Soap making appears to be the "new thing"- there are so many recipes, instructions, books, etc to sift through. When I first started, I wanted a step-by-step tutorial. So now that I've figured it out, here is my tutorial!
Here is my favorite go-to recipe for goat milk soap:
2 cups of goat milk (FROZEN!!!)
150 g lye
120 g unrefined, organic shea butter (moisturizes)
120 g organic coconut oil (provides a nice lather)
240 g palm oil (to harden the bar)
360 g EVOO
360 g avocado oil
Optional: 120 drops of favorite essential oil, 1/4 cup of raw honey, loose leaves or other additives.
Lye and Goat Milk
(*** a note of caution: lye is EXTREMELY caustic. Work in a well ventilated area and wear protective gear! Keep out of reach of children!!!)
1) freeze your milk. DO it!!! Don't make the same mistake as I did and skip this step! When adding lye to your liquid, it gets very very hot. If your milk is not frozen, it will instantly scald and turn into a brown, stinky mess.
2) place bowl in an ice bath, and add your frozen milk
3) slowly add lye, constantly stirring and breaking up the milk.
4) once all the lye has been added it should be a thick, milky substance. And yes, it appears flaky, but this will resolve once you start blending it with the oils.
Oils and Fats
1) Measure all your fatty ingredients into a metal pot
2) On low heat melt together and bring to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
3) place in sink to protect your kitchen from potential splatter
4) begin blending with immersion blender while slowly adding the lye-milk-mixture
5) blend for approximately 5 minutes, alternating between high and low settings, or until you see "trace" (trace is when you drizzle on the surface of your mixture and it lands on top and slowly sinks in, like pudding or yogurt.)
6) If you want to add anything to your soaps, now is the time. Essential oils, colors, honey, flower petals, herbs- now's the time.
7) pour mixture into molds ( I like silicone molds I purchased on amazon - here)
Drying and Curing
This is cold-process soap. It eventually leads to a hard, longer-lasting bar, but it does take time. This recipe is usually ready to take out of the mold after 48 hrs or so.
After de-molding, I cut the loaf into 3/4 inch thick slices and place them upright into a box on parchment paper. Here they cure on top of a shelf for about a month. the longer they cure, the harder the bar and the longer-lasting it will be!
This is not a comprehensive tutorial. I will post more on calculating your lye, the importance of lye, myths on lye, and other recipes in the future. I simply wanted to take you through my steps when I create our Finny Farm bar soaps!