Charcoal Beer Soap Project

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Skill Level: Advanced
Time: 2 hours
Yield: About 3 pounds of soap

Project Description

This cold process soap is made with beer instead of water. It's scented with Oatmeal Stout Fragrance Oil and features a dramatic swirl.

The natural sugar in beer boosts lather in cold process soap, and it's also great from a marketing perspective. This soap is colored with activated charcoal and titanium dioxide to create a dramatic contrasting swirl. Because Oatmeal Stout Fragrance Oil does discolor, it's added to the charcoal portion only. Over time, the discoloration will migrate slightly into the lighter portion - but will still look great! The lather does have a slight color, due to the charcoal and fragrance. 

Working with alternative liquids takes a little extra prep work. In this case, that means boiling the beer to remove the alcohol and letting it sit uncovered for 1-2 days to get rid of carbonation. You can also freeze the beer to prevent further discoloration. Because this soap features a darker color palette, we were not concerned and added the lye directly to the boiled and chilled beer. Because of the extra prep work, we recommend this recipe for more advanced soap makers. 

Additional Information

  • Supplies
  • Instructions
  • Reviews
  • Q&A

Supplies

9 Ingredients
2 Tools
For All 11 Items
If an item is out of stock, it will not be added to your cart.
All 11 Items :
Coconut Oil - 1 lb
Coconut Oil - 1 lb Item#: IB002326
$4.79

$4.79
Coffee Butter - 8 oz
Coffee Butter - 8 oz Item#: IB002418
$15.99

$15.99
Olive Oil - Pure - 1 lb
Olive Oil - Pure - 1 lb Item#: IB002448
$6.49

$6.49
Cocoa Butter Pastilles - 1 lb
Cocoa Butter Pastilles - 1 lb Item#: IB002427
$10.99

$10.99
Sodium Hydroxide Lye
Sodium Hydroxide Lye Item#: IB002149
$11.99

$11.99
Sodium Lactate - 4 oz
Sodium Lactate - 4 oz Item#: IB002096
$2.00

$2.00
Oatmeal Stout Fragrance Oil - 2 oz
Oatmeal Stout Fragrance Oil - 2 oz Item#: IB001628
$7.83

$7.83
Titanium Dioxide Pigment - 1 oz
Titanium Dioxide Pigment - 1 oz Item#: IB002531
$3.00

$3.00
Activated Charcoal - 1 oz
Activated Charcoal - 1 oz Item#: IB002023
$3.29

$3.29
9 Bar Unfinished Birchwood Mold
9 Bar Unfinished Birchwood Mold Item#: IB000003
$79.99

$79.99
Silicone Liner for 9 Bar Mold
Silicone Liner for 9 Bar Mold Item#: IB002809
$19.99
Get 5 or More and Save 10%!

$19.99

Instructions

Charcoal Beer Soap Project

  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: About 3 pounds of soap

The natural sugar in beer boosts lather in cold process soap, and it's also great from a marketing perspective. This soap is colored with activated charcoal and titanium dioxide to create a dramatic contrasting swirl. Because Oatmeal Stout Fragrance Oil does discolor, it's added to the charcoal portion only. Over time, the discoloration will migrate slightly into the lighter portion - but will still look great! The lather does have a slight color, due to the charcoal and fragrance. 

Working with alternative liquids takes a little extra prep work. In this case, that means boiling the beer to remove the alcohol and letting it sit uncovered for 1-2 days to get rid of carbonation. You can also freeze the beer to prevent further discoloration. Because this soap features a darker color palette, we were not concerned and added the lye directly to the boiled and chilled beer. Because of the extra prep work, we recommend this recipe for more advanced soap makers. 

You will need:

  • 9 Bar Birchwood Mold
  • Silicone Liner for 9 Bar Mold
  • 23.4 oz. Olive Oil (65%)
  • 1.8 oz. Cocoa Butter (5%)
  • 9 oz. Coconut Oil (25%)
  • 1.8 oz. Coffee Butter (5%)
  • 5 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
  • 11.3 oz. Beer (boiled and cooled)
  • 2 tsp. Sodium Lactate
  • 1.5 oz. Oatmeal Stout Fragrance Oil
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Activated Charcoal

Follow these steps:

1

Slowly and carefully add 5 ounces of lye to 11.3 ounces of beer and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved. Set aside to cool. Add 2 teaspoons of sodium lactate and stir throughly.

2

Melt and combine 1.8 ounces of cocoa butter, 1.8 ounces of coffee butter, 9 ounces of coconut oil, and 23.4 ounces of olive oil. Once the oils and beer have cooled to 100-110° F, add the lye solution to the oils and whisk together to combine. Use the stick blender to pulse the soap and bring to a very light trace.

3

Split off 400 mL into a separate container and add all the dispersed titanium dioxide. Whisk thoroughly.

4

To the remaining soap, add all the dispersed activated charcoal and 1.5 ounces of Oatmeal Stout Fragrance Oil. Whisk thoroughly. 

5

Pulse the white soap with the stick blender quickly - be careful to not over-mix. Then pulse the black soap with the stick blender quickly. You're looking for a light to medium trace.

6

Pour about 90% of the black soap into the mold. Pour about 70% of the white soap into the mold back and forth. Hold the container higher up so the white soap breaks through the black soap.

7

Continue to pour the white, taking care to pour thinner lines of soap that lay on top of the black. Try to differentiate the colors to make a more distinct pattern when you swirl. Use the remaining black soap to pour thin lines as well. Note: If the soap gets too thick to pour, use a spoon to drizzle it in the mold. 



8

Tap the mold firmly on the counter to settle the soap. Insert a chopstick or dowel into the very top of the soap and drag the tool so that it crosses the lines you created. Continue to swirl until you're happy with the look.

9

Insert the dividers into the soap until they reach the bottom of the mold in every section. Note: If you prefer to cut your bars, you can skip this step.

10

Spritz the top of the soap with 99% isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash. Cover the mold and place on a heating pad for 1-2 hours to promote gel phase. That helps the bars release from the dividers faster and more easily.

11

Allow the soap to stay in the mold for at least 3 days. Because this is a soft recipe and the soap was poured at a thin trace, it may take a little longer to unmold. 

After 3 days, check to see if the silicone liner pulls away easily. If it does, remove the soap. If not, give it another day or 2 to harden. Gently remove the soap from the dividers. To prevent tearing, do not pull the dividers. Push the soap down, or slide the dividers up or down to remove the bars without tearing. Allow the soap to cure for 4-6 weeks, and enjoy!

Tutorial credits

Photographer: Amanda Kerzman

Charcoal Beer Soap Project

  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: About 3 pounds of soap

The natural sugar in beer boosts lather in cold process soap, and it's also great from a marketing perspective. This soap is colored with activated charcoal and titanium dioxide to create a dramatic contrasting swirl. Because Oatmeal Stout Fragrance Oil does discolor, it's added to the charcoal portion only. Over time, the discoloration will migrate slightly into the lighter portion - but will still look great! The lather does have a slight color, due to the charcoal and fragrance. 

Working with alternative liquids takes a little extra prep work. In this case, that means boiling the beer to remove the alcohol and letting it sit uncovered for 1-2 days to get rid of carbonation. You can also freeze the beer to prevent further discoloration. Because this soap features a darker color palette, we were not concerned and added the lye directly to the boiled and chilled beer. Because of the extra prep work, we recommend this recipe for more advanced soap makers. 

You will need:

  • 9 Bar Birchwood Mold
  • Silicone Liner for 9 Bar Mold
  • 23.4 oz. Olive Oil (65%)
  • 1.8 oz. Cocoa Butter (5%)
  • 9 oz. Coconut Oil (25%)
  • 1.8 oz. Coffee Butter (5%)
  • 5 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
  • 11.3 oz. Beer (boiled and cooled)
  • 2 tsp. Sodium Lactate
  • 1.5 oz. Oatmeal Stout Fragrance Oil
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Activated Charcoal

Follow these steps:

1

Slowly and carefully add 5 ounces of lye to 11.3 ounces of beer and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved. Set aside to cool. Add 2 teaspoons of sodium lactate and stir throughly.

2

Melt and combine 1.8 ounces of cocoa butter, 1.8 ounces of coffee butter, 9 ounces of coconut oil, and 23.4 ounces of olive oil. Once the oils and beer have cooled to 100-110° F, add the lye solution to the oils and whisk together to combine. Use the stick blender to pulse the soap and bring to a very light trace.

3

Split off 400 mL into a separate container and add all the dispersed titanium dioxide. Whisk thoroughly.

4

To the remaining soap, add all the dispersed activated charcoal and 1.5 ounces of Oatmeal Stout Fragrance Oil. Whisk thoroughly. 

5

Pulse the white soap with the stick blender quickly - be careful to not over-mix. Then pulse the black soap with the stick blender quickly. You're looking for a light to medium trace.

6

Pour about 90% of the black soap into the mold. Pour about 70% of the white soap into the mold back and forth. Hold the container higher up so the white soap breaks through the black soap.

7

Continue to pour the white, taking care to pour thinner lines of soap that lay on top of the black. Try to differentiate the colors to make a more distinct pattern when you swirl. Use the remaining black soap to pour thin lines as well. Note: If the soap gets too thick to pour, use a spoon to drizzle it in the mold. 



8

Tap the mold firmly on the counter to settle the soap. Insert a chopstick or dowel into the very top of the soap and drag the tool so that it crosses the lines you created. Continue to swirl until you're happy with the look.

9

Insert the dividers into the soap until they reach the bottom of the mold in every section. Note: If you prefer to cut your bars, you can skip this step.

10

Spritz the top of the soap with 99% isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash. Cover the mold and place on a heating pad for 1-2 hours to promote gel phase. That helps the bars release from the dividers faster and more easily.

11

Allow the soap to stay in the mold for at least 3 days. Because this is a soft recipe and the soap was poured at a thin trace, it may take a little longer to unmold. 

After 3 days, check to see if the silicone liner pulls away easily. If it does, remove the soap. If not, give it another day or 2 to harden. Gently remove the soap from the dividers. To prevent tearing, do not pull the dividers. Push the soap down, or slide the dividers up or down to remove the bars without tearing. Allow the soap to cure for 4-6 weeks, and enjoy!

Tutorial credits

Photographer: Amanda Kerzman

You will need:

  • 9 Bar Birchwood Mold
  • Silicone Liner for 9 Bar Mold
  • 23.4 oz. Olive Oil (65%)
  • 1.8 oz. Cocoa Butter (5%)
  • 9 oz. Coconut Oil (25%)
  • 1.8 oz. Coffee Butter (5%)
  • 5 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
  • 11.3 oz. Beer (boiled and cooled)
  • 2 tsp. Sodium Lactate
  • 1.5 oz. Oatmeal Stout Fragrance Oil
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Activated Charcoal

Follow these steps:

1

Slowly and carefully add 5 ounces of lye to 11.3 ounces of beer and gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved. Set aside to cool. Add 2 teaspoons of sodium lactate and stir throughly.

2

Melt and combine 1.8 ounces of cocoa butter, 1.8 ounces of coffee butter, 9 ounces of coconut oil, and 23.4 ounces of olive oil. Once the oils and beer have cooled to 100-110° F, add the lye solution to the oils and whisk together to combine. Use the stick blender to pulse the soap and bring to a very light trace.

3

Split off 400 mL into a separate container and add all the dispersed titanium dioxide. Whisk thoroughly.

4

To the remaining soap, add all the dispersed activated charcoal and 1.5 ounces of Oatmeal Stout Fragrance Oil. Whisk thoroughly. 

5

Pulse the white soap with the stick blender quickly - be careful to not over-mix. Then pulse the black soap with the stick blender quickly. You're looking for a light to medium trace.

6

Pour about 90% of the black soap into the mold. Pour about 70% of the white soap into the mold back and forth. Hold the container higher up so the white soap breaks through the black soap.

7

Continue to pour the white, taking care to pour thinner lines of soap that lay on top of the black. Try to differentiate the colors to make a more distinct pattern when you swirl. Use the remaining black soap to pour thin lines as well. Note: If the soap gets too thick to pour, use a spoon to drizzle it in the mold. 



8

Tap the mold firmly on the counter to settle the soap. Insert a chopstick or dowel into the very top of the soap and drag the tool so that it crosses the lines you created. Continue to swirl until you're happy with the look.

9

Insert the dividers into the soap until they reach the bottom of the mold in every section. Note: If you prefer to cut your bars, you can skip this step.

10

Spritz the top of the soap with 99% isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash. Cover the mold and place on a heating pad for 1-2 hours to promote gel phase. That helps the bars release from the dividers faster and more easily.

11

Allow the soap to stay in the mold for at least 3 days. Because this is a soft recipe and the soap was poured at a thin trace, it may take a little longer to unmold. 

After 3 days, check to see if the silicone liner pulls away easily. If it does, remove the soap. If not, give it another day or 2 to harden. Gently remove the soap from the dividers. To prevent tearing, do not pull the dividers. Push the soap down, or slide the dividers up or down to remove the bars without tearing. Allow the soap to cure for 4-6 weeks, and enjoy!

Tutorial credits

Photographer: Amanda Kerzman

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