Goat Milk Soap Making

by Leslie Montgomery
(Ontario, Canada.)

Hi Spencer's Farm,

Have a few questions for you. I really appreciate your help!

1. What ratio of Shea butter do l add to my recipes?

(I made a 4lb batch and it was bit crumbly and a bit greasy.)

2. Is Shea butter similar to caster or sweet almond oil when added to a recipe?

3. What ratio of caster or sweet almond oil do l add to a recipe. (My recipes are usually olive, coconut, palm and or soy oil?)

4. Why is some of my soap still too sticky to cut after 48 hours?

5. Should the goats milk and oils be the exact same temp at mixing? (My goats milk is 80 -90 degrees and my oils are 100 -105 degrees.)

6. Why do l have tiny air bubbles in the middle of my bars of soap?

7. Do I just double or triple the soap recipe to make bigger batches?

Thank You So Much,


Hi Leslie, thank you for your questions.

1) I rarely add more than 10% of Shea to my recipes, the cost of Shea can be prohibitive. Remember, there is a high percentage of unsaponifiables in Shea butter, so you will have a slightly "oily" feel with too much of it. It sounds like you had too much lye, also.

2) Oil is oil. Just remember to put your new recipe through a lye calculator to make sure the lye is adjusted accordingly.

3) The ratio depends entirely on why you are adding those particular oils. Once again, make sure you run your recipe through a lye calculator so the lye is correct. Every oil needs a slightly different amount of lye to saponify it.

4) Are you using the right amount of lye? The ingredients you are using should be easy to cut, but certainly not "sticky" after 24-36 hours.

5) Your temperatures sound fine.

6) The bubbles could have gotten trapped while you were pouring your soap. I don't think they are anything to worry about.

7) All soap recipes can be doubled, tripled, halved, or adjusted proportionally without any problems.

However, reading your problems, I am concerned that you may be trying to use (and modify) a particular recipe without using a lye calculator. Please go to www.thesage.com. Simply enter the amount of each oil you intend to use and let the lye calculator give you the amount of lye to use. Choose the number of ounces that correspond with 5% excess fat. Also, make sure your scale is accurate.

The problems you are experiencing all appear to be errors in the amount of lye you are using, not the oils you have chosen. They sound terrific!

Spencer's Farm soap making DVD teaches how to make soap, with step-by-step instructions. It's a great source of reference with an abundance of soap making information!

Hope This Helps,

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