Goat milk soap

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Well-Known Member
Feb 11, 2010
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Waynesboro, PA
I made a batch of goat milk soap for the first time. . I put the goat milk into ice cubes and froze it. When I was ready to use them I put them into a bowl and then put the bowl inside another bowl of ice. I added some spoonfuls of lye to the goat milk cubes to melt the goat milk. When I was finished the goat milk was about 61 degrees. In my oil pot I melted my oils. The temperature of the oils was about 91 degrees. I added the lye mixture to the oils and immediately the soap set up. I didn't have time to get it into the molds. The recipe was large so I had to rebatch it into two batches. The first batch I added about 1/2 cup of water into the crock pot and kept stirring. Then I put it into my mold. It seemed rather thin. Then I rebatched the second batch and didn't add quite as much water. When I was finished I put them into the refrigerator. The second batch set up real nice and I was able to cut it into bars but it seems to have a lot of moisture. I haven't taken the second batch out of the mold yet (that's the one that I added about 1/2 cup water). It was very runny at first but after sitting all night in the refrigerator it appears to have set up. I have not cut it yet. Am I going to have to let this sit for a few weeks before I use it for some of the moisture to evaporate from the bars of soap? This is the first time I have ever tried to rebatch soap. The bars look beautiful. Any recommendations on the temperatures I should use when making goat milk soap? It seems so luxurious.
Hi there, and congrats on your first goat milk soap! It sounds like you had too much of a temperature difference between your lye solution and your oils.

While there is no hard-and-fast rule on this issue, what happened to you is a good example of why many folks recommend getting them closer in temp.

The other issue is that your NaOH may start to precipitate out of solution (won’t stay dissolved) when the solution temp drops below 65F. This sets you up for possibly having undissolved bits of NaOH in your soap.

Next time, try dissolving the lye into the cubes without the extra bowl of ice around it. Your solution will get hotter, but it will lessen the hardening-up of your oils when the two are combined, and also lower the risk of undissolved lye.

Yay, you did the absolute right thing by rebatching with some heat! Good job! It can take a fair amount of time for the extra moisture to evaporate, especially since you put the soap in the fridge, which slows down saponification and cure. Give it a few weeks, and I bet you will love it. 😊
Is your recipe high in hard fats? Based on the information you provided (“melted the oils“, thin batter when you rebatched), I wonder if you may have experienced false trace when the cool lye was mixed with the fats.
It is always best when trying a new recipe, scent, colorant or additive to make a test batch first. I wasted a lot of ingredients learning that lesson.

Like you, I use frozen GM and I put the bowl in another bowl with ice, water and salt. I add the Sodium Hydroxide in amounts that I can dissolve it without letting the temp get above 70F. Your GM Lye Solution will be thicker because the NaOH is binding to the fats in the milk. I usually just give it a good whisk before pouring into my oils; you can also use a stainless steel wire mesh strainer.

Now your soap didn't "set up" when you added the GM Lye Solution, it solidified your hard oils because they were at too low of a temperature to handle the sudden temperature drop. I usually heat my oils to around 120F before adding my GM Lye Solution which is around 65F...that puts my batter at around 90F. I also blend a little more than I do with my Regular Soap because of the potential of 'false trace' with the bound fats and lower temps.

ETA: My recipe is around 65% hard oils.
Solidifying how? Are the oils seizing when you add the lye?

There are several ways to add milk to the mix.

1. If you want to do a straight water replacement, freeze the goats milk into ice cubes first. This prevents the hot lye from scorching the milk. Scorched milk stinks and turns a nasty brown.

2. You can add an equal amount of lye and water together and set aside to cool down.Most people don't do an equal amount of liquid in the mix because it seriously speeds up trace. So you can add the extra liquid milk to the oils at the same time you add the lye water. If you have powdered milk, you can use any extra water you want to use and mix the powdered milk with it, then add it to the oils at the same time as the lye water. Just don't add the milk to the lye water first because the added sugars from the milk will heat up the lye water all over again and you will have an acceleration issue. This is not a full water replacement.

3. Use powdered milk. Mix your lye and water as usual. And your oils separately if you want. Then let them cool. Add the powdered milk to the oils before you add the lye water. Use your immersion blender to properly disperse the powdered milk. I've found this to be the simplest method and much less of a pain than the others. This is also not a full water replacement.

You shouldn't have your recipe seize if using any of these methods. So if it is seizing, something else is causing it.

Remember, cooler is generally better when making soap though not always. Cooler temps mean you have longer working times for designs. This isn't always ideal though, depending on what you're trying to achieve. Seizing also depends on anything else you might have added to the mix, including the fragrance. Floral fragrance oils tend to move much faster than others and yes, I've had a few turn to soap on a stick within seconds of adding the floral to the mix.
This is my post of my actual process and problem from another thread…

Short hx. Been making cp soap with same recipe for past 3 years. The following is recipe: olive oil 30%; coconut oil 30%; palm oil 20%; castor 5% and Shea butter 15% and using frozen goats milk as 100% of the liquid. Soaping temp under 100 degrees with 15 degrees of each other. No problems. Scaling up, went to masterbatching oils with exception of Shea butter. Adding that separately. Using 50/50 lye solution and using fresh goat’s milk for the remaining liquid. Using fragrance oils I have used before with no problems but now the batter is seizing up… so I throw it into crock pot and do hot processed. I love hp but like to have the option…. Does anyone use lye and oil tanks and have you had similar issues when switching from small to bigger production? Even though I use the scales with the tanks, I remeasure everything onto my small scale before combining…. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated…. So frustrated…
It sounds like you have false trace happening. If it didn’t happen before at the same initial material temps, perhaps the temperature of your room is lower at this time of year than before?
I have a little heater in my soap room which is in garage. I’d say it’s about 65 -70 degrees…

And, the weather has been all over the place around here. Any suggestions on how to combat this issue?

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