Pictures taken last week, almost all made by my mom.
Speaking of making soap (we were speaking of it, after all, weren't we? ;) ), one of the cool things I've loved experimenting with is making non-goat milk soaps. I mean, we don't always have goat milk available and having other alternatives is a must.
So, this week I tried out a new recipe that I've been wanting to make for a while. . . beer soap. Why beer, you ask? From what I've read, using it creates an extra creamy lather, it contains skin softening amino acids, and there are a couple of other skin beneficial properties that I can't quite remember right now. . . oh well.
Here's my recipe:
12.699 ounces of olive oil
11.429 ounces of beer
9.524 ounces of coconut oil
9 ounces of palm oil
4.559 ounces of lye
.524 ounces of shea butter
Beer fragrance oil (optional)
1 tsp powdered sugar (optional)
1 vitamin E capsule (optional)
1 tsp cocoa powder (optional)
1/2 tsp titanium dioxide (optional)
1) This first part is one of the most important steps of this soap: removing as much of the alcohol as possible from the beer. The reason it's an integral step is that lowering the alcohol content and reducing the carbonation makes a soap volcano less likely to happen when you combine the lye and beer. You can do it two ways: 1) Boil the beer on top of the stove or 2) Leave the beer out in a shallow, uncovered container for a day or two.
I chose the first option - boiling the beer (in this case, two bottles of Guinness) on high heat on top of the stove for 30 minutes, stirring often. At first, it foamed up so much that I had to switch to a larger pot, but as the alcohol dissipated the foam almost completely disappeared. After thirty minutes, I poured the beer into a glass jar and set it in the freezer. Just like with goat milk and other liquids that have a higher sugar content, you want the beer to be either slushy or frozen solid.
2) Once the beer was slushy, I treated it just like any other liquid in soap making and weighed out the amount needed (in this case, 11.429 ounces). Then, I made the soap just as I normally would (although just like with goat milk, you may want to set the container the lye and beer are stirred together in in an ice bath).
Because of the deep color of the beer, the soap will be a dark caramel shade. I wanted mine two different shades of caramel so that I could do a little swirling in the soap and have a lighter colored top. So, I divided the soap into two different containers and made one even darker using cocoa powder and lightened the other one a little using titanium dioxide (a natural mineral that's used to whiten cosmetics and soaps - it also happens to be one of my favorite and most used colorants because of its versatility).
Just after being poured in the mold.
The colors will most likely darken a little over time.
One thing I should mention is that once the lye is added to the beer, the mixture morphs and takes on a slightly unpleasant, very strong scent. But a little over 24 hours later when I unmolded and cut the soap, the scent was so much more pleasant and kind of malty smelling. And honestly, even though this is a soap that's intended for our male customers and I'm not at all a beer drinker, I kinda like it and I'm tempted to try it out once it's cured.
Next on the agenda is Bama Belle soap (scented with kudzu and made with goat milk, coconut, palm, olive, and sunflower oils and shea butter), which I'm cutting later today when it's ready.
Bama Belle, unlike the beer soap, has smelled really nice the whole time :)