Using beer in soap

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by saratk, Oct 16, 2017.

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  1. Oct 16, 2017 #1

    saratk

    saratk

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    Hi soapers, I could use your advice please.
    I've not made soap with beer before but will be attempting to this week. I know that the beer must be flat. That's done. It's flat and currently chilling in the fridge.
    I've read recipes that substitute all of the distilled water (for lye) with beer and I've read recipes that discount the distilled water (for lye) and add the balance in beer straight to the oils.
    I'd really like to hear from those of you who have worked with it, which method you used, what was successful, what wasn't, etc.
    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Oct 16, 2017 #2

    mx6inpenn

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    I use the split method. I boil the beer to reduce it to a syrup, about half the original volume. This way I can use distilled water for the lye and still technically have a full beer amount.
     
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  3. Oct 16, 2017 #3

    dibbles

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    I do the same as mx6inpenn
     
  4. Oct 16, 2017 #4

    saratk

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    So you don't discount the lye water at all? If not, how do you account for the added liquid in the recipe?
     
  5. Oct 16, 2017 #5

    Saranac

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    I do the same.
     
  6. Oct 16, 2017 #6

    Obsidian

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    I also cook my beer down to a syrup. For a 1-2 lb batch of soap, I'll reduce a 12oz bottle of beer to 2 oz of syrup. I add it to the oils and mix well before adding in my lye solution.
    I do discount my water the 2oz I've added in beer.
     
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  7. Oct 16, 2017 #7

    DeeAnna

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    You don't need to deal with the confusing idea of doing a "discount."

    Enter your fats, pick a suitable lye concentration -- I suggest anywhere from 30% to 33% -- and calculate the recipe. (Lye concentration is NOT the same as "water as % of oils" by the way.)

    You will dissolve the NaOH needed for the recipe in at least an equal weight of water. (100 grams of NaOH is dissolved in 100 g of water, for example) You can use MORE water than NaOH by weight, but you can't use LESS water -- the water weight must be at least equal to the weight of NaOH. Some people split the total amount of water needed for the recipe in half. One half is the water used to dissolve the NaOH. The other half is the beer. That works fine as well.

    Subtract the weight of water used to dissolve the NaOH from the total water called for in the recipe. The answer you get is the weight you will use for your beer.

    Weigh out the beer, add it to your oils, and mix briefly. Add the lye solution. Make soap as usual.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. Oct 16, 2017 #8

    saratk

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    Thank you everyone! This is very helpful.
     
  9. Oct 16, 2017 #9

    cmzaha

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    I soap with a 50/50 lye solution, which DeeAnna explains above and use the remainder of the liquid for my recipe as beer. I do not boil mine to a syrup but cook off the alcohol cool it and add it to my oils.
     
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  10. Oct 16, 2017 #10

    jcandleattic

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    When I make my beer soaps, I use 100% beer as my liquid without using any water with my lye.
    I never boil my beer down to a syrup or remove any of the alcohol. For me personally I have found this to be an unnecessary step that only adds time to my soaping adventure but doesn't add anything to the process.

    What I do, is I take a fresh beer, weigh out the amount I will need for the soap I want to make, put in a teaspoon of salt into the beer and stir it to help flatten it. Then I pour the flattened beer into an ice tray then freeze. Once it's frozen, I then soap like I normally would if the beer were a frozen milk or something.

    I will put the frozen beer in my lye pitcher then slowly add the lye to it, stirring and making sure no volcano happens, and that the lye gets completely dissolved.

    Then I soap with RT oils.
    Easy peasy, and never ever had a problem with my soap seizing doing it with this method. I make beer soaps about once a month-ish...
    My batter does get thicker than if I were using just distilled water, but not to where it is not manageable, and I try not to over insulate the mold because beer soaps, such as milk soaps, tend to heat up on their own and don't need insulation to gel. (Mine don't anyway)
    Also I use a 33% lye solution, (which is a slight liquid discount) in every soap I make including my beer soaps.
     
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  11. Oct 17, 2017 #11

    Traumabrew

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    I have just substituted the beverage of my choice with the water. I have done 100% all beer soap and it is great. Be warned, the sugar in the beer can cause acceleration
     
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  12. Oct 18, 2017 #12

    agirlhasnoname

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    I'd always wondered why exactly lye concentration ratio was listed. How does it help?
     
  13. Oct 19, 2017 #13

    saratk

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    Since it does accelerate, do you rely more on hand stirring and less on stick blending?
     
  14. Oct 19, 2017 #14

    randycoxclemson

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    I have made several soaps with a beer base (mostly shampoo bars, but some others) and I've never used any water at all.

    I do always flatten it by boiling it for a short while and then just leaving it on the stove top to cool overnight. Then I pour it into a container and put it in the fridge until I use it for beer. Add the NaOH right to the beer. Stinks to high heaven, but works fine.

    One time I did go to the trouble of freezing it and using the NaOH to melt the cubes. It was more trouble than it was worth. I say just get your beer, let it flatten for a day or so (or speed it up with a tiny bit of boiling), and use it as the water. Just as you might sometimes substitute Aloe Juice for 100% of the water.
     
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  15. Oct 19, 2017 #15

    DeeAnna

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    I masterbatch my lye solution (50% NaOH, 50% water), so that's why I use the water when I make beer soap. But before i masterbatched, I also used just straight up beer. I've used it frozen and I've used it at room temp. I learned to boiled the beer down to half volume when I had a couple of bottles of beer I hated enough I didn't want to drink them. Good way to use up beer that would otherwise go to waste. Regardless, it works fine -- there's no one right answer.

    The only thing that seems to be a given for any beer soap I make is that I want to watch the soap after it's in the mold, because it tends to overheat.
     
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  16. Oct 20, 2017 #16

    BrewerGeorge

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    As DeeAnna says, there is no 'one way' do do this.

    The main reason to add beer to soap (other than label appeal) is to add sugar. Beer will have unfermentable trisaccharides that are difficult to get an other way. They should improve lather in the same way that double-sugars like sucrose do, and might survive the lye better just because it's more complex. Beyond the sugar, beer will have proteins - the same ones that make beer foam stay around should help soap bubbles stay around.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
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  17. Oct 20, 2017 #17

    Arimara

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    I'm going to add this suggestion: use a tall container when you mix you lye into your beer. This will cut down on the risk of lye volcanoe, which can happen if the beer isn't completely flat. I've only made beer soap a few times and I preferred using 100% beer.
     
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  18. Oct 22, 2017 #18

    GreenDragon

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    This tread inspired me to try a batch of beer soap yesterday. I substituted all the water for plain beer, which I added a tsp of kosher salt to to drive out the CO2 and stirred until it stopped foaming. Stuck this in the freezer while I weighed out the rest of my ingredients, then mixed the lye into the cold beer. CP process as usual, divided half the batter and added charcoal, then pored into the molds to make "black and tan" soaps. Scented with Tobacco and Bay. It did trace very fast, so I never used the stick blender. I did ensure it went through a gel phase. It was ready to cut this morning. Looks great and feels really smooth.

    IMG_3771.jpg
     
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  19. Oct 22, 2017 #19

    Seawolfe

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    I'm just using the last of my beer soaps that I made about 2 years ago now (half frozen IPA / half concentrated) - wow what nice soap. Very glidy and slidy and fabulous lather. I didn't scent that batch and the hoppy aroma is still there. I need to make that again.
     
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