Beer Question

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dillsandwitch

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Do I have to use the stronger more syrupy beers in order to make beer soaps? I bought 6 375ml bottles of stout beer for $20 the other day and reduced it down to about 400ml.

This seems like it could get a tad expensive if I was to make this a regular thing. Can I use the cheeper more waterier beer and get a similar outcome? I dont drink beer and I have no idea whats what with it.

Also what about wines? Will a cheep bottle reduced down work the same as a more expensive bottle? Again I dont drink wine either so no idea.

TIA
 

shunt2011

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No, you can use any beer or wine. I have used just a regluar plain old beer and it was fine. I haven't used wine but would think cheap wine would work the same. I don't know what exactly these add other than sugar personally and a bit of label appeal.
 

BrewerGeorge

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No reason to waste a $20 sixer on soap, IMO. If beer does anything in soap, it is just going to be the residual sugars and protein as the alcohol and carbonation are boiled away and hops are pretty-much going to be destroyed by the lye. So I don't know if I'd use Amstel Light, but any regular strength beer will be about the same.

I will caution, though, that you're going to want to avoid Belgian sours, Berlinner Weiss, etc because the acid that makes them sour will interfere with your lye calculations. Also, Guiness Stout on the international market is typically a lactic beer, which while not as sour as those above, will probably still increase SF a bit.
 

DeeAnna

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Brewer George is the expert on this topic and I'd follow his lead. I'm pretty plain vanilla when I choose beer to make soap -- no Guiness or fancy brews. I buy whatever is cheap and simmer it down to about 1/2 the volume. When added to my 50% lye solution (made with water) the resulting mix is reconsituted back to 100% beer.

You can sometimes get beer close to its expiration date for a low price if your lucky. Also when I have a party, people often bring their own drinks and leave a few bottles behind. I use any of the leftover beer that I don't like to drink to make soap. So have BYOB parties. ;)
 

lsg

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I use the cheapest single can of beer that I can purchase at the market.
 

Scooter

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I will caution, though, that you're going to want to avoid Belgian sours, Berlinner Weiss, etc because the acid that makes them sour will interfere with your lye calculations. Also, Guiness Stout on the international market is typically a lactic beer, which while not as sour as those above, will probably still increase SF a bit.
Thanks for this. I have used beer only once and did not see the benefit for me. The next time I think I need sugar I will just add sugar.

I had no idea about the sours interfering with lye calculations, however. That is good to know.

Thanks,

Scooter
 

BrewerGeorge

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Thanks for this. I have used beer only once and did not see the benefit for me. The next time I think I need sugar I will just add sugar.

I had no idea about the sours interfering with lye calculations, however. That is good to know.

Thanks,

Scooter
Brewing drew me into making soap, and after trying it both ways I no longer use beer myself, to be honest.

I would if I made soap to sell, though, because the label appeal is undeniable.
 

DeeAnna

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I make beer soap mostly for fun. Adding just plain sugar isn't interesting to me. While I tried a few batches with sugar awhile back, it's kind of ... well ... a boring additive to use. ;) I also didn't see that sugar did all that much to enhance the lather.

That said, I sometimes think (but don't have proof) that beer doesn't cause the soap to heat up as fast as other sugar-containing additives. When I make the same recipe but use a sweetgrass infusion for example as the water-based liquid, the soap heats up quite a bit faster -- it will expand and crack from the heating if I'm not careful. Beer soap doesn't do that for me.
 
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BrewerGeorge

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It's mostly for fun. That said, I sometimes think (but don't have proof) that beer doesn't cause the soap to heat up as fast as other sugar-containing additives. When I make the same recipe but use a sweetgrass infusion for example, the soap heats up quite a bit faster -- it will expand and crack from the heating if I'm not careful. Beer soap doesn't do that for me.
Residual sugars in beer are going to be those things that yeast can't digest. Lactose is the only disaccharide that meets this criteria (and brewers would need to have added lactose for something like a milk stout; it doesn't occur naturally from the grains.) Other than that, everything is a trisaccharide or polysaccharide in that gray area between sugar and starch. I would hazard a guess that these large molecules are harder - and therefore slower - for lye to break down as well.

ETA: That might also explain why people report more potential for overheating with honey - mostly monosacch glucose and fructose - than with disacch sucrose table sugar.
 
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Scooter

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I make beer soap mostly for fun.
That is as good a reason as any! :)

That said, I sometimes think (but don't have proof) that beer doesn't cause the soap to heat up as fast as other sugar-containing additives.
Oh, that is interesting. I have not yet made soap with just sugar. I will have to see how my experience compares with that. I also had a lot of castor oil in my beer soap and can tolerate higher levels of CO pretty well so this soap had 25% of the latter as well. I think that might be all I need for suds, but I am not big on suds anyway.
 

Arimara

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Not to completely derail the thread but if you want an additive that is great, try coffee. It makes the best soap for kitchen hands ever.

Back on subject, I agree with the others. I have made a beer soap each in bar and liquid form. They're nice and all but for all the trouble I have to go through with that stuff, I rather confine beer to drinking and/or cooking with.
 

dillsandwitch

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Not to completely derail the thread but if you want an additive that is great, try coffee. It makes the best soap for kitchen hands ever.

Yeah have tried coffee and its great as a kitchen soap. I wanted to try beer as its something I haven't tried before. The thought of other foods like avocado and carrot etc dont interest me and when I mentioned the beer soap to my brother he was all like you need to make me a bunch. I guess the label appeal to everyone. ha.
 

Arimara

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Yeah have tried coffee and its great as a kitchen soap. I wanted to try beer as its something I haven't tried before. The thought of other foods like avocado and carrot etc dont interest me and when I mentioned the beer soap to my brother he was all like you need to make me a bunch. I guess the label appeal to everyone. ha.
Majorly so. But it's good that it's a rather inexpensive marketing ploy... When compared to certain oils. Just don't use the good stuff all of the time.
 

mommycarlson

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Brewer George is the expert on this topic and I'd follow his lead. I'm pretty plain vanilla when I choose beer to make soap -- no Guiness or fancy brews. I buy whatever is cheap and simmer it down to about 1/2 the volume. When added to my 50% lye solution (made with water) the resulting mix is reconsituted back to 100% beer.

You can sometimes get beer close to its expiration date for a low price if your lucky. Also when I have a party, people often bring their own drinks and leave a few bottles behind. I use any of the leftover beer that I don't like to drink to make soap. So have BYOB parties. ;)
DeeAnna,
so when you say 50% lye solution do you mean you do 50/50 water and beer in your lye solution when making beer soap? I want to try it this week and have just brought a bottle of beer to a boil and turned it off, it sounds like you boil yours for quite a while, is this just to reduce and concentrate it? I've never made a beer soap before, am planning to do a beer/honey soap, will there be a major potential for overheating if I make it and just leave it un-insulated?
Thanks for the help
Beth
 

mx6inpenn

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DeeAnna,
so when you say 50% lye solution do you mean you do 50/50 water and beer in your lye solution when making beer soap? I want to try it this week and have just brought a bottle of beer to a boil and turned it off, it sounds like you boil yours for quite a while, is this just to reduce and concentrate it? I've never made a beer soap before, am planning to do a beer/honey soap, will there be a major potential for overheating if I make it and just leave it un-insulated?
Thanks for the help
Beth
What she means by 50% lye solution is... Lye will dissolve in water equal to it's weight. Some of us masterbatch lye in a 50% mixture, meaning 50% lye, 50% water.

So if your recipe calls for 100g lye and 200g water, use 100g water to dissolve the lye. Then use reduced beer for the other 100g. The beer can be added to the oils rather than mixed with the lye. This reduces the smell and volcano risk of adding lye directly to the reduced beer. You can use this method for any additives, like milk, pumpkin, aloe, coffee, etc.
 
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mommycarlson

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so if I don't use a masterbatch, can I just use beer in place of all the water? Do I need to reduce my beer or is just flat beer okay? Thank you for your help
 

dibbles

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I've only made beer soap a couple of times. You don't have to masterbatch to use a 50% lye solution. Just make your lye solution 1:1 water to lye, and add the boiled down beer to your oils or at trace. I think it is best to boil the beer to remove the alcohol, as well as getting the carbonation out of it, and I also put it in the refrigerator overnight.

I followed the advice of a member here (Obsidian maybe?) when I made my beer soap, as I am more comfortable using a higher rate than 1:1 when dissolving my lye. So I boiled the bottle of beer down to 3-4 ounces, made my lye solution, subtracting the weight of my beer from the total water. I added the beer at thin trace (after the FO was incorporated). My experience is that it moves pretty fast after the beer goes in, so I stir and pour.
 

shunt2011

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Flat beer should be fine. Frozen or really cold works best. I've done it with no issues. Just watch it for possible overheating once in the mold.
 

Nevada

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I like to use Dry Malt Extract, provides lot of protein and maltose.
Good for soaps that are too slippery.
Great label appeal! add Milk - "Malted Goat Milk Soap"
Just dissolve in some warm water and add at trace.
for related posts click here
 

mommycarlson

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So I shouldn't use all beer as my liquid? Better to use 50/50 beer/water? Do I have to do a 50% lye solution? can I just do my usual soap making procedure? I am currently starting to try the lye concentration as opposed to the water as percent of oil weight. I've only made one batch that way.
 
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