Bird in Hand Farm

Bird in Hand Farm is an imaginary place.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Honey Wheat Beer Soap

When all was said and done, this was what went into the recipe.  I had the Majestic Mountain Sage Lye Calculator open so I could adapt as I went along, cause I kept running out of ingredients. 

Two bottles FLAT beer - Spaten - Someone brought it over for a picnic a few years ago.

10 oz lye

41 oz olive oil
16 oz lard
9 oz castor oil - used up what was left in the left in the bottle
9.5 oz coconut oil - used up the rest of this one too
Essential oils: Orange, Lemon Grass, and Rosemary - used up the last of these three as well.  Soaping and decluttering...  :)

At trace, add in essential oils , 2/3 c wheat bran, and 3T honey.

You can follow any basic cold process soap making instructions, keeping in mind the following:
1. beer must be flat. A lye volcano could be really, really dangerous.
2. beer soap traces FAST - be ready to add and pour! 
3. honey soap gets HOT: don't insulate, leave space between molds and consider putting molds on racks to prevent the bottom from over heating.

Friday night:  I left the beer out overnight, and the farmer and I made our first attempt at a loaf soap mold.  I like it.

Saturday:  Mixed it all up.  The beer was FLAT and I popped it in the freezer for a bit before I added the lye and it still foamed like mad.  This batch wanted to seize as soon as I poured the lye into the oils.  It started to get that applesauce appearance.  I'm hoping that the wheat bran will give it some scrubby feel.   The loaf mold has hit gel stage.  I'm fussing over it because a batch recently overheated and I'm worried about the honey in the wood mold.  Still has a beer smell.  Hoping that will get better.

Sunday:  I took the ends off the molds.  It is soft.  Really soft.  I was hoping that the lard would harden it up.  I keep fussing with it. It won't come out of the wood mold. I know I need to leave it alone.

Monday morning.  It is sweating and still soft.  The humidity is not helping.  Need to leave it alone.  But, oh it smells good.  The deal with the sweat is not that moisture is coming out of the soap, but rather that the humectants in the soap (glycerin and honey) are drawing moisture out of the air.

Monday night: I pried it out of the mold.  I left finger print marks.  The underside has the beer stench.  Still need to leave it alone before I cut it.  We turned on the AC, so at least it has stopped sweating and is hopefully drying a bit.

Tuesday morning: Better, but still soft.  We opened up the house and it's still humid from overnight so it is starting to sweat again.  This is going to be a very long cure...

Tuesday evening: I could not take it anymore.  I cut it.   I could have waited another week...  For now it will sit on the dining room table.  Soon it will go roost at the top of a bookshelf for a month or two.  Or six...  I'm happy overall.  I got 16 six oz bars and 8 of the dragon bars.  It has that dorky home-made look, but it smells great!

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