tallow question

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JBot

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I bought a can of the WalMart "Great Value" Shortening, the "meat" one made with tallow and palm, to see if I like using tallow. (I didn't want to order 7 pounds of the stuff, only to find out that I don't care for it!) Hopefully the shortening has a high enough percentage of tallow to give me a good idea of how it behaves. I've read it's as much as 98% tallow.

I've only tried lard once so far, and I was very put off by the odor. I realize that could be because of the brand I used, or an issue with my process, so I'll be testing it again at some point.

I'll be soaping with the tallow shortening sometime this week. I was very pleased that I didn't detect any kind of odor when I opened the can to check it out. So I have two questions:

1. What are the chances that it will start to smell when it's heated up? (I mostly do oven HP.) I just want to be prepared!

2. If I like it, and I end up ordering some pure tallow (been looking at Soaper's Choice, would probably order it there), what are the chances that the pure tallow WILL have an odor? In other words: is it possible that the shortening smells neutral because of the way it's made/processed, but the plain tallow will not smell so neutral?

There MUST have been something wrong with the lard I used. Or I did something wrong. The soap still reeks, even though it's been several months. It's not a "bacon" smell, and I'm not even sure I'd say it's an "animal smell," but it sure is a nasty smell.
 

Dorymae

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Your nose plays a BIG part in this. What I mean is everyone is different. I've never used a lard that smelled any different to me than to smell like oil. I don't smell tallow either, just oil.

So you can ask 100 people if it will smell and you will get a lot of different answers.

I think people who are sensitive to smells probably smell it more. I also think that if you expect to smell it, you definitely will.

Someday I really want to run a blind test with one lard bar, one totally vegan bar and one tallow bar and see if anyone can pick out the vegan bar just by smell!
 

not_ally

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Lbot, what kind of lard did you use? I have used Farmer John's Manteca and Smart and Final Lard (I think they might call it shortening, but it is all lard plus some BHT and citric acid, I think.). They both smelled a bit piggy when heated up prior to pouring, but the smell went away after cure (actually in a day or two). I don't get any piggy/animal smell at all. I do use FO's/EO's, though.

ETA: the lard soaps don't smell otherwise nasty, either, just of whatever the FO/EO is.
 
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I have a really sensitive nose. I know that smell of lard. I use EOs to cover it. I found that the GV shortening had no odor on melting/making of the soap, then I added EO, so I can't help you on how it smelled later. I just made my first batch of true tallow soap, and with the regular amount of lemongrass EO, the odor of tallow is not detectable.
 

LittleCrazyWolf

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I use tallow and lard (both from Soaper's Choice). I don't detect any odor from the tallow at all. The lard does have an odor (not piggy) that disappears when soaped.
 

Happysoap

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I render my own tallow. It has a bit of a nutty scent. I have a very sensitive nose and there is no scent in the final completely unscented 100% tallow soap. Tallow in soap is wonderful. Its hard, lasts forever and has nice creamy lather.
 

JBot

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Your nose plays a BIG part in this. What I mean is everyone is different. I've never used a lard that smelled any different to me than to smell like oil. I don't smell tallow either, just oil.

So you can ask 100 people if it will smell and you will get a lot of different answers.

I think people who are sensitive to smells probably smell it more. I also think that if you expect to smell it, you definitely will.

Someday I really want to run a blind test with one lard bar, one totally vegan bar and one tallow bar and see if anyone can pick out the vegan bar just by smell!

I would love to participate in that test! I have a pretty sensitive nose, and I think sometimes people smell what they expect to smell, but not always; I expected the shortening to smell, and was very happy that it didn't. I don't mind the smell of oils generally, but that lard was something else. . .

Lbot, what kind of lard did you use? I have used Farmer John's Manteca and Smart and Final Lard (I think they might call it shortening, but it is all lard plus some BHT and citric acid, I think.). They both smelled a bit piggy when heated up prior to pouring, but the smell went away after cure (actually in a day or two). I don't get any piggy/animal smell at all. I do use FO's/EO's, though.

ETA: the lard soaps don't smell otherwise nasty, either, just of whatever the FO/EO is.

I used Snow Cap, but I got it from the grocery store, so even though it wasn't past the date on the box, maybe it wasn't super fresh? I used FO when I soaped with it. Still smelled.

I have a really sensitive nose. I know that smell of lard. I use EOs to cover it. I found that the GV shortening had no odor on melting/making of the soap, then I added EO, so I can't help you on how it smelled later. I just made my first batch of true tallow soap, and with the regular amount of lemongrass EO, the odor of tallow is not detectable.

Did the pure tallow have more of a scent than the GV shortening, though? Before you added EO, I mean.

I render my own tallow. It has a bit of a nutty scent. I have a very sensitive nose and there is no scent in the final completely unscented 100% tallow soap. Tallow in soap is wonderful. Its hard, lasts forever and has nice creamy lather.

I'm excited to try it!!
 

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