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Is non-fat powdered milk good enough?

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Arthur Dent

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Re-reading some recent threads on milk soaps has given me the itch to try it in one of my favorite lard recipes. Looking at powdered milks in the local stores, all I see is non-fat powdered milk. Will this give the "milk soap" effect that people seem to be crazy about, even though the milk fat is missing? Or do I need to keep looking for a "whole" powdered milk or just give up on the powder and go for the real deal? I think I can wrangle some fresh cow's milk eventually, but wanted to play around with the powder first. Sorry if this has been talked to death, I did a search and didn't find it.
 

jenneelk

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I have tried the nonfat powder and IMO it's not as creamy as my powder buttermilk, coconut or goats that all have fats and thus superfat my soap more. But maybe its just in my head lol. I'll be curious to see what others say.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I wonder if, as it has less fat, it is missing some of those proteins as well as not affecting the sf - as in, even if you manually adjusted your sf to the point it would be if you were using fat milk, would there still be that lack of certain benefit that the milk fat brings, because of the nature of the fat with the proteins and so on?
 

Dorymae

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You can get whole milk powder at Walmart - it is in the Spanish foods section and comes in a bright yellow canister. I think it is called Nico or something like that. Definitely use whole milk powder.
 

DeeAnna

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Or just add a little bit of butter. Seriously. The fat in whole milk is simply butter aka milkfat -- about 3.5% milkfat in the US. There's going to be some buytric acid contributed by the butterfat, but I'd guess there's not enough to make a great deal of difference to the soap recipe.

Nonfat powdered milk is going to keep longer than whole powdered milk, since there is no fat to oxidize and go rancid. If you use it up quick, that won't be a problem, but store it in the fridge or freezer if you're going to keep it around for awhile.

To give another spin on it, here's how I do it -- if I need, say, 400 g water for a recipe, I will use half that (200 g) as plain distilled water to make my lye solution (assuming the lye is equal to or less than 200g). I will measure out the other half of the "water" as fluid whole milk. I weigh enough powdered nonfat milk needed to reconstitute the water into milk. I put the powder into the fluid milk and give it a good mix so it rehydrates well. Add the "double milk" to my fats and give the whole mess a quick whir with the SB right before adding the lye solution.
 
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IrishLass

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You can get whole milk powder at Walmart - it is in the Spanish foods section and comes in a bright yellow canister. I think it is called Nico or something like that. Definitely use whole milk powder.
Yes- as Dory said, you can find whole powdered cow milk at Walmart. It's called Nido and it's made by Nestle. I use it in some of my bread recipes and always keep a canister on hand, since besides soap, I've crazily taken to making all our bread as well. lol Anyway, I find it makes such a nice difference in the crumb. I've never used it in my soap, though. I like to use goat milk and coconut milk in my soap instead.

DeeAnna said:
Or just add a little bit of butter. Seriously. The fat in whole milk is simply butter aka milkfat -- about 3.5% milkfat in the US. There's going to be some buytric acid contributed by the butterfat, but I'd guess there's not enough to make a great deal of difference to the soap recipe.
Just be prepared for the possibility of stinky soap, though. The butyric acid content in cow's milk is why I like to soap goat milk and/or coconut milk instead. My cow milk soaps that I made in the past always ended up smelling sour or like vomit from the butyric content, so I quit using it. The handful of soapers I know of that have added butter to their soap ended up regretting it (because of the smell).


IrishLass :)
 

snappyllama

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Irishlass, I'm glad I'm not the only that detects a faint baby vomit smell when using cow milk (even at a low %). My family all thought I was crazy when I would sniff that batch, say how bad it smelled and then make them sniff it. They ended up using it all, but I just couldn't ignore it. Maybe they just took it and threw it out to avoid listening to me repeat how bad I thought it smelled. Blech.
 

not_ally

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I've noticed that faint unpleasant smell w/the soaps to which I added full/whipping cream. Good to know, I do not like it.

ETA: Arthur, I ordered all my milk powders (all full fat) on line, there was no close local source, and it was so much easier. I am a lard freak, too. I LOVE the addition of coconut milk, especially.

Plus w/Amazon Prime shipping was free and took 2 days:

Yogurt: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CSRMYDE/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

Buttermilk: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014UH6UM/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

Coconut milk: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004XTCU52/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

Goats milk: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004K69OMU/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 
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OliveOil2

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I put milk or yogurt in most of my batches, and I had one batch that smelled exactly like baby vomit. I thought it was just me, since I would ask people to smell it, and they would say that is a super nice lavender.
I would have to look at my notes, to see what type of milk it was, I most often use goat milk, but I am betting it was cow milk, probably Bulgarian Buttermilk. To my nose the smell never went away, and I couldn't figure out why I was the only one who thought it smelled terrible.
 

not_ally

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OO, other people can't smell the nasty tinge in mine, either, but I know it is there. In a fragrance blend of litsea EO and lemon verbena FO which is pretty assertive. So I'm glad for this thread (thanks, IL!) I am going to skip non-yogurt cow's milk in the future, I think.

ETA: IL, do you find that using powdered milk (cow's milk, that is) is less likely to cause the stinky effect than the liquid stuff?
 
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OliveOil2

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I felt guilty, because I dumped the batch, but I didn't want to subject anyone else to it. I donate a bunch of soap, and I usually make an extra effort to make sure those bars are nicely wrapped and labeled. It wasn't even something I thought was worth grating or cutting into imbeds. It would be so awful to have someone open a bar and think baby vomit!
 

not_ally

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I know what you mean, I feel guilty about dumping batches too. Like food, which is even worse b/c I live by myself, like to cook but am not a big eater.

I don't want to donate soap that I wouldn't use myself, but sometimes wonder if my standards are different than that of a non-soaper, ie; maybe something I think is hideous is not so much in the non-soaper world ...
 

Susie

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So glad to know I am not the only one that gets the whole "spit up" smell from some soap. I stopped using milks because of that.

GM does not cause it? Truly?

My next batch is Coconut Milk/watermelon, but I would like to re-visit GM after that if I can avoid the smell.
 

not_ally

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Susie, I have only noticed it in the full cream cow's milk soaps, so I am thinking it is an issue of high fat content in cow's milk. I haven't noticed it in the gm soaps, which of course have lower fat, but will check now to be sure. Please opine, anyone else who has noticed ....
 

Arthur Dent

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So, if the butyric acid is in the butter fat, which has been removed from the non-fat powdered milk, then soap made with the the non-fat powdered milk theoretically shouldn't have the baby puke smell. You should still get the soapy goodness from the lactose and milk proteins, because most of those are still there.
Sounds like a couple of pretty good check marks in favor of at least trying the non-fat milk powder.
Yes?
 

DeeAnna

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"...soap made with the the non-fat powdered milk theoretically shouldn't have the baby puke smell...."

That's my take on the matter.

I have made a butter soap with butterfat being about 16.5% of the total fat in the batch. There was a distinct cheesy/yeasty "butyric" odor to that particular soap. I wouldn't call it baby puke, but obviously YMMV on that.

I haven't smelled that butyric smell from any soap I've made with just cow's milk, whether whole, non-fat, or something in between. We're talking far, far less butterfat added by the milk than what one would add of a fragrance. And of that butter fat, only a few percent is butyric.

The last recipe I made with milk on 10 July was based on 1500 g fats. I needed about 500 g liquid.
If the liquid was entirely whole milk at 3.5% butterfat, the total butterfat contributed by the milk is about:
butterfat weight= 500 g X 3.5 / 100 = 17.5 g

Of that butterfat, about 3% is butyric acid*, so the total weight of butyric in this recipe is about:
butyric acid weight = 17.5 g X 3 / 100 = 0.5 g

The total soap weight (fat + lye + milk + additives) was about 2500 g, so the % of butyric in this recipe is about:
% butyric acid = 0.5 g / 2500 g X 100 = .02%

* Source: www.webexhibits.org/butter/compounds-fatty.html
 

snappyllama

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Susie, definitely give goat milk a try. I've never gotten any odor from it and have used fresh, concentrated canned, and powdered. I've done the split method and ice cube method. Neither method made any difference.
 

Susie

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I used full fat evaporated cow's milk with the split method when I noticed the "spit up" smell overwhelming the EO I added. I tossed that whole batch, so I don't know if the smell went away.

I will re-try GM evaporated milk as soon as I start soaping again. I really need to reduce what I have on hand first, though. I had just rendered all that tallow when I found out I was getting married, so I made a LOT of soap in a short period of time to use it up.
 

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