Oatmeal Stout Beer Soap

Lately, I’ve really been into making soap using different liquids instead of just plain water. I do love a good water-based bar of soap, but there’s something intriguing about adding in different milks, beer, yogurt, champagne (like this soap), wine, green tea (check this soap out), coffee, or other liquids. The lather often changes (for the better), as well as the colors and texture of the soap. It’s a bit risky to experiment with, but it’s very rewarding and fun. After making a black lager soap about this time last year, I wanted to try something similar but new. This is my latest creation!


Oatmeal Stout Beer Soap made with beer and finely ground oatmeal

This soap was inspired by an incredible fragrance that I recently purchased from Bramble Berry called Oatmeal Stout. You can’t use that fragrance and NOT use beer as the liquid, right? I opened up a bottle of beer, poured it into my lye pitcher and let it sit open and in the cold for a few days, stirring it every so often, letting it get flat. Then, I made the lye solution by adding in about a tablespoon of lye at a time very slowly. No lye solution volcanoes for me!

I let it cool as I prepped the other ingredients, then carefully poured the beer lye solution into my oils and pulsed the stick blender for about 30 seconds just to emulsify them. After pouring off a few cups of soap to make a frothy white “head” for the soap, I whisked in my fragrance as well as some finely ground oatmeal to the rest of the batter. As expected, the soap got to a thick trace pretty quickly due to the sugars in the beer. The white “froth” on top looked good enough to eat, like a lovely whipped frosting.


The “head” of Oatmeal Stout Beer Soap in the raw

Within 12 hours of making it, this soap was ready to be cut.

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Freshly cut, you can see the outside rim of the soap that was most exposed to oxygen already starting to darken.

The base color of the freshly cut soap was a light tan, but I knew that the color would change rapidly due to vanilla content in the fragrance. Just a few days after slicing this soap, it already had a deep brown “stout” appearance.  Pretty cool!


Oatmeal Stout Beer Soap

This scent is very complex with notes of rich vanilla and butterscotch, oranges, milky oatmeal, and nutty almond. I literally want to eat this one! Totally delectable. It’ll be ready in just a few weeks, and I’m excited to use it. This is one beer soap that I truly believe will appeal to both men and women. The lather should be super fluffy and luxurious, and with the addition of ground oatmeal, it should also provide a great moisture protection for the skin. Just the thing we need during these cold winter months!


Black Lager Soap

Need some soap for the man in the house? Check this one out!


Black Lager Soap

My husband’s friend asked if I could make soap out of lager, so I came up with this recipe just for him! He even provided the Guinness Black Lager! I’ve made a few batches of beer soap and even champagne soap, but this thick, dark liquid was a different beast.

I began by opening the bottle and letting it sit for two weeks to flatten in the cold garage. It’s been so crazy cold around here that it was almost frozen! I poured the whole beer into a tall pitcher, and the lack of bubbles told me that it was flat enough to make a lye solution. With the pitcher sitting in an ice bath, I slowly added the lye over a period of about 15 minutes. It would fizz a bit with each addition of lye, but it never even thought about volcano-ing. (I think I just made up a new word, only useful for soaping!) By the final addition of lye, the whole solution was the consistency of very dark, very thick syrup. Stinky syrup, mind you! The heat produced by adding the lye makes the sugars in the alcohol almost scorch. Lye solutions are typically stinky anyway, but using black lager made it exponentially worse! My aversion could be due to the fact that I don’t like dark lagers to begin with! My hubby didn’t mind the smell nearly as much as I did.


Black Lager lye solution

As I was slowly adding the lye to the beer, I was also measuring out and melting my oils. I decided to add some local beeswax to this batch of soap to make it harder, therefore longer lasting. I used only 2% wax, but I can already tell a difference in the hardness of the soap (now 4 weeks after making it).

Because alcohol soaps tend to thicken very rapidly, I had planned to let the lye solution and oils cool down before mixing up the soap. However, wax has such a high melting point that it began to solidify in the oils soon after I’d melted everything. I ended up making the soap at high temperatures, meaning it traced very quickly. I hardly used my stick blender at all for this one!


Adding the dark lager lye solution to oils

Working quickly, I split off a small portion of soap and whisked in titanium dioxide to lighten up the color. I poured the deep tan main soap batter into my mold, then added the lighter tan soap on top and made some peaks to form a “head” on this lager soap. I put the soap to bed as usual in my warm oven, but I watched this one closely to make sure the addition of alcohol didn’t make it boil and bubble out of my mold! Again, no problems at all! The soap came to a full gel faster than my other water or milk soaps, but it didn’t crack or volcano in the slightest.


Raw Black Lager Soap


And here’s the loaf of Black Lager Soap the next day. The peaks remind me of meringue. Yum!

After unmolding the soap, the smell of the lager was still quite strong. And it no longer smelled burnt, but was more smooth, much like the original scent of the lager. I was hoping that scent would stick, but I’m finding that it’s dissipating a bit as the soap continues to cure. The lather of this soap is rich and luxurious, and the wax has most certainly hardened the bar.


Check out the striations in the front bar. It looks like the beer is settling, right?! So cool!


Black Lager Soap

I’m grateful for the suggestion and gift of lager that pushed me to make this fun soap! And I’m thinking this definitely isn’t just for men! With it’s rich, creamy lather, this might make a fantastic shaving soap. I’ll test it out and get back to you! 😉

Soaping with Beer = Success!

Well, I now officially have 10 batches of soap under my belt! This week’s Great Cakes Soapworks challenge was to use alcohol in our soap, so I decided to go with beer for my first attempts.  I watched Amy’s video at around 1am, so needless to say, I think I forgot some of the things she said… And when I was planning out my recipe, my internet was down, so I couldn’t refresh my memory! I went for it anyway.  Why not?! I’m finding that I’m much braver than I thought.

For my first try, I replaced the water with cold, flat light beer that I had on hand and used my normal recipe with a 33% lye solution.  Other than the beer causing the lye solution to smell, there really was not much difference at all between this batch and the others I’ve made.  It may have traced a little bit sooner, but certainly not much.  Maybe this is because it was light beer with fewer sugars?  I even separated a bit out to whiten, then layer and swirl for contrast.  It was thicker than I’d like when I poured, but the final product turned out smooth and creamy.  I used the cold process oven process method with this one, cooking the soap at 170 degrees for a full 2 hours and watching it closely to make sure it didn’t volcano.  I left it overnight, then cut into it the next morning.  Success!

Here’s the only problem: I didn’t have any fragrances on hand that I thought lent themselves well to a beer smell, so I decided to make my own essential oil blend (another first) using peppermint, spearmint, and lemon eucalyptus oils.  BIG MISTAKE! I thought that the lemon would bring out the beer smell, not realizing that the beer smell completely disappears!  Plus I didn’t have straight lemon, so I chose lemon eucalyptus, thinking it would be mellow.  SO. NOT. MELLOW.  I only used about one part lemon eucalyptus to two parts each of the mints, but it is so much stronger than the mints.  It actually makes my stomach turn!  It might even repel bugs!  After a few days of curing, the lemon eucalyptus is dissipating.  Maybe I’ll be able to use this after all.

Since I was so disappointed with the smell of my first beer soap and feeling a bit dejected, I had to try again!  My internet was back up and running, so I reviewed the video and other posts about alcohol soaping.  Realizing that I’d done a few things that weren’t recommended, I changed up my recipe a bit and increased my liquids to 38% beer as a percentage of oils (especially since I was doing hot process).  Now knowing that the beer smell goes away, I chose a lovely strawberries and champagne fragrance.  Looking back, I wish I’d tried using champagne instead!  Maybe next time!

Hot processing the beer batter was fun! It certainly didn’t have to cook very long.  I watched carefully to make sure I didn’t get a crock volcano, but never had any signs of one.  After the cook, I added red mica to part of the soap and glopped the two colors in the mold. There are a few small air pockets, but I like the final result!  Smells lovely and has a creamy, bubbly lather.

Strawberries and Champagne Soap, hot processed and made with Beer. Haha! Poor man’s champagne, I suppose!

Now I’ll have to venture into making some other alcohol soaps!  This, like all of the other challenges, was super fun!  I love seeing the beautiful creations of everyone else involved in the challenge.  Check out the other participants’ results here!