Raspberry Ale Soap Project
Raspberry Ale Soap Project
We have plenty of breweries to choose from in our hometown, Bellingham, WA. We teamed up with Kulshan Brewing Company for this Raspberry Ale Soap - their Cherry Gose sour ale is the perfect addition to the recipe.
Beer gives cold process soap great lather. The recipe is also made with natural rose clay and activated charcoal, and scented with new Raspberry Ale Fragrance Oil from the Pacific Northwest Collection.
Working with alternative liquids takes a little extra prep work. In this case, that means boiling and freezing the beer before adding lye. That gets rid of most of the carbonation and alcohol and keeps it cool, which prevents discoloration and an unpleasant smell. Because of this extra prep work, we recommend this recipe for more advanced soap makers.
- Skill Level: Advanced
- Time to Complete: 2 hours
- Kit Yields: About 3 pounds of soap
Raspberry Ale Soap Project
This soap is made with real beer instead of water. It's scented with Raspberry Ale Fragrance Oil and colored with natural rose clay and activated charcoal.
10" Silicone Loaf Mold
38 oz. Gentle Quick Mix
10.9 oz. Prepped Beer (10% water discount)
5.4 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
2.5 tsp. Sodium Lactate
1.75 oz. Raspberry Ale Fragrance Oil
2 tsp. Titanium Dioxide
2 tsp. Rose Clay
1 tsp. Activated Charcoal
BEER PREP: The beer needs to be boiled to remove alcohol and carbonation, otherwise it can react badly with the lye and cause a bubbly volcano effect. For this project, our neighbors at Kulshan Breweing generously donated some of their delicious Cherry Gose. If you prefer a different type, use another light beer - a dark-colored beer will affect the final color of your batch.
We recommend prepping slightly more beer than you need for your recipe to account for the amount that will evaporate as the beer is boiled. In this recipe, we weighed out 16 ounces of beer when we needed 10.9 ounces. Transfer it to a stove top and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow the beer to boil for 15 minutes. Do not leave unattended. Stir occasionally.
After 15 minutes, pour the beer into a heat-safe container and allow it to cool for several hours. Then, pour it into ice cube trays and allow it to fully freeze.
COLOR PREP: Disperse 2 teaspoon of titanium dioxide into 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil or sweet almond oil (or any other liquid oil). In a seperate container, disperse 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal with 1 tablespoon lightweight liquid oil. Finally, disperse 2 teaspoons of rose clay with 2 tablespoons of distilled water.
OPTIONAL: To ensure that the titanium dioxide blends smoothly into the soap, we recommend micronizing it before dispersing it in oil. To micronize the colorant, simply use a coffee grinder to blend it. That breaks up any clumps of color and prevents streaks of white from showing in the final soap. We like to use a coffee grinder that has a removable stainless steel mixing area for easy cleaning.
FRAGRANCE PREP: Measure 1.75 ounces of Raspberry Ale Fragrance Oil into a glass container. Set aside.
SAFETY FIRST: Suit up for safe handling practices. That means goggles, gloves, and long sleeves. Make sure kids, pets, other distractions, and tripping hazards are out of the house or don’t have access to your soaping space. Always soap in a well-ventilated area.
Add 5.4 ounces of lye slowly - a few tablespoons at a time - to 10.9 ounces of frozen beer and stir for several minutes before adding more lye. The slower the lye is added, the lower the temperatures will be. The lye will dissolve slowly, so this process can take some time - just keep stirring. Once all the lye is added and fully dissolved, add 2.5 teaspoons of sodium lactate and stir in. Set aside.
Fully melt the entire bag of Gentle Quick Mix until it’s completely clear. Shake the bag to mix up all the oils. Measure 38 ounces into a large heat-resistant container. When the lye and oils are around 90-100° F, add the lye to the oils and stick blend until thin trace.
Add all of the 1.75 ounces of Raspberry Ale Fragrance Oil. Pulse and stir in using the stick blender.
Split off about 150 mL of soap into a separate container and add 1 teaspoon of dispersed activated charcoal. To the large container of soap, add all of the dispersed titanium dioxide and rose clay. Use a whisk to fully incorporate.
At this point, the soap will be a medium trace. If it's not, stick blend each container to thicken. Add dollops of the black soap to the pink soap and mix once or twice with a large spatula. Continue until all the black soap is swirled into the large container. Be careful to not overmix the soap or the colors will completely blend together.
Pour all of the soap into the mold and tap it on the counter to get rid of bubbles. Use a spoon to create texture toward the center.
Once you're happy with the top, sprinkle poppy seeds down the middle of the soap. Spritz the top with 99% isopropyl alcohol to help prevent soda ash.
Because this soap contains natural sugar from the beer, it may get hot. If you live in a very hot climate, you may want to place the soap in the fridge for several hours. Our space was about 70° F, so we left it uncovered on on the counter. Allow the soap to fully harden in the mold for 2-3 days. Because it's a palm-free recipe, it may take a little longer to harden than usual.
Once it's ready, remove from the mold and cut into bars. Allow the bars to cure for 4-6 weeks. Enjoy!
Photographer: Kelsey Bray, Amanda Kerzman
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