Time: 1 hour
Yields: About 14
What You’ll Need:
5.5 oz. Cocoa Butter
16.5 oz. Coconut Oil
11 oz. Olive Oil
16.5 oz. Palm Oil
1.6 oz. Shea Butter
3.8 oz. Shea Oil
1 tsp Vitamin E Oil (optional superfat)
7.7 oz. Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
5 oz. Honey Ale Fragrance Oil
2 Cups of Light Beer (we used Coors Light)
14 small plastic cups (5 fl. oz. each)
Plastic Cups (5 fl. oz.)
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If you have never made cold process soap before, I strongly suggest getting a couple of basic recipes under your belt before diving in…working with beer is an advanced technique. Check out Soap Queen TV on Cold Process if you want to get started with cold process. It’s a 4 part series that will take you through the basics (and be sure to watch the episode on Lye Safety). Lye is serious business and you must, must, must understand the ramifications of working with it BEFORE starting this recipe. If you’re a book worm, Bramble Berry also has some helpful reading on the cold process technique.
PREP: The first step to a successful beer batch (in my opinion) is boiling flat beer. Let your beer sit open for 24 hours to get rid of the fizz, then boil it for about 5 minutes to cook out all of the alcohol. The beer really ‘poofs’ up during this boiling phase so don’t leave it unattended. Boil a little more than 2 cups of light beer just to be on the safe side (you’ll lose a little liquid when you cook the beer due to evaporation). Let the beer cool back down to room temperature before you get started. We used “light” beer for this project because dark beer discolors the soap brown.
ONE: Melt and measure the Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Palm Oil, and Shea Oil. Then hand stir in your Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter until all of the oils are in liquid form.
TWO: SAFETY UP! Goggles on. Gloves on. Kids out of the way. No pets around. Safety, safety, safety first! Then, measure out your lye (by weight) and beer (by volume) and slowly add the lye to the beer in 3 batches (pour a little lye and stir – repeat 2 more times). The reason we add the lye slowly is because it tends to roil and boil over if you add the lye to the beer too quickly (even if the beer is flat). Repeat until the lye is completely added and stir until the lye is dissolved. Let the lye mixture cool to about 130 degrees.
THREE: Slowly and carefully, add the lye mixture to the combined oils pouring down the side of the stick blender to avoid bubbles. Mix with your stick blender for about 30 seconds.
FOUR: Separate the batch in half. You can measure exactly or eyeball it like I did. Immediately get half of the batter into an electric mixer. Do not add fragrance to the electric mixer portion yet. While it’s mixing on medium, add 1 teaspoon of the Titanium Dioxide Slurry (see below for directions) and 6 ml of diluted Green Apple Labcolor. Keep the mixer on while while we work with the second half of the batter.
Titanium Dioxide Slurry: Mix 1 teaspoon of Titanium Dioxide with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix with a mini mixer.
FIVE: To the other half of the batter, mix in ½ teaspoon of Super Pearly White Mica and 24 ml of Diluted Green Apple LabColor. Stick blend until you have a light beautiful green trace. Then add 3.5 ounces of Honey Ale Fragrance Oil and mix with your stick blender.
Optional Superfat: Add 1 Teaspoon of Vitamin E Oil now and hand stir it in.
SIX: Fill up all 14 of your small plastic cups ¾ of the way up (leave room at the top for your “beer foam”).
SEVEN: Time to check on the “foam”. It should be light and fluffy and slightly tinted green. Add 1.5 oz. of fragrance oil (we’re using less in this side because we want our foam to stay as light as possible). If the foam tamps down a bit, just speed up your mixer for a couple minutes and your foam should poof back up. Spoon the whipped soap on top of the green beer layer and smooth it with the back of your spoon.
EIGHT: Put the soaps into the fridge over night so they cool and discolor evenly (the Honey Ale discolors slightly, but it works perfectly for our green beer). Then release from the plastic cups and let cure for 4-6 weeks.
Then bask in all the glory of your hard work!
PS – Thank you Amanda from Lovin’ Soap for inspiring us with your Chai Tea soap project to make this Beer Soap!
Sofia Gomes says
Hi! I’m From Portugal and i would love to try this recipe! But i can’t find Shea Oil… Can i replace it for other oil like Argan oil or Jojoba oil? Or maybe something less expensive? 🙂 About your FO’s… Do Bramble Berry have a retailer in Europe? I really want to buy Bramble’s Products but it gets so expensive to import them! Thanks!!!
Becky with Bramble Berry says
Good morning, Sofia!
You can substitute out the Shea Oil for another like Jojoba Oil or even Shea Butter but be sure to run it through the lye calculator again before making the soap!
Shea Butter: https://www.brambleberry.com/Shea-Butter-P3220.aspx
Jojoba Oil: https://www.brambleberry.com/Jojoba-Oil-Golden-P3219.aspx
Lye Calculator: https://www.brambleberry.com/Pages/Lye-Calculator.aspx
If you are wanting to purchase some of our products that you wouldn’t be able to get otherwise, I’d try YouWish Soaps. She is located in the Netherlands and sells quite a few of our products.
I hope this helps. Happy Soaping! =)
-Becky with Bramble Berry
That is absolutely gorgeous!
I am not yet using lab colors. I’m just now getting into learning to use the oxides. I’m guessing with oxides I would not refrigerate and would insulate as usual?
Oxides – do whatever you normally do – it’s hard to insulate the little cups so you may end up with a partial gel phase in the middle but no one will see that so you’re good! =)
This looks so fun! Why do you put the soap into the refrigerator rather than covering and keeping warm like other soap batches?
In this case, I really wanted to fully stop gel phase because I wanted the soap to have a matte finish with no heat spots. Labcolors tends to change colors slightly with a good gel (http://www.soapqueen.com/bramble-berry-news/grey-to-green-to-purple-labcolor-tips-2/ is a good photo – the log photo – and http://www.soapqueen.com/bramble-berry-news/red-velvet-test-batch-2/ this one too). So since the LC tend to get brighter with a gel phase I really wanted a uniform look and was worried I wouldn’t be able to control the temperature as well in the short, squatty cups. Thus, fridge! =)
I don’t recommend adding beer to melt and pour but here’s a melt and pour tutorial using the Honey Ale that looks almost the same as the CP tutorial! Just toss the soap into little cups and you’re good to go! http://soap-queen.blogspot.com…
I don’t recommend adding beer to melt and pour but here’s a melt and pour tutorial using the Honey Ale http://soap-queen.blogspot.com…
Is there a way to do this with melt and pour?
Thanks for the soapy support =) We are going to talk about the idea of an Etsy store next week (ish). When you’re a small business, everything ends up being ‘ish’. LOL!
I’m so glad that you figured out why your beer soap traces so quickly =) It’s all about the small victories, isn’t it? =)
Cliff Island Soapworks says
I love this idea too and just realized why my beer soap traced so quickly!! I knew it had to be flat to mix with the lye, but I didn’t know that boiling off the alcohol would be the best way to go. I just let mine sit, for about a week, stirring it everyday to help make it go flat!! CRAZY ME::)) I also used a very dark stout beer, which gave it a wonderful color & smell. Trader Joe’s sells the Oatmeal Stout Beer that you use in your soap recipe and I’m definitely going to try that one, but now I will also try the Lighter Beer for the Green Soap. I love making soap with beer – you just have to be very, very careful to make the beer Flat & burn off the “Alcohol”, before adding the lye. I named my beer soap: “Honey, Apple, Ginger Beer
Soap” and it was a big hit! Thanks for all your help & support. I am so inspired by all your tutorials & would love to be able to purchase some soaps from those, just to see , feel, & use them as an example. That’s a great idea to sell some samples on Etsy!!!
I already tried the beer and know they are really fun to use!!
Yours is very successful.
OMG. That is SO inspired …. with a Root Beer fragrance oil? Yummy yummy yummy!
I love these! They are super cute! I think it would be really cute to make root beer float soaps like these too.
Great! And kudos for doing all of your research with the recipes and
techniques before diving into a more advanced batch. You’re saving yourself
money AND time in the long run =)
I would love to try these… New soaper here, will save this recipe for a later try.
Thanks for this very helpful recipe
Welcome to my blog at: http://blog.soliditytrade.com/
The Whisk – the one with more spirals. =) So delighted you like the Raspberry Porter. YAY!
What attachment do you use with the mixer? The whisk or the beater? Really love this idea and have been wanting to try the Honey Ale. WE LOVE the Raspberry Porter.
We donate about 70-100 pounds of soap every quarter. We make at least 6-7 batches of soap a week at our company (testing, new projects, trouble shooting for customers).
if you dont have time for an etsy store you should consider donateing your extra soap to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen
I second the Etsy idea! I’d totally haunt your Etsy if you had one.
Debbie Chialtas says
Well, you’re probably not looking for a new project to manage. But it would still be fun to be able to “acquire” some of your soaps and projects somehow!
Thanks. We have a super good time designing them and coming up with all kinds of crazy ideas!
30 seconds … typo! LOL! That was not a stupid question at ALL. You saved my bacon. And I even had someone proofread the instructions too!!
Beer Shaving Soap isn’t a bad idea at all. After all, you’re targeting the men anyways =) Love the idea (though sometimes clay also accelerates trace so clay + beer might drive one a bit mad).
It’s a great Labcolor to use – nice green, stays true, and the color pop with gel phase isn’t too jarring.
It never in a million years crossed my mind that anyone would be interested in seeing the soaps in person and now that Debbie (brilliant!!!) said it, I’m like palm-to-forehead, “DUH! Of course people would want to see how these zany projects turn out in real life!!!”
I just gave Otion all the beer soap for a display but if they have any they’re not using, I’m totally going to put them on Etsy …
Mix for 30 seconds (not minutes). Thanks for pointing that out =)
Any type of CP soap but the cooler the better AND the more hard oils, the better. No fragrance oil until the end so you have plenty of time to work with the “batter.”
I see you whipped half the batch of soap. Do you have to do anything special to a batch of soap to whip it or can you do that to any type of CP soap?
Lisa K says
Very cool and I agree with Debbie about selling your tutorial soaps. There are have been so many that I would have purchased!
Hudson Valley Soap says
This is a great idea and has provided great inspiration! I have been inspired to create a Luck ‘o the Irish shave soap. Never thought about adding beer to soap. Wouldn’t put it in my shaving soap, but not a bad idea.
SO cute! And I love the green! I need that LabColor! Lol!
TA Helton says
So, we add the lye to the entire batch of oils and mix it for 30 minutes? Then we divide it out? This might be a really dumb question…but wouldn’t it be to the point of super thick trace after 30 minutes? I usually don’t have to mix but for a few minutes to get to light trace.
TA Helton says
I second that one Anne-Marie! You really should. There’s so many of us that follow your how-tos…and it would be awesome to get to try them out. Especially when you are using new FOs.
I love tutorials and this is another great one, they look fantastic Anne-Marie! good enough to eat:)
I NEVER in a million years thought of that. And we have SO many soaps all the time too. Huge amounts of soap leftover from these projects. This one, I think make like 18 little containers of soap. Thankfully, Otion is taking quite a few of them for a display but still, we are overflowing with soap … =) Good idea!
It is a yummy fragrance for sure. There are so many great options to design around with the Honey Ale. =)
Aw, thanks. We love having a creative outlet to be fun with. =)
YAY! I am SO excited to hear that. Yes, beer soap moves faster. Make sure you’re looking at the volume of the beer and NOT weight because so many of those beers can be incredible heavy and that definitely throws your batch into a tailspin (essentially, you end up discounting the liquids because the beer is so dense). I’ve also noticed that dark beers move faster than light beers. It’s just my experience so I could be totally making it up but that seems to be the pattern that happens with my soap =)
You know, I was ready to drop our beer and honey soap from the range because of difficulties working with the alcohol (picture bent stainless steel ladles and smooshing seized soap into a slab). Problem is, people keep asking me for it. I had worked out that the batches where I let the lye heat up more cooked off the alcohol and gave me less trouble. Boiling the beer first makes so much more sense. Thank you so much for the tutorial.
So cute! Your free tutorials and Soap Queen tv episodes are why I started buying from Bramble Berry and keep coming back! Thank you!!!
Cute fun idea!! I even have some honey ale fo already….it is a great scent!
Debbie Chialtas says
You should open an Etsy shop to sell your tutorial soaps. I would love to get one of these!!