Friday, July 22, 2011

More than one reason?


As we face the hot and humid weather of July, I've noticed something about soap making that has me wondering if there is another reason or two why our ancestors made soap in the autumn?
The main reason was it coincided with butchering time, since they would render the fat into lard or tallow, which was needed to make soap. Yet, while our ancestors were no ninnies who whined if the AC was set to 77 instead of 75, if they could avoid standing over a hot fire pouring potash into the pot on a humid, unsettled day, then they would! Granted, I cold process my soap so there's no stove required.

I noticed that in this heat and humidity, my soaps are having a harder time setting and often weep or the oils separate a bit. It's nothing major, so long as the soaps set over time. The oils drain or reabsorb and eventually the soaps harden. From what I'm reading, it's a common thing in such weather. There's where I wonder if soap making in the cooler, drier autumn air is better. Time will test my theory. In the meantime, my soaps get air conditioned treatments by curing in the bedroom in front of the AC.

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