My first soap recipe for the New Year, beer soap. As with many of you, we had friends and family over for the holidays. And as with many of you who are soapers, just about everything I see these days makes me consider if it can be used in a soap.
We all know that beer is a great additive for beauty. The hops and grains are very nourishing (I am talking externally too, people!). I remember the trend in college of going to a hair cutting place near campus and having my hair “finished” with a spritz of flat beer and water. It added great shine and texture and as long as I didn’t get wet (which created an awesome brewery smell). I was fabulous.
So, anyway, after all the celebrating, I had a left-over day old open beer. A too hoppy stout that was set aside for something less threatening. This is really the only reason why my first recipe is a beer soap. Had someone left behind a sock we would be in an entirely different place right now. Please note the beer must be very flat (some boil it to ensure this). If the beer is not flat you will be recreating the volcano science experience from 5th grade with scarier chemicals.
Beer Soap (makes 8-10 bars/2 lb. batch)
8 oz. olive oil
8 oz. canola oil
8 oz. palm oil
8 oz. coconut oil
10.25 oz. distilled water (in this case 9.5 oz. flat beer and .75 distilled water)
4.44 oz. sodium hydroxide
1 tsp. sodium lactate (for a harder bar)
2 oz. Almond Biscotti fragrance
Vitamin E Oil, Brazilian Red Clay, Copper Mica, Gold Mica (optional)
My posts always assume you know what you are doing when it comes to making a cold process soap. Like owning your own personalized hazmat suit because there is lye in soap making. That kind of knowledge. Measuring carefully. ALWAYS adding the lye to the water mixture. Oils are mixed separately and the lye mixture is eventually added to the oil mixture and trace is achieved.
In this recipe, my beer amount worked out to 9.5 ounces and I added .75 of distilled water, then carefully measured the lye. Within seconds this mixture was 145 degrees. I sat the stirred mixture in the sink and surrounded it with ice.
Next I measured the oils and gave them 90 seconds in the microwave.
This recipe is a small recipe and I like to use it because it allows me to make soap for me. I can experiment with this size, make mistakes without too much stress and best of all I can mix everything in two 8 cup glass measuring cups. Lye water in one, oils in the other. I have an immersion blender, some plastic two cup measuring cups on hand for playing with color and the greatest things on soap earth; a mini whisk (for mixing oil and clay) and a spatula which gets the soap out of those containers beautifully and makes clean up easier at the end of it all.
When the mixtures had cooled to within five degrees of each other (125F) I added the sodium lactate to the lye mixture with a gentle stir, then slowly poured the lye mixture into the oils, stirred with the blender then pulsed. Added the fragrance and pulsed for a few more seconds. I had trace in about a minute. At this point, you can pour it into a small mold, spritz it with alcohol, cover it with a towel and come back in 24-36 hours to unmold and cut it. It will be a light tan.
I chose to take a tablespoon of Vitamin E oil and put it in a plastic measuring cup. I added a tablespoon of red clay, mixed with a mini whisk and when the trace above was achieved, I pour about 1/3 of the mix into the red clay and stirred it up. This was poured into the bottom of the mold. Next I used a heaping teaspoon of copper mica and dusted it over that layer. I just realized that I have been looking at a video game that has desert scenes lately. I am telling you, everything goes into soap making, doesn’t it? After tapping the mold on the counter to remove any bubbles I stirred the lighter remaining trace and poured it carefully over the first layer. Using the spatula to “catch” this as it is pouring will allow you to have to layers without blending if your trace is thick enough to hold the layer.
I finished the top with spoon swirls and a dusting of gold mica, spritzed it with alcohol to avoid ash and covered it with a professional hand towel (kidding). Below is the unmolded loaf after 24 hours. The sodium lactate allowed an early cut. And did I mention that it smells great?