Hefeweizen Beer Bar Soap
Makes 2.75 - 3 lb. of soap
As the lazy days of summer begin to slip away, we wanted to create a fun cold process soap project to hold onto the memories that were made around great backyard BBQ's. For this project, we found inspiration in our Hefeweizen Beer Fragrance Oil, as the sweet aroma of draft beer, cream, fruit, caramel and clove made us smile thinking back to the fun we’ve enjoyed this summer! This beautiful cold process soap bar is made using all natural saponified vegetable oils combined with the delectable aroma of our Hefeweizen Beer Fragrance, along with Ground Hops and Cocoa Brown Clay for good measure!
- Sodium Hydroxide (Lye) -- 140 grams (4.94 oz)
- Favourite Beer (*FLAT (See Step 2)) -- 350 grams (12.35 oz)
- Coconut Oil 76 -- 245 grams (8.64 oz)
- Palm Oil -- 315 grams (11.11 oz)
- Sunflower Oil -- 350 grams (12.35 oz)
- Shea Butter Refined -- 70 grams (2.47 oz)
- Hefeweizen Beer Fragrance Oil -- 30 ml (1 fl. oz)
- Colour 1: Cocoa Brown Clay -- 5 grams (0.18 oz) (Clay will need to be dissolved in 1 tbsp. of Water)
- Colour 2: Lightly Ground Hops Flowers -- 2 tbsp.
- Soap Mold (We used a Regular Loaf Silicone Soap Mold)
Before attempting this project, it is important to note that working with beer in cold process soap is NOT for beginner soap makers as it is an advanced process that requires a good comprehension of soap-making techniques. If you haven’t tried making cold process soap before, we recommend getting a few successful batches under your belt before attempting to try this soap. One difficulty that arises when making soap with beer is that the oils will saponify more quickly, thereby reducing the amount of working time you will have. To help combat this problem, we also recommend dropping your soaping temperature to around 90°F / 32.2°C to slow down how quickly the soap will come to trace.
1. Pick your beer! When choosing the beer you want to use, be sure to keep in mind that the darker in colour the beer is, the more it will discolour or darken the soap. If you want to colour the soap with a clay like we did, or perhaps use a mica, we suggest choosing a lighter beer such as a pilsner or a lager. A cool idea with this recipe is to choose your favourite craft beer… or your partner’s fave, to make the recipe more personal and maybe score some well-deserved brownie points!
2. You will need FLAT beer for this recipe. In cold process soap making you CANNOT use beer right out of the bottle as the carbonation can cause the formation of dangerous lye bubbles. To get rid of carbonation, you can boil the beer for about 10 minutes while whisking. Be very cautious when doing this as the beer will increase in volume as it gets hotter, leading to the potential of it boiling over, so using a much larger pot is recommended. As an alternative to boiling, you can also open the beer and leave it uncovered for up to 24 hours until it is completely flat. If you choose to boil the beer, let it come down to room temperature before proceeding.
3. Set up your work station, making sure you have all of the necessary safety tools including goggles, gloves, long sleeves, and paper towel. It is also always good to keep vinegar close by when soaping as it will neutralize lye water if it gets spilled on the skin. For this project, you will also need a couple of large mixing bowls, a few heat resistant measuring cups, two whisks, a thermometer, a mold (for this recipe, we used our Silicone Loaf Mold), and most importantly, your instructions.
4. Before you start measuring out the recipe ingredients, it is time for a quick safety check: you should be wearing long sleeves, as well as goggles, gloves and if you wish a mask. Now that we are safe, we can measure out our recipe ingredients. Place all of the soap oils (Coconut, Palm, Sunflower & Shea Butter) into one of the large mixing bowls, and measure out your flat beer into one of your heat resistant mixing cups. Additionally, now is a great time to prepare your fragrance and colourants, as well as measure out the required amount of lye into separate containers.
5. Now it is time to start mixing your lye/beer solution. ALWAYS add lye to water, (or in this case beer), never the opposite as it could cause a horrible reaction that could cause injury. The lye/beer solution will initially heat up to over 200°F/93.33°C, so remember that you must use a heat resistant container! As well, when using beer in place of water you CANNOT just dump the lye into the beer as this could cause a volcano of caustic lye beer, so please sprinkle the lye in very slowly, less than a teaspoon at a time, being patient and making sure to whisk gently between pours. Try not to breathe in the fumes while you work on this step, or wear a mask if desired. A small word of caution: a strange smell can occur when the beer interacts with the lye that can be quite pungent so make sure you are working in a well-ventilated area. After our lye was fully dissolved in our beer, we popped our measuring cup straight into a cold water bath to cool it down faster, as otherwise we could have been waiting around for quite some time!
6. It’s now time to heat your pre-measured oils. As mentioned, we dropped the soap making temperature to 90°F/32.2°C for this beer soap, so your oils won’t take long to heat – just make sure they’re all liquid and well mixed. Once both components of your lye/beer solution and the oils are right around 90°F/32.2°C, you’re ready to go!
7. Slowly add your lye/beer solution to your oils. A stick blender is not required since this soap will thicken quite quickly, so we found whisking to be sufficient. You will want to continue to whisk until you achieve a light trace. Then, you can add all of the Hefeweizen Beer Fragrance Oil to the batch while continuing to whisk so as to ensure that it is fully incorporated.
8. Next, it’s time to roughly divide your batch in half, so pour approximately 50% of the combined mixture into a clean mixing bowl. Add the Cocoa Brown Clay that has been dissolved in water to the original main batch and the 2 tbsp. of ground hops to the second bowl. You will want to continue to whisk each bowl gently to ensure the clay and hops respectively, are fully incorporated. By now, your soap will be at a medium to medium heavy trace so it’s time to get it into your mold!
9. Now it is time for the pour! Take the cocoa brown portion of the mixture and pour about half an inch into the mold. Then, take turns alternating between the lighter hops colour portion and the darker cocoa brown portion until the mold is full. Zigzagging and alternating your pouring height can create fun and interesting designs in your finished bar of soap! Remember, there is no right or wrong way to achieve your look, so just have fun and experiment, remembering you just want to alternate your colour pours!!
10. Now, you can cover your mold with freezer paper and insulate it with a towel. Wait 24 hours, or longer if the soap loaf seems too soft to unmold. If you are using a silicone mold it is not unusual to need to wait 3 – 5 days before unmolding the soap.
11. Unmold your soap loaf when it is firm enough to avoid damaging it in the process. If you are using a silicone mold, you can test the firmness of the bar if you can gently pull back one of the sides without the soap sticking to the mold. After the soap loaf is out of the mold, you can then use a knife or a stainless-steel cutter to chop your loaf into individual soap bars. How many bars you get will depend on how thick or thin you slice your soap loaf. The soap may still smell like the lye beer for a little while, but we found it went away in a couple of days and we were left with the yummy aroma of Hefeweizen beer!
12. Your soap bars will now need to cure. We recommend curing your soap for a minimum of 4 weeks as this will yield a harder, longer-lasting soap bar.
13. After the soap is cured, it’s time to hop in the shower, suds up, breathe deep, and enjoy!!
HAPPY CRAFTING, from the Voyageur Team!