Soap Challenge: Week 4

This week’s challenge is going to be fun! We are making soap with alcoholic beverages. The sugars and alcohol create loads of lather, but they also create challenges when you put them in soap! If you’ve never made a soap with alcohol before, I suggest starting with beer. It will still be a challenge – trust me! Besides, beer soaps have great label appeal. I’ve had LOTS of people make comments on my Patchouli Beer Bars at the farmer’s market and other events.

Here are a couple things to expect when you make soap with alcohol:

1. Your lye solution is going to STINK and heat up fast. Be sure to add the lye to completely FLAT beer. I have even started boiling the alcohol out of the beer before cooling it down. And that’s the other thing – make sure the beer is REALLY cold. You might even use an ice bath while pouring in the lye – and pour SLOWLY while stirring. This is a serious safety precaution. If your lye solution heats up too fast, it will bubble up and OUT of the container. Yes, it has happened to me! Fortunately, it was contained to my glass cook-top stove.

2. Your soap is going to SET UP FAST. Use the full liquid amount and cooler temps (80-90°F/27-32°C max) to help slow it down. You will also want to add any (well-behaved) fragrance to the oils before adding the lye solution to make sure they get fully incorporated. There have been times when I didn’t even use a stick blender in my beer soap because it set up so fast. Do NOT expect to add any fancy swirls to your beer or alcohol soap.

I have a photo tutorial on how to make beer soap here, if you’d like to check it out. I’ve changed my methods just a bit since then, but the photos are pretty good.

Wine soaps are also pretty popular, and can be made using the same method as the beer soap. Since I make beer soaps on a regular basis, I decided to try something new for the challenge – and it’s not wine. Check out my video. Seriously, if you are going to try something other than beer or wine, please watch the video:

Wishing you all a very blessed Easter Sunday!! Our church is live streaming their services today at 8am, 9:30am, and 11am CST. If you want to check out some phenomenal music, see a live artist painting on the stage, and find out who Jesus is, click here to view the service. (If you click on the link after the live services are over, you should be able to see the recorded version.) Making soap is one of my favorite things in the world, but it doesn’t even compare to knowing Jesus Christ!!

9 thoughts on “Soap Challenge: Week 4

  1. Another one I’m excited about. I made my first beer soap a few weeks ago and for this I will be using wine! When I made the beer soap, I watched a youtube that said to boil it for about 30 minutes while stirring. I did for about 20 and it was fine. It was reduced from 40 ounces to the perfect amount of 29 ounces. Coincidence? I will give God the glory! I will try the same method with wine, I think. Now to watch your video. Happy Easter!

  2. Amy,

    My sister and I felt bad for you when your soap started tracing fast. You were pretty laid back about it all. What happened to the coffee layer? Did you add it on top?

    Brilliant save with the Kailua and straining out the lye and adding it to your water amount.

    The scent sounds fantastic.

    We watched some of the church service and the music is great. You are quite the soap evangelist :)

    Michelle
    http://www.twobloomsdesignstudio.blogspot.com
    Michelle´s last blog post ..Islands Vegan Soap – Hawaii Vegan Soap – Plumeria Vegan Soap by twobloomsds

  3. Amy,
    I have yet to link up my photos but I have been following and playing along (for the most part) with the these fantastic challenges. I never made milk soap before and you convinced me to bust out the can of powdered goat milk I bought 3 months ago but never had the guts to try…I even went out and bought disposable piping bags (I have a great cake decorating store in my town-always looking for an excuse to go) to make my first cupcake soap, but the week was busy and I didn’t get a chance-but I will, I promise. And I look forward to making my first batch of wine soap! So thank you for the inspiration, I truly appreciate it!
    Mariah

  4. You know those large containers that you buy oils in bulk in? I cut a hole in the top and mix my alcohol/lye mixtures in that. Stir well to make sure there are no clumps. It still “volcanoes”, but they are so tall that it doesn’t bubble over. Pouring is tricky with a stickblender in one hand.

  5. Thank you for the tips Amy. I knew most of them already but you threw in one or two that I wasn’t aware of. :-) I’m hoping to work on my project later this week. I still need to reveal my Week 3 Challenge Soap. ACK! :-)

    FYI – the blackberry lip butter is made of pure awesomeness!
    Holly´s last blog post ..Soap Challenge Week 3 – In The Mold

  6. Hi!

    I must thank you for hosting these challenges, I enjoy them som much and really look forward to the next one every week. This time you really scared me! The quickness of the seizing of the alkohol soap, Oh my!
    I have thought of several ways of “cheating” but I know I will make an alkohol soap in the end *lol*
    /yngla (swedish soaper)

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