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Phineas makes some soap!

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#1 Phineas_Carmichael



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Posted 22 May 2010 - 11:53 PM

So, being the good little Danish boy that I am, I had a big ol' jar of bacon drippings in the fridge.

I use this almost anywhere butter is called for; on toast, for pan-frying, and my specialty, grilled cheese. If you get nothing out of this thread, I want you to make grilled cheese using bacon grease, it will change your life!

Well, apparently if you combine a full jar of bacon drippings, a cupboard full of chemicals, and one bored Phineas who has been reading "Fight Club," then Bacon-Fat soap is the result! :lol:

I combined the fat with twice its volume of water and brought the mixture just to a boil:

After stirring the fat/water mixture to make sure all the clumps of fat were melted I placed the mixture in the fridge. It sat there in the fridge for ~2 hours before I got extra bored and moved it to the freezer to cool quicker. After 1 hour in the freezer it looked like this:

This process is called "rendering" and separates the fat from the charred bits of pig-flesh and other impurities present in bacon drippings. After 2 hours in the fridge and one in the freezer, most of the fat had floated to the top and solidified. The fat is separated from the water; this step can be repeated as many times as necessary to get really clean fat. I didn't bother to render again, I'm just messing around tonight:

To make soap I need to add lye and water to the rendered fat in a ratio of 1lb fat : 6 oz H2O : 2 oz lye.

This ended up being 363.7g (.8011lb) of fat, so I used ~4.8 oz H2O and 1.6 oz crystalline NaOH.

I made this solution as the rendered fat heated, just enough to liquify. I transferred the fat to a plastic bowl and added the ~4.8oz of lye solution.

The mixture was whipped with a wooden spoon for 15 minutes, until "traces" began to form. The mixture was the consistency of pancake batter at this point:

I cut the top off an orange juice container to use as a mold:

And poured the fat/lye mixture in:

In the time it has taken to process the pictures and write the post, the liquid has hardened so that the "mold" can be turned completely upside-down! After 24 hours I will de-mold the soap and slice it into bars. These bars will be covered with plastic wrap and allowed to cure for 2-3 weeks.

:lol: At least I know I will be clean when the zombie apocalypse finally comes... Posted Image

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Edited by Phineas_Carmichael, 23 May 2010 - 01:53 AM.

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#2 mate0x



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Posted 22 May 2010 - 11:55 PM

This is some great stuff! And kudos on the bacon fat grilled cheese... I have a new mission in life!!!

Keep it updated

#3 roscoe


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Posted 23 May 2010 - 12:23 AM

i've been thinking about making soap for a bit now. although i was going to use something like olive oil instead of bacon grease. not that i have anything against bacon grease, it's just that i can't keep it around long enough.

if you like the grilled cheese with bacon grease you should try making popcorn with it. talk about life changing!:flash:

#4 Putdown789


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Posted 23 May 2010 - 12:27 AM

very cool. makes me wanna try this.

#5 Phineas_Carmichael



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Posted 23 May 2010 - 11:02 AM

After 12 hours in the mold curiosity got the best of me.

I unmolded my new soap and took a few pictures for posterity. This block of "proto-soap" is still very soft, smells faintly of bacon and leaves a residue on dry hands that is different from the residue left from handling bacon-fat. In fact, the surface of the block feels just like the handmade soaps my grandmother used to have...

The block will sit on my counter for at least 12 more hours or until boredom sets in again. Then I'll cut the block into bars, seal the bars with plastic wrap, and stash them under my bathroom sink to harden & cure for 2-3 weeks.

Right now I have this strange, giddy, elated feeling. I actually made soap! :dance: :dance:

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#6 Mrs.Hippie3



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Posted 23 May 2010 - 11:30 AM

Congratulations! i have tried a couple times at making soap with little success. Dont know about using bacon grease though, my dogs like me enough as it is.

#7 Phineas_Carmichael



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Posted 23 May 2010 - 05:30 PM

Boredom struck again and I weighed my block of soap; 445.9g

I cut it up into 16 bars and stacked them for curing. The more surface area the bars have exposed to air, the faster they will cure.

Best part of the whole thing, there is no bacon scent left at all! This saponified monument just smells like soap!

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#8 mate0x



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Posted 23 May 2010 - 07:53 PM

Very impressive!! :eusa_clap

#9 gorilla



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Posted 24 May 2010 - 10:28 AM

nice! making soap is fun!

and its so much better than anything you can get at safeway or target!

#10 Freaky


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Posted 24 May 2010 - 10:42 AM

Archive material

very cool, thanks for sharing!

#11 SilvrHairDevil



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Posted 25 May 2010 - 12:45 AM

That is really impressive.

It should be a big hit with women.

After all - what guy could resist a chick who smells like bacon?

#12 Phineas_Carmichael



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Posted 04 June 2010 - 03:50 PM

The Bacon Thread reminded me that I've got bars of soap in the cupboard, so I washed my hands!

It works! :dance:

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#13 MycoDani


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Posted 04 June 2010 - 09:30 PM

That is so darn cool and well done :bow:

#14 TastyBeverage


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Posted 04 June 2010 - 09:50 PM

That's outrageous!

Does it sud up well? I'm gonna start saving my bacon fat again!

#15 Phineas_Carmichael



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Posted 05 June 2010 - 10:44 AM

It lathers okay, nothing like brand-name, chemicals added soap. But sufficiently that your hands and beard feel clean after you use it. It smells mostly like soap, but a little like bacon, and a little like washing your frying pan after you cook a bunch of bacon...

If I had it to do over again I would do a few things differently:
  • Pay attention to solution temperature - Apparently they should be mixed when both the rendered fat and the lye solution are 100F. I didn't know this at the time.
  • Render further - I only rendered once so my fat wasn't very clean and as a result my soap probably isn't very clean. I suspect its these impurities that give the soap its bacony scent.
  • Add just a little fragrance - A couple drops of liquid smoke mixed in just before pouring into the mold would have brought out the bacon scent. A couple drops of any other essential oil would have covered it up.
  • Used real soap molds - So it looks like real soap :)

I'm slowly refilling my drippings can, but in the mean-time I might try some olive oil soap for when I have vegetarian or Kosher visitors.

#16 gorilla



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Posted 05 June 2010 - 11:06 AM

olive oil soap is reeeeeally good. i know someone that has sensitive skin and uses it to shave.

#17 perrch01



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Posted 06 June 2010 - 04:26 AM

olive oil soap is reeeeeally good. i know someone that has sensitive skin and uses it to shave.

Problem with olive oil soap is that it takes FOREVER to trace. If you want to make a good hard soap with a lot of lather mix a ratio of 40% lard 30% olive oil 30% coconut oil (don't go any higher then that on the coconut or it will be drying to the skin)

I usually make anywhere from 5-15 pounds of soap a month with different variants of clay or more exotic oils, last month was avocado and walnut oils. This month I'm making lotion bars for the wife...
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#18 perrch01



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Posted 06 June 2010 - 04:35 AM

FYI if you do use coconut oil, makes sure you get hydrogenated not fractionated. Should be solid at room temp
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#19 justweed


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Posted 06 June 2010 - 11:09 AM

My god.....Another REAL man who makes his grilled cheese with bacon fat!! I've found a new friend!

If I were to do this, I'd add some bacon scent. Bacon smelling soap would be the shizznit and a half! Very good write up though, I'll probably make my own soap some time in the future now :)

#20 Phineas_Carmichael



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Posted 22 February 2011 - 10:54 PM

I'm slowly refilling my drippings can, but in the mean-time I might try some olive oil soap for when I have vegetarian or Kosher visitors.

My Bacon-jar still isn't full, but I've been playing around with soap-making since...last May it says at the top of the thread. Some of what I've been doing lately you can win in The Mycotopia 10th Anniversary Contest.

Tonight I made a Milk & Honey Scrub for my brother Franklin.

First, gather up all your materials:
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The magic ratio is 16:6:2 and this was a "double batch" so I used 32 oz oil: 12 fl oz. 1% milk: 4.1 oz lye

Fats and oils are always measured in weight:
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That is 16 fluid ounces of olive oil, it only weighs 14.11 ounces

For this recipe I used 20 oz Olive oil, 6 oz Peanut oil, 4 oz Sesame oil, 1 oz Cocoa butter, and 1 oz Shea butter.
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I heated the fats and oils to 100*F and held them there. This melted the fats that are solid at room temp (the cocoa and shea butters here) and also provides a little energy for the saponification step later.

Then I created a lye solution using 12 fluid oz of 1% milk and 4.11 oz of crystalline NaOH. (WEAR GOGGLES!!) When using milk as a liquid it is imperative that the lye be added slowly! If the lye is added too fast, the solution heats up enough to cook the proteins in the milk!:puke:
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Using a pot of snow as a cold-bath I added the lye in 4 equal portions, monitoring the temperature the whole time. It jumped about 20-30*F with each addition, but I cooled it enough between additions that its temperature did not exceed 100*F

When all the lye was dissolved I transferred the warm oils to a plastic (don't use metal!) bowl:
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The funky-smelling yellow-colored milk was added to the oils, the smell will disappear, but some of the color may remain:
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Notice how the liquid goes from clear and yellow to opaque and yellow-white almost instantly. This is even more apparent when using water as the lye solution instead of milk.

I mixed the proto-soap with a whisk for 10 or 15 minutes, gently but almost constantly. Then I hit it with an electric mixer on low for 10 seconds and let it rest while I smoked a cigarette. Then back to whisking for a while, then hit it with the mixer, then smoke a cigarette. I've read that Bad Things happen with Air Bubbles when you just beat it with an electric mixer.

In any case, the mixture thickens until "Trace Stage" is reached. Trace is hard to see, and even harder to photograph, but I think I managed to get it…
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That little line was left on the surface by drizzling some of the liquid off the whisk. It took about 45 minutes this time, but like perrch01 said above, just olive oil will take FOREVER.

At this point I added about half a little can of poppy seeds, maybe a Tbsp or two of honey, and some vitamin E. The liquid is thick now, like pancake batter.
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I poured half of it into molds unscented:
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Then added Cedar Wood, Eucalyptus, and Citronella essential oils to the other half and poured it into molds as well.
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After a week or two I'll wazzle these out of the molds, then they get to sit in the cupboard and cure for another couple weeks until they are hard enough to use.

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Edited by Phineas_Carmichael, 23 February 2011 - 01:07 AM.

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