My Experimenting with Goat’s Milk

For a long time I was afraid to go anywhere near dealing with milk and lye together. But as time has passed I’ve gotten much more confident in myself and I’ve done lots and lots of reading on how to use milk in soap. From chat boards, to soap pages, to blogs…you name it…

Basically what I gathered from all these sites was lots of contradicting information. So I decided to do a series of test batches trying out the different things I’ve read and then decide what I liked best and what results where the best. So here begins the first test.

BATCH ONE:
Recipe:
15 oz. sunflower seed oil, high oleic
15 oz. sweet almond oil
10 oz. avocado oil
10 oz. coconut oil, 76 degree
5 oz. palm oil
Lye: 7.5 oz.
Water/Milk by volume: 18.15 oz

Note:
This recipe actually called for 20 fluid ounces and I didn’t realize then when I was copying the recipe (didn’t read carefully enough) so I used 20 oz in weight. I have since run the recipe through the lye calculator (4% superfat) which gives the above recipe. My batch was soft…but not overly so. I didn’t cut it till 48 hours later…but it has been getting harder…so I don’t think the extra water affected it too much. Also, the lack of a significant amount of palm oil probably isn’t helping with the lack of hardness. I was worried at first about this, but loved the other oils in this recipe so decided to go with it.

Method:
First I used Evaporated Goat’s Milk for my first batch. If you’re using evaporated milk it’s condensed so you need to use half and half of milk and distilled water. I froze the goat’s milk but not the water. I then measured out my milk and water and lye. Put my milk in an bucket and filled it with ice. Then over the next hour I slowly added lye…It did turn a creamy orange. And at the end it got a distinct ammonia smell, which I think resulted because I got a little two impatient at the end and added the lye to fast.

Mixing:
Once the lye was all mixed in with the milk I added it to the oils and stick blended it. I stick blended for a fair amount of time and only ever reached a light trace, but it set up just fine. I used Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil and no colorant. The Grapefruit is light int he soap (which I expected and usually happens with fruit EO).

Unmolding:
I didn’t refrigerate this batch. I did split it and put it in two of my silicon molds (each mold produces 8 bars). I covered it with a light blanket, but didn’t insulate it like I normally do with my other soaps. This went through a very very light gel phase. As it cured it stayed the creamy orange it originally started as. I love the feel of this bar. It is silky smooth and I can’t wait to test it. Despite the lack of palm oil and my extra water I think this bar will harden. It’ll probably be softer than some of my others, but hopefully with the correct water amount int he next batch that will change.

Stay Tuned for my thoughts on Batch 2 tomorrow.

These were two sites I used (among many)
Site 1: http://www.pvsoap.com/recipe_goats_milk_soap.htm
Site 2: http://www.snowdriftfarm.com/form_goatsmilksoap.html

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