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Any coconut milk tips?

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AlexanderMakesSoap

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I plan on making a soap with coconut milk, once I get some additive-free coconut milk (made some coconut curry tonight, so it's on my mind)...

Any tips?

Looks like I'll need to go with an overall higher lye percentage than I typically do (40-45) and I'm thinking I'll add my milk just before trace. I expect it will heat up quite a bit and insulation/OP won't be necessary.
 

lenarenee

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I don't know how much you intend on using, but when I add up to 4 oz per 2.5 lbs of oil, I haven't noticed any overheating with FO's that aren't heaters in the first place. But with big heaters like spice fo's - I do notice a difference. I prefer not gelling, so never insulate unless the soap wants to gel and I want to prevent partial gel.

I just add the coconut milk to my oils. Different brands can have a very different fat level so I adjust my superheat level accordingly, even going into the negatives if needed. In the future, you can try simply getting a good powdered coconut milk (without sugars added) and use that in order to simplify things. It's usually low in fat so lowering the SF a notch or two is all I need to do (I superheat usually 3 to 5%)

You're in the LA region I see; how are the fires and smoke treating you?
 

AlexanderMakesSoap

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I don't know how much you intend on using, but when I add up to 4 oz per 2.5 lbs of oil, I haven't noticed any overheating with FO's that aren't heaters in the first place. But with big heaters like spice fo's - I do notice a difference. I prefer not gelling, so never insulate unless the soap wants to gel and I want to prevent partial gel.

I just add the coconut milk to my oils. Different brands can have a very different fat level so I adjust my superheat level accordingly, even going into the negatives if needed. In the future, you can try simply getting a good powdered coconut milk (without sugars added) and use that in order to simplify things. It's usually low in fat so lowering the SF a notch or two is all I need to do (I superheat usually 3 to 5%)

You're in the LA region I see; how are the fires and smoke treating you?
I hadn't considered the superfat aspect of this - good point! Not sure how to accurately adjust for that, but I will keep it in mind.

Fires are pretty far away from us, but the smoke has been working it's way into our valley. Nothing too bad, just lots of gray days and mild smokey notes in the air. We have been running the AC a lot more than we typically do in order to improve the air quality for the kids (including the unborn one!).
 

GemstonePony

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Haven't done coconut milk yet, but when I did coconut cream I poured off the liquid, measured out what I wanted from the semi-solid, and mixed that into the oils before adding the lye solution. I didn't notice any heating or burning.
 

Arimara

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You would want to figure out how many grams of will be in the amount of coconut oil and add that amount to your total amount of coconut oil you're using IF you are using regular coconut milk. The amount of fat can be enough to drastically increase your superfat. If you are using the lighter varieties, you should still look into how many grams of fat there is per serving but you can wouldn't need to adjust your coconut oil amounts.
 

Cosmo71

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When I made coconut milk soap it got really hot, definitely went through gel phase and I felt like my Micas bled a little because of it. I froze my coconut milk before adding the lye. Now when I make milk soap, I stick it in the freezer for the first couple hours in the mold to keep the temperature down. Its definitely not a soap you want to heat or cover to "keep warm"
 

shunt2011

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I almost always use coconut milk. I do the split method. I mix I my lye with an equal amount of water and use the remaining amount needed for the recipe in milk. I add my milk to the oils before adding my cooked lye. I’ve never had an issue with overheating. Just check it once in awhile. Also, if I want it to be full milk I’ll add some powdered to my liquid milk.
 

earlene

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This link will help you calculate for the extra SuperFat in your coconut milk for your recipe:

It explains how to read the label & determine how much lye is needed to offset the added fat.

I hadn't considered the superfat aspect of this - good point! Not sure how to accurately adjust for that, but I will keep it in mind.
 

AlexanderMakesSoap

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Thanks everyone for the tips! It's interesting how some of you find it heats things up (which I've also read elsewhere) while others didn't notice this at all. I wonder if it could have anything to do with the additives sometimes included in coconut milk (thickeners and such)?

This link will help you calculate for the extra SuperFat in your coconut milk for your recipe:

It explains how to read the label & determine how much lye is needed to offset the added fat.
Thanks for the link! Reading through that article made me think - am I really adding anything new to my soap which will already have coconut oil and water in it to begin with? I mean, it seems like coconut milk is more or less just water with some coconut fat (ie, oil) in it - any thoughts on this?
 

AliOop

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Thanks for the link! Reading through that article made me think - am I really adding anything new to my soap which will already have coconut oil and water in it to begin with? I mean, it seems like coconut milk is more or less just water with some coconut fat (ie, oil) in it - any thoughts on this?
Coconut milk has bits of the pulverized coconut meat in it, which adds some natural carbs/sugars that are not present in just coconut oil. That's why coconut milk gives a bit of a lather boost. My opinion is that variations in the amount of the sugars/carbs in different brands, as well as different harvests, can affect whether the soap heats up or not, as well. I've tried the coconut milk powder and didn't like the feel as much as goat milk powder, but I sure liked the whiter color.
 

earlene

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Thanks for the link! Reading through that article made me think - am I really adding anything new to my soap which will already have coconut oil and water in it to begin with? I mean, it seems like coconut milk is more or less just water with some coconut fat (ie, oil) in it - any thoughts on this?

Some people say they feel a difference in terms of how the soap with coconut milk feels to their skin. But others do not notice any difference. The best way to judge for yourself is to do a blind test. (Use soap with an otherwise same recipe.) It's hard to do a blind test on yourself, so you might need a blindfold and another person on hand to put whichever different soap into your hands to wash with. Or you can do as others have done and have your testers do the blind testing for you by giving them both soaps, without telling them the ingredients and asking them to get bck to you on any differences they may have noticed.
 

AlexanderMakesSoap

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Coconut milk has bits of the pulverized coconut meat in it, which adds some natural carbs/sugars that are not present in just coconut oil. That's why coconut milk gives a bit of a lather boost. My opinion is that variations in the amount of the sugars/carbs in different brands, as well as different harvests, can affect whether the soap heats up or not, as well. I've tried the coconut milk powder and didn't like the feel as much as goat milk powder, but I sure liked the whiter color.
Just checked a few different makers of cans of coconut milk online, and they've got 1 gram of sugars per 1/3 cup of coconut milk. Coconut cream's got a bit more sugars. I've got some coconut butter at home with even more sugar at 1 gram per 14 grams serving, but still, this doesn't seem like much added sugar. Think that's really enough to notice a change?
 

Daisy

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I plan on making a soap with coconut milk, once I get some additive-free coconut milk (made some coconut curry tonight, so it's on my mind)...

Any tips?

Looks like I'll need to go with an overall higher lye percentage than I typically do (40-45) and I'm thinking I'll add my milk just before trace. I expect it will heat up quite a bit and insulation/OP won't be necessary.
I plan on making a soap with coconut milk, once I get some additive-free coconut milk (made some coconut curry tonight, so it's on my mind)...

Any tips?

Looks like I'll need to go with an overall higher lye percentage than I typically do (40-45) and I'm thinking I'll add my milk just before trace. I expect it will heat up quite a bit and insulation/OP won't be necessary.
I'm in Northern California and I always look for these brands of coconut milk with no additives:
1. Golden Star Coconut Milk from Lucky's Supermarket
2. Aroy D coconut milk from Ranch 99 Market
3. Natural Value Coconut Milk from Farmer Joe Marketplace

I use 17.5 oz. for my 5 lb (oils) batch and this is my calculation for the Natural Value brand (each brand is different)
and I stand corrected:)

Water in the milk 74 %
Fat 17 %
Others like natural carbs and sugars 9 %

The 17.5oz. of coconut milk has:
3oz. Coconut fat (equivalent
to 3.8 super-fat in recipe.) and,
13oz. water.
Water total in recipe is 26.4oz.
less 13oz. water in the milk= 13.4 oz water for the lye.

I therefore adjust my superfat and water to dissolve the Lye accordingly.
 

chayah

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I plan on making a soap with coconut milk, once I get some additive-free coconut milk (made some coconut curry tonight, so it's on my mind)...

Any tips?

Looks like I'll need to go with an overall higher lye percentage than I typically do (40-45) and I'm thinking I'll add my milk just before trace. I expect it will heat up quite a bit and insulation/OP won't be necessary.
When I make coconut milk soap, all I do is change the water for coconut milk and cold pour my lye.. I comes out beautiful.. I do the same with my goat's milk soap.

When I make coconut milk soap, all I do is change the water for coconut milk and cold pour my lye.. I comes out beautiful.. I do the same with my goat's milk soap.
I just heat my oils.. and not the lye.
 

Dawni

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I use powder! It's more accessible to me, because when I do use the milk I use the freshly squeezed one from the wet market and that does not keep well for long. The powder is handy coz I never know when I get time to soap. It's easier to add too, less fiddly than freezing milk n stuff. Just dump it in the oils.

Can't answer your question about heating up coz I HP lol but I can attest that it does boost lather a bit, powder or liquid. I don't use too much so I don't account for additional fat in mine - the downside is I haven't calculated just how much my additional SF is haha, but I start with just 2-3 anyway.
 

Carolyne Thrasher

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I use Thai kitchen brand (comes in cans) from Costco. The additives are not an issue. I rarely overheat soaping at 80-90 F. If it’s a bakery fragrance then overheating is a possibility. I don’t use powdered because it often had dairy milk products in it. You can get powdered coconut milk that doesn’t have dairy byproducts but it is expensive. I use a 2:1 water:lye with 1 part of the water replaced with coconut milk which is added to warm oils before lye solution. The coconut milk can lump up if you don’t melt it into the oils. I stick blend it in too before adding lye solution.
 

SPowers

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I use milk - coconut or goat's in most of my soaps. I soap with a masterbatch water/lye of 2:1 then add the remainder of liquid as milk straight from the fridge. I cpop and so far have never had an issue.
 

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