Next Mike shows us a T-shirt that reads “Goat milk makes your butt better”. The shirt, a hat and the accompanying letter come from Ginger in Gause, Texas. She invited Mike to meet her goats and take a shower. He took her up on that. She says she makes the best soap in the world out of goat milk.
This is the first time someone has reached out to get Mike clean. He visits Fat Bottom Farm and meets Ginger and her daughters, Madeline and Rebecca. First they need to get the goat milk. We learn that goat milk is the most consumed out of all milks in the world. Anglo Nubian goats weigh 125 pounds. Each goat can produce a gallon of milk a day which is 30% more milk than cows.
Madeline shows Mike how to milk the goats, but apparently he didn’t pay close enough attention and needs help. Ginger says it’s like squeezing water out of a water balloon. Goat milk is a natural moisturizer that contains over 50 different nutrients that nourish and revitalize the skin.
Goat milk is very thick. The next step is to strain the milk to separate it from the dirt and hair. Mike then learns a new word: saponification. This is the process of soap making where lye is added to a fat and it is blended to create a chemical reaction (i.e. soap). Mike tests Madeline on her knowledge of saponification and accuses the poor girl of drifting off.
All Fat Bottom Farm soap is made out of four base oils: castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil and soybean oil. Measurements must be precise. Once measured the oils will be heated and then optional conditioning oils will be added. These extra oils may consist of avocado, almond, rice bran, hemp, sunflower, apricot and cucumber oils. Mike gets to choose a pound of the conditioning oils that he wants in his soap. The conditioning oil will moisturize, soothe and soften the skin.
Beeswax is then added to the mix. It is used for its healing and hardening properties. Their recipe calls for 8 ounces of beeswax. After the beeswax, it’s time to add the lye. Lye is very dangerous, but is a necessary ingredient for making soap. When the lye and the milk are combined, the lye breaks down the fat of the milk to create the building blocks of soap and glycerine. The lye turns the milk orange and there is a strong smell of ammonia.
The lye needs about thirty minutes to react with the oils. During this time Mike gets to pick his scents. The various scents he can choose from include key lime, chocolate, butt naked, cedar, patchouli jasmine and sandalwood, roseberry, citrus basil, lavender and almond. He also can add oatmeal, cornflower, rose hips, honey, or Vitamin E which acts as a preservative.
The soap molds need to be set up properly so the liquid doesn’t pour out and make a mess. Gaps and holes are bad. Mike tries to blame Madeline for the spaces in his mold. Their lye and milk mixture is starting to react and is getting chunky. They add it to their base oils and using an industrial drill, Mike stirs up the pot. The pot is starting to congeal which is called trace. When it’s close to being ready, Mike gets to add his fragrances. Then the mixture can be poured into the molds. The ladies say that Mike’s soap smells pretty good.
While waiting for the soap to harden, Mike has fun on the goat farm including squirting goat milk onto Cameraman Doug. (He didn’t seem to appreciate that.) Mike drinks some of the freshly squeezed milk, but Ginger tells him that’s not a good idea. Madeline then wrestles with a goat and Mike sits in something “wet and goatlike”.
Once hardened, they remove the soap from the molds. They had one mold that didn’t have a liner which creates quite a challenge for Mike to take apart. After many whacks with a hammer they get the soap out. Then they divide the soap into four blocks. Mike doesn’t do very well at the shaping of the soap. Next he cuts them into bars. His first batch doesn’t turn out so well, but the next batch looks pretty nice. He then is allowed to try his soap in a shower with the goats.
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Originally posted 2011-01-28 13:45:38.
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