Milking, Handling and Storage of milk for soap

Discussion in 'Goats' started by dosthouhavemilk, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What the topic says. :haha:

    I am keeping at least four dairy goats in milk this year and so will need to do something with the extra milk. We have a cow dairy adn that is where the house milk, and milk for the cats comes from. I might consider feeding calves with it, but they need to be tested first.
    So I thought I might try my hand at making soap and selling it locally and online.
    So I have been reading up on making soap. My questions are for those who make soap with their goat's milk (and I know there are quite a few of you out there!). What do you milk into (will plastic work, or is enamel or stainless steel better)? Do you treat it the same way you would milk for drinking (like straining it, and chilling it as quickly as possible)? How do you store it? Can you freeze it (what in?) and then thaw it for use? Is it better if it is fresh?
    Any websites for some easy recipes? Where do you get lye?
    Anything I use will be washed with our soap used on our Grade A equipment.
    I am not ready to make a batch yet and so have been feeding what little milk I am getting (the two I am currently milking are both raising twin wethers, so there isn't a lot of milk yet) but want to be ready when I decide to start collecting it.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    North of Houston TX
    I machine milk, but even for soap milk I would want it clean, so stainless. I strain it just like house or sale milk, but instead of chilling it quickly I simply pour it into ziplocks and freeze flat, I always write the ounces by weight on the container..

    If you have a good recipe, I either do a 100% castile all olive for my vegan folks, no milk, aloe vera juice for the liquid, or lard/shea/sunflower and coconut and all of the liquid is goats milk. Start at soapdishforum.com or the whisk and go to the Majestic Mountain Sage lye calculator, always plug in your recipes, it is soo easy to use, this way you know exactly how much lye and how much liquid, and remember that liquid is liquid, be it your milk, aloe, water, coconut milk or cumcumber puree from the garden.

    I freeze my milk or veggie purees in ziplock baggies, and it is weighed before measuring in 30 ounce batches. I break up the frozen milk and put it into my lye container, which is nothing more than a 2 quart bucket. I then slowly add my lye, to dissolve the milk, the slower you dissolve the lye the less color you get, if you get yellow or orange it means the sugar is burning. I will also put the bucket into ice water to keep it even cooler, it is the only way I can make cream colored to white soaps.

    I do two wholesale soaps and make big batches (16 pounds), with those I simply freeze milk in my lye bucket one day and make the soap the next.

    I orginally got my lye from Lowes, a Home Depot type store. You may have to hunt for it, it is always with the drain cleaners. But now I purchase 50 pound bags of it and keep it in a very safe place.

    If you market your soap as goatsmilk you simply will not believe the customers who want it. The internet although I thought was going to be a good seller, is not, just google homemade soap, or go to the soapdishforum there are 100's of them out there :) Health food stores, those who buy raw milk, those are your customers. Keep track of your costs so you don't give the soap away, like they do on Ebay. I get 5$ for a 6 ounce bar of soap, one wholesale account I get 3$ for a 3 ounce bar and she purchases them unwrapped and in 100 bar lots.

    Make a little of this and a little of that, my cusomters are all about scent, and although I do make a few all essential oil bars, my cusotmers want scent, victoria secret dupes (pink sugar, amber romance) but of course they expect the Oatmeal, Goatsmilk and Honey...I will be getting my honey from a 4H gal soon which will be further label appeal.

    I love making soap and lotion so if you want to continue this thread I would love to talk with you. Vicki
     

  3. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wow! Such a wealth of information. Thanks so much! :worship: We have a local farmer's market and I was figuring on selling most of it there. There are also numerous craft shows in our little community. My father's girlfriend has a mostly book store (Homesteading, homeschooling, craft that type of thing) on e-bay so I was going to stick a few in there, but I was realizing there are alot of people who sell online and especially on e-bay! I don't know how much I will be able to make but will have a better idea after the kids begin to be weaned. If it goes well, I may do it every year since we have the goats and they can produce more than just what the babies need since they are dairy (over half of them anyways and we are bringing at least three dairy bucks this coming year, if not four).
    I looked at our local grocery store for lye but wasn't sure where it would be located. We have a Lowe's about a 25 minute drive from here (at the "mall") so if all else fails I can go there.

    I asked for some scents and soap molds for Christmas and my younger sister got me three scents (apple, vanilla, and something else) and some adorable molds. That is another thing, what do you use for the molds?

    I was hoping I could maybe use some of the wildflowers or the wint we have on our farm. Any idea how difficult it would be to use mint leaves and have a scent to the soap from the leaves? Our mint is just sooo strong around here. Would putting wildflowers in the soap as it sets be a bad idea? Any experience with things like this?
    Now I am excited. I want to rush down and milk Danielle and Liliana again just so I can get some milk to freeze. :haha:

    As a side question, when shaving a doe for milking do you shave the udder, the insides of the legs, and up the belly a little? We don't shave our cows but there hair doesn't seem to shed as mucha s the goat hair either and we use the bucket milkers on the cows. Right now I am hand milking the does, unless dad can get the wires fixed around back for the milkers.

    Lots of questions....lol
     
  4. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    North of Houston TX
    I asked for some scents and soap molds for Christmas and my younger sister got me three scents (apple, vanilla, and something else) and some adorable molds. That is another thing, what do you use for the molds?

    I actually use Martha Stewart drawer liners for molds, they cut perfectly into 7, 6 ounce bars. You can pour them thinner to get less weight per bar. The slabs once dry then fit perfectly into the yellow plastic miter boxes Lowes sells, so cutting is a breeze, I use a pastry cutter instead of the miter saw, although I do use the saw when I pour soap into loofa sponges. another popular mold is 3 inch PVC pipe. I simply spray them well with the cheapo Pam spray at wallmart, but others line everything with freezer paper, I hate lining! But you can use anything even drawers, just line them and pour in the soap, cardboard boxes, pringles cans, and of course they make special soap molds that pour individual soaps, no cutting.

    The molds you got, you may want to make sure they are ok for CP Cold process soaps, some are ok for melt and pour only.

    I was hoping I could maybe use some of the wildflowers or the wint we have on our farm. Any idea how difficult it would be to use mint leaves and have a scent to the soap from the leaves? Our mint is just sooo strong around here. Would putting wildflowers in the soap as it sets be a bad idea? Any experience with things like this?

    Yes, but the lye destroys any scent the mint will give you, but what I do is infuse the oils. My vegan bar and the one I also use for my foot scrubbie (looffa sponge filled with soap) is mint and eucalyptus leaves that have been dried, soaked in olive oil. I then add some of each of the soaked leaves to the soap so it's speckled with green plus the green from the olive oil, a little more green with French clay, I use Spearmint and Eucalyptus essential oils to scent it.

    Now I am excited. I want to rush down and milk Danielle and Liliana again just so I can get some milk to freeze.

    As a side question, when shaving a doe for milking do you shave the udder, the insides of the legs, and up the belly a little?
    Yes before my does kid, I shave their bellies, their udder, under their tail and the back of their legs. It's soo much eaiser to keep them clean. But then we don't have the freezing temps they do up north, I was in shorts today doing chores! Vicki