# Lye calculation with goat or coconut milk

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#### Mango5

##### Member
How do i figure how much lye you use if you want to use milk in some of your cold process soap? On the bramble lye calculater i don't see a place to say that your using milk just oils. How do i figure it out? I am also still confused about in the lye calculater where it says superfatting percentage. What do i put there? Can someone help clear up that for me and what is considered a godd superfat amount? I have so far made 6 different batches of soap so i am still a beginner but trying hard to learn. Thanks for all your input and patience for a beginner like me!!!!

#### Susie

Supporting Member
You just count it as a little extra superfat, and don't add it to the calculator. Substitute it for part or all of the water.

I use anywhere from 5-8% superfat. If I were using milk, I would probably use 5%, and without, I use 8% for winter. However, you need to adjust your superfat to your needs and likes. 5% is a good place to start for most soaps.

Also, we were all beginners once. Don't ever think that any of us were born with this knowledge and experience. I learned from others, I share with you, and you will soon be teaching others. Its a pay it forward kind of situation here.

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#### SilverMaple

##### Well-Known Member
I use 5-6% superfat for milk soaps, and simply use the same amount of milk as the recipe calls for with water. If you are a little short on milk, you can simply make up the difference with water.

If you are using a milk powder, you can either mix that into your water before you add your lye, or stir the powder in at trace (I usually add it at trace, but reserve a small amount of liquid to make a slurry as that seems to dissolve better).

As to regular superfat percentages, that depends a lot on your recipe and personal preference or goals for the soap. I usually use 7-9% for non-milk soaps, but will go higher for certain recipes.

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#### dixiedragon

##### Well-Known Member
Superfat can be a bit of a confusing term, b/c we tend to use it two ways around here:
1) The percentage of oil over what the amount of lye in the recipe will consume and saponify. 5% is "standard". By "standard" I mean that's a good starting point and it's probably the most common amount. Some people go as low as 0 and some go as high as 20. I don't recall anybody here regularly using more than 20%. (and to complicate it further, some people actually go under 0 percent, meaning there is un-used lye in their soap. Then they age the soap for a long time - a year, I think? - and the extra lye combines with elements in the air to form a new substance. Not recommended for newbies at all!)
2) The oil you add at the end of your cook if you are doing HP. For example, you want to use Sweet Almond Oil and have it not consumed by the lye monster. So you make hot process soap, and after the soap has cooked and most of the lye is consumed, you add in your Sweet Almond so it remains free in the soap. (Really, this needs a new term.)

Using the first definition, IMO, anywhere from 5 to 20 percent is a fine place for a newbie to start.