Goats milk and soap making for beginner.

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So I have been milking my goats for a while now and have some excess milk frozen so I decided to try and make soap. I have all of my supplies. And a recipe. But I am nervous to start. This is the recipe I have...
9 oz lye
18 oz goats milk
5 oz almond oil sweet
5 oz avocado oil
4 oz caster oil
20 oz coconut oil
20 oz. Olive oil
5 oz Shea Butter
5 oz rice bran oil.
This is going to be a huge batch. How do I make it smaller? Also, I got an essential oil for a scent, how do I add that in? Please keep in mind I bought all my supplies already. I would really like to not have to purchase more ingredients if I don't have to.
 

Rowan

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Welcome to the forum:). I love goats milk in soap, but it's a bit complicated to use it for a first batch, IMHO.

I would recommend a simpler recipe eg olive oil, coconut oil, Palm (if you are not against using it?) and castor. Once you are happy with the process of making soap, I would the add in your fragrance/EO's and then experiment with adding or changing new oils, or your goats milk.

I would also recommend reading lots of beginners posts on this forum. There's a huge amount of information from really experienced soapers. It helped me so much on my first batches and still does.

Regarding changing the batch size, I always use a Soapmaking calculator such as Soapcalc. There's a stickie on how to use it on the first page of the beginners forum.
 
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dixiedragon

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To reduce the size, go to a lye calculator, such as soapcalc or soapee. Enter the recipe as is, and it will calculate the percentage for you. Then you can choose to lower (or raise) the batch size, while keeping those same percentages.

This recipe has 31% coconut oil. Not something we generally recommend, but some people go that high and love it. Where did you get this recipe, if I may ask?

I don't see a problem with the number of oils in that batch - if you measure your oils ahead of time, it doesn't really matter if you have 2 or 3 or 10. I don't recommend milk soap for beginners, b/c milk is a bit touchy. But it's doable.

I know you said you don't want to buy anymore ingredients, but if you aren't dead set on an all-veg soap, I'd really recommend lard.

What type of scale do you have? Does it weigh in grams? If it weighs in grams (or in 10ths of an ounce) you can do a 1 pound batch.

I put your recipe in soap calc and for a batch of that size, it recommends 24 ounces of liquid. You recipe only uses 18, and since that liquid is milk and is not 100% water, I think that's odd.
 

shunt2011

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Hello and welcome!

Their first thing I recommend is using and playing with a soap calculator. Soapcalc.net or soapee are good ones to refer to.

Also, start small and simple. If your not opposed to lard or palm those m combination with olive or rice bran and coconut and castor make great starter recipes.

I also recommend you read the beginners section and do some research. Using milk in your first soap can be tough but I would recommend if you are going to do it to use only 50% of your liquid as milk and the other 50 as water. Mix your lye with the water and add the milk to your oils. Add your lye once cooled.

Good luck to you.
 
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Relle

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Welcome, would you like to go to the Introduction section and let us know a little about yourself.
 
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Thank you all so much for the replies! I will check out the beginners section and read read read. Went with all veggie oil because both of my sister in laws are strict vegetarians/vegan.. not sure which but they are my testers for alot of things I make. I am not opposed to using lard by any means... but if I am going to use it, I will harvest it from the pigs we are raising. Thanks again for all the replies. I will definitely go to the about me section and fill it out so you guys know a little more about me :)
 

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Hi and welcome!

For my first batch ever, I used 80% olive oil and 20% coconut, and it actually turned into a pretty nice soap. It took a long cure, but it's great to use now! I would recommend it for your first recipe if you're not into lard/palm. Or possibly 75 OO, 20 CO, 5 castor. Then with subsequent batches you can add one extra ingredient at a time to see if you like what each brings to the table.

I also used milk (coconut) for my first batch, and it didn't give me any trouble. I froze it into cubes, weighed it until I had almost enough, then added a little water until I got to my needed weight. If you add the lye little by little, it will melt the milk and not scorch it. I've done lots of milk batches this way and it always works great.

And I second what the others said about using a lye calculator to resize batches. I use the one at soapcalc and it's super easy. 16 oz of oils total is a nice batch size to do for testing recipes. It's not so small that if you make a tiny error in weights, everything will be screwed, but it's not so big that if you end up not liking a recipe, you're drowning in bad soap.

Good luck and don't forget to post pics when you're done!
 
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This is how I was planning to do it. Have the Luella melt the milk. I will post pictures and I do learn best by trial and error. So I am going to mess around on the soap calculator and make a smaller batch aND see what happens so :) I am a little nuts about pictures so be warning I will mostly flood this thread with pictures. Hoping to try and make it tomorrow. We shall see.. I have a bottle baby goat in the house, a bottle calf outside. A doe due to kid and two more bottle calves being dropped off. Oh and I work an 8 hours shift before all that. So we shall see what happens lol
 

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Hello, and welcome to the forum! :wave:

You've got a little bit of redundancy going on with some of the oils in your formula (similar properties). If it were me, this is how I'd reformulate:

32% Olive oil
29% coconut oil
11% rice bran oil
10% avocado oil
10% shea butter
8% castor oil

Your original percents were thus:

31.25% coconut oil
31.25 olive oil
7.81% Sweet Almond
7.81% Avocado oil
7.81% shea butter
7.81 rice bran oil
6.25% castor oil

Since this is your first time soaping, I would resize it to make a 1 lb batch.

If you are set on using the goat milk (if it were me, I know I'd sure be set on it, lol), I would use what is known as the 'split method' of milk soaping. It's much less problematic. If you do a search on the forum using 'split method' as your search criteria, you will run into many posts about it that will give you instructions on how to do it. Basically, you mix your lye with an equal amount of distilled water in weight to dissolve it, then you add the balance of the required liquid for your batch as fresh goat milk directly into your oils before (or just after) you add your water/lye solution to them.


IrishLass :)
 

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I would also advise a much smaller batch for starters, like 1-2lbs max. What are you planning to use for a mold? If you have measurements for the mold (LxWxH), that can be used to calculate the amount of oil needed for your recipe.

IrishLass has a good point about some of your oils being redundant. Olive oil and rice bran have pretty similar properties so I would ditch the rice bran given the small percentage in your proposed recipe. Here's what I would try instead:
40% Olive oil
20% Coconut oil
10% Sweet Almond oil
10% Avocado oil
10% Shea butter
10% Castor oil

As far as the goat's milk, I would suggest freezing it first and then slowly adding the lye. You can also use a water bath to keep things from getting too warm. I've never had trouble using this method . . . sometimes the goat milk will turn yellow but it generally doesn't affect the color of the finished bars. The split method IL mentioned works equally well and takes less advance preparation than freezing so pick your poison.
 
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Well my milk is already frozen and I am impatient which is why I am willing to try and use the lye with the milk. I know I need to watch for scorching. Also how do I get a weight out of a percent? Is this where I will need the calculator? I found one from Bramble Berry. Is this one Okay to use?
Also, I do not plan to add any colorants as I want this to be as natural as possible. If this goes well, there is a very high demand for all natural, home made goods in my area so I figured start natural and stay that way. :)
 
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IrishLass

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Also how do I get a weight out of a percent? Is this where I will need the calculator? I found one from Bramble Berry. Is this one Okay to use?
Yes- but that's only one of the reasons to use a lye calculator. The other reason- actually the main and most essential reason- is so you can get the proper amount of lye to use for your recipe and batch size. I've personally never used the Brambleberry calc, but I know of several that use it. My personal favorite calculator to use is SoapCalc. Other (especially those new to the craft) like to use Soapee.

Just type your oil/fat amounts into the calculator by their percentages, and then enter in how big or small you want your batch to be, then the calculator will figure out how much lye you will need for your batch, plus your water amount, and the amounts of each of the oils/fats in your recipe.


IrishLass :)
 

dixiedragon

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The Brambleberry lye calculator is fine. I ran your recipe through SoapCalc, and it has a 5% superfat. Superfat is the amount of oil above what your lye will saponify (turn into soap). So, to make the math simple - if you are making a batch with 100 ounces of oil, and you are using 5% superfat, that means 5% of your oils will not be turned into soap. 5% superfat is the "standard" - meaning a lot of us use it and it is a good starting point. Some people use less and some more.

The problem I see with your current recipe is a) the high percentage of coconut oil and b) the lack of hard oils. Hard oils are oils that are solid at room temperature, and will make your bar of soap hard and long lasting. The "big three" of the hard oils are lard, tallow and palm. I'm a lardinator myself. Shea butter is a hard oil. Coconut sort of is - it will make your soap hard, but when saponified it is very very soluble in water. That means that it will make lots of big bubbles, but the bar will not be very long lasting.

Lotta info in there!

Also, if they are strict vegans, they won't use animal milk. Unless they make an exception for you b/c they know your goats are well treated?
 

shunt2011

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As you can see you have a lot of different opinions. Each soapmaker does what works best for them. There are some critical steps that we all follow (safety) but as for what you use to make your soaps will vary from one person to another. So, you will need to do a lot of testing until you find what works best for you and your family.
 

IrishLass

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IrishLass has a good point about some of your oils being redundant. Olive oil and rice bran have pretty similar properties so I would ditch the rice bran given the small percentage in your proposed recipe.
I decided to keep the rice bran in my reformulated tweak of the OP's recipe since rice bran brings a good bit of linoleic to the party, whereas olive is mostly oleic......... which only goes to prove what Shari just said:

shunt2011 said:
As you can see you have a lot of different opinions. Each soapmaker does what works best for them.
Yep. True that. LOL :razz:


IrishLass :)
 
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The Brambleberry lye calculator is fine. I ran your recipe through SoapCalc, and it has a 5% superfat. Superfat is the amount of oil above what your lye will saponify (turn into soap). So, to make the math simple - if you are making a batch with 100 ounces of oil, and you are using 5% superfat, that means 5% of your oils will not be turned into soap. 5% superfat is the "standard" - meaning a lot of us use it and it is a good starting point. Some people use less and some more.

The problem I see with your current recipe is a) the high percentage of coconut oil and b) the lack of hard oils. Hard oils are oils that are solid at room temperature, and will make your bar of soap hard and long lasting. The "big three" of the hard oils are lard, tallow and palm. I'm a lardinator myself. Shea butter is a hard oil. Coconut sort of is - it will make your soap hard, but when saponified it is very very soluble in water. That means that it will make lots of big bubbles, but the bar will not be very long lasting.

Lotta info in there!

Also, if they are strict vegans, they won't use animal milk. Unless they make an exception for you b/c they know your goats are well treated?
So they are not true Vegans then because I know both drink milk. Just do not eat meat. But my goats are week treated lol we are in the process of switching the to a non processed feed and working towards all organic for them. It will also help raise the butterfat and protein in the milk. So I want my soap to be bubbly, but last a long time. How would you recommend I go about that?
 

dixiedragon

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So they are not true Vegans then because I know both drink milk. Just do not eat meat. But my goats are week treated lol we are in the process of switching the to a non processed feed and working towards all organic for them. It will also help raise the butterfat and protein in the milk. So I want my soap to be bubbly, but last a long time. How would you recommend I go about that?
Vegetarian hard oils include palm and the "butters" - cocoa butter, shea butter, mango butter, etc. (Note: Make sure the butter is not just an oil mixed with shortening - for example, almond butter is sweet almond oil plus hydrogenated vegetable oil which is shortening). You can buy palm at Whole Foods - they have an all veg shortening that is 100% palm. Your butters will make soap hard but they also kill lather, because they have a lot of unsaponifiable components in them. Unsaponifiable = will not become soap.

With your ingredients, here's my suggested recipe:
5% castor (castor boosts bubbles but makes a sticky, soft soap in higher percentages)
20% coconut
30% shea
5% avocado
20% olive
20% rice bran
3% superfat - drop the superfat from 5% and that will help boost your bubbles. The soap will still be very mild and rich from all the shea butter.

If you get some palm:
40% palm
5% castor
20% coconut
20% olive
15% rice bran
5% superfat

(if you really want to use shea butter, take 5% from the palm)
 

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Went with all veggie oil because both of my sister in laws are strict vegetarians/vegan.. not sure which but they are my testers for alot of things I make.
So they are not true Vegans then because I know both drink milk. Just do not eat meat.
There are several types of diets in vegetarianism. This site's list mentions most, but not all, raw vegan, for example is missing from the list of diet types. I comment because I am vegetarian, did follow raw vegan for a few months a few years ago, but went back to plain old lacto-ovo vegetarianism, and just wanted to help you find a way to determine what you might want to include or exclude from your soap based on the consumer, now your SILs but in the future may expand to others.

I know many people don't really understand vegetarianism, but that doesn't matter so much as knowing what to avoid based on religious or lifestyle choices. For some customers you wouldn't want to use lard in your soap because pigs are not kosher, just as you would want to avoid tallow for your Islamic customers. So labeling is important. Rather than label something as vegan, which I have seen in soaps, I think it is better just to list the ingredients and let the consumer decide based on their own practice. I know if something has tallow or sodium tallowate in it, it was derived from beef and that if has lard or sodium lardate in it that was derived from pigs. I don't know what the chemical name of saponified fish oil would be, but I doubt I'd be running across that very often.
 
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