Beer & Soap? Sounds odd at first.
Until you give it a try and realize that the beer soap (which doesn't smell of beer!) gives the soap extra bubbles due to the added sugar and creates a super smooth and silky bar that feels incredible on the skin.
We're incredibly lucky to be surrounded by this many local breweries here in Vermont and we came across Kälte Brewing out of Morrisville - their lager is delicious and I positively can't wait for the German style Pilsner. In the meantime, we managed to not drink all of the lager and save some for our soap making efforts.
All soap is made with lye and mixing lye and anything containing sugar (milks, beer etc.) can lead to the mixture erupt into a volcano due to the heat of the chemical reaction. Nobody wants that. So in order to be safe, we let the beer sit overnight to get it stale (sacrilege!) and then freeze it into individual cubes before adding the lye. It looks downright sexy at this point!
We then carefully pour the lye over the ice cubes and watch them melt and create the base that is needed to turn our oils/fats into soap.
The other half of our soap, the oils and butters, have been melted and are cooling down, just waiting to have the essential oils added. This particular batch has been scented with thyme, pink grapefruit, litsea cubeba and sweet orange essential oils for a fresh citrus scent with an herbal undertone - it perfectly compliments this beer soap.
Once the lye/beer solution has been poured into the melted oils/butters, we stick blend it briefly and pour into our molds. Usually, I would freeze any beer/milk soap but last time, I had some partial gel develop so this time, I was trying to actually have the soap go through gel phase without overheating.
A tricky experiment that almost worked. Almost. You can see the darker parts of the soap, that's the soap continuing to heat up in the mold (this process is called saponification) and volcano just a little bit out of the right mold. I quickly grabbed the molds and put them into the freezer, where things started to cool down. In the end, we had beautiful soaps that were fully gelled without overheating! Boom!
Our special "Kälte Brewing" Beer Soaps are now on the curing rack and will be available at the shop in five weeks.