One of the most interesting soaps I ever created when I was making and selling soap commercially was a soap called "Citrus Honey Bock."
Here in Texas, we have a beer called Shiner Bock. It's made in Shiner, Texas and has the characteristic rich, amber color of most bock beers. I'm not sure just what inspired me to make soap with beer...but I did...and combined it with honey and a great, fresh, citrus essential oil blend. Here's the recipe for you to try. The warm color comes partly from the beer, and partly from the honey. The extra sugar in the beer and honey adds to the lather as well. A rich, warm, bubbly soap!
Use my combination of oils below, or feel free to create your own soap recipe.
- 6.8 oz. palm oil
- 10.2 oz. coconut oil
- 1.7 oz cocoa butter
- 10.2 oz. olive oil
- 1.7 oz. castor oil
- 3.4 oz. sunflower oil
- 4.9 oz. lye
- 11.3 oz. of very very very very flat room temperature amber or dark beer
- 2 generous tbs. of honey
- .4 oz. orange essential oil
- .4 oz. litsea cubea (or lemon) essential oil
- .4 oz. grapefruit essential oil
- .4 oz. lime essential oil
This recipe makes about 3 lbs. of soap and is formulated using a 5% superfat or lye discount. You can use any combination of citrus essential oils you like or have on hand. The litsea cubea essential oil helps to anchor the citrus essential oils into the soap. (Citrus essential oils have a reputation for fading quickly.) I've also made this recipe using a lavender-orange combination, which was just as delightful.
- Take out a bottle of beer, open it and pour it into a large pitcher. Stir it vigorously to make it bubble and foam. Put a lid on it and let it sit at room temperature on the counter for several days, stirring it once or twice a day to help it go flat quicker. Wait until the beer is completely flat to proceed.
- Using your completely flat beer, and following the instructions in making soap with liquids other than water, make your lye solution, adding the lye to the beer very slowly. Again, I can't stress enough that the beer be completely flat before you make your lye solution and that you work slowly. If it's not, and you don't, you'll get a lye-beer volcano erupting out of your pitcher and onto the counter and floor. (Yes...I confess...I learned this lesson the hard way!)
- Measure out all of your oils, essential oils and colorants (if you're using colorants, though I usually don't.)
- Make your soap batch as you normally would, following basic soap making instructions.
- At trace, add in the essential oils and the honey.
- Stir well. Add your colorants/swirl, if desired.
- Pour into the mold of your choice. Let it saponify overnight. Slice it when it's firm enough to slice.
- Let it cure for 3 to 4 weeks.
- Enjoy your Citrus Honey Bock soap! You'll enjoy your soap almost as much as telling people that you made homemade soap with beer in it!