making soap

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demi
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Re: making soap

Post: #250136 demi
Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:27 pm

its sounding much more easy to get a hold of than i first imagined.
how much does it cost?
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Re: making soap

Post: #250144 Zech
Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:32 pm

In Macedonia? No idea. Around here, a few quid.
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Re: making soap

Post: #250322 demi
Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:31 pm

my soap making book that i ordered arrived! :)

although, iv been looking online at how to make it more naturally and without having to buy any ingridients and i found this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuzCD7EP ... H_rhF2UcG4

so im going to try this over the winter with the ash from the fire.

anyone got any recipes using wood ash lye ?
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'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

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Re: making soap

Post: #250445 Zech
Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:56 pm

Thanks for the link, Demi. I'm also planning to try this, but I'm afraid I haven't got a recipe. It was hard to tell from the video whether that soap had set hard. From what I understand, soap made this way will be liquid, or at least gloopy. This is because the lye made from wood ash is potassium hydroxide, not sodium hydroxide. I've seen recipes for soap using potassium hydroxide, but always dry weights, not liquid, so I'm no closer than you to an actual recipe :dontknow:
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Re: making soap

Post: #250512 The Riff-Raff Element
Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:38 am

demi wrote:ah ha, sodium hydroxide, now i know what it is!
caustic soda must be the american name?
luckily my husband went to school with the local parmasist so it shouldnt be a problem. :)



Old alchemists name, along with many, a few of which are still in use. The stuff in wood ash is caustic potash / postasium hydroxide, which works, but the problem is one of exactitude. I prefer to use stuff I can weigh :mrgreen:

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demi
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Re: making soap

Post: #250552 demi
Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:20 pm

iv found this:


How do you prepare the lye water from wood ashes?
There are two steps to preparing lye water. The first is to extract the lye from wood ashes. One common
method is to collect hardwood ashes in a large container, which has a small drainage hole in the bottom.
Plug the hole and add just enough water to cover the ashes. Let this set for a few days, then pull the plug
and collect with water in a non-reactive container (such as stainless steel, enamel). The other method is
to use a container without a drainage hole and pour the lye water off the top.

The second step is to reduce the lye water down so that it is sufficiently strong to convert fat to soap. Place
the lye water over a heat source in a well ventilated area and boil to reduce the liquid and increase the
concentration of lye. Carefully, lower a fresh egg (not cooked/boiled) into the concentrated lye. If it sinks,
the lye water is not strong enough. It if floats with an area at least the size of a quarter above the water
level, then it's ready.

Can I use an oil other than lard?
Yes, but all oils behave a little differently and you may have to adjust your recipe a little. Some folks use a
combination of oils, such as vegetable oil and coconut oil.

Does this process make a soft or hard soap?
The process we use makes a soft, creamy soap. However, if you have the patience to let the soap dry for
several days or weeks (depending on the time of year and where you live), the soap will firm up over time.

When will the soap be ready?
Lye is a strong alkali that breaks down fat and converts it to soap. The process is called, saponification,
and continues for 24-48 hours after combining the lye and lard. It is pretty amazing how quickly the smell
of lard and wood ash quickly changes to a sweet, soap aroma.

What about fragrances?
We've used orange zest, oatmeal, peppermint leaves, and various spices. Some work better than others
for fragrance and some better for adding a little texture or soft grit to the soap.

Some of the materials we used for fragrances, such as peppermint tea leaves, will quickly oxide and turn
the soap a rather unsightly brown color. Others, such as orange zest, adds a far more pleasing orange
tint to the soap. The fun is in experimenting and coming up with your own special soap




link to the page:

http://pioneercookery.com/lyesoap.html
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

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demi
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Re: making soap

Post: #250553 demi
Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:22 pm

rachel,

let me know what happens if you try this please

thanx
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'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
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Re: making soap

Post: #250560 Zech
Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:18 pm

I'll certainly let you know, but it may be a little while yet before I get round to it. I'm in the process of collecting ash (our stove produces plenty) and lard (I render it from bacon rinds) at the moment, which could take a while. I'd heard the phrase 'ash barrel' used, which led me to think that the container should be quite large, so I'm using an old dustbin (it was at the house when we moved here and already has holes punched in the bottom. Having watched a few of those videos, I think I may end up with rather a lot of KOH!

I've heard that another way to concentrate it is to run the same water through the ash a few times. I think I'd rather do this than boil it - I imagine it would give off some nasty fumes.

I'll keep searching for information on liquid measures in the meantime, though.
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demi
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Re: making soap

Post: #250851 demi
Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:11 pm

i got stopped in my tracks by my dad today refusing to let me attempt to make soap!
he said 'it sounds like somthing that makes too much mess'

i had the ashes in a bucket and was trying to persuade my hubby to go out in the dark to get some rain water from the big barrol round at the green house. damn my dad for intervining, i was so close!

never mind, we will be home in a few weeks and i can do it then.
im just going to use shop bought lard to start with till i get the hang of the prosess.
later, when iv collected enough fat from the meat ( im assuming thats all you need to do?) ill try it that way too.

i think you can store the lye water in glass jars if you end up with too much.
i dont like the sound of having to boil it either. you'd have to do it outside because of the fumes, then thats wasting logs that could of been used for heating the house ( im trying to be as energy efficient as possible )
im guessing you can make it really concentrated by using loads of ash mixed with just a little water. i cant find quantitys anywhere for this so i guess it will just be trial and error. and probably the longer its left to soak the better, like left for a week it will be stronger than left for a day? or maybe theres a limit you can soak it for before it spoils? i dont know, like i said, it will take a lot of trial and error to perfect.
ill take note of each method till i find the best one.

if you're using the barrol method and i use the soaking method we can compare notes later :)
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

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Re: making soap

Post: #250858 Zech
Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:39 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: Yes, I imagine a bucket of wet ashes will be quite messy!

Interesting that you're starting with bought lard and home made lye whereas I did it the other way round. Actually, that's not true. I started with bought both, then progressed to making my own lard. I just save fat and rinds trimmed from bacon, then put them on a grid over a baking dish in the oven on a fairly low temperature until the rinds go crispy and there's a pool of clear fat in the dish. How long it takes depends a lot on the quality of the bacon and whether I'm trying to be efficient by doing it at the same time as something else is cooking in the oven (hence higher temperature). Cooking bacon and cakes at the same time produces really odd smells!

I will certainly try running a small amount of water through the ash several times, rather than flooding it, but I'd like to collect a good depth of ash first so it doesn't just go straight through. I've just learnt that wood ash is good for fruit trees, too, so some of my ash may get diverted...

I'll be interested to hear the results of your experiments :icon_smile:
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demi
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Re: making soap

Post: #250872 demi
Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:26 pm

yes ash is good for fruit trees.
you can dump the reminints of the ash onto your plants after you've made the lye water.
nothing gets wasted.

so you have to cook the fat first? that makes scence, so its meltable.
do you strain it after to remove burnt bits ect.
can you just use the fat in the bottom of your tray after grilling sausages/bacon and other meat? or do you have to remove the fat from the meat first before you cook it?

every year we get a whole pig and my father in law buchers it and devides it out between the family.
the amount of fat between the skin and the meat of the pig really shocked me the first time i saw him doing it. its about 5 inches or so thick!
even when the meat is all cut up its still really fatty.
i allways cut the fat off and give it to the dog. if my grandmother in law sees me doing it she has a fit as she likes to fry up the fat with garlic and eat it, eeuwww! :pukeright:
lots of people are poor in macedonia and they dont like to waste anything, plus they dont have the same affection for animals as we do and would never feed a dog food they see fit to eat themselves.
i on the other hand would never see lumps of fat as fit to eat myself and would much rather the dog got it than me :lol: the dog loves it anyway and i dont want to die young from a heart attack!
so when we get our pig this year ill be saving the fat for soap!
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

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Re: making soap

Post: #250884 The Riff-Raff Element
Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:00 am

Demi - If you've not seen this already, you might find it useful & imformative:

http://www.thesage.com/calcs/lyecalc2.php

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Re: making soap

Post: #250901 Zech
Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:45 pm

demi wrote:yes ash is good for fruit trees.
you can dump the reminints of the ash onto your plants after you've made the lye water.
nothing gets wasted.

I will do that, but wonder if I will have leached all the nutrients out of it. If I've taken out the potassium to make lye, there can't be as much left in the ash to feed the plants. I don't know about any other elements - I assume potassium isn't the only one that comes out with the water.

demi wrote:so you have to cook the fat first? that makes scence, so its meltable.
do you strain it after to remove burnt bits ect.
can you just use the fat in the bottom of your tray after grilling sausages/bacon and other meat? or do you have to remove the fat from the meat first before you cook it?

I find that with care, I can pour the fat out of the dish and leave any burnt bits behind, but I know some people put it all in a paper bag, so the melted fat soaks out through the bag and the bits stay inside (note low temperature cooking). I tried that once, but there was so much fat soaked into the bag it felt like a waste. I'm only doing tiny quantities at a time, so the amount soaked into the bag was quite a large proportion of what I had. If you're doing a big quantity, the amount you lose would be proportionately less.

I do use fat from the grill pan if it looks clear (which it rarely does with sausages). Sometimes I drain it off halfway through cooking, before it has a chance to cook and brown. I also use the fat from roast dinners, which I find easier to separate from the juices after it's cooled and set.

If you're using fats from different meats, keep them separate or at least check the SAP values before mixing. Chicken fat and lard have the same SAP value (so can be mixed before weighing the total) but they're different from beef and lamb. This seems a bit academic when neither of us have yet found instructions for measuring quantities of liquid lye!

If you've got a slab of fat from a pig I should think you'll get plenty of lard off that for a batch of soap without bothering to add in any other meat fats from cooking.
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Re: making soap

Post: #253813 Zech
Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:15 pm

Hey guys, look what I found!
http://woodridge.wordpress.com/category/soapmaking/

Sadly, still no actual ratios for lye:fat, but some clues in the comments, as well as in the instructions she links to.

You'll notice I still haven't tried this myself. I have quite a lot of ash saved now, and I've just found a better container than the big bin I was using, but I've only got about half as much fat saved as I'd usually use for a batch of soap. I'll get there...
---
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Take nobody's word for it, especially not mine! If I offer you an ID of something based on a photo, please treat it as a guess, and a starting point for further investigations.

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Re: making soap

Post: #254605 the.fee.fairy
Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:35 am

Have a look online for saponification charts to make sure that you're using the right amount of lye to fat. Different fats need different amounts of lye.

I've made soap before. It was interesting :)

Some of it was really really good, another lot just turned to liquid, so i had to throw it out.

When curing, leave it at least 2 weeks, then lick it. If it bites your tongue, leave it another two weeks and try again. The tongue bite is showing that it is not fully cured and there's still some free-lye in it.


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