Hot Process Soap Making: Goat Milk Soap












I’ve been making soap for 2.5 years now, and continue to learn. Every batch, even of tried and true recipes, is a new learning experience.

Today I made another batch of soap while teaching a young girl (17) how to make it. She wants her own soap business and traded me goat milk for the chance to learn. So we made goat milk soap.

The 8 quart kettle that I use is heavy gauge and stainless. Using an electric stove, I heat the oils on medium heat until they are at 160F. Then I add the lye water, pouring it through a fine mesh sieve to make sure no undissolved crystals get through.

I continue stirring for another 5 to 10 min until the raw soap mixture is at light trace, and near 200F. Then I remove the kettle from the stove and place it on several folded towels. The residual heat of the kettle continues to ‘cook’ the soap. I alternate stirring and stick blending—I use an Oster model with a metal cover over the blades—until it gets to heavy trace. Then I slowly pour in the milk, honey, essential oil blends, and botanicals while stirring constantly.

The milk will caramelize initially, but I only get a yellow tinge at the first splash of milk. I stir for a few minutes, and then add more milk or liquid. I like the final consistency of the soap, as it is loose enough to pour into cavity molds. However it is also sticky so fine detail molds don’t work, at least not for me.

I don’t like to use freezer paper or plastic sheeting as I don’t want residue in my soap. The majority of my soap is molded in an oiled Pyrex baking pan. The oil I use for the pan is fractionated coconut oil, which is absorbed by the soap, but not before it helps release the cut bars.

After the soap is poured into the Pyrex pan it sits for at least 3 hours. I cut it within 5 hours of pouring as it is easiest to cut before it gets much harder. It usually takes the fragrance a while to develop, and I don’t get the full effect for a couple of days. This seems to be especially true with Palmarosa essential oil. Exceptions to this trend are eucalyptus, melaleuca, and patchouli oils, which are often evident right away.

I don’t know how my method compares to anybody else’s, but it’s easy. I can have a batch done from measuring ingredients to cooling in the pan in less than 2 hours. Plus, soap made this way is surprisingly hard and long lasting.

The batch I made to day had 60oz of oils. I used palm, coconut, and olive. At hard or heavy trace, I added an ounce of castor oil and 15fl oz of whole goat milk. I will let this soap air dry for a week before wrapping.

One Final Tip:
As I clean out the kettle I use the scraps to wash with and see how the lather turned out.