Working with beer in soap can be a bit daunting…but it doesn’t have to be!

How to Make Pumpkin Beer Soap – Layered In The Pot Swirl Design

We’ll be using two design techniques…an in the pot swirl and layering.

in the pot soap swirl

Pumpkin Beer Soap Recipe

Coconut Oil – 10 oz.
Shea Butter – 4 oz.
Olive Oil – 12 oz.
Rice Bran Oil – 6 oz.
Lye – 4.5 oz.
Beer – 9 oz. (boiled and flat)

Charcoal – 1 teaspoon
White mica – 2 teaspoons

Fragrance or Essential Oil – 1-2 oz.

Mold – This soap fits in a 10″ Silicone Mold from Bramble Berry (affiliate link–P5199.aspx?bb=5).

Safety Warning: This recipe is for soapmakers who have a basic knowledge of the soapmaking process and know the correct safety procedures to use when handling lye. If you are new to soapmaking, visit or for more detailed beginner instructions. Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves while soaping.

Prepare the Beer

If you add lye to beer fresh out of the bottle, it will foam up and over. This can be very dangerous if you aren’t prepared for it.

Never add lye to fresh beer.

To flatten the beer and get rid of the alcohol, you can boil your beer. This also helps to reduce the water to have a more concentrated beer additive.

Step 1 – Pour double the amount of beer needed into a large pot. Notice how much head-room I have? This helps to ensure that if the beer does boil up quickly, there is room for it to expand. When that happens you can just pick the pot up and it will go back down. Turn the heat down.

beer soap

Step 2 – Boil for about 10 minutes.

beer for soap

WARNING: Do not leave the beer. Beer starts to boil all of the sudden and can rise out of the container. Stand over it while you boil. Turn the heat down as low as you can while boiling.

Reduce to 50-75%. You don’t have to be exact.

Step 3 – Pour into a container and put into the fridge overnight.

Let’s Make Soap

Step 1 – Weigh out the lye into a container. Set aside.

Step 2 – Weigh out the beer into another container.

Step 3 – Place the beer into a bigger container before you sprinkle in the lye. Sometimes even when boiled and flat, adding lye to beer can still cause a reaction. This way, if the beer foams out of the container, the bigger container will catch it. Better safe than sorry!

beer soap lye solution

Step 4 – Sprinkle the lye into the beer while stirring gently.

beer lye solution

Step 5 – Set aside to cool. Whew! No reaction.

beer for soap

Step 6 – Weigh the coconut oil and shea butter into a container and melt.

Step 7 – Add the liquid oils to the melted oils. This helps to drop the temp. Add your fragrance or essential oil to the oils.

Step 8 – Wait for the oils and lye solution to drop to 90F. You can put the lye solution in the fridge or in an ice bath to drop the temp.

Step 9 – Once temps have dropped to 90F or below, pour the lye into the oils.

lye into oils

Step 10 – Stick blend until emulsion has been reached.

stickblending soap


emulsion in soap

Above is a nice emulsion. The soap is consistent in color with no oils streaks.

Step 11 – Divide the soap into three containers. 1/2 into the big container and 1/4 into each smaller container.


Step 12 – Add white mica to the big container and charcoal to one of the smaller containers.

coloring soap

Mix them up using your stickblender. Don’t mix long, though, or you will speed up trace. We want the soap to remain nice and fluid.


In The Pot Swirl

Step 13 – Pour the black soap into the white soap in three spots.

in the pot swirl soap

in the pot swirl

Step 14 – Using a spatula, swirl the soap once. Stick your spatula into the mixture and move in a circle to swirl. Don’t over-mix it.

pot swirl soap


Step 15 – Pour half of this mixture into the mold.

in the pot swirl

Step 16 – Pour the uncolored soap over this layer.



Step 17 – Pour the rest of the-in-the pot swirled soap over this layer.

in the pot swirl

Step 18 – Let the soap sit overnight to saponify. Unmold and cut the next day. Cure for a minimum of four weeks.

swirled soapBy combining these two design techniques we ended up with one really cool soap! Don’t be afraid to mix and match design techniques.

Happy Beer Soaping & Swirling!

-Amanda Gail