Large batch goat milk soap - preventing gel and/or discoloration

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Jul 11, 2019
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Hi! We have scaled up production of our goat milk CP soaps to 120 lbs batches poured into one large block mold that is then cut into loaves then bars. Understandably, this volume causes the soap to insulate itself and start to gel in the middle. I know gel isn’t a bad thing, but in our case, it is as it’s causing discoloration/darkening and some graininess. I also don’t like the smell of the hotter bars. I was hoping blasting fans on it would help, and it does to some extent, but we still get a lot of heat in the middle.

I really need to find a solution to the heat, or perhaps at least the discoloration. I’m open to suggestions! Wondering about adding a natural pigment to “mask” the darkening, perhaps? Any ideas are appreciated!

And in case it helps: we freeze the goat milk, stir in lye and sodium lactate. Oils are cooled to almost room temp before mixing. No fragrance; a very “natural” product that is creamy white in our smaller batches. Thanks for the help!
I do smaller batches so I’m not sure if this is doable for you, but, I put my frozen milk in a container and into an ice bath while adding the lye. It keeps it nice and cold before I add it to my oils. My bars are a creamy color when done.
I have never worked with such big batches but I wonder if adding a little Titanium dioxide could help keep it that white/creamy color? I'm sure somebody else can help you more.
The logical thing would be to use multiple small loaf moulds as opposed to one large slab mould
Jackie Thompson did a huge block mold like that at a conference I attended. She stated that the best way to ensure uniform gelling in a large block mold is t0 avoid a huge water discount. She said you cannot avoid gel in such a large block, but that you do a huge water discount, you will get partial gel.

So my approach would be to embrace the gel, use enough liquid to ensure complete gel (30-35% lye concentration should do it, I think) and try some other method to counteract the darkening you are seeing.

I do not do large batches, so cannot offer personal experience. I am just passing along what I learned in the seminar.