More Fun Soap-Making

April 3, 2008

I made up my last batch of soap for the year today.

408g of total solids (fine-ground & rendered animal fat from various places in the animals’ bodies, and the little brown goo-micelles too)
60g egg yolk
about 120g olive oil (extra virgin)

Total amount of fats: about 262g (could be much more, up to 300-325g.)

added about 39g lye and about 45-50cc water (remembering that there was a good 80cc water in the critter goo) as recommended loosely by the MMS calculator.

… I did not render the egg yolks. I used them raw and cold, straight out of the eggs.

Gloved up, I mixed up the lye water and walked away. I warmed the fats up and stirred thoroughly.

Olive oil castile soap which I made for my mom a few days ago, took 3 days to trace. The previous critter fat batch I made (with rendered fat) took a day and a half to trace. So I figured, ah what the hey, I’ll stir for 5 minutes and walk away…

… so, that in mind, I mixed the 2 together, putting the lye water in to the fats in a slow, steady stream, while stirring.



I stirred a little bit, but got put off by the stink and a suspicious “steam” and a funny feeling in my nose (major yikes here, could have been lye fumes.) I walked away after turning the fume hood on high. I kept having to stir an oily film from the surface, under. When I came back in 15 minutes, there was a dark blood-red layer on the bottom, and a medium beige layer on top. I cussed and started stirring right away. I had to break up a whole bunch of half-formed soap globules, but got them all done. I kept on stirring until I was well past light-trace, because I was happy that I finally got a soap to trace while I was stirring it.

(btw I made this in it’s final container – no transfer to a mold was needed)

My guess? It may be a little lye heavy; I may have mis-guessed the weight of the egg yolks and/or the weight of the rendered kit fox fat. (both had to be guessed at – the fat would not separate from the micelles, and the egg yolks got put in to the critter fat before I re-weighed, whoops.)

It cured to a soft rubbery? texture, and pale brown color. It was easy to cut with a regular knife. Ash (sodium carbonate, aka washing soda or laundry booster) formed on some edges, so this will be a great soap for hides.

If it’s too basic, so be it, I’ll rebatch / add olive oil in a week or so.
If it’s perfect, awesome.

This batch is only for hides — not for hands — it contains brains, far too hard to come by for mere handwashing or plant spraying. I have batches for both other purposes on-hand now.

Another important safety tip I have not seen a lot of:

When rendering your fat down, make sure to keep the heat set to low-medium. Oil heats up higher then the water, oil rises, and grease spatters. Grease fires are bad news, and boiling oil was used in Medieval times to burn and kill people for a reason. Do not stare right down in to your grease-making pot, because a spatter in your eye can harm you. Keep the heat low, more like a rolling simmer then a full boil, and don’t let your oil spatter! If the oil does spatter, turn the gas or heat off immediately.


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