Beer Soap Recipe with Chamomile & Neroli (Plus Helpful Soap Making Tips)
Learn how to make this homemade beer soap recipe with real beer using the cold process soap making method. Plus discover soap making tips and tricks for working with beer, or even wine, to avoid a potential mishap. (Ask me how I know…) Keep reading to learn more!
Working with Beer When Making Soap
If you’ve never made cold process soap before, I don’t recommend starting with my beer soap recipe 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. 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.
I started out making my beer soap recipe like any other cold process soap recipe. I began by pouring my lye into the beer, a little at a time. I’d mix it, wait then pour a little more lye into the beer. Everything seemed to be going well. So (my lack of patience showing here) I dumped the remainder of the lye into the beer and stirred. What happened next was not what I’d expected. And I was completely unprepared.
My beer and lye mixture for my beer soap recipe volcanoed. It literally sprang to life like a water fountain being turned back on after a long winter.
There I was, mixing the lye with the beer on my stove top (exhaust fan running) and BOOM! The beer and lye went everywhere. It ran off my flat glass stovetop, down the front of the appliance and onto the floor. There were pools of lye and beer everywhere. And it was kind of terrifying.
I grabbed kitchen towels and threw them on top of the beer and lye. As they were a cotton/polyester blend, the heat from the lye actually caused the towels to melt slightly. I was super freak out, as you can imagine. And so, I didn’t attempt another beer soap recipe for a very long time.
Tips for Making A Beer Soap Recipe
By sharing this, my hope is that you’ll learn from my mistakes so you can avoid a repeat of my soap making disaster. Making beer soap doesn’t have to be scary, you just have to be smart about it. Here are my tips to help ensure success when replicating my homemade beer soap recipe.
1. Have a gallon of vinegar on hand just in case. This isn’t for your skin as you should flush skin with water if it comes into contact with lye. Rather it’s going to help with clean up in case
disaster strikes you have a minor oops.
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.) Keeping the beer cold will also help prevent the lye from quickly overheating and in turn lead to a volcano effect.
3. Either mix the lye with the beer outside or in a sink just to be safe. This will maintain the integrity of your kitchen towels. (Yeah, mine were toast.)
4.) Practice a little patience. Pour the lye into your beer in small increments, stirring after each pour. Don’t do what I did and dump all of it in at once.
Ready to brave your first homemade beer soap recipe? You’ve got this!
Homemade Beer Soap Recipe
© Rebecca D. Dillon
12 fluid oz. beer, of choice
4.8 oz. lye/sodium hydroxide
Beer Soap Recipe Notes:
I scented this homemade beer soap with a blend of neroli and chamomile. As I was using a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, my beer soap recipe wasn’t really going to have much of a fragrance to it anyway. You can leave your beer soap unscented or substitute with your favorite fragrance or essential oils.
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 90-95°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 4-6 weeks before use.
If you like my homemade beer soap recipe, then be sure to repin it for later.
For more great homemade soap recipes, be sure to check out my huge collection of 130+ homemade soap recipes here. You can also find more soap making ideas on my Pinterest boards. Additionally, don’t forget to follow me on your favorite social media platforms. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Blog Lovin’ and Instagram! Or sign up for my semi-weekly newsletter to stay updated on new recipes.