Lumpy Oat milk lye solution

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Kosmerta

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6 weeks ago before I found this forum I tried making soap with oat milk as a water replacement. This was the first time I ever used a non water liquid in my soap making.

I made oat milk at home by blending 1/4 cup plain steel cut oats with 1 cup distilled water, then I allowed it to sit for 1 hour and strained out the oat mush with a cheese cloth. Aiming for a 30% lye solution I used 50% oat milk, 50% distilled water for the liquid.
Immediately the mixture became incredibly thick, even hard to stir. I added distilled water until my mixing container was full but I still could not get the consistency to thin. I ended up dumping this mixture down the sink my my mud room.

I tried again with 25% oat milk 75% distilled water and it wasnt as bad, but still very thick with white pieces floating in it. I added more distilled water trying to make it dissolve and they would not. At first I was worried the white pieces were undissolved NaOH, but using my spatula to press bits against the side of the container they just mushed. I now think there may have been some oil from the oat kernal in my oat milk which saponified in the lye solution. I decided to use this in my soap batter and it took FOREVER it seemed for the batch to hardened with the extra water added.

The soap seems fine now but I am wondering if the lumpy oat milk solution was normal. I would like to try this recipe again with the original 50/50 oat milk solution and I am wondering if anyone else has experience of this happening, and how to avoid it. If it is unavoidable. Would using the thickened lye solution be harmful to the soap?

(Bonus note, the lye dumped down the sink must have cleared our mainline because the next day all the drains in the house drained faster lol)
 

dibbles

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I used oat milk that I made at 100%. The lye solution was thick and gelatinous, but I don't remember having white lumps. It's been quite a long time, so I may not be remembering that correctly. From my notes, this is how I made the oat milk.

Combine one cup steel cut or rolled oats in a bowl with enough warm water to cover. Let sit 12-24 hours. Drain and rinse. Put oats back in bowl and cover with water, mixing with hand, and drain two more times (or until slimy feel is gone). Put drained oats in blender with three cups water and blend on highest setting until oats are finely ground. Strain through a colander lined with cheese cloth.
 

Lin19687

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Try searching in the Beginners Forum, there are many threads on Milks and I know of one with Oak milk in this forum because I was in it.
 

Kosmerta

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I used oat milk that I made at 100%. The lye solution was thick and gelatinous, but I don't remember having white lumps. It's been quite a long time, so I may not be remembering that correctly. From my notes, this is how I made the oat milk.

Combine one cup steel cut or rolled oats in a bowl with enough warm water to cover. Let sit 12-24 hours. Drain and rinse. Put oats back in bowl and cover with water, mixing with hand, and drain two more times (or until slimy feel is gone). Put drained oats in blender with three cups water and blend on highest setting until oats are finely ground. Strain through a colander lined with cheese cloth.
Why do you choose to rinse the oats several times? Perhaps there is some oil from the oat kernal that gets rinsed away with this method. Since i didn't rinse that could have causes small soap specs- or at least on theory. I will try rinsing my oats repeatedly next time I make oat milk.

Try searching in the Beginners Forum, there are many threads on Milks and I know of one with Oak milk in this forum because I was in it.
Thanks for the advice, do you remember the name of that thread?
 

KiwiMoose

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I use homemade oat milk regularly and it always goes gluggy in the lye solution. I use it as is, but force it through a strainer with my spatula. It always turns out ok. Make sure you don’t use more than 33% lye solution though. I usually use 30%.
 

dibbles

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Why do you choose to rinse the oats several times? Perhaps there is some oil from the oat kernal that gets rinsed away with this method. Since i didn't rinse that could have causes small soap specs- or at least on theory. I will try rinsing my oats repeatedly next time I make oat milk.
It was just what I happened to find about making oat milk at the time. The instructions were for making oat milk to consume so I think it’s probably ok to just strain and not rinse. I was a pretty new to making soap at the time.
 

KiwiMoose

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I'm glad I warned you then. Once it hits the oils and you mix it up a bit, it all goes back to normal again, eh?
@Kosmerta - I actually add ground oats in addition to the oat milk, once the batter is at light trace.
 

sirtim100

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It does. Once it's mixed in with the oils, it behaves like any other liquid. Goes to trace without any problem, goes into the mould without fighting back, and hardens up just fine
 

GML

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I find that if I freeze the oatmilk before I add the lye it does not get as lumpy.
 

true blue

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I hate working with that glumpy mess, so I just make a really strong oat milk, dissolve my lye in half the water I'll need, then just after adding the lye water to the oils as normal, I add the oat milk (the other half of the water content) and continue as normal. Oh - and I never wash my oats first. Not sure why you'd want to do that. (The main reason grains were washed/rinsed before use in times past was to remove the bugs. Most of the bugs will float, the grains will settle. Directions were to rinse until the water was clear. Of debris. Not necessarily of the starches.)
 

snofields

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A quart of commercial oat milk (Trader Joe's) was just left behind after a party and I'm wondering about using it for soap. It just says it's water and hydrolyzed oats. If it's OK to use should I go with less than 100 % or use the split method?
 

cmzaha

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This is my method using 50/50 masterbatch NaOH and not adding the oat mixture to the lye. I cook my oatmeal in extra water then dump in it in my bullet to blend up oats and all. if it is a bit too thick to blend in the bullet I add in some distilled water and continue blending in the bullet. I then measure out how much I need and dump it into my oils mixing it with my SB. It will be pretty thick but it does not matter. Any leftover I can freeze for a future batch.

You can use the one from Trader Joes. I prefer not to add anything to my lye water and I always masterbatch 50/50 but it is up to you.
 
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