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TashaBird

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I just made my 60th batch of soap yesterday! :hippo: So, I can soap, but I’m also kind of new. A dear friend wants to collaborate with me and gave me this super special honey and goat milk from her farm. This is very different than my regular recipes! I will start doing my research, but this forum is always such a great source.
I would like to use as much milk and honey as possible. I dissolve sugar in my water before adding lye, but not very much.

*Is this the only phase I could add the honey? I think I’ve read of folks adding it after trace.
*Should I dissolve the honey in the goat milk and then freeze the goat milk in ice cubes?
*Can I use the entire water portion as goat milk?

I know I should put them in the fridge or freezer right after the pour.
These are my questions I have for now, and I’ll start searching around.
Any links, answers, or advice would be SUPER appreciated! I’m excited to collaborate with my friend.
 

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dixiedragon

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I am fond of the milk-in-oil method. Take the amount of water your recipe requires. Say 20 oz. Dissolve your lye in 10 oz water. Let the lye water cool to room temp.
Heat your oils to 100-125. This depends on what oils you are using. For example, palm has a higher melt temp than lard. Or if you go with entirely liquid oils (not my personal choice) you can heat lower.

When the oils are the correct temperature (and your lye water is room temp), pour 10 oz milk into the oils. Add your honey. Rule of thumb is 1 tsp or 1 tbsp (which is 3 tsp) of honey per pound of oils (PPO). Stick blend the oils/milk/honey as your pour your lye water. Stick blend until just emulsified or until thin trace, then pour.

Assuming you are using a log mold, this time of year, you might be able to just put your mold outside to keep it cool. Depends on what part of CA you are from. I'd say if your temps are 60 or below, put it outside. If not, I would make some ice packs, put the mold into a cardboard box, and then place the ice packs around it. I, personally, do not like to put active soap in the freezer or fridge, because if you spill it...WHAT a mess to clean up! I like card board boxes, because if things go wrong, you just throw the box away. If your mold is small enough, a glass casserole dish is good too. You could put the empty glass casserole dish in the freezer before hand so it is nice and cold when you put the soap mold in it.

You may want to look into individual molds or a slab mold. These are easier to keep cool.
 

TashaBird

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I am fond of the milk-in-oil method. Take the amount of water your recipe requires. Say 20 oz. Dissolve your lye in 10 oz water. Let the lye water cool to room temp.
Heat your oils to 100-125. This depends on what oils you are using. For example, palm has a higher melt temp than lard. Or if you go with entirely liquid oils (not my personal choice) you can heat lower.

When the oils are the correct temperature (and your lye water is room temp), pour 10 oz milk into the oils. Add your honey. Rule of thumb is 1 tsp or 1 tbsp (which is 3 tsp) of honey per pound of oils (PPO). Stick blend the oils/milk/honey as your pour your lye water. Stick blend until just emulsified or until thin trace, then pour.

Assuming you are using a log mold, this time of year, you might be able to just put your mold outside to keep it cool. Depends on what part of CA you are from. I'd say if your temps are 60 or below, put it outside. If not, I would make some ice packs, put the mold into a cardboard box, and then place the ice packs around it. I, personally, do not like to put active soap in the freezer or fridge, because if you spill it...WHAT a mess to clean up! I like card board boxes, because if things go wrong, you just throw the box away. If your mold is small enough, a glass casserole dish is good too. You could put the empty glass casserole dish in the freezer before hand so it is nice and cold when you put the soap mold in it.

You may want to look into individual molds or a slab mold. These are easier to keep cool.
I usually add sodium lactate at that point also. Is this still ok to do? I imagine all those sugars could make my soap soft.
Also, I have a deep freezer, so I can do a casserole pan in there for my loaf molds. I have enough individual cavity molds also, but it’d be harder to put them in the freezer. My garage where I soap is generally about 55-60F.

Things I’m realizing/learning:
I’d prefer to use %100 goat milk instead of the 50/50 method.
I’m torn between individual molds, and a loaf mold. I easily have space in my fridge for the loaves, but the individual would not fit. Soaping area is between 50-60f.

Things I’m realizing/learning:
I’d prefer to use %100 goat milk instead of the 50/50 method.
I’m torn between individual molds, and a loaf mold. I easily have space in my fridge for the loaves, but the individual would not fit. Soaping area is between 50-60f.
I maaaaaaybe could make the individual molds fit in the freezer.

Also, am I trying to prevent gel completely? So far in my soaping I’ve always been trying to ensure gel.
 

Obsidian

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If you use individual molds, I doubt you would need to use the freezer since your temps are low in your soaping area.

Some people gel milk soaps but since this is your first one and you are using honey, try to prevent gel. Milk and honey is just asking to overheat.

My very first soap was with goats milk. I just slowly sprinkled the lye over the cubes until it was all incorporated. I took my time, about 15 min to get all the lye added. I also had my lye jug in a bowl of ice.

I would save out a little of the milk, warm it and add the the honey to thin it down. Honey tends to form little blobs and you can get specks if its not blended enough. Thinning it helps to blend better.
 

dixiedragon

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I personally do not do the frozen milk, b/c the one time I tried it I had bits of undissolved lye. Lots of people do it successfully, I just don't have the patience for the 15 minutes of adding lye. Some people like to put a pitcher of cold milk in an ice bath and add the lye to the cold but still liquid milk.
 

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GM and honey, especially combined with lard and tallow, is one of my favorite soaps! If you have any colloidal oat powder, that is a wonderful addition, as well. You can soak your EOs in the oat powder, if you are using any.

I agree with @Obsidian that the frozen goat milk cubes is the way to go if you want to use full GM. Keep the oils as cool as you can without risking false trace, too.
 

TashaBird

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GM and honey, especially combined with lard and tallow, is one of my favorite soaps! If you have any colloidal oat powder, that is a wonderful addition, as well. You can soak your EOs in the oat powder, if you are using any.

I agree with @Obsidian that the frozen goat milk cubes is the way to go if you want to use full GM. Keep the oils as cool as you can without risking false trace, too.
I am not adding oat powder, but she did give me some fancy clay she wants me to use, and she supplied (most of) the fancy essential oils, so that’s exciting! Any tips on incorporating the clay, if I go with individual molds? I’m going to test mix some with oil to make sure it’s not a nasty color.

If you use individual molds, I doubt you would need to use the freezer since your temps are low in your soaping area.

Some people gel milk soaps but since this is your first one and you are using honey, try to prevent gel. Milk and honey is just asking to overheat.

My very first soap was with goats milk. I just slowly sprinkled the lye over the cubes until it was all incorporated. I took my time, about 15 min to get all the lye added. I also had my lye jug in a bowl of ice.

I would save out a little of the milk, warm it and add the the honey to thin it down. Honey tends to form little blobs and you can get specks if its not blended enough. Thinning it helps to blend better.
I can wait the 15 minutes and go slowly. I’ve got a couple weeks to learn, plan, and prep for this soap, because she wants to come watch/help. No pressure there! 😨
So warm some milk and dissolve honey at 1T PPO then add that mixture at what phase, trace?

GM and honey, especially combined with lard and tallow, is one of my favorite soaps! If you have any colloidal oat powder, that is a wonderful addition, as well. You can soak your EOs in the oat powder, if you are using any.

I agree with @Obsidian that the frozen goat milk cubes is the way to go if you want to use full GM. Keep the oils as cool as you can without risking false trace, too.
My oils are Tallow, Avo, RBO, with a smidge of CO, and castor.

@AliOop when I melt my tallow and CO then add my liquid oils in it’s usually around 90-95. Should I shoot for lower, will that scorch milk/honey?
 
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AliOop

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With the tallow, you probably need to stay in that 90-95 range to prevent false trace. But since we both use home-rendered tallow and lard, the fatty acids can vary more widely from batch to batch than the store-bought stuff. So more than specific temps, I want my oils to be clear and not clouding up. Make sense?

I would pre-hydrate the clays and dissolve the honey, as others suggested. I do that by first dissolving the honey in warm water. Mix in the clay. Let the mix cool before adding the EOs. Cover and let it marinate for a bit. ;) I personally do all that while my hard oils are cooling off, but you can do it before anything else if that helps you keep it straight.

I add the clay-honey-EO mixture to barely warm oils and stick blend it in very well before adding the lye solution.

Others might suggest a different way; do what works best for your soap brain! 🤓🧐
 

cmzaha

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If it were me I would leave the oils cloudy. You are not going to get a false trace using honey with goats milk, since honey heats up much faster and hotter than sugar. I highly recommend soaping cooler than 95º with your oils more like mid 80's, it really cannot be too cool with using gm and honey in my opinion. I personally always hated soaping with honey.
 

AliOop

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You may want to buy some "regular" (meaning not special) goat milk from the grocery store and make a batch to try it out.

What EOs does she want you to use?
Great suggestion about a test batch, and good question re: EOs. Some of them could definitely complicate things. such as any that contain eugenol, which is a trace accelerant. Since the clays usually thicken things up fast, she definitely won't want any additional thickeners.
 

Obsidian

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I am not adding oat powder, but she did give me some fancy clay she wants me to use, and she supplied (most of) the fancy essential oils, so that’s exciting! Any tips on incorporating the clay, if I go with individual molds? I’m going to test mix some with oil to make sure it’s not a nasty color.


I can wait the 15 minutes and go slowly. I’ve got a couple weeks to learn, plan, and prep for this soap, because she wants to come watch/help. No pressure there! 😨
So warm some milk and dissolve honey at 1T PPO then add that mixture at what phase, trace?
Add everything with the oils so you can blend the heck out of it before adding the lye.

What kind of clay are you using? Kaolin is the easiest to work with, just a little water or milk will make a nice slurry.
Bentonite is a beast, it absorbs so much liquid and gets sticky. Its hard to blend.
 

AliOop

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Good points, @cmzaha! I use only 1 tsp PPO honey (and powdered GM most of the time), so mine doesn't get that hot. I don't even refrigerate it and the worst that has happened is a slight crack on the top. And it does gel so it is a bit darker.

But @TashaBird plans to use the higher range of both honey AND fresh GM, so her batter will probably get a lot hotter than mine. Starting with cooler oils is definitely the better advice for her!
 

TashaBird

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You may want to buy some "regular" (meaning not special) goat milk from the grocery store and make a batch to try it out.

What EOs does she want you to use?
Great idea!
If it were me I would leave the oils cloudy. You are not going to get a false trace using honey with goats milk, since honey heats up much faster and hotter than sugar. I highly recommend soaping cooler than 95º with your oils more like mid 80's, it really cannot be too cool with using gm and honey in my opinion. I personally always hated soaping with honey.
Thank you. I’ll soap cool, hopefully I don’t hate it too.
Great suggestion about a test batch, and good question re: EOs. Some of them could definitely complicate things. such as any that contain eugenol, which is a trace accelerant. Since the clays usually thicken things up fast, she definitely won't want any additional thickeners.
I’ll be using lavender and rosemary eos, which I haven’t found to accelerate trace.
Add everything with the oils so you can blend the heck out of it before adding the lye.

What kind of clay are you using? Kaolin is the easiest to work with, just a little water or milk will make a nice slurry.
Bentonite is a beast, it absorbs so much liquid and gets sticky. Its hard to blend.
I”ll find out what kind of clay. She gave me some fancy blend that she uses for masks. I can always just use a little of it and then ad some clay colorants that I have from NS.
Good points, @cmzaha! I use only 1 tsp PPO honey (and powdered GM most of the time), so mine doesn't get that hot. I don't even refrigerate it and the worst that has happened is a slight crack on the top. And it does gel so it is a bit darker.

But @TashaBird plans to use the higher range of both honey AND fresh GM, so her batter will probably get a lot hotter than mine. Starting with cooler oils is definitely the better advice for her!
I’m also starting to think maybe the individual molds will be the way to go. My soap area is in a cool garage, I could even put a fan on them.

You may want to buy some "regular" (meaning not special) goat milk from the grocery store and make a batch to try it out.

What EOs does she want you to use?
Great idea!
If it were me I would leave the oils cloudy. You are not going to get a false trace using honey with goats milk, since honey heats up much faster and hotter than sugar. I highly recommend soaping cooler than 95º with your oils more like mid 80's, it really cannot be too cool with using gm and honey in my opinion. I personally always hated soaping with honey.
Thank you. I’ll soap cool, hopefully I don’t hate it too.
Great suggestion about a test batch, and good question re: EOs. Some of them could definitely complicate things. such as any that contain eugenol, which is a trace accelerant. Since the clays usually thicken things up fast, she definitely won't want any additional thickeners.
I’ll be using lavender and rosemary eos, which I haven’t found to accelerate trace.
Add everything with the oils so you can blend the heck out of it before adding the lye.

What kind of clay are you using? Kaolin is the easiest to work with, just a little water or milk will make a nice slurry.
Bentonite is a beast, it absorbs so much liquid and gets sticky. Its hard to blend.
I”ll find out what kind of clay. She gave me some fancy blend that she uses for masks. I can always just use a little of it and then ad some clay colorants that I have from NS.
Good points, @cmzaha! I use only 1 tsp PPO honey (and powdered GM most of the time), so mine doesn't get that hot. I don't even refrigerate it and the worst that has happened is a slight crack on the top. And it does gel so it is a bit darker.

But @TashaBird plans to use the higher range of both honey AND fresh GM, so her batter will probably get a lot hotter than mine. Starting with cooler oils is definitely the better advice for her!
I’m also starting to think maybe the individual molds will be the way to go. My soap area is in a cool garage, I could even put a fan on them.
 

dixiedragon

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Here are some pictures of overheating:

Since you aren't doing a swirl, just check on your soap. If you see it start to bulge upwards a bit, or a crack start to form, just give it a good stir. You want to break up the crust on top which is trapping in the heat, and mix the gelling soap with the rest of the soap.

I've never had a batch of Milk and Honey soap doing any dramatic overheating on me. IMO the problem lies in the fragrance oils - it seems to me that a large number of the Milk and Honey "horror stories" also involved a Honey or Oatmeal Milk and Honey fragrance oil.
 

GemstonePony

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The highest amount of liquids I use is 3:1 liquid to lye, but I'd recommend a recipe with low superfat, and know it'll be a while to unmold
I love honey at 1 TBS PPO, but I'd definitely drop the sugar. For CP, I generally dissolve my honey in an equal amount of water. I believe conventional wisdom is to add the honey to the cooled lye solution. I've also added the honey to the oils, and let the lye react with it there, and can confirm it heats up and accelerates.
I would certainly let the lye react with either the milk, the honey, or both before introducing the oils- I think having it react to both with the oils could give you batter pudding.
I also second the idea of a test run, and if they're supplying EOs, you might want to use a small amount of that batch to see how the EOs react. If they aren't made for CP soap, they may contain alcohol, which can cause soap to accelerate/seize.
 

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I soap with a masterbatch lye/water solution so I add my milk directly to that solution straight from the fridge. When I use honey, I add and disperse it in some warm water and dissolves right away.
 

TashaBird

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Ok, so much good information here, almost too much! Here’s my plan so far. I’ve got enough to do a test batch before I do main batch with my friend. I’m going to use %100 GM, frozen in ice cubes, weighed after frozen? I’m going to put the milk cubes in a container inside an ice bath and sprinkle my lye in. I’ll keep out a bit of milk and warm it enough to dissolve the honey. I’ll shoot for 80F for the lye and the oils, maybe 90. After emulsion I’ll add my SL, honey/milk, EO, and clay. Pour.
Does that sound like it’ll work?! I feel like I’m brand new at this all over again!
Below is my recipe. It is close to what I soap with regularly.
 

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