Nestled in the charming town of Sharon Springs, 200 miles north of New York City, is Beekman Estate. This slice of rich farmland is the home away from home for our vice president of healthy living, Dr. Brent Ridge.
Brent has about 75 Saanen Sable and Nubian goats on his farm, and he uses milk from these goats to make natural soaps. His soap, called Beekman 1802, is handmade, unscented, and chemical-free. The soap uses the maximum possible percentage of pure goat milk, and the milk's unique high butterfat content ensures that Beekman 1802 soap is one of the most moisturizing bars available, while its chemical free recipe makes it ideal for sensitive skin.
The farm at Beekman Mansion is a recently restored Georgian/Federal estate. The Beekman goats graze the land freely and drink the mineral water that once made Sharon Springs the most famous spa destination in the world.
Tools and Materials
Protective mask and gloves
Stirring spoons or sticks
Electric hand blender
12 ounces partially frozen goats' milk
3 ounces lye
4 1/4 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
5 ounces coconut oil
12 ounces soy or vegetable shortening
Making Soap How-To
1. Wearing a protective mask and gloves, place milk into large bowl and slowly add lye. Stir until the mixture is smooth and without lumps. The lye will interact with the fat molecules in the milk and should bring the mixture to between 95 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Melt the olive oil, coconut oil, and shortening together in one pot and bring to 115 degrees.
3. Add the oil mixture to the milk and lye and use a hand blender to combine until the mixture demonstrates "tracing" (drips from the blender leave a noticeable path in the mixture). This will take 2 to 5 minutes.
4. Using a spatula, fold the mixture to remove bubbles. Transfer to a pitcher and pour the mixture into soap molds.
5. After 24 hours, turn the soaps out of the molds onto cookie racks. Allow to cure for 2 weeks.
Lye can be purchased at camdengrey.com. All other soap ingredients may found at Whole Foods. If you'd like to learn more about what Dr. Brent Ridge is doing on the farm or would like to purchase Beekman 1802 soap, visit beekman1802.com. Special thanks to Dr. Brent Ridge for giving some of his natural goat milk soap to our studio audience.