the goat's milk page

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goat's milk is great for the skin and is a wonderful additive to "creams and lotions", "bath bombs and salts", and "soap". it contains naturally occurring alpha-hydroxyl acids (aha), which contribute to a micro-peeling of the skin, gentry scrubbing off dead skin cells. the low ph level is close to that of skin, making it a very gentle exfoliant.
goat's milk contains a high level of protein. it also contains high levels of nutritional elements -- (including, but not limited to, vitamins a, b-complex and c, and zinc) -- that nourish and rejuvenate dehydrated skin.
vitamin a, an antioxidant, slows down the effects of aging, as well as prevents age spots and thickening of the skin.
riboflavin (vitamin b-2) is another antioxidant and is essential for healthy skin, nails, hair and general good health.
vitamin c, also an antioxidant, is beneficial in the prevention of sun damage, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
zinc contributes to the reconstruction of collagen fibers, encouraging moisture retention and maintaining the skin's elasticity.
the fat globules of goat's milk are small, allowing for fast and easy absorption into the skin, bringing with it the nutrients, restorative proteins, and moisture. this helps nourish the newly-grown skin and encourages the production of elastin. new skin emerges smooth, healthy and younger looking.
available forms
for the sake of discussion, goat's milk has two components, the milk solids and water. goat's milk comes in three forms: whole milk (the way it comes out of the goat), powder (which is the milk solids component), and concentrate (which is the whole milk with half of the water removed).

"meyenberg" recomends that 4 oz. (113 gm) of their goat's milk powder be extended to make 32 fl. oz. whole goat's milk. based on this, i treat the powder as being 1/8 (.125) of the whole goat's milk quantity, with the remaining 7/8 (.875) being water.

[their] concentrated goat's milk (12-oz. can) has half of the water content removed. through calculation, i conclude the milk solids (powder equivalent) of the concentrate is 22% (.22), with the remaining 78% (.78) being water.
consequently, [the milk portion of] a 12 oz can of concentrate is equivalent to 21.1 oz. of whole milk, or 2.67 oz. powder.
i personally use the goat's milk powder ...for three reasons.
  • •  the first being convenience of storage.
  • •  secondly, it can be reconstituted to the consistency of whole milk or concentrated if desired.
  • •  lastly, it can be used in applications (e.g. bath salts) where a "liquid" milk cannot.
        in all other non-dry applications, i find it best to make a slurry first and then add that to the product.
using goat's milk in creams and lotions
when adding goat's milk to a cream or lotion, add it to the water phase. i've not read of any maximums or minimums, but from experimentation, i've settled on 10%, an amount sufficient to add it's benefits to the cream / lotion while not being so much as to present a problem with preservation.
this 10% (per the formulas on the "lotion page") represents the amount of whole milk. this would equate to 1.25% (.0125) powder or 5.7% (.057) concentrate ...with appropriate adjustment to the water amount.
using goat's milk in bath bombs and salts
goat's milk makes a wonderful addition to bath salts ...or to any bath even without the salt. see the "bath salt formula" for the suggested amounts.
goat's milk [could] also be used in bath bombs (fizzies), but in my experience, the effervescence (caused by the reaction of the citric acid with the sodium bicarbonate in the presence of water), is severely impeded when you start adding a lot of extra "stuff" to the bath bomb. by adding enough milk for it to have any significant effect on the bath, the bomb wouldn't fizz would just slowly foam, which is not the desired effect.
making goat's milk soap
goat's milk makes a wonderful addition to any soap. the problem has always been the effect of the lye on the protein in the milk, darkening it and leaving you with brown soap ...which in and of itself is not a bad thing if you want brown soap. there are, however, some processing methods used to rectify, or at the very least, minimize this effect.
this is a non-issue when adding goat's milk [powder] to soap that's being rebatched, (including pre-made m&p base), there's no problem because there's no lye present.
using goat's milk in cold / hot process bar soap:
one of the more popular methods is to freeze the milk, (be it all milk or part milk and part water), before adding the lye to it. however, the milk can't be solidly frozen; some, or all, of it should be "slushy" or else the lye will just lie there (no pun intended) and do nothing. as the lye is reacting with the partially frozen milk, the heat melts the milk, but the temperatures are kept low, so the milk doesn't burn and turn brown. the "secret" is to add the lye very, very slowly. the molds are not insulated during saponification, and the resulting soap only tans slightly. the degree of tanning depending on the processing temperatures (e.g. lye/milk, oils, environment). generally, you can't use any of the cooking processes to make the soap if you want a lighter bar. if your soap goes to full gel, it will turn brown some degree.
the problem is that [goat's] milk is itself a super heater and adds a lot of heat to that usually produced by the saponification process. so the objective, in whatever method is being used, is to keep the saponifying soap from getting too hot. there are myriads methods that produce bars ranging from the lightest to darkest shades of brown. sometimes the coloring is what one has to accept being a result of the chosen process. other times, the coloring is a desired effect which is purposefully sought after.

since i generally use the cold process oven process to cut down on the curing and drying time, my goal was to find a way to use this cooking process with goat's milk and still come out with the lightest possible bar. the procedure i followed is based on refrigerating the soap and then heating it.
• this method calls for the use of powdered goat's milk. first, the milk (powder) is added to the oils and blended well before the addition of the lye. the powder (with just enough of the water to make it liquid) is added to the oils*, and the remaining water (the amount that would've been used to reconstitute the powder to whole milk) is used to mix with the lye.
• add the lye water to the oil and milk mixture, stir to trace... (*in a slight variation on this method, the powdered milk [slurry] or liquid milk [with allowance made for the water content] is added to the soap at light trace.) ...and then pour into molds.

side-by-side comparison

in the above picture, the bar to the left (same as fig. 1) was placed directly in a preheated oven (175°f), heat turned off and left in the oven to cool for six hours. the center bar (same as fig. 2)) was placed uninsulated on the countertop for five hours. the bar to the right (same as fig. 3) was place in the refrigerator for this five hours. -- under normal circumstances you wouldn't want to "chill" your soap for fear it might stall the saponification process but as mentioned above, the milk is a super heater, and the chilling is necessary to minimize any gelling during saponification. -- after the five hours, i then place the center and right bars in the preheated oven using the same process as the left bar.

fig. 1
if you're aiming for the "lightest" possible bar, include palm kernal oil as one of your oils. also be aware that there are other things, certain additives that can still cause your soap to brown, (e.g. vanilla fragrance oil will turn your soap brown regardless of the processing temperatures). this bar (fig. 1), which went directly into the oven after molding, was the "darkest", although the tanning was very slight and not at all unpleasant. this bar could easily be colored with a compatible hue or left as is.

fig. 2
this bar (fig. 2), was left to sit on the countertop for five hours before going into the oven. even though it was not refrigerated, it shows no more tanning than the bar that was refrigerated. this bar was just as light as the refrigerated bar before going into the oven where both bars [slightly] gelled and both returned to their light color. the refrigeration seemed unnecessary. the lack of tanning seems to be the result of adding the milk to the oil as opposed to adding it to the lye and letting the soap cool before introducing it to the [oven] heat. the bar never changed color from that when it reached trace.
note: this example would seem to indicate that the refrigeration is unnecessary, but keep in mind this test was done using individual bar molds. if a brick mold were used [for a 2-lb or 3-lb. batch], the accumulated heat from the saponification might in deed make a difference, making the refrigeration a necessary step to prevent browning.

fig. 3
this bar (fig. 3), went into the fridge for 5 hours. according to the recipe i was testing, it was then supposed to sit on the countertop overnight, at which point it was supposed to be finished but still needing curing. I decided to put this and the bar above (fig. 2) in the oven since I wanted to avoid the long curing time associated with the normal cp process. as a result, this detour is a way to incorporate goat's milk in your soap ingredients, utilize the oven process so the soap is ready for use with only a few weeks drying, and still end up with a bar that is [almost] as light as without using the goat's milk.
any of the above approaches turns out a satisfactorily light bar. this is based on mixing your milk with the oil, mixing your lye and oils (both) at 100°f and preheating the oven to 175°f and turning the heat off before putting the molds in. usually, the cold process oven process (cpop) required cooking the soap in the oven at 170°f to 190°f for 1 to 2 hours, turning off the heat, and leaving the soap in the oven for 12 hours to cool. this, however, would produce a very dark brown bar. the modified version doesn't cook the soap so much and produces a much lighter bar. this is the best of both worlds; the inclusion of the goat's milk in the soap, and the use of the oven method which radically cuts down the curing time.
• with regard to rebatching soap that's been initially processed with goat's milk, the heat from the rebatching (using the method outlined on "my rebatch" page) had only a slight effect on the soap color. there was some appreciable darkening but very little ...not even to the extent of (fig. 1). in this example, titanium dioxide was added to see what effect this whitening agent would have on this process.

Fig. 4
when powdered goat's milk is added to soap base during rebatching, there is no appreciable darkening of the soap least not in my experience using the rebatching method outlined on my rebatch page.
if you're planning to rebatch anyway, this is the better method of incorporating the goat's milk, since you can process (cp) the soap in the regular manner without any refrigeration, cook the soap (cpop) without any concern for darkening, and the little moisture [used when adding powders to a rebatch] only makes the soap easier to handle.
the examples shown are the results of a test run to see the effect of different processes on the same soap base. i started with a small 1-lb. batch (6.2% castor oil, 2.2% cocoa butter, 23.2% coconut oil, 2.2% emu oil, 41% olive oil, 6.6% palm oil, 16.5% palm kernel oil, 2.2% shea butter), processed with 63.6 gm. lye (discounted 8%), 119.8 gm. water (discounted 20 %) and 16.4 gm. goat's milk powder. the goat's milk was blended with the oils which were at 100°f. the [distilled] water was slowly added to the lye and this, (at 100°f), was added to the oils and blended to trace.

using goat's milk in cream soap:
since the end product is of a "creamy" malleable texture, it's best to add goat's milk powder [slurry] at the end of the process where there's no lye present to affect the milk and discolor the soap.

if you prefer to use whole or concentrated milk, adding it at this point would alter the texture of the soap. you would, therefore, incorporate the milk halfway through the process, after the soap has reached light trace ...having deducted the water portion of the milk from the lye water amount. this will have some browning effect.

an exception to this would be if you were following the procedure outlined in "cream soap 2", where half the water is withheld from the process to be added at the end. here the liquid milk could simply be substituted for [all or part of] that water ...with no soap discoloration.
using goat's milk in liquid soap:
you can add goat's milk to this type of soap in either of two ways: during the making of the soap paste, or during the diluting of the paste into liquid soap.

if adding the milk during the paste making process, you want to add goat's milk powder [slurry] to the oils before mixing with the lye.

alternately, you could add the slurry, or whole or concentrated milk [with the water portion deducted from the lye water] halfway through the process after the soap has reached light trace.

even though each of the above is intended to lessen the effect of the lye on the milk, the soap will still darken because it has to cook (gel) for several hours. it's during this phase of the process that the mixture darkens. you will end up with an amber colored soap, but it will be transparent.

the amount of milk added in this manner should not exceed 10% (.10) of the oils. this quantity "recommendation" comes from the "snowdrift farm formulary", and is based on using meyenberg concentrate. this would be the equivalent of 17.8% (.178) using whole milk or 2.2% (.022) using just the powder. the darkening of the soap seems to correspond directly with the amount of goat's milk used if you were to apply the 10% to whole milk, your resulting soap would be considerably lighter than if you used the same amount of concentrate.

the second method is to add goat's milk powder [slurry] to the diluted paste. here, there is no darkening of the soap, even if the paste is alkaline. the milk would be added after neutralization. the milk does not go into solution, so your mixture is not transparent but translucent (milky) ...the degree of which being dependent on the amount of goat's milk added.

you can't add liquid milk at this stage since the water portion would further dilute the soap. although, i suspect you could substitute some of the dilution water with liquid milk. in this instance, however, if your paste were alkaline, there may be some reaction with the small amount of lye present (before neutralization). i can't say for sure since i've never added liquid milk in this manner.

if transparency is not the goal, there would be no need to take the -10% discount when making the paste. consequently, your paste won't be alkaline (needing neutralization), so there would be no lye present to affect the milk.

the amount of milk powder added in this manner should not exceed 4% of the diluted soap ...too much has a dampening effect on the lather. i generally use 3%. i can't address the maximum amount of liquid milk to use in substitution for dilution water having had no experience with this method.
using goat's milk in transparent bar soap:
this refers to making the actual transparent (m&p) base, not adding ingredients to the melted soap (rebatching).
all the of m&p bases that contain goat's milk seem to be opaque (white), suggesting that the milk was added post-process. i've never seen or heard of a transparent goat's milk soap base. however, based on my experience with transparent liquid soap, i don't see why the milk couldn't be added to the process to produce a transparent, albeit amber-colored bar ...similar in appearance to neutrogena.
when i make my next batch of transparent m&p base, i intend to put this theory to the test ...posting the results when available.
using goat's milk in whipped soap:
my suggested method is to add goat's milk powder [slurry] to the "melted" hard oils ...letting them completely cool and solidify before processing.

the amount of powder i use is the amount it would take to convert the [amount of] lye water to whole milk. (i.e. if the lye water amount is 100 gm, I would use 14.29 gm goat's milk powder.)

since there is no gelling or any external heat source used in this process, the milk remains unaffected by the lye; there is no discolortion of the soap.

i don't know of any way to use liquid milk with this type of soap process ...other than adding partially frozen milk directly to the lye. this, however, would result in an immediately reaction between the lye and milk.

you could add the milk powder [slurry] to the pliable soap post process, but you only have approx. 30 minute to do whatever else you plan to do before the soap starts to set up, so the less you have to do at this point, the better.