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Milk soap curdled/volcanoes

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bhelen

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Almost all my soaps are milk soaps which I make using the split method. In this recipe I had 760g liquid, and had 360g distilled water, 280g milk and 20g water for mixing kaolin clay. It curdled before I added the essential oils. I usually hand stir all my soaps, but I tried stick blending it and it just made it worse. Super fast trace and all lumpy. Now I have had several batches where this is happening. I have tried temps of 95, 100, 110, adding milk to the oils before the lye, heating the milk to the same temp as the oils and lye, leaving it at room temperature....and still can't find a pattern. I began to think my oils were rancid, so I tried a batch with no milk and it turned out beautifully. What the heck?? Is there a difference between different kinds of milk - UHT or fresh for example? Anything else I could possibly be doing wrong? I have included a photo of one attempt which didn't exactly volcano but still turned out ugly and lumpy. It has paprika for color (but some of the failed attempts have had no color added at all).
Screenshot 2021-01-18 081346.pngya Wardeh lumpy.jpg
 

lionprincess00

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Rancid oils have an off smell, floaties, or color changes with smell. I havent soaped in a long time, but it looks to be getting way too hot. I always left milk soaps in a freezer for at the very least 12 hours. After pulling it out, I'd feel for heating (my molds are silicone and you can feel it warming on the outside of the mold). If it was heating (checking every 20 or 30 min), I'd pop it back into the freezer for another hr or more. I'd do that song and dance until it stayed cool. I never gelled them. This prevents the super heating effect milks can have, and it also helps it not gel partially. If I tried a full gel, it would get too hot (usually) to stop before cracking etc. I know many like their milk soaps, but after many experiments, I found I didnt really like the hassle or feel of them as much. Of course I soaped for (my own use) fancy designs and nice smells predominantly.
 

cmzaha

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You say you left your lye at room temp but what is room temp? Have you tried leaving your oils cloudy and your lye solution in the low 70's even high 60's. Also, try cutting down your CO, it is pretty high for many folks anyway and tends to heat up. I know some can use CO that high but many cannot.

If I had that much trouble with milk soaps I simply would not make them, since I never felt any difference in a milk soap although I did make them using only enough powdered gm to label them gm soap. Guess what my customers knew no difference and I was not lying they just did not have a lot of goat milk in them, about 2 tbs powdered gm in 5 lbs of soap. The only time I used 8oz of milk in my soaps was when I made camel milk soap and it never gave issues.
 

AliOop

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Your recipe is supposed to have 760g of liquid, but what you wrote for your water + gm only adds up to 660g. If you made that math error only on the milk batches, then those batches had 100g less of total liquid than the ones where you used 760g of water only. That could definitely speed up the trace, and would explain why you aren't have problems when you leave out the GM.

I agree with Carolyn's suggestions. On your recipe, I would swap the CO and palm percentages, and lower the processing temps. Since you are using milk, I'm guessing you'd be ok with animal fats, too, Consider taking 20% from the OO and using lard for that instead. Lard soap is wonderful with any kind of milk, and may also help slow down your trace.

ETA: I'd also make smaller batches until I figured out the error. That's a big batch of soap!
 

bhelen

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Thank you all for your comments and observations. Wow, could it really be a basic math problem 🤣 I kinda hope so, it will be less of a mystery. Gonna go back and check all the recipes that turned out did and see if my arithmetic checks out.
 
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