Time to Test Recipes

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QuirkyBlossom

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I've been doing research about properties of oils prior to developing my first soap. I've started putting together some recipes using SoapCalc to make "soap math" a little easier as I start out.

I now have several recipes to begin purchasing supplies for. I did come up with more recipes to test than I originally thought I would.

When you started looking for your base recipe, how many variations did you test?
 

penelopejane

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You will eventually find that the soap calc "maths" is irrelevant to how the soap
Feels in your skin. Everyone's skin is different to one soap may suit you but be a disaster for others.

If you want to save some time post your recipes for feedback before you start.
But you will get a lot of "use more lard" and "coconut <20% or not at all" and castor at 5%.

I've tested about 5 recipes. Now I make a salt soap and 2 others.
 

IrishLass

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Oh, my goodness, looking back on it now- I'd have to say probably too many formulas and variations of them, but then again, I learned a lot as I plowed my way through each of them, and thankfully nothing had to be totally tossed except for two batches (one lye-heavy and one DOS-ridden).

Even though we may not have liked some of my variations, they all got used up in one way or another ......... although I never could settle on just one base formula, wouldn't you know it. Nope- I've actually got two- my 50% olive oil recipe, which is an all-veggie formula, and my tallow/lard/veggie recipe which I call my 'veggie con carne' formula. lol. There are others that I make as well, but just not as often as those particular two (such as my salt bar recipe, my super sudsy 100% CO recipe, my facial bar recipe, and my shaving recipe, not to mention my 2 liquid soap formulas). I guess this lass just can't have too many soap formulas! Welcome to the addiction! :lol:

Whatever you do, don't be in a hurry. Give each of your formula variations the time they need to properly mature to their best.

For what it's worth, I would have to say it took me about three years of tinkering to refine my formulas to where I was finally happy with them. lol


IrishLass :)
 

QuirkyBlossom

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Thanks for the input. The plan is to test the recipes in two pound loaf pans so I can have plenty of bars to test of each base. I want to learn how the recipes change over time when stored. After I see how just these basic recipes behave, I will narrow down which ones I want to tinker with by adding things such as sugar, etc. All this before I even start to play with colorants and fragrances.

I'm excited about this adventure, but friends and family think I'm nuts, lol. So it is nice to be able to chat on here with people who understand.

I have read a lot of recipe threads on this forum and saw a lot of use more lard comments. I'm not using any lard in my recipes, so I'm wondering how well received my recipes will be? I will probably pick a few of my top favorites after they have a chance to cure to post recipes for to get feedback.
 

CaraBou

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Like the Lass, I experimented with lots of oils, additives and variations. I think that is natural and not undesirable if you can afford it. I learned early from controlled experiments with only one variable that it is difficult for most people (including me) to tell subtle differences between soaps. So now I don't worry about trying to understand every little change. Truth is, I've liked most of what I've made - though I've certainly gotten better over the years.

We can quickly direct you to a good recipe, but I think we've lost something by not supporting greater experimentation. It is easy to stifle creativity. But what fun is it if we all make the same soap and no one tries anything new? So here's a vote for you trying several different base recipes. Just space them apart, or at least keep them straight with good notes. And do be sure to allow a bar or two from each batch to have a good cure before you judge them too harshly -- at least three months in my opinion -- rather than using them all quickly or giving them away. That alone makes a world of difference for soap, independent of recipe.
 

jules92207

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Recipe testing was something I spent a lot of time on myself, so I can appreciate where you are. I've been soaping just about three years now and I still switch a few things up now and then, but for the most part it's taken me this long to really know my "percentages" so I am now confident at what percentage I like my lard, or coconut, or olive oil, etc. I've tested enough to know when I use certain butters those percentages change and when I want a bar to really last what I need, etc.

It's what made me more confident as a soaper and has allowed me to find what works to get the result, trace, hardness I expect.

Good luck! Take lots and lots of notes over your testing.
 

penelopejane

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I'm excited about this adventure, but friends and family think I'm nuts, lol. So it is nice to be able to chat on here with people who understand.

I have read a lot of recipe threads on this forum and saw a lot of use more lard comments. I'm not using any lard in my recipes, so I'm wondering how well received my recipes will be? I will probably pick a few of my top favorites after they have a chance to cure to post recipes for to get feedback.
That's why we all come here - our friends and family are sick of soap talk!!

Most of the people I talk to in Australia are dead set against lard in soap. Even the older people think it is depression soap. You are not alone at all in not using lard. May the olive oil (or whatever you use) force be with you. :mrgreen:
 

Susie

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I'm not using any lard in my recipes, so I'm wondering how well received my recipes will be?
Ah, that's a shame. If you are opposed to using tallow, you probably better speak up now. Also, how do you feel about using palm oil?
 

dillsandwitch

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Most of the people I talk to in Australia are dead set against lard in soap. Even the older people think it is depression soap.
I think the thoughts behind this is more to do with the "unhealthy" picture that has been built up on lard. That and its very expensive.

It does make a really nice soap though.
 

Susie

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I think the thoughts behind this is more to do with the "unhealthy" picture that has been built up on lard. That and its very expensive.

It does make a really nice soap though.
I think the reason lard makes such awesome soap is that pigs are most closely related to us of all the other fat/oil sources. It makes perfect sense to me that it works best with my skin. I am not asking people to eat the fat, for pity's sake, just try it in soap. You are even helping the environment by keeping it out of landfills! After all, no pigs are grown to produce lard, it is strictly a by-product of the pork industry.
 

CaraBou

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You can make fine soap without lard or other animal
fats. I recommend understanding what the various oils contribute, the minimum and maximums you should use of them, and what key additives bring. You'll find your way.
 

Dahila

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I make a few soaps without tallow or lard for my customers, but The only one of them I like which is Dandelion with cocoa butter. My favorite are combination of lard and tallow.
Animal fat is a waste which we use in soaps.
Bastille soaps....... well people like it, my hubby and my daughter likes it to...........I do not
 

topofmurrayhill

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If you want to save some time post your recipes for feedback before you start. But you will get a lot of "use more lard" and "coconut <20% or not at all" and castor at 5%.
Haha, so true. We have various police forces. If you post a recipe and hear sirens in the distance, run!
 
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