Goat Milk soap - Milk as % of oils or lye conc?

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by ParadiseFarm, Jan 21, 2016.

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  1. Jan 21, 2016 #1

    ParadiseFarm

    ParadiseFarm

    ParadiseFarm

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    Hi,

    I've been making goat milk soap using 38% of the oils as my milk amount. I've been doing reading on using lye concentration instead. I was using 38% of the oils as the amount because I figured goat milk is actually an ingredient for me and I want there to be lots of it. I do the frozen milk add lye method because I have goats and want to use as much milk as possible. But I've been wondering if I could get a harder soap by using the lye concentration feature on soap calc, maybe trying 30%. Are there any goat milk soapers out there who can offer advice on how they decide how much goat milk to use? Does using lye conc make harder milk soaps, do you have to start worrying about the fat content of the milk if you use this method?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jan 21, 2016 #2

    Arimara

    Arimara

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    From my understanding, not necessarily. Your soap's hardness depends more on your recipe. Using Lye concentration (or ratios for the matter) will make it so that you will have a considerably shorter cure time than if you used full water (which does affect hardness in the end) but you will be using less liquid much of the time.

    For a harder bar, some soapers use sodium lactate but I don't have any experience with that.
     
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  3. Jan 21, 2016 #3

    IrishLass

    IrishLass

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    Right here, silly!
    Goat milk soaps are a part of my regular soapy repertoire (among other kinds of soap) and I always use lye concentration with them (as I do with the rest of my soaps). My favorite concentration to use is 33%: 1 part lye to 2 parts water (or milk).

    Here is a thread with a good explanation of the difference between using Lye concentration vs water as % of oils: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=53642

    The long and short of it that the 38% water as per oils that you have been using is usually referred to as a 'full water amount', which, depending on the recipe, is basically the equivalent of about a 28% lye concentration or so (1 part lye to 2.57 parts water/milk).

    A 30% lye concentration is 1 part lye to 2.3 parts water/milk.

    So, basically, the higher the concentration, the less liquid you mix with the lye.

    Less liquid means that your soap will come to trace quicker, will harden quicker, and can be unmolded quicker. It'll still need to cure the full length of time, but it won't take so long to become as hard as your formula will allow.

    Using less goat milk will mean that the overall fat content of your soap will be slightly lower, so you may need to adjust your superfat (or not....it all depends on how you like the results). Also- having less fat from the milk may probably increase your hardness a little, too, but it's hard for me to say by how much. You'll have to make a batch to see.


    IrishLass :)
     
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  4. Jan 21, 2016 #4

    DeeAnna

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    "...Does using lye conc make harder milk soaps, do you have to start worrying about the fat content of the milk if you use this method?..."

    Neither setting has any magical influence on hardness or superfat.

    Whether you use "water as % of oils" or lye concentration, you need to decide if you want to account for the fat in the goat milk or not. If you don't, your superfat will be a little higher than the value you enter due to the fat in the milk.

    Whether you use "water as % of oils" or lye concentration, you need to choose a setting that gives you the hardness you want. If you set your water as % of oils to a lower number, you'll get a harder bar due to less water in the soap. If you set your lye concentration to a higher number, you'll get a harder bar due to less water in your soap.

    The ONLY difference between either setting is whether your recipes will be more predictable or less as you change them. Water as % of oils is going to work against your recipes behaving as consistently as you might like. Water as % of oils invisibly builds in more water for recipes that really need less water and vice versa. Lye concentration (or water:lye ratio) doesn't have that effect, so using these settings rather than "water as % of oils" will help you make your recipes behave more predictably.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
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