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Help!!! my soap is ugly!!!

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erica

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ok I tried to make a basic goat milk soap. it sounded simple enough... it should be just off white or beige right? it's dark almost like milk chocolate colored and it smells like lard! it also had all these little lumpy chunks in it and took forever to smooth out... I was super careful with measurements and temeratures... I'm really new at this, any ideas what could have caused this so I can try it again? anyone have a foolproof goat milk soap recipe?? how do you avoid that lardy smell overpowering everything else? I don't know where else to get other fats/tallow until we butcher a steer in a couple months then I should be able to use that... but this recipe called for pure lard! any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!!!!! thanks,
Erica :?
 

Bliss

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I haven't ever made goats milk soap so I can't give you much advice. I know some of the other soapers here have though. Hopefully someone here can answer your question.
 

michelleB

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Hi Erica!

Goat milk soaps are a real treat to make, but there's a small learning curve to get past initially. Care to post your recipe & maybe we can help you to tweak it and troubleshoot?

Also, what method did you use for incorporating your goat milk? Did you use full goat milk as 100% of the fluid? Was it evaporated, powdered, etc? I'm not sure just yet about how you got the milk chocolate coloring from a lard recipe, but the "lumpy chunks" could be the result of scorched goat milk that perhaps curdled slightly, therefore not mixing easily. Just a guess at this point though. If you don't have an aversion to storebought shortening, try subbing "meat shortening" in place of the lard (it's a generic that wal-mart sells) and see if that gives you the color you're after.

Sounds like you're already being careful about the temps & such, so I take that to mean you chilled the goat milk before adding the lye to it, right? Some people even like to freeze the goat milk into ice cubes, for convenience. Either way works. That helps keep it from scorching. I'm not real sure what else to suggest to you at this point since I don't know the steps you went through, but I'd be happy to try and help you if you've got more questions.

Congrats on giving it a try! It's a lot of fun to make! :)
 

erica

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thank you for the replies and help! ok now I unmolded the soap and it has lightened up a good bit but it still seems too dark and the smell is just not that nice.

I used fresh raw goat milk (I have one of my does milking right now and a couple more who will kid if anyone needs any fresh milk to take a crack at this, let me know! I'll be up to my ears in it!), chilled but not frozen.

the recipe called to heat the milk (4 cups) and hot distilled water (1 cup) and honey (1/2 cup) for 5 min BEFORE adding the lye crystals (12 oz)---this is when it started to get chunky and the whole mess was bright orange and the chunks were waaaaaaay darker. kinda made an oatmeal consistency. cooled to 75 and warmed lard (12 cups) to 85, added the lard to the lye mess slowly, stired for about 2 weeks :wink:, and looked like thick hot chocolate. smelled like nasty lard. I added a couple drops of fragrence to try to help it. by now it smelled like flowery lard. really pretty, lol. so I said to heck with it and stirred it awhile again and poured it in the molds, wrapped them up and went to the computer to find help (here I am! :) ).

so I guess since this is my first try at this, I won't worry about it too much. I'm hoping the color continues to lighten up and maybe the smell will change some as it ages... btw, am I supposed to age it air tight or in the open?? otherwise if anyone has any ideas where I might have gone wrong or has a good recipe they wouldn't mind sharing, please please let me know!

thanks again!!
Erica
 

michelleB

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Ah! OK! I think I figured it out!
Don't heat the milk! Or if you MUST heat it to mix with the distilled water, at least cool it back down completely before adding the lye to it. Not only is it dangerous to add lye to a hot liquid...(can volcano on you), but with milk it's doubly important because it will scorch with that high of a temp. Milk's just funny that way & you can even scorch it just by using it a room temp if you're not holding your tongue just right, lol. Seriously though, keep the milk temp no warmer than room temperature when you add the lye to it & you should be fine next time. It still may turn that weird orange color and give off an ammonia smell for a day or two (overheated goat milk trade-mark), BUT at least it won't be chunky.

If you want to completely avoid going through that overheated milk stage, add your lye to COLD milk, as in, straight out of the fridge or freezer. That'll keep it from changing colors on you & in most cases, keeps it from giving off that gagging smell too.

As for the curing process, give it lots of good air circulation for a few weeks. It needs to harden up properly & gain a little mildness, and only good airflow and time can accomplish this. If you've got a wire shelf somewhere, line the bars up there & let them do their thing. If you're like me, you'll walk by them at least 5 times a day just to "pat" them, sniff them, and see how they're doing, LOL.

Congrats on your soaping adventure! Sounds like you're gonna be just FINE! Keep us posted on how your soapies turn out!
 

erica

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you're awesome, thank you!!

ok now I'm inspired again, headed out to catch a goat and get some milk so I can give this another whack this weekend. may try adding some oatmeal.... whoa, now I'm getting crazy! lol

thanks again, will keep posted on the next batch.

...........soooo what do I do with my brown soap?

E
 

erica

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you're awesome, thank you!!

ok now I'm inspired again, headed out to catch a goat and get some milk so I can give this another whack this weekend. may try adding some oatmeal.... whoa, now I'm getting crazy! lol

thanks again, will keep posted on the next batch.

...........soooo what do I do with my brown soap?

E
 

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