Thursday, April 19, 2012

Soap Challenge Week #4 ~ Making Soap Using Alcohol

This is a completely new one for me. I've never made soap using alcohol.  Alcohol is reputed to be difficult to work with.  I've heard horror stories of foaming volcanoes when people add their lye to their alcohol.  I did learn after watching Amy's video and checking out several other sites online that I was better off starting with something with a lower alcohol content like beer or wine.  Since I didn't seem to have any wine on hand (Huh...that's strange.  Where did it go?), and since I had an idea forming in my head, I decided to go with beer. Beer is supposed to contribute an awesome lather to soap, and the hops in the beer are reputed to nourish the skin.  That sounded like it was worth giving a try!  I utilized some Yuengling Black & Tan for my liquid, and got started.  A few things were suggested to help diminish the potential for lye volcanoes.  First off, it was necessary to boil the beer to flatten it.  Second, adding the lye to the alcohol while it was sitting in an ice bath to keep the temperature down was also suggested.  

My vision was to make a masculine black and tan bar, lightly scented with Bramble Berry's black tea fragrance oil blended with carrot seed essential oil.  Bentonite clay was added to the entire batch for slip, and half of the soap batch was then blended with activated charcoal, for color, and because it is great for the complexion.  After all, even a manly soap should be loaded with nourishing goodies!  I used a divider to pour half black and half tan, allowing the soap to push back and forth slightly for variation, and then lightly swirled the halves together.  Overall, I'm pleased with it.  It smells heavenly!  I hope you enjoy it as well.
The liquid portion.  In all honesty, when I had finished lightly boiling the beer, quite a bit had evaporated.  Not willing to contribute another full bottle of beer for a measly two ounces of liquid, I added cold coffee for the remainder. 
Boiling beer.  
No more bubbles
Divided Mold
Beer sitting in ice water bath
Vinegar handy to neutralize the lye....just in case
Lye added to beer/coffee blend.  No problems so far!
Tan portion at trace  PERFECT!
Black portion at trace PERFECT!
Divider removed
Out of the mold the next morning
First cut
All cut, and looks and smells better than expected

Yuengling Black & Tan Soap ~ light masculine black tea fragrance


Amy W said...

How cool is that??? I love the way you took the black and tan to create your design!! Great job on a successful beer soap!

lwal50 said...

That's really nice, I love the black and tan colour of your soap, x Linda

LongLeafSoaps said...

Very nice divided color!

Natalia said...

What a lovely soap!

lwal50 said...

Thank you, Natalia. x Linda

koinonia community said...

Thanks! I had fun with it.