What is Beer Soap?

Just looking at the words ‘beer’ and ‘soap’ put together is bound to confuse anyone who doesn’t have experience with soap making. However, for those who are familiar with crafting homemade soap, beer soap may seem like a perfectly normal thing. 

Beer soap is, simply put, soap made out of beer. And making it is easier than it sounds. If you know how to make regular soap, then you already know how to make beer soap (basically). To make a batch of beautiful, brown or amber-colored beer soap, all you have to do is replace the water in a normal soap recipe with the beer of your choosing. All the other steps stay the same… well, except one, but we’ll get to that in more detail later. 

Beer soap is not soap that can be crafted through the milling or melt and pour method, so you’ll have to use the cold process or hot process method. It is recommended that aspiring beer soap makers have a few non-beer cold process/hot process soaps under their belt first, however, it’s not required. Even beginner soap-makers, with a little creativity and a lot of focus and patience, can make their own beer soaps. 

Homemade Beer Soap General Recipe

Since making beer soap is basically the same thing as making any other bar soap, we’ll give you a basic cold process beer soap recipe that you can follow to make any colored, scented, or textured beer soap you feel inspired to make. 

First, let’s talk about the necessary materials and ingredients…

You Will Need:

  • Beer. A darker colored beer will be best. You will be boiling this beer, meaning it will evaporate, so make sure you measure out how much beer you’ll need to replace the usual amount of water. 24 oz of beer will usually get cooked down to about 3 oz after boiling. For this recipe, two large bottles of beer should work just fine. 
  • A pot and stove.
  • Lye. The amount of lye you need depends on the type of fats or oils you choose for you soap. Here’s a good resource: http://www.certified-lye.com/lye-soap.html. (Scroll down for a handy saponification chart) To measure out your lye, you’ll need to use the formula (Amount of fat/oil) x (Saponification Value of the fat/oil) = (Amount of lye you’ll need). 
  • Special ingredients: coloring, fragrance, and/or exfoliants.
  • Bar soap molds

That’s it. These, besides the beer, are all the materials you need for making regular soap, too. So, after making a batch of beer soaps, you can start right into a batch of water-based soap. 

Instructions:

Step 1: Pour all the beer into a pot. !Do this before putting the pot over an open flame. Beer is flammable! 

Step 2: Stir the beer until it is boiling and no foam is being formed. 

Step 3: Let beer boil for about 30 minutes.

Step 4: Take the beer off the flame and chill it until cold. This could take a few hours.

Step 5: Add your measured out lye to the beer and stir until dissolved. Do this in the sink to limit mess. If there is any alcohol left in your beer, the lye will react with it and form a middle school science-project volcano. 

Step 6: Measure out your oil/fat and pour the lye mixture into it, not the other way around. 

Step 7: Add in your special ingredients. By now your soap mixture will be going through the saponification process, meaning it’s going to be getting very thick very fast. Make sure you are able to do this step and the next step quickly and efficiently. 

Step 8: Pour your soap mixture into your molds. You can decorate the top of your soap, or texturize it by swirling the top with a utensil. 

Step 9: Wait a few hours or overnight for your soap to completely harden. Then, take it out of the molds, cut it if necessary, and enjoy! 

So, that’s how you make homemade beer soap. We hope your soap turns out beautiful, and that you don’t make too big of a mess as you make it (lye mixture can be hard to clean). Have fun soap-making!  

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