Stinky Beer Soap

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
5,026
Reaction score
12,450
Location
Hamilton, New Zealand
Didn't have enough oat milk to make my usual oat milk, oatmeal and flaxseed soap, so i decided to do an abridged version - Beer and Oat Soap.

Man - did that beer/lye solution STINK!!! For the first time ever I had the solution 'boil up' when adding the lye. Luckily I had an ice water bath ready for it to go into, and it settled straight down immediately. I think maybe the extra heat made it stinkier than usual?

I've added some lovely FOs: Brown sugar and Fig, Santal and Coconut, and Coconut, to try and counter the stench but I'm not sure how successful I was. Will wait for the cut and cure i guess.
 
Last edited:

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,795
Reaction score
9,214
Location
Idaho, USA
Beer and lye always stinks when mixed, its the reason I concentrate beer down to a couple ounces and mix in the oils, keeps the stink down.

The smell will fade with cure. It might retain some of the yeast scent but not weird chemical/ammonia scent
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
5,026
Reaction score
12,450
Location
Hamilton, New Zealand
Beer and lye always stinks when mixed, its the reason I concentrate beer down to a couple ounces and mix in the oils, keeps the stink down.

The smell will fade with cure. It might retain some of the yeast scent but not weird chemical/ammonia scent
Yes but this was way stinkier than usual. The main difference is that I usually make a straight 'beer' soap that I scent with a strong bayberry and cypress FO which complements/covers the beer smell nicely. This time, because of the oat combination I wanted to stay away from that scent and keep it a bit softer with the sweeter, coconut smell. It's cut now and it's not as strong but it's still a ways from being what I would call a pleasant smell.
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
8,629
Reaction score
9,579
Location
SE Denver CO
It's cut now and it's not as strong but it's still a ways from being what I would call a pleasant smell.
Relax. The smell should mellow out once it's cured... similar to goat milk soap and pine tar. Here's a note from my files about that combo "If you sub goat's milk, be prepared to banish the soap to an unused room while it cures. The scent of milk and pine tar curing together can bring tears to your eyes!"
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
9,781
Reaction score
11,980
Location
Western Illinois, USA
I think it's more about the boil over than the combo of the oatmilk & the beer, although that may also have played a part in altering the odor. I recall a kombucha tea-containing lye solution boiling over and that one smelled a lot stronger than making the same solution minus the boil over. The odor did eventually tame, although I could detect a hint of it long into the cure. Eventually even that dissipated, and I don't have any more of those bars left.
 

CelineEnilec

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2022
Messages
14
Reaction score
34
Location
Europe
One of my first tries was with beer and although I was warned it was going to stink I did NOT expect it to stink that much! I used a vanilla fragrance oil in that batch, and even after a rather long cure (2+ months) it still had a very odd smell so I threw it away and it was the end of my beerxperiment!
 

Servant4Christ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2022
Messages
60
Reaction score
71
Location
Northeast US
I leave beer open until it's completely flat rather than concentrating it on the stove and then freeze it in ice cube trays and proceed the same as I would with any milk soap. I weight out my cubes for the full liquid amount of my recipe and set my container into an ice bath right from the beginning. I then add/dissolve my lye one spoonful at a time into the cubes to avoid scorching the sugars which is what causes that awful brewery stench. I also soap with my oils at a lower temp when working with beer or milk. I have made this recipe fragrance free and have never had a problem.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2022
Messages
87
Reaction score
209
Location
Alberta Canada
I’m happy to have seen this thread ‘cause now I know it’s not just me! I made my first beer soap with one of my husband’s brews, on Aug 2. Let it get flat for a few days, boiled it down to get rid of alcohol, then froze into cubes before mixing with lye. Whew, what a stink! I added more FO than I usually do but the soap still smelled very unpleasant to me. On reading this thread I just rechecked the soap for the first time in a couple of weeks and FINALLY it smells just of the FO. Now my problem is that the scent is way more intense than I like! But I’m sure I will find some people who like a good strong scent in their soap🤣🤣
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2022
Messages
87
Reaction score
209
Location
Alberta Canada
Glad to hear its ok. Nothing quite as disappointing as stinky soap.
@Obsidian thank you! Yes, stinky soap is the WORST. I made my first batches of soap in the late 90’s. Tried to make tallow from beef fat and it smelled awful - I thought the odour might dissipate in the soap but it was so bad I had to toss out my precious soap. Was so discouraged that I gave it up until trying again this year! Much has changed in the soapmaking world in 23 years (HOORAY for stick blenders!), but this I know: I will never attempt to make beef tallow again🤣🤣 (I am making my own lard from local Berkshire pigs and that is a beautiful product)
 

Lets_Soap

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2017
Messages
8
Reaction score
3
Some beer/wine contains more sugar then others. They smell the worst when burned by the lye. I've made soap from a few beers and have found that they smell best when Hot processed and added after the lye has neutralized. I just cook to evaporate the extra liquid off. They do have a "distracting" (as my husband called it) scent for the first while though lol. Also, I no longer use beer made with citrus hops... the scent wont go away.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2022
Messages
87
Reaction score
209
Location
Alberta Canada
Some beer/wine contains more sugar then others. They smell the worst when burned by the lye. I've made soap from a few beers and have found that they smell best when Hot processed and added after the lye has neutralized. I just cook to evaporate the extra liquid off. They do have a "distracting" (as my husband called it) scent for the first while though lol. Also, I no longer use beer made with citrus hops... the scent wont go away.
@Lets_Soap thanks for the tips!
 

SeattleMartin

Embracing the wonderful madness of soap!
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2018
Messages
67
Reaction score
84
Location
Seattle
I will second the idea that the smell should mellow out and eventually go away.
For a few years now I have been making a soap that uses milk stout beer. (The lactose seems to do great things for the soap lather?) It's a pretty strong hand soap (for the likes of mechanics and gardners, etc.) that lathers beautifully and really cuts through oil and grime.
I warm the beer gently for a few hours and then add it as half the liquid weight. And it stinks. Oh my stars does it stink. I can only describe it as what I imagine a dog would smell like after rolling in the swamp for a week 🤣
Eventually, during the cure, the smell always dies away and it is left smelling like any other soap, really.
 

ggssoapmexico

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2022
Messages
5
Reaction score
10
I made a batch of CP beer soap with Oatmeal Stout FO from Crafters Choice and used a local Mexican beer. I had read that there would be problems with ricing and rapid acceleration in the reviews. Fortunately, one reader also included the solution; have a wire whip to beat the batter as it rices and then plop it into the mold. I also made soap frosting to resemble foam for the top, which turned out okay. BUT THE FRAGRANCE IS ADDICTIVE! Every time I walked by the soap on the shelf I had to stop and take a whiff. It was one of the most popular selling soaps at last weekend's sales event I attended. And, the guys loved that I had soap for them to smell while their wives were checking out the other soaps. Now I just have to find someone to mule down the FO from the States so I can make more.
 

Attachments

  • Minerva Stout.JPG
    Minerva Stout.JPG
    1.5 MB · Views: 0
Top