- I misidentified the wood and you simply can't leach lye that isn't there.
- I had too little ash to too much water, so it would have been lye, if I'd evaporated off some of the water,
- or I had lye, but didn't filter it soon enough, so it exhausted itself on the straw in the bucket
The beef gave up it's fat more readily, giving a harder, lightly yellow coloured fat. It's easy to see how this gives a harder soap.
Now I just need to get my hands on the commercial potassium hydroxide pellets a friend secured for me, and I'll be able to start soap making! I have a total of 8 bars planned: pure lard, pure tallow, tallow & lard comabined and olive oil - each of these combinations I'll do once with potassium hydroxide (KOH) and once with the more modern sodium hydroxide (NaOH) for comparison.
I'm also tempted to put some of the lard to use in enfleurage - a technique for, well, harvesting the perfume for delicate blooms while the Whiskey Mac rose is still blooming in the back garden. And if that's successful, it'll make a most delightful soap.