6 Aug 2013

Hot process crockpot soap making

Last week I rendered my first lot of beef fat into tallow. I did it on the wood stove and, as it was fat from the beast we had just slaughtered, it cost me nothing but my time. About 4kg of fat became around 1400ml of tallow or approximately 1000g. The trimmings and leftovers became part of the next 3 feeds for 8 hungry 6 week old puppies :). I strained the tallow through cloth but I didn't need to skim it or clean it in any other way. I'll be doing this again as it's quite easy. I've also discovered grass fed tallow starts out yellow and turns a creamy colour unlike the white lard in the stores!

I've been wanting to try soap made with tallow for a while as it's supposed to be harder than that made with vegetable or olive oils. I've also been wanting to try hot process soapmaking so the soap can be, theoretically, used sooner.

The recipe I used is:
Copha                                 250g
Rice Bran Oil                       400g
 Beef Tallow                         350g 
      Water                                  380ml(g)
  Lye(in the plastic container)  142g 
       Lemon Myrtle essential oil    12  drops

and I prepared it mostly like I would if I was making cold pressed soap with the only difference being the cooking at the end of the process.

Melting the oil/copha/tallow 

Combining the melted ingredients. I then poured in the lye/water mix slowly while stirring gently but I was unable to take a photo at the same time.

After using a stick blender to achieve heavy trace

Halfway to cooked

Almost there

Next morning - the soap set in the mold

Bottoms up to cut

Finished blocks of soap averaging 136g each. They are still a bit spongy so will need some time to dry out and will lose a little weight in the process.

I think I'll need to cook them on a higher heat next time as it took quite along time on low. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for these to harden compared to cold process. From what I've read they should have been useable as soon as they are cut but I think the elevation here coupled with the soft rainwater used may have some effect on the hardness of the soaps.

Another three challenges to cross off my to-do list - rendering fat, making soap using tallow and making hot process soap :D.

 I'm on a roll!

Thanks for dropping by,
Robyn xo


  1. I was waiting to read your post about making that soap, Robyn. Now I have to go and get dinner ready and will come back later to read it in more detail. It looks interesting.

  2. This is something I want to try one day too. :)

  3. Making soap like those in times of yore. well done :)

    1. Thank you. I think I need more practice though.

  4. So how long do you cook for after it comes to trace? I'm confused but it looks a good way to make soap and well done on rendering the tallow and reaching yr 3 goals.xx

    1. I cooked it on low for an hour and a half so next time I'll use medium and see how I go. I want to observe how the cooker handles it and fast isn't always better.

  5. You made this look so easy! One of these days I am going to try this. Working up the nerve! I'm so impressed. :)

  6. Robyn, so you heat the soap after tracing? That's interesting. Hubby & I make our own soap and even sell a few kilos each year. I'm intrigued by this method. And I admire you for making your own tallow.

  7. I hope the soap is as wonderful as they wrote about. I've only ever made veggi based soap and only twice. When I return full-time to the "home front" I plan to do more things like making soap and such.