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Goat's milk soap won't trace

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sasha_88

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Hello,
I am new to soap making and I made my second batch of soap today. The previous one turned out just fine and I decided to try goat's milk powder in the soap this time. I was very confused as to how to reconstitute it (the supplier didn't help much), so I chose to trust an advice on a forum to reconstitute it 1:4 in water. Actually, I decided to use 1:8, so that it's not gritty. So I ended up adding 16 g of goats milk powder per 400 g of oils. Now it won't trace for almost an hour, which I guess is normal, but my previous batch reached trace in 5 minutes! I don't use a blender, just a spoon.
So now I think I have put too much goats milk, as most people advise adding 1 tbsp per pound of oils, which is only about 8 grams. Could anyone help me with advice what to do, maybe mix with another batch or keep stirring?
Thank you!
 

summerflyy

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It could be your recipe or water content. Is this the same recipe you used previously that traced in 5 mins or is it a different one ?
 

sasha_88

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Just to add - I used 10% cocoa butter, 10% castor oil, 20% coconut oil and 60% olive oil. I used the Brambleberry lye calculator and reconstituted 16g of goat's milk powder in 116 g distilled water. The added 54 g lye. I combined the oils and lye mixture when they were both around 25 degrees Celsius (78 F).
The previous recipe was not the same...
 

summerflyy

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What was your previous recipe like ? If the olive oil precentage used here is higher than the previous recipe, then you might have found the culprit. I find that when I work with high percentage of olive oil, it's always a little slower to trace.
 

sasha_88

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Yes, the previous recipe asked for less olive oil, so probably that's why it traced faster. My concern is if it is possible that the addition of too much goat's milk powder could affect the saponification process, because the soap is too superfattened. I can see little white particles floating in the mixture, otherwise it is smooth and combined.
 

summerflyy

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I am not too sure with that, but I an sure one of the soaping veterans would be able to ! The slow trace is most likely due to the higher olive oil, but the white particles, I'm not too sure !

If you superfatted at 5%, then I think you won't really run the risk of getting too superfatted ?? At least I don't think so ! I have soaps that I superfat at 8 or 10%.

My laptop is unable to connect to the internet right now (strangely, it works fine on my phone) so I can't check out what other factors might have played a part. For now, I think you could just continue stirring and bring it to trace. I would suggest for you to get a cheap stick blender though. It would save you a lot of energy and time !
 

sasha_88

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Thank you for the help. I really wish these white particles are not lye, as I dissolved the lye into the milk and stirred well, but I couldn't actually see if it dissolved fully as it wasn't transparent... I have so much more to learn :crazy:
 

Obsidian

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You really need a stick blender, its not uncommon to take hours for a soap to trace when you are stirring by hand. I seriously doubt it has anything to do with the milk powder. The white bits could very well be undissolved milk, I've had that happen before.
Instead of dissolving your milk powder in all your water, use just enough water to make a thin paste with your milk powder then stick blend that into your warm oils before adding your lye solution.
 

sasha_88

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Thanks, I'll definitely buy a stick blender, but just now I'm wondering what to do. I read that lye dissolves difficult in cold water and I kept the temperature of the milk under 100 degrees F at all times. So I'm thinking that these particles might as well be lye. If that's the case and it doesn't trace, is there anyway to fix the problem or I should discard the whole batch?
 

Obsidian

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It still hasn't traced? Do you have a regular hand held electric blender? You can use it but be very careful of splatters. Can you remove one of the white specks and examine it? Maybe rub it between wet fingers and see if it goes creamy and white like milk powder would (wear gloves) or you can dissolve it in a couple drops of water and zap test.
Another option is to toss it all in a crock pot and cook it until it looks kinda transparent. It will be thick and sticky so you have to glop it in the mold instead of pouring.
 

sasha_88

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Thanks to everyone for the advice :) I saw the last message just now. These white floating particles were worrying me for being lye and as the soap wouldn't trace, I ended up reheating it while stirring in order to dissolve the lye. Unfortunately I overheated it (up to 85 degrees Celsius) and it became all lumpy and divided. I was about to throw it away, but decided to wait for it to cool as I was stirring and it thickened a lot. Maybe trace, but it was so lumpy and thick that I couldn't tell. I put it in the mold and I will see what will come out. I think the goat's milk formed the lumps and probably the soap won't be any good, but I'll know to mix the lye with water only for the future :) And buy a stick blender!
 

rogue

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not going to help you this time but there is a method I use putting the powdered milk blended into the oil then adding the lye. if my lye is relatively cool (78 degrees or so) my goats milk soap is super white and traces super smooth with stick blender. not overly fast. but not forever slow. can even swirl a bit.
 

Jstar

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I read that lye dissolves difficult in cold water and I kept the temperature of the milk under 100 degrees F at all times
Lye is not difficult to dissolve in cold water...even frozen milk with melt quickly...lye will heat up very quickly in room temp/cold water {or any other liquid}

I freeze my liquid milk, then break it into chunks, put it in my lye container, and sit that in an ice bath, and then add my lye very slowly, alternating adding lye and stirring..taking time to let the mix heat a bit, but not melt my milk all at once so it doesn't scorch...

If its quiet, you can listen and if there is still active lye in the milk, you can hear 'tinkling' sounds...I continue to stir and let it sit for a bit even when I hear nothing before Im satisfied there is no more active lye.

As for powdered, Id also add it to my oils before adding the lye solution, just like I do my FO and clays.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Shame it went south, but lots to learn from it which is at least something!

Another thing to remember with lye is that it can fully dissolve in water at a 1:1 ratio - so you can dissolve 50g lye in 50g water. It is far safer (measuring can be inaccurate) and easier to soap with more water which is what a lot of people do - the upshot is that there is more than enough water to dissolve the lye in your recipe
 

sasha_88

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Thank you all, I unmolded the soap just now and I will see if it will be any good in a few weeks. Meanwhile, I am going out to buy a stick blender and am going to have a second try at goat's milk soap today, putting the powder with the oils. I believe this time it will be fine with your advice.
 

Obsidian

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I would really suggest you reconstitute your milk with a little water before mixing it into the oils. Some people add the powder directly to the oils but whenever I tried, I ended up with milk specks all over my soap.
 
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