|2 1/2||pt||Cold water|
|6||lb||Clean fat (tallow or lard or some combinations of tallow and|
Dissolve lye in water. Stir until dissolved and let cool to correct temperature. Melt fat to clear liquid and let cool gradually to correct temperature. Stir from time to time to prevent the crystals of fat reforming. Pour the lye solution into the fat in a thin, steady stream with slow, even stirring. A honey-like texture is formed which in about 10 or 20 minutes becomes thick with all the lye incorporated into the fat. Pour this mixture into a wooden box that has been soaked in water and line with clean cotton cloth dipped in water and wrung nearly dry. Place in a protecting pan. Cover with a board or cardboard then with a rug or blanket to retain the heat while it is texturing out. Let it remain undisturbed for 24 hours, then lift from mold and cut.
To remove the soap from the mold, lift it by the ends of the overhanging cotton lining. Cut into bars by wrapping the soap once with a fine wire or string, crossing the ends and pulling. Place soap so air can reach it, but avoid drafts and cold. Soap protected from drafts and cold lathers better. In 10 to 14 days, it is ready for use. Aging improves soap. Makes 9 lb.
Note: Do not let soap freeze during the first 2 weeks. Temperature Chart:
Sweet rancid fat: Fats 97øF to 100øF, Lye 75øF to 80øF
Sweet lard or other soft fats: Fats 80øF to 85øF, Lye 70øF to 75øF
1/2 lard and 1/2 tallow: Fats 100øF to 110øF, Lye 80øF to 85øF
All tallow: Fats 120øF to 130øF, Lye 90øF to 95øF
Reclaiming or Boiling Soap: When separation occurs, reclaim as below: Cut or shave the soap into a kettle, add the lye that has separated out and about 5 pints of water. Melt with gently heat and occasional stirring. Then raise the heat and boil gently. It should become thick and syrupy. If it does not, add more water, one pint at a time. Continue boiling until it becomes ropy and hairy when dropped from the spoon. Pour into mold and cover. Do not be afraid of adding too much water because it can be boiled off.
Borax quickens the sudsing action of soap. Two tablespoons dissoved in the lye solution (for each can of lye) while cooling, is sufficient.
Source: "Grandma's Olde Fashioned Soap Making"