Goat’s Milk: Experiment #5

Last test batch in this series.  I look back now and wonder if I should have just tested smaller batches (ha, guess it’s a little too late now).  I worry about the lye…but other than that I think they’ve been successful tests.  Once my PH strips arrive I’ll test them out, but visibly there doesn’t seem to be any lye concentrations in the soap so I’m hoping all is good.

Used the Mango and Shea Butter recipe again.  This time I put them in smaller molds and put one in the fridge so it wouldn’t go through the gel phase.  I want to be able to compare hardness to the one that went through the gel phase yesterday.  I’m really curious to see what caused two of my batches to be super hard within 12 hours. I swear it’s the gel phase since it happened with two different recipes and the only common factor was the mold and that they went through intense gel phases. Hopefully after today I’ll have a better idea.

Recipe:
8 oz. Mango Butter
8 oz. Shea Butter
16 oz. Olive Oil
10 oz. Coconut oil, 76 degree
5 oz. Palm oil
Lye: 7.75 oz.
Water/Milk by volume: 18.15 oz

Method:
Tried something new. I started  with 2 ounces of water and just 16 ounces of goat’s milk…hoping/thinking that the water would help my lye fully dissolve.  Though Amy (from Great Cakes Soap Works) suggested that what I might be seeing are just saponified milk fats, which makes me feel 100% better.  I’m still anxious to PH test the bars to be 100% sure the soap is okay.  I took my soap out of the ice bath this time and just added the lye to the frozen milk.   Since it was staying well below 80 degrees in my ice bath and I’m such a worry wort about the lye not fully dissolving.  I was hoping that the temps would get a little hotter to fully dissolve the lye, but that it wouldn’t get too hot and burn the milk.

Still go the ammonia smell, but I no longer am worried over that as it’s disappeared in four of four batches.

Mixing:
Once the lye was all mixed in with the milk I added it to the oils and stick blended it. Instead of using essential oils this time I used fragrance oils.  I split this batch into two.  In one I used Acai & Mangosteen.  This fragrance is naturally yellow and gave the soap a nice yellow color. (I think I might be falling in love with this fragrance.  It’s a new one I’ve never used before. Liked it in the bottle, liked it even more in the soap when I mixed it. Can’t wait to see what it’s like after curing!) I didn’t bother to add any color to this batch.  Get this! It got thick!  I’ve stick blended and stick blended and stick blend until I was afraid my poor motor would die on previous batches just to get a thin trace and I add some fragrance oil and wham…thick trace.  Ahhh gotta love fragrance oils. Never know what they’re going to throw at ya.

The second batch I used Cranberry Spice. I’m IN LOVE with this fragrance. I used it on a batch of soaps already and love it. I decided I was going to make a batch of goat’s milk that I’d use and I wanted whatever fragrance I decided on…it wasn’t very hard to decide on Cranberry Spice ha!  I debated adding color to this one. When I used it in the first batch a couple weeks ago it get very brown-dark yellow and I decided I’d add a color because I wasn’t overly thrilled with that color.  I went with just one color…nothing fancy.

Unmolding:
Hardness: I give up ha!  Both these batches the one in the fridge and the one not got hard. The one in the fridge didn’t go through a gel phase and was hard in a matter of hours (like hard enough I could cut it hard!).  The other one went through a gel phase even in the smaller mold and not insulated… I think in this case it’s the recipe. With 75% of it solid oils and butters that’s gotta be contributing to the hard bar.  Not that I’m complaining about a hard bar.  Hard is good as long as it’s conditioning and moisturizing and has all the great properties milk gives a bar of soap!

Acai & Mangosteen: Definitely not putting this one in the fridge again. Did not cut well and I've got rings...hopefully they disappear as it cures...

Cranberry Spice: This went through the gel phase. Cut nicely, the FO morphed the blue, but I still like it.

I’ll see how these lather, how silky they are, and how I just like them overall, but my gut tells me that I’m going to probably stick with the sunflower recipe.  It’s a gentle one and I love the oils in it.  It is initially softer out of the mold but it seems to be hardening nicely (even the first batch where I have a bit more water than I should).

And there you have it. My thoughts and results.  Hope it was helpful.  If you have any tips or suggestions for me I’m all ears. I’m sure I’ll figure out new things as I continue to make goat’s milk soap. I can’t wait for the spring to come so I can try out some fresh local goat’s milk!

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5 Responses to Goat’s Milk: Experiment #5

  1. Pam says:

    Very extensive testing and notes! The yellow soaps have power ovals. Doesn’t hurt the soap hopefully it will cure out but perhaps not. I got them with my milk soap also.

    Your Cranberry Spice is such a lovely color and texture! Nice!

  2. Jennifer says:

    The yellow soaps got worse…I think it was a combination of the recipe (a hard batch) and putting it in the fridge. I wouldn’t do it again that way. I’ve delegated it to the reject batch :D

  3. Love your tests! I’ve been experimenting with milk soaps too (for Amy’s challenge). It’s so exciting to get out of your comfort zone! Smart Milk Soap Making by Anne Watson has some good tips and tricks for working with milk. Anyway, happy soap making!

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