soap recipe resources and advice?

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celticjanis

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I have an unusual question I think. Does anybody know of an online resource or website that can analyze my goat milk soap recipe, amounts, temps, etc without the recipe going out to all other soap makers on blogs or forums?
 

shunt2011

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Unfortunately no. However, you can limit how many places you post your information.
 

toxikon

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It seems like the easiest solution would be to post your recipe here for feedback, then when you're happy, delete your post if you're concerned about keeping your recipe secret. There's thousands and thousands of recipes floating around on the internet, so the odds of someone stealing yours outright would be pretty slim. And even if they did... does it really matter? There are only so many ways to combine oils and butters and even if someone copies your base recipe, they'd probably choose entirely different scents, fragrances, bar shapes, etc.
 

celticjanis

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Here's what's generally wrong. They either have
1. too much ash all over the soaps
2. little white spots that don't steam or rub or wash off
3. white "blobs". that also don't wash,stem, rub off.
Any thoughts?

PS it's goat milk soap. 85 oz. oils, 48 oz milk, 12 oz. lye; using Milky Way small molds (each one is approx. 4-5 oz.- not a large wooden or log mold. lye/milk 80 degrees; oils 90 degrees
 

shunt2011

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Without the full recipe it's hard to say what your problem may be. Too much liquid and soaping too cool could cause some of your listed issues. Ash especially. I don't use individual molds for the reason that they always get too much ash. Are you insulating/CPOPing your soaps. Have you had this issue the 17 years you've been making GM soap?
 

dixiedragon

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It seems like you think the white spots and white blobs are different things? Maybe post a pic?

Could be stearic acid spots or glycerin rivers. If you HP, it could be some overcooked bits.

I don't know of a website, but you could send a private message to some of our experts here. That way it's not floating around forever on the internet.

You could also post an approximation. Made up example: Say your soap is 50% lard, 20% coconut, 20% olive and 10% sunflower. Post a recipe that is 40% lard, 15% coconut, 20% olive and 25% sunflower. The advice you get will probably be pretty close but you keep your exact recipe a secret.

Regarding ash - I really think that a dehumidifier is a huge help with this. My soaping buddy DoriettaFarm lives about 30 minutes north of me. We both use similar recipes (lard, coconut, olive, castor), similar weather, etc. I use tap water and she used (I think), distilled. She has more problems with ash than me. I cure my soaps in a finished basement with a dehumidifier. That seems to be the only significantly different factor. Even my salt bars are fairly ash free.
 

earlene

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The white blobs are likely saponifed milk fat that happens when you add lye to milk. The milk fat starts saponifying before your ever add the lye mixture to the rest of the oils, so you can end up with little tiny blobs of soap. This really cannot be avoided if you use 100% milk in your lye solution.

IF you were to try a 50% lye solution with water, then mix into your oils and THEN mix in the other 50% of your liquid as goats milk, I believe you will see fewer of those white blobs/spots. I know you said you don't want to use less goats milk, but you could do a small batch as an experiment just to see the difference.

If you are using fresh goats milk, then you probably want to stick with that, but if you use canned re-constituted, or powdered GM, then you can make a water & lye solution first, add it to the oils & mix it for a bit, then add some of the reconstituted GM (canned or powdered after liquifying it first, of course.)
 

penelopejane

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Using the split method with GM - mix your lye with 50% water then wait for it to cool. Mix your GM with the oils. If you want 100% GM used powdered milk which has to be mixed with some of the oil into a paste first to ovoid spots.

TD has to be thoroughly mixed with water or oil or it will leave spots. Hard butters have to be heated until they are clear and then mixed with other oils before adding lye.

I can't use citric acid with GM as the soap goes soft.
 

celticjanis

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OK...here goes. I use Casey Makela Milk Based Soaps book basic goat milk soap recipe (old book, I know, published in 1997)


20 oz. extra virgin olive oil
7 oz. rapeseed oil
8 oz. sunflower oil
25 oz. palm oil
25 oz. beef tallow

48 oz. goat milk that has been frozen; that's how much the recipe calls for
12 oz. lye

I do cold process; no insulation due to size of molds; humidifier in curing room; on racks for 6 weeks.

I use Milky Way individual cavity soap molds so each soap is poured into small 5oz. molds

I mix the lye into the milk slowly until it reaches 80 degrees 15 minutes minimum
Then mix with the melted oils that are at 90 degrees
(The recipe calls for 80 degrees/125 degrees oils but that was too hot)

Bring it to a very light trace. I use a stick blender sporatically. Has to be to be able to be thin enough to get all molds filled. Don't gel.
Unmold 24 hours later

Although I've been making these darned soaps for 17 years. I've always had a problem with excessive ash all over the soap; not only on bottom. Which I can steam, wash, or wipe off but can't get into the crevice designs on the molds. Othertimes I get small white dots scattered over the soaps - maybe 4-8 of them which can't be washed, wiped, or steamed off. Or I get white "blotches" anywhere on the surface of the soap which also can't be removed.

Maybe I'm being too much of a perfectionist but presentation is number 1 to me. (As well as the quality of the soap)

Sorry to be so long winded. Hope I didn't forget any info.

I could really use your input, suggestions, corrections, etc.

Thanks.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I really don't see why there was all the wasted time with not wanting to post your recipe - especially as it's been published in a book!

Liquid amounts can have an impact on ash. Lower water amounts can help to control it - but there is no single silver bullet for stopping it.

I would, however, start with lowering the milk amount. Try 25oz on a smaller batch and see how that goes. I know it seems like a massive drop, but most people use a 33% solution for cold process
 

celticjanis

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The Efficacious Gentleman: Thanks for the response. Any other input into the recipe? Oils? Amounts? I hesitate to lower the milk volume since I think that's what makes my soaps special.......hmmmm....food for thought.
 

kchaystack

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Um... that is a crazy recipe. And it makes over 9lbs of soap.... :shock: I can not imagine pouring that many cavity molds.

So you are using an excess of lye. a soap calc says you need 11.75 oz of NaOH for those oils, and that is a 0% lye discount - but since the milk fat is not accounted for in the recipe, you probably won't be lye heavy.

Your lye concentration is 20%. that is really low. Most of us do not go under 28% (maybe a few hot process people go lower). so that is going to lend to your ash problem and the soap being really soft for a long time.

You are soaping pretty cool. So I am betting the white spots are partially your oils solidifying before they are totally saponified.

Now for your oil makeup. Palm and tallow are both stearic oils. They do the same thing. As to the canola (rapeseed) and sunflower. Unless they are the high oliec versions of those 2 oils. then they are closer to olive. You have no 'bubbly' oil (coconut, palm kernal [different than palm oil] or babassu). That is not bad in itself just a note.

This just isn't a well balanced recipe.
 

shunt2011

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I would drop your liquid amount for starters then cover with saran wrap or something and leave it covered until you unmold. I have more ash issues with individual molds as it takes longer for the saponification process to take place. I have done salt bars in individual molds but always get ash due to them not gelling and taking longer to saponify. However, if I cover them as soon as they are poured and leave them for a couple days. Then unmold and cover the portion that was in the mold I've had better luck. Otherwise, I embrase the ash.

The chunks and white spots are likely milk fat that saponified and wasn't mixed in well enough or from the tallow/palm not being warm enough or blended well enough.

Also, that is not a good recipe at all. I would look at that too.
 

celticjanis

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Great responses - thanks so much!
any recommendations on oil changes? percentages etc?
shunt2011: why do you say it is not a good recipe at all? other than lowering the milk content, what changes would you suggest.
Boy! now I'm more confused than ever.

Here's the actual recipe verbatim:
3 lbs. pure vegetable shortening
17 ounces extra light olive oil
12 oz. safflower oil
8 oz. canola oil
3 lbs. or approx 6 cups goat milk prepared for soapmaking
12 oz. sodium hydroxide
1 oz borax
1/2 ox sugar
1/2 oz. glycerine

80 degrees lye/milk; 125 degrees oils

Is that any different/better than mine?
 

shunt2011

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Is your vegetable shortening palm oil? If not I would switch to lard, tallow or palm oil, also if your safflower isn't high oleic I would lower the usage to no more than 10% same with canola. I don't think use it, though some do. I would also add some coconut oil pr PKO at 15-20% and castor at 5%. You can actually make a really nice soap with great shelf life using something like this:
45-50% lard, Palm or tallow
20% Coconut
25-30% Olive Or a mix of HO Safflower.
5% Castor oil.

I would also not use the glycerin. Glycerine is a byproduct of making soap.
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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It was a poor recipe from a very old book. Not sure why it would need to be so secret. I imagine that the op is selling (a recipe direct from a book, of course)
 

shunt2011

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I'm sure she is. One of her early posts states she's been making soap for 17 years. I don't think she's ever gone beyond the recipe in the book to research if it's a good stable recipe. I'm hoping she'll take some of the advice here as well as do more research on the what and why her current recipe is rather lousy.
 
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