This is a beer soap that we made on our Facebook Live last night in Saponification Nation! If you want to watch the video, join the group and hit the video tab from your desktop or laptop.
I ran out of coconut oil so I used babassu oil. Babassu has similar properties to coconut oil. It produces a fluffy and abundant lather. Benjamin chose the blend of essential oils to use. He went with cedarwood and juniper leaf to go nicely with the naturally earthy scent from the beer.
The soap has no added color. This beautiful caramel color is simply from the beer. We added a few dried juniper berries to add some interest on top. They’ll probably fall off during the first wash.
New to making soap? Check out our free cold process soap making guide.
I make beer soap for a couple of reason. #1 is the lather! It is super bubbly because of the sugar. I also love an unscented beer soap. The natural scent from the beer, though light, it very earthy. I love it.
Why beer soap? Here are some responses from our group members.
- “I make beer soap because it lathers like mad.” – Stephenie Simmonds
- “Smells wonderful, bubbles like crazy and appeals to men.” – Kimmie Pie
- “Label appeal & lather insanity.” – Holly Warren
Here are some helpful tips from our group members.
- “I find when I make 100% beer I gotta work quick because the sugar in the beer speeds up trace like crazy!” – Ariane Arsenault
- “I boil mine and then put in freezer to kill the fizz.” – Stephenie Simmonds
- “I actually encourage ash on beer soap top, makes it look like froth.” – Holly Warren
- “I boil the beer down by half then chill, but I don’t freeze it.” – Holly Warren
- “I bring my beer to a boil. cook it about 10 mins to get rid of some of the alcohol. Let it cool a little then freeze it in ice cube tray. I use it frozen in place of water with lye or with water. Never scorches. Smells great and behaves great. Many different methods...“ – Jan Latker
- “Yes, I have HP’d beer soap, worked fine but got very dark.” – Melissa Digiacomo
- “I used to make a beer soap and got some dried & ground hops and malt that I added to make an exfoliating beer soap.” – Ariane Arsenault
- “I boil to reduce 25%. Let it cool and I stick it in the freezer until slushy. Never have a volcanic reaction.” – Aimee Elizabeth Neg
- “I open my bottles in the fridge to let the gas out for a couple days, then I boil the water out and cool again.” – Ariane Asenault
Preparing Your Beer
Caution: Before you soap with beer you have to prepare it. If you add lye directly to beer straight from the can/bottle, it will cause a violent reaction. It will foam and spurt out of your container!
I prepare my beer the night before I want to use it. I boil it for about 20-30 minutes to reduce it and evaporate the alcohol. When boiling beer you have to be super careful! Once it gets to a certain temperature it will foam up and out of your pot. So keep an eye on it. If you see it foaming up, remove the pot from the heat source and let it go back down. Use a pan big enough to leave about equal head room to the amount of beer that you’re using. Do not leave boiling beer unattended.
After you have boiled it, put it into an open container and put it in your fridge overnight.
Creating Your Lye Solution Using Beer
When creating your lye solution using beer, be sure to use a large container in case your beer decides to foam and rise up. Put your main container inside of a larger container, again, in case your solution decides to be bad. I use a large plastic pitcher and set it inside a stainless steel pot. As you can see below, I have plenty of room in case my beer soap decides to foam up (pic is from video, so quality is low).
And foam up it did! Luckily, it did not leave my container. I just quit stirring and let it settle (pic is from video, so quality is low).
Juniper & Cedarwood Beer Soap Recipe
- Babassu Oil – 10 oz.
- Shea Butter – 2 oz.
- Olive Oil – 16 oz.
- Avocado Oil – 4 oz.
- Sodium Hydroxide – 4.4 oz.
- Beer (boiled and flat) – 9 oz.
- Cedarwood Essential Oil – .8 oz.
- Juniper Leaf Essential Oil – .2 oz.
Step 1 – Prepare your beer by boiling it the night before. Since it will reduce, boil more beer than what you need. If you reduce it too much you can always add water to get your needed water amount. Put it in the fridge overnight.
Step 2 – The next day, weigh out your hard oils/butters and melt.
Step 3 – Weigh out your liquid oils and add them to the melted oils. This will help to cool down the melted oils.
Step 4 – Add your essential oils to the oil mixture.
Step 5 – Once your oils have cooled down to under 90 degrees F, pour your lye solution into your oils and bring to light trace.
Because beer can accelerate your soap, be prepared to move quickly! I barely stirred this with the stick blender and then stirred a bit by hand. It got thick fast.
Step 6 – Pour quickly into your mold.
Step 7 – Let set for 24 hours. Unmold and cure your soap for 4 weeks.
Does it matter what kind of beer is used? A stout as opposed to an IPA let’s say? Also, is there a trade off? More lather and less of something else?
Can you use any type/brand of beer? Does the amount of alcohol in it make a difference? I have extra strong beer at 12-15% alcohol. Thanks.
Could you do this with hard cider, and if so, would you boil it the same way as with the beer? I’m thinking an ‘angry orchard’ hard apple cider soap would be delightful……?
Good Afternoon Amanda What type of Juniper Oil are you using as I know of 3 regions that the oil comes from.
I have been wanting to make beer soap and was so excited to watch your video. I make goats milk soap and use 18 oz to my 9 oz lye. Could I do 9 oz beer and 9 oz goatsmilk to my 9 oz lye?
Yes you could do that! 🙂
Awesome! I am going to try and will post my finished product on the Facebook page!
what are the dark spots on the soap?
Those are dried juniper berries
Aww, those a cute idea
What are the darker dots on the top of the soap?
Would beer work well in a shaving soap? I would be using a high lathering soap with clay not a duel lye soap.
It would! It helps with solubility of the soap as well. So would help create a really nice lather.