Monday, July 04, 2011

Beer Soap

At my mom's house a few weeks ago, she had a bar of "beer soap" in her bathroom. It didn't smell at all like beer. I was intrigued, so I found a beer soap recipe and gave it a try.

Growing up in my family, we were always given sips of wine and beer when we were kids. Don't think of it as child abuse. It was the culture with German and Irish ancestry. Remember, I'm in Wisconsin, after all, where there's a tavern on very corner! In my family, we learned to drink responsibly; and I learned to dislike beer in a hurry. How's that for inoculation against alcoholism?

I'm realizing now that not all beers are created equal. We picked up a single bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale, a nice dark beer in a big bottle. It smelled like beer, but when I tried a sip, it did NOT leave the usual bitter, icky aftertaste. I was pleasantly surprised. There's a whole new world of flavor out there! I might even drink a whole tea cup some day. [Wink!] Most of this bottle is going into the soap, after it goes good and flat.

Notes on amendments I made to the recipe :
1) I substituted Safflower Oil for Sunflower Oil
2) Substituted Wheat Germ Oil for Castor Oil (The saponification factor was comparable.)
3) I did not have the citrus essential oils, so I left them out. I also wanted to know what this soap would smell like WITHOUT any additional scents. With the honey, I'm expecting some carmelization.

At 4 weeks, it still smelled like beer. I was disappointed and ready to give it all up as an experiment gone wrong. Now at 5 weeks, I'm starting to smell some sweetness. It really does take this long for the saponification process to complete.

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