You're probably wondering, what is beer soap? A concept so novel, so fantastic, so awesomely ideal for shower beers. That is beer soap. It is like any other soap, it just uses beer as one of the main ingredients. In soap making, you need fatty acids to mix with a base, like olive oil and lye. You also need water. That's where the beer comes in, beer replaces the water needed in making the soap.
There are four ways to make soap. The hot process method, cold process method, melt and pour, and remilling. Which method you choose will determine just how long it takes for your handmade soap to saponify. Saponification is the chemical reaction that creates soap, a reaction that only occurs in hot process beer soap recipes and cold process beer soap recipes.
One of the main reasons to make handmade soap is to control the ingredients used in the process. Like brewing craft beer, you can focus on making small batches of artisan soaps that feature only the finest natural ingredients like crushed oats, orange peel, and coconut oil. Combine that with your favorite IPA and some essential oils for fragrance (try bay rum), and voilà, a bar of soap that will not only lather as it should (unlike commercial soaps), but one that smells good, one that smells like victory.
Or, last night's hangover. Just kidding, beer soap doesn't smell like beer. More on that to come.
If you're looking for a manly soap recipe, it's hard to go wrong with using beer. A basic recipe will include Sodium Hydroxide (lye), Coconut oil, and beer (previously boiled). You can, and maybe should, start your first recipe by leaving the soap unscented. A nice spearmint wouldn't hurt though. Dealer's choice.
Watch the video below for soap making steps. Use the suggested amounts, or use a half acre, it doesn't matter to us. But remember, don't get the recipe backwards or else it might fail.
There are a few types of benefits in the beer soap making process. The first is enjoying a nice cold lager when you've finished up, we'll call that an internal benefit. The other type is skincare, clearly external.
Some benefits include:
Most artisan soaps focus on incorporating natural ingredients and beer soap is no different. Natural ingredients are less harsh on human skin, often providing better suds to cleanse your skin. Natural soap should be moisturizing, your skin shouldn't feel leathery after a shower.
Equally interesting, it is a good choice for shaving and hair in general, thanks to the amino acids in the beer. Looking for a great gift for a guy with a big burly man beard? Checkout a beer soap made with shea butter, it lathers well and the shea butter will help soften hair follicles and retain moisture.
Consider the ingredients used in the brewing process for various types of beers, real hops and real barley. An oatmeal stout is vastly different than a hefeweizen. Oats have been known to reduce itching and treat eczema, where as the extracts of beers that could be produced under the German Beer Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot) could have anti-bacterial and anti-oxidative properties1 when applied topically. SCIENCE!
With the craft beer explosion of this decade, there are gallons upon gallons of freshly brewed bevvies just waiting to be converted into soap. Better still, add some ground hops to the mix to make an exfoliating bar. You could even substitute a hard cider in place of beer. The choices are endless. Just don't use palm oil, it's not even worth your time figuring out if it is ethically sourced or not (it's probably not).
You could even use the beer can it came in to make the soap mold.
The internet, where else? You can buy it at some breweries, like Jack's Abby in New England. If you go there, you can find it in the brewery swag section. I'm sure big microbrewery states like Vermont, Colorado, and Texas, or craft beer heavy cities like Brooklyn, Raleigh, and Vancouver are throttled up on beer soap production.
Pretty soon, you will be able to purchase beer soap right here. Bubbledrunk Beer Soap is still in the (body) testing phase, but like the second Death Star, it will soon be fully operational. Updates to follow.
*Caution: As always, chemical reactions can be harmful. Please be careful in all of your soap making endeavors.