Hello! I’m new to this forum and CP soap making. I’ve so far successfully made 6 bars of soap already, my last batch with Silk’s Unsweetened Coconut Milk. (no added water, I poured the lye granules into frozen milk)
I couldn’t figure out weather the water/lye ratio and milk/lye would be different, so, I went ahead and made it with the same amount I would’ve used for distilled water.
It’s been about 30 hours now and the soap is quite soft (definitely softer than the last 5 batches w/ water) but it has harden enough to take out of the mold and cut after 24 hrs. It turned out beautifully and the texture was very smooth.
I would like to know, since I’ve used the same amount of milk as I would the water, would the finishing result of the soap turn out fine? If I possibly added too much milk, will this soap result in a very soft and short-lasting bar? how can I figure out how to measure out the difference? I used a 4lb mold by the way! and here is the recipe I used:
Coconut Oil - 30%
Olive Oil (pomace) - 30%
Palm Oil - 30%
Castor Oil - 5%
Sweet Almond Oil - 5%
Coconut Milk - 24.32oz
Lye - 9.22oz
Thanks in advance!
You don't state your starting Super Fat (SF), or your total batch size or even the total for your oils. And you mix percentages (for the oils) with ounces (for the lye solution), so without the former (SF & total oils), it's hard to decipher your formula (unless we are extremely fast on the draw when it comes to math calculations, which I am not. But that doesn't prevent me from attacking a mathematical challenge.)
When you take into account the amount of fat in YOUR coconut milk (they can and do differ), and the SF setting you chose for your batch size, using DeeAnna
's information as set out in the link she gave you, you many notice a minor or major change in the SF of your end product.
So two things:
1. I attempted to reverse engineer your formula using what you gave us and some guesswork, and this is what I come up with. Please correct me where I am wrong.
- Default 5% SF (just a guess based on what new soapmakers usually do when using a lye calculator)
- 38% water to oil ratio (the least useful default option) or 27.47% Lye Concentration (or 2.64:1 Liguid to Lye ratio) (just a guess, but I suspect you did not alter the default setting)
- no added fragrance (because you didn't mention one)
- total oils: 64 ounces or about 1815 grams
Total batch weight: 97.5 ounces (or 2764 grams) - this seems to make 6 pounds of soap batter, so not sure how it fits into a 4-pound mold - I think it requires a back-up mold for the excess, so maybe I misread your information.
2. In any case, whether my calculations are correct or not, your soap took a long time to harden up for any number of possible reasons, such as
a. high water content (I surmise this is the real reason)
b. higher super fat - SF (I do not believe that is the case here)
c. heat variables (higher heat leads to faster saponification and gel phase; lower heat can inhibit both)
d. type of mold used (some molds insulate better and hold heat in)
e. fragrances used (or not), and other additives that may contribute to faster heating or mold-release time
e. environmental conditions (temperatures, humidity) cooling or heating of the mold can encourage or inhibit gel, which in turn affects how fast the soap hardens up
But in my calculations (if my assumptions are correct), it is primarily the high water content that made this soap take so long to harden and to still be on the soft side when un-molded.
If you don't still have the container to read the nutritional information, I checked the Silk website and found this for Silk Unsweet Coconut Milk
's instructions in her link, you can roughly figure out how much fat is in your 24 ounces of Silk Unsweet CM. I say roughly because there is a difference between volume measurements and weight measurements, and it looks like Silk uses liquid volume rather than weight for the CM. That is unless they use a different labeling system in Canada (assuming BC is British Columbia in Canada).
I was able to find something that converts certain liquid substances from volume measure to weight measure, but there is only one listing for Coconut milk, and I doubt all CMs are created equal. Anyway, according to this link
, 240 ML of CM weighs 231 grams, which may or may not help make your calculations more accurate, but gave me a place to start in creating a reasonable (I think) guesstimate.
If I use this information, I get 11.93 grams of fat in the 689 grams of CM (I think) you used in your formula, which alters your SF to 5.2% and your Lye Concentration to 28.1%, which means too much water but not too much fat. So it looks like the soap just has so much water in it that it's going to take awhile to harden up. I suspect it still is on the soft side (easily indented with light pressure of finger).
Again, my calculations could be a little off, especially if my assumptions are off and the nutritional information on the CM container is different from what I found on the Silk website.
Another assumption on my part: You used weights and not volume measurements for the Coconut Milk. If you used liquid ounces
(volume) rather than weight
, then my calculations are off because for soapmaking purposes, volume is not an accurate measure.
But don't take my word for it, do the calculations yourself and see what you come up with. It would probably be better to actually weigh some of the Silk CM you used to get an accurate weight of the amount you used. From that, you can extrapolate the correct numbers. You can reverse engineer a formula by altering the Super Fat and the Lye Concentration in the lye calculator
until the numbers come out accurate for what you really used in your soap.
Here is how I did my calculations, using Soapmaking Recipe Builder & Calculator. First I created the recipe I think you used based on what you said and my assumptions to get the specific amounts of lye and liquid.
Then using DeeAnna's instructions and the other links I showed you above for calculating fat in CM and the estimated weight of CM, I plugged those numbers into the lye calculator to come up with what I think you probably have in your soap. By adding the fat as Coconut oil, 96° and deducting the same amount from the liquid, a little adjusting of SF & Lye Concentration, while ensuring the water weight (minus 11.9 grams of fat) & lye remain the same, shows the actual SF.
So, in conclusion, the change for SF in this batch of soap (IF my calculations are even close to correct), is so small that it won't affect how soft or hard this particular soap is now or in the future. BUT the amount of the water portion of your liquid is the real reason this soap took so long to harden and may still remain a bit on the soft side. It will take longer to lose water and harden up, and it may warp a bit in the process, so turning the soap periodically might help prevent some of the warping.