If you’ve never made cold process soap before, I very highly recommend not making this soap until you have a little experience under your belt. (To learn how to make homemade cold process soap from scratch go here.) Beer can be tricky. And I know because years ago, when attempting to make homemade cold process beer soap for the first time, I had a minor disaster. I did like everyone said and let my beer go flat. However, I’m not sure it was really flat enough. That and lye just reacts differently to beer than it does with water regardless if it’s still carbonated or not.
So I started pouring my lye into the beer, a little at a time, mixed it,and poured a little more. It seemed to be doing okay so I dumped all the rest of the lye into the beer. It volcanoed. As I was mixing the lye with the beer on my stove top under the exhaust fan, it ran out all over my stove – at least it was a flat top then – and onto the floor. There were pools of it everywhere. I grabbed kitchen towels and threw them on top of the beer and lye which then in turn caused the towels to melt slightly. It freaked me out, and I didn’t attempt making beer soap again for a very long time.
Hopefully someone will learn from my mistakes and be able to avoid something like what I experienced all together. Making beer soap doesn’t have to be scary, you just have to be smart about it. Here are my tips: 1. Have a gallon of vinegar on hand just in case. You should have this anyway. 2. Think your beer is flat? Give it an extra day or two just in case. (I gave this batch a week in an large glass measuring cup and kept it covered in the fridge so it wouldn’t mold and then combined it with the lye cold.) 3. Either mix the lye with the beer outside or in a sink just to be safe. 4.) Practice a little patience.
I scented this homemade beer soap with neroli and chamomile. As I was using a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, it wasn’t really going to have much of a fragrance to it anyway. You can leave yours unscented or substitute with your favorite fragrance or essential oils.
Homemade Chamomile & Neroli Beer Soap Recipe
12 fluid oz. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (a 12 oz. bottle)
4.8 oz. lye/sodium hydroxide
This recipe will fit inside one of my DIY wooden loaf soap molds and yield 10-12 bars depending on how they are cut.
Follow your basic cold process soapmaking instructions for making this soap, using very flat, cold beer. Using a digital kitchen scale weigh out the lye and slowly pour into the beer a little at a time, stirring after each pour. Repeat until all lye has been mixed with the beer then set aside to cool.
While the beer/lye mixture cools, weigh out the soapmaking oils and illipe butter into a stainless steel pot on the stove and heat over medium heat until all the oils have melted, then remove from heat.
Once the oils and beer/lye have cooled to around 100°F you can begin making soap. Pour the beer/lye into the soapmaking oil and mix with a stick blender until you reach a light trace. Stir in the fragrances and chamomile flowers and combine thoroughly, the pour the soap into your prepared mold.
Cover and insulate your soap for 24 hours, then unmold and cut into bars. Allow to cure 3-6 weeks before use.
For more great homemade soap recipes, be sure to follow my DIY Bath and Body Board on Pinterest. You can also keep up with all my DIY projects and handmade bath, body and beauty recipes by following me on Facebook,Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Blog Lovin’ and Instagram!