Some times the littlest things- like the addition of a unique ingredient to your recipe- converts to major sales of your product. Beer would happen to be one of those ingredients.
But, what exactly is it about Beer in Soaps?
There is no straight forward answer to this question. Some people are just amazed by Beer Soap because it was made with beer. For some, they look at beer soap and can instantly list 10 people that love beer and therefore would get a kick out of beer soap. For others, they seek out the thick and super creamy elements that a bar of beer soap provides them every time they wash. And, even still there are others out there that know the great conditioning aspects that beer soap contributes to their skin. The list of reasons is limitless, but one thing is for sure… Cold Process Beer Soap does get attention!
Soaping with Beer
Please Note: Soaping with beer is a more advanced process. Therefore, if you are new to soaping, you may want to sidebar this recipe until you are completely comfortable with the soaping process and have a few cold process soap batches under your belt.
Recently, we decided that we had to give cold process beer soap making a try. As we found out, the addition of beer to a soaping recipe is not something that can be taken lightly or on a whim. First things first; one of the most important steps in prepping your beer soap recipe is removing all of the carbonation from the beer itself. This is extremely important to the soap recipe because beer is used to replace the full water portion of your recipe. When adding the lye to a beer that is still carbonated you just don’t get a volcano, the volcano you get is supercharged with bubbles (carbonation.) This is why you want a flat beer before beginning to soap.
One of the best ways to remove the carbonation from the beer is to let it set out for 3 days. You do this by opening the can, pouring it into a bowl, and occasionally stirring it throughout the 3 days. A good rule of thumb to use is every time you enter the room that the beer is setting in, give it a stir.
The next step in preparing your beer is the boil. After the three days have elapsed, place your beer into a pot on the stove top and boil it and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. This step is also taken as a precaution to eliminate any leftover carbonation.
The final step after the boil is to freeze the beer. Let the beer temperature drop to room temp, then carefully place the beer in an empty ice cube tray and freeze overnight. This step is beneficial in two ways- eliminating carbonation (once again) and offsetting the high temperature for when the lye is added to the frozen beer.
Once the beer is frozen, it is now ready for soaping use.
Now, when adding the lye to the frozen beer, the best precaution to take (besides the regular safety gear and steps) is to mix this portion of the recipe in a deep bowl or pitcher in the sink. This way, if there is any chance of a volcano effect taking place the sink will minimize the affected area. Now, the other special note to be aware of in this step is the adding of the lye. Because the beer is frozen, the lye (as it reacts) will melt the beer. You want to constantly stir the beer cubes around after each small spurt of lye is added. This will become easier as the frozen beer melts into a liquid. Keep adding the lye in small amounts until all is used. And, stir until you are sure that all the lye is dissolved. Also, it should also be noted, there is quite a distinctive odor that is given off by the beer/lye solution- you will want to definitely want to make sure that you are in a well ventilated area.
The rest of the soaping recipe steps take place as normal.
In the End
Soaping with beer was a new experience! The end results are simply amazing. The color of the bars is a perfect beer hue. The lather of the soap bar truly is thick and creamy. And, after bathing with it, your skin feels soft and supple. Cold Process Beer Soap is worth the extra steps.
Since the beer is added as the water portion of the recipe, you can use your favorite cold process soap recipe. However, if you would like a Cold Process Beer Recipe, Natures Garden has one listed under their free recipes and classes section of their website. Or, you can simply click here to see the 4 pound Beer Soap Recipe.