil
  • Safflower oil

Butters:
  • Coco butter
  • Shea butter

I'm going grocery shopping tonight to get olive oil and lard if I can find it.

Is there a good beginning soaper recipe with and without lard I could try this week? Eventually I'll try a Castile, but for the purposes of feedback response, I'm hoping for less than a year to find out if I broke it ;)

I can handle 4-6 weeks as I launch into new waters!
 
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lenarenee

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If you get lard:

5% castor oil (not a problem if you don't have - sub another oil)

15 - 25% coconut oil (depends on if you have dry skin

10 - 30% soft oil - safflower, olive, sunflower OR, 10 - 20% almond, avocado

the remaining percentage in luscious lard!

My usual recipe is 5 castor, 15 coconut, 15 soft oil, 65% lard

You could also do 80% lard, 20% coconut

Did that help any, or do you need a more specific recipe? (I've done all of the possible I've presented and its all wonderful soap)
 
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WeaversPort

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Did that help any, or do you need a more specific recipe? (I've done all of the possible I've presented and its all wonderful soap)
I think this helps. I have a bunch of questions, any specifics would be awesome - I'm pretty much kindergarten. I'm assuming that I'd gear up, make my lye water outside and let it cool. While that is happening, I'd need to heat the oils to a melting point for the lard and coconut. Do I need to look for any specific temperatures?

I can run it through the soap calculators linked to find out how much lye, I think? When should I unmold it and cut it to cure?
 

Susie

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If you get lard:

5% castor oil (not a problem if you don't have - sub another oil)

15 - 25% coconut oil (depends on if you have dry skin

10 - 30% soft oil - safflower, olive, sunflower OR, 10 - 20% almond, avocado

the remaining percentage in luscious lard!

My usual recipe is 5 castor, 15 coconut, 15 soft oil, 65% lard

You could also do 80% lard, 20% coconut
I recognize those recipe suggestions! :D

I think this helps. I have a bunch of questions, any specifics would be awesome - I'm pretty much kindergarten. I'm assuming that I'd gear up, make my lye water outside and let it cool. While that is happening, I'd need to heat the oils to a melting point for the lard and coconut. Do I need to look for any specific temperatures?

I can run it through the soap calculators linked to find out how much lye, I think? When should I unmold it and cut it to cure?
You want to not get complicated on your first batch. No colorants, and no scents to change trace. You need to just experience making a batch of soap first.

Use the recipe lenarenee gave. It is awesome.

Get the solid oils warm enough for them to be clear, no white left. Add your liquid oils. Get your lye/water about the same temperature (I just feel the sides of the bowls.) Unmold and cut when you can't put a dent in the top with gentle pressure. Better to gel the first batch, and you can unmold and cut between 18-24 hours.

First, though, go to soapee.com and run the recipe through the lye calculator. Run lots of recipes through it. Get some practice on it. Don't obsess over the "quality numbers", though. They don't necessarily represent the soap you will get.
 
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lenarenee

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I soap pretty cool. Just make sure your oils are clear. Your lye water should be cool or warm, not hot. If you feel better with specific temps - go for 90 - 100 degrees. (I never check temps).

Yup, always use a lye calculator!

Have you seen a video - to get an idea of the process?

My recipe rarely gels in a silicone mold, so it's 2 days or so before I cut. (I know....you're going to need patience)

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcCOruzFTgQ&t=138s[/ame]
 

CTAnton

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I'm a fan of avocado oil in the 20% range...you can search through the archives for Ginny's shampoo bar recipe...
I tried a soap I made 2 month's ago tonight; roughly 50% Olive oil, slightly more than 20% coconut oil, 28% crisco with palm and the usual 5% castor; subbed the water for half coconut milk, half aloe juice. Sodium lactate for hardness and sugar for bubbles. A really nice soap that won't break a budget.
In terms of your reserve on using palm oil keep in mind that your infinitesimal use of this oil for some soap while huge amounts of the world's population use palm oil as their SOLE source of cooking oil I strongly feel your use won't amount to the proverbial hill of beans.No one ever talks about how the Amazon river basin, an incredibly rich ecosystem, has been stripped of it's native habitat to plant soybeans for oil and feed.
Everything we do as the dominant species on this planet has ripple effects. I am happy you're not against animal fats in soap. Off soap box...
 

kchaystack

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I would be careful of using the rice bran and/or safflower oil. Both have a high linoleic fatty acid content which can cause rancidity to set in if used at much more than 15% of the recipie. There is a slim chance the safflower is high oleic - which means it is refined in such a way so that it has more oleic acid and is more like olive oil in its chemistry.

I know that is alot of big words - but you will get the hang of it. Just check here before buying a new oil to use. :) Other oils to avoid are regular sunflower, grape seed, corn oil, and cotton seed.

I would also not use high cost oils like Macadamia nut oil. There are other more cost effective oils you can use that have similar profiles.
 

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Get the solid oils warm enough for them to be clear, no white left. Add your liquid oils. Get your lye/water about the same temperature (I just feel the sides of the bowls.) Unmold and cut when you can't put a dent in the top with gentle pressure. Better to gel the first batch, and you can unmold and cut between 18-24 hours.

First, though, go to soapee.com and run the recipe through the lye calculator. Run lots of recipes through it. Get some practice on it. Don't obsess over the "quality numbers", though. They don't necessarily represent the soap you will get.
Thank you for the details and tip on the lye calculator! I'll find some more recipes here to practice running through the cruncher as well. I notice that many of the recipes people post are done in percentages, is that for ease of scaling?

I soap pretty cool. Just make sure your oils are clear. Your lye water should be cool or warm, not hot. If you feel better with specific temps - go for 90 - 100 degrees. (I never check temps).

Yup, always use a lye calculator!

Have you seen a video - to get an idea of the process?

My recipe rarely gels in a silicone mold, so it's 2 days or so before I cut. (I know....you're going to need patience)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcCOruzFTgQ&t=138s
Thank you for the link! I started watching some videos today, um, Soap Queen? It is good to get a beginning to end look at the process here as well.

I'm good with waiting 2 days. I was more worried about whether I needed a week as some people have talked about with castile. I don't have that much patience yet ;)
 
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WeaversPort

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I'm a fan of avocado oil in the 20% range...you can search through the archives for Ginny's shampoo bar recipe...
I tried a soap I made 2 month's ago tonight; roughly 50% Olive oil, slightly more than 20% coconut oil, 28% crisco with palm and the usual 5% castor; subbed the water for half coconut milk, half aloe juice. Sodium lactate for hardness and sugar for bubbles. A really nice soap that won't break a budget.
In terms of your reserve on using palm oil keep in mind that your infinitesimal use of this oil for some soap while huge amounts of the world's population use palm oil as their SOLE source of cooking oil I strongly feel your use won't amount to the proverbial hill of beans.No one ever talks about how the Amazon river basin, an incredibly rich ecosystem, has been stripped of it's native habitat to plant soybeans for oil and feed.
Everything we do as the dominant species on this planet has ripple effects. I am happy you're not against animal fats in soap. Off soap box...
Your recipe sounds wonderful! I'll keep it in mind for when I graduate to something a little more complicated. Right now I'm a little nervous about anything more involved than water, oil, lard, and lye :D

I figure if I'm willing to use animals as food, I'd be a little silly if I'm not willing to try other uses for the whole animal. I'm sure eventually I'll want something for my vegetarian and vegan friends, but for now I'm just trying to give myself the best chance for a "win" as a beginner.

Soap boxes are OK, after all - we're all here for the soap!! :)

I would be careful of using the rice bran and/or safflower oil. Both have a high linoleic fatty acid content which can cause rancidity to set in if used at much more than 15% of the recipie. There is a slim chance the safflower is high oleic - which means it is refined in such a way so that it has more oleic acid and is more like olive oil in its chemistry.

I know that is alot of big words - but you will get the hang of it. Just check here before buying a new oil to use. :) Other oils to avoid are regular sunflower, grape seed, corn oil, and cotton seed.

I would also not use high cost oils like Macadamia nut oil. There are other more cost effective oils you can use that have similar profiles.
Thank you for the tips!! I never even considered soap going rancid!! :-?
I'm glad that soaping can generally use the more available oils. I do have some of the higher priced oils because of the bath products I make, but it's far easier to get gallons of coconut, avocado, and olive. I'll leave the rice bran for skin and hair!
 

CTAnton

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Just get yourself a precise scale(s)...I measure in grams for added accuracy . When I make small batches I use a scale that measures in tenths of a gram....no use rating a recipe if you didn't weigh it out properly....
 

WeaversPort

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Just get yourself a precise scale(s)...I measure in grams for added accuracy . When I make small batches I use a scale that measures in tenths of a gram....no use rating a recipe if you didn't weigh it out properly....
I think my scale does as small as one gram.. But not tenths. Do you think that be OK to start with?
 

WeaversPort

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First batch in the mold!

... My usual recipe is 5 castor, 15 coconut, 15 soft oil, 65% lard
I did it!! Thank you!!

I did the above with olive oil, the real stuff instead of Extra Virgin. And I used a cleaned out potato chip canister as a mold.

Now to wait 48 hours... To unmold and cut. It's kind of like Christmas!!

:smalltree:

When I was blending, I accidentally got some bubbles in it. I gave it a few stirs but for a moment it seemed to have a skin on it. After I poured it in the mold I tapped it to try and get any additional bubbles out. Do you think it will be OK?
 

WeaversPort

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It should be fine! Congratulations!
Thank you!!

I figured this would be fun, but didn't realize this would be so exciting..

Now to figure out where to cure it once I've cut it. I'm not sure I thought this through all the way.
 

lenarenee

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Well congratulations on your first soap!!

You know how to tell when it's ready to unmold? Cut? Think of the firmness of slicing a block of hard sharp cheddar. Something that doesn't dent with firm pressure, but does dent with hard pressure.
 

WeaversPort

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Well congratulations on your first soap!!

You know how to tell when it's ready to unmold? Cut? Think of the firmness of slicing a block of hard sharp cheddar. Something that doesn't dent with firm pressure, but does dent with hard pressure.
Thank you! This is a helpful rule of thumb. I'll poke at it carefully tonight :)
 

WeaversPort

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OK, I couldn't wait.. I poked it this morning. It was like cheddar, firm to the touch, and cut very much like cheese as well, until I got to the bottom/end of the tube/stick where it was a little softer, but not as soft as say, brie.

I know I'm biased, but I keep staring at it and thinking it's pretty.

Notes to self: Next time, longer in the mold...

IMG_20170317_103649.jpg
 
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CTAnton

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"I make one pound recipes all the time and really don't have any issues. My scale does not measure in tenths."
Thats great for you artemis but I'm not comfortable in the possible variability of measuring out a small recipe . If I find a recipe I'm head over heels over I want to duplicate that with no wiggle room. Round up the number...round down...that doesn't work for me...
 
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