I substituted beef fat when looking up how much lye to use. Hopefully I calculated it correctly. It's something you really don't want to mess around with. If your lye to fat ratio is wrong then you might end up with a chemical burn like Ed Norton in Fight Club. I had the balsamic vinegar standing by just in case.
The recipe I created was:
- 1 cup rendered bison fat
- 60.8 grams lye
- 1/3 cup water
- paprika added generously for color
- ~ 1 teaspoon vanilla essential oil for scent
I weighed the lye crystals on the coffee filter carefully using the electronic scale. Then I mixed them into the bowl with 1/3 cup of water on the right. The water and lye reacted chemically and heated up.
Meanwhile I melted the bison fat and started monitoring the temperature of both the fat and the lye mixture.
It took some jockeying to get both temperatures to drop to 98 degrees at the same time. I ended up chilling and reheating the fat, but eventually I zeroed in on the target temperature. Once the temperature of the fat and the lye were both around 98 degrees I poured the lye into the fat and mixed.
I stirred for about 10-15 minutes to fully mix the lye with the fat. As it cooled it started to thicken. Once a drip from the spoon lingered on the surface of the mixture I knew it was time to pour.
I quickly mixed in the paprika and vanilla oil and then poured it into a plastic mold.
I'm kind of surprised at how much the ingredients made. Now I will let these set up for 3-4 days. Then I will knock them out and let them cure for 3 weeks. Hopefully the final products will not burn me.