Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tallow based soap - take 2

OK so I finally got around to trying another batch of the tallow based soap that seized on me last time. This time I omitted the essential oil in case that had been the cause of the seizing. However, I couldn't clearly see when I'd reached trace so did mix it for considerably longer than I have with my other recipe (olive oil Castille soap). This also happened with my first batch but I didn't think much of it, since the seizing seemed to occur just after adding the essential oil. Now I'm not so sure it was the oil that did it - maybe I just overmixed it and took too long to pour the soap! So I guess I will have to try a 3rd batch to know for sure!

In any case, this time round, it was a much better result, I could pour the soap into my silicone cupcake molds, and it only started to seize up for the last 4 oval molds. I can see the benefit in using a loaf mold, much quicker than individual molds and less chance of the soap firming up in the process of pouring!

You can see from the photo, the soap is a much better texture than the 1st batch, nice and smooth. I think we can live without the lavender scent, although I do prefer this as the tallow does give a faint 'meaty' smell! Guess we can get used to that, might just be destined for hand soap though.

I've also bought some natural herbal dyes so am looking forward to experimenting with colour in soap for the first time. Will keep you posted.


Captain Shagrat said...

When you say seizing up do you mean it gets like thick mash potato and all stiff? I ask this because my only try at making soap ended up like that but it was still usable but not very pretty

Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Hi Captain Shagrat
Yes that's right, it should be pourable not stiff. Like yours though my 'failed' batch is still perfectly usable just doesn't look so nice!

Tanya Murray said...

It looks wonderful and definitely a success this time. Do you know what we got used to the smell very quickly and we actually like it now. It smells homey and comforting. (The dogs love the smell too LOL)

Tanya Murray said...

PS I pour in one big slab too but I am very taken with those oval moulds you have used. Are they also cake moulds or are they soap moulds?

Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Hi Tanya, will be interesting to see how the other family members rate the soap! The smell is definitely not strong or overpowering so I could see how you could get to like it!
To make the oval shapes I 'repurposed' old plastic sour cream/cottage cheese containers - always seem such a shame to throw them out!

BLD in MT said...

These look like they turned out much better. Good job. And I bet that third batch will be even better. Practice, practice, practice, right?

Relatedly: There is a woman I know who renders her own organic beef fat for soap making and I have to say that without added scent I find the meaty smell a little off-putting. It doesn't make me feel so clean.

Enjoy all your soaps!