Workshop Notes: Beer Soap
We hope you enjoyed today's
Cold Process Beer Soap workshop!
Your soap block should be removed from the mold within 24-72 hours and then cut it into bars.
You might decide on 8 chunky, 10 regular or 12 slim bars, or a combination of all three. Use a ruler for best results, and as mentioned in the workshop, use a sharp, non-serrated knife. If you have a purpose-built soap cutter, that's great for making smooth, uniform soap bars but you could also use an inexpensive carpenter's mitre-cutter, or just a keen eye!
Set your soap bars aside to cure in a ventilated space for three or four weeks to for best results. This will allow for complete saponification and the evaporation of excess water.
We would love to see your work!
If you enjoyed the workshop, we encourage you to tell friends and family, share your experience and photographs on Starlite Soap Studio’s social media, and tag us!
Please sign up for our other soap, lotion, bath bomb and candle workshops. They are always informative, interactive, and tons of fun!
We recapped the basics of cold process soap making, as discussed in our Beginner's Soap Making Workshop. Every oil lends its own unique qualities to a bar of soap, and will optimize a bar's hardness, conditioning qualities, lather and cleansing qualities.
Each oil has its own saponification factor, which requires a different quantity of sodium hydroxide to properly saponify it into soap. If you use too much sodium hydroxide, you will be left with a block of harsh, skin-irritating soap, if you use too little you could be left with an oily, partly unsaponified soap that is prone to rancidity. Measure carefully for perfect results.
If you decide to adjust your soap recipe, be sure to use a Lye Calculator. Our preferred lye calculator can be found here.
A basic equipment and materials list
Digital weight scale
Fats & Oils for your specific recipe
Hand and eye protection
Heat-resistant mixing bowls or jugs
Whisk and spatula
Essential oils or fragrance oils
Additives (optional exfoliants)
Your choice of beer!
- Don’t get sodium hydroxide into contact with skin
- Keep sodium hydroxide properly labelled, in a child-proof container and location.
- First aid - rinse splashed skin with cold water for 30 seconds. If splashed into eyes or mucus membranes, seek medical advice immediately.
- Look out for spinning blades! You can't use a bar of soap if you don't have fingers.
Beer Soap Notes
You can add all kinds of things to soap bars to make them feel better, look better, smell better, clean better, nourish the skin better or lather better.
You can pumpkins, avocados, charcoal, oatmeal, seaweed, goat milk, all kinds of weird and wonderful things, including alcoholic beverages like champagne, cider, mead, wine and beer.
There are a number of reasons why beer is a great additive:
- Moisturizing: hops contain skin softening amino acids that can soothe irritated and inflamed skin.
- Yeast in beer acts as antibacterial agent, great for combating acne.
- Colour. You can get by without using any other colourants. The beer does the job. Try a lager and a stout in two seperate batches to create a great looking two-tone effect.
- Scent. Don’t worry, your soap will not smell like a bartender’s slop bucket - but if your beer has undertones of chocolate or hops or berries, those scents will lend their subtle qualities to your soap, and might just need a little bit of help from a complementary scent.
- Sugars help give your soap a nice fluffy lather
- Marketing. Anything out of the ordinary, especially if it can lend extra value to your product, will help your product stand out from the crowd.
Making beer soap is pretty much the same process as regular soap.
The difference is that instead of using distilled water in our sodium hydroxide solution, we will be using beer.
If we just poured a beer and then added in our pre-measured sodium hydroxide to it, a few things would happen.
- It could froth up like lava and overflow, making a mess and throwing off our measurements.
- The alcohol could interfere with the saponification process
- The sugars in the beer could burn, causing a real stink.
Making our Beer Soap
We chose 10 - 20ml of essential oil or fragrance oil.
Colour is not essential, because the beer naturally transforms colours our bar, but it's good to add a couple of pinches of colourant to enhance the natural, earthy tones of this type of soap. You be the judge!
3. Sodium hydroxide & beer solution
First up, gloves and goggles!
One of the keys to making a successful batch of beer soap is NOT TO BURN THE SUGARS, HOPS, BARLEY AND YEASTS IN THE BEER! We added our pre-measured sodium hydroxide to our beer cubes 25% at a time, while stirring.
4. Soap Oils
Our palm-free soap recipe included the following oils:
250g Coconut Oil
250g Olive Oil
250g Sunflower Oil
100g Castor Oil
50g Cocoa Butter
We warmed these oils up to about 45 celsius. Combined, our soap making temperature will be about 40 celsius.
5. Mix and pour!
With our sodium hydroxide / goat milk solution at an average temperature of about 40 Celcius, we combined them and mixed until they were well emulsified, then we added our scent and mixed again, to fully disperse.
Then, for those of us doing a two-colour soap effect, we divided our soap batter into two containers, added the colourants to each, and mixed some more, until we reached a light or medium trace level - the consistency of a light pancake batter.
We then did swirls, or sandwich effects, or spoon plops, or other creative two colour effects!
Our beer soap is complete!
- We spritzed our soap with isopropyl alcohol to help prevent SODA ASH
- You should cut your soap into bars after 24-72 hours
- LET CURE FOR AT LEAST THREE TO FOUR WEEKS
If you want to repeat this recipe at home, we sell refill kits for $35 which will make the same amount of beer soap that you are making here, re-using the soap mold that you used in the workshop.
The kit contains powdered beer (who knew there was such a thing?!), but you can replace it with real beer if you wish.
Perhaps you could sneakily replace the beer that you use for soap making with some re-constituted powdered beer and then see what the the owner of the beer says when s/he takes a gulp. It could be very entertaining.
Please share your experience with your friends on social media!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ABOUT STARLITE SOAP STUDIO
What is Starlite Soap Studio?
Starlite is a small creative business dedicated to the teaching and production of products like cold process soaps, lotions & creams, soy and beeswax candles, liquid soap and several other products.
When/where was Starlite Soap Studio founded?
We have been offering workshops since 2010 within The Good Planet Company, a Victoria, BC-based retail store. When we sold the store in 2016, we maintained workshops within Good Planet for a few years, and then moved to our current location in 2023.
Where is Starlite Soap Studio located?
We are located at 622 Courtney St in Victoria, BC, Canada. For more information, click here.
How do I contact Starlite Soap Studio?
We want to hear from you!
- The best way is to use the “contact us” page on this website, or directly by email at hello (at) starlitesoapstudio.com
- We do not have a full-time phone answering employee, but you can text us anytime at 250 883 9414. We will endeavour to respond within a couple of hours.
- There is a “chat with us” bubble on the website which, if not monitored, will alert us to email our response as soon as possible.
Please be patient - we try to respond to all enquiries as quickly as possible, but sometimes if we are elbow-deep in candle wax or soap batter, it might take a while to get back to you. If we are out of town or away from the internet, you will receive an auto-response to your email detailing our return date.
MAKING A BOOKING
How do I make a booking?
All Starlite workshop reservations are made online at starlitesoapstudio.com. This ensures that we have exact numbers and will never experience duplicate bookings or overbookings.
I'm trying to book 4 seats, but the shopping cart keeps reverting to 3 seats
The system is telling you that although you requested four seats, there are only three seats left for booking in that event. Please try another date or event.
Oh no! I booked the wrong date / wrong event!
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the details and we will do all possible to fix the error.
Can I bring a friend for free?
All Starlite reservations are for one person only. We encourage you to bring along friends and family members, but every person in attendance requires a paid reservation.
Can I bring my child?
Starlite’s workshops are adult oriented, and often involve the use of potentially dangerous items such as knives, hot water, hot wax, or sodium hydroxide. In the past, younger children have become bored and/or disruptive which spoils the fun for other participants in the workshop. Our policy guideline states that participants should be at least sixteen years of age, however, we recognize that every child’s level of maturity and attention span will differ. If your child feels comfortable in the presence of other adults and can maintain their attention span for a full two-hour session, then we are more than happy to welcome them as a paid participant with an accompanying paid adult customer.
If you have younger children who are interested in joining a workshop, you might consider booking a private group workshop. While the presence of a paid adult participant will be required for safety reasons, this is a good way to enjoy a family event without fear of upsetting other customers.
Can I have a discount?
We believe that Starlite workshops offer great value - you will leave the workshop with products equal to or greater than the price of the workshop, plus the entertainment value and all of the knowledge required to repeat the process at home. Therefore, we do not discount our workshops. Similar workshops in other cities will regularly sell for in excess of US$100. We believe that our current workshop price offers an unparalleled value and we are sure you will agree!
Can I book a seat for just myself?
Yes! The majority of Starlite’s workshops are for general signup by individuals. If it’s just you, or you and a couple of friends, you can easily sign up online at starlitesapstudio.com under the“BOOK A SEAT”heading.
If you want to book a larger group of people and would like the studio and instructor all to yourself, then please click on the “BOOK A GROUP” heading.
What is a “Private Group Workshop?”
This is a great option if up to ten friends or family members want to get together for a fun morning, afternoon or evening of soap, candle or lotion making. We make it very easy to book, and if you don’t want to pay for everyone, you simply send them the private booking link that we will create, so that they can pay their own way!
Will you do an offsite workshop in my space/office/home?
We do not currently offer "offsite" workshops.
Is there a per-person discount for a private group workshop?
Our private group workshops are priced “per seat.” We are sorry, we do not offer any group discounts. However, having the workshop (and instructor) for yourself and your friends or family is always a ton of fun.
Why do I have to pay tax?
Starlite Soap Studio is a small business located in British Columbia, Canada, and as a result, is obligated to collect and remit taxes to the provincial and federal governments. The current rate of PST is 7% and the current rate of GST is 5%. We do not have the authority to waive taxes.
I have a gift certificate. How do I redeem it?
Each gift certificate may be exchanged for one seat, so all you need to do is browse the available workshops and dates, book the seat you want, enter your personal details, then use the certificate serial number as a coupon code as you check out. Any problems, please email us at email@example.com
I have a “Black Friday” gift certificate. How do I redeem it?
Last year, we sold a small number of “$10 off” gift certificates during the Black Friday discount weekend. This certificate is programmed in the reservation system to be valid for redemption between January 1st and December 31st of the following year. The reservation system will not accept a booking using your certificate code number until after 00:01 on January 1st.
I changed my mind. Can I have a refund?
Click here for our cancellation and refund policy. We do not offer refunds, but we do allow a change of date if you can give us ten days' advance notice.
Can I make a last-minute date change?
This puts us in an awkward situation, since we cannot fill your empty seat, and the workshop will still go ahead without you. It’s a bit like a concert, a play or a recital - with respect to the other attendees, the organizer cannot re-schedule the event to a later date if you do not attend. However,if you can give us ten days' advance notice, we will switch your workshop to another event of your choice or offer you a gift certificate or soap/candle-making kit of your choice.
Can I gift or sell my seat to someone else?
Yes. Please let us know by email before the event if a person other than yourself will be attending
Will you describe a typical workshop?
A typical Starlite Soap Studio workshop consists of four to ten participants, seated around a U-shaped table grouping, with the instructor located in front of a TV monitor.
The workshop begins promptly at the scheduled time with some brief information about the workshop ahead, a quick “getting to know you” exercise, and then straight into the subject matter. We will discuss a little theory, and then choose the specific products needed to make the project at hand. Once we have everything we need to make our unique creation, we put it all together and before we know it, two fun-filled hours have passed and we have our project complete!
What is Starlite’s most popular workshop?
They are all fun, but most people begin with our Beginner Soap Workshop or our Soy Candle Workshop. That being said, you can book any of our workshops with the knowledge that you will be given all the required information and materials to make a great product, you’ll have a ton of fun and you will learn all the knowledge, tips and tricks to repeat the project at home if you choose.
Do you provide any written information?
Every workshop comes with an online PDF handout, communicated to you after the workshop, detailing the formulation and method used for the project at hand, as well as useful tips, tricks and product-sourcing information.
Can I sit down in the workshop?
Yes, every participant has a seat and may remain seated for the entirety of the workshop.
Are your workshops accessible?
We are wheelchair accessible in that there are no steps between the curbside and your Starlite Soap Studio seat, which may be replaced with a wheelchair. Starlite Soap Studio's washroom is fully wheelchair accessible. Please let us know if we can assist in any way.
Do you use essential oils or fragrance oils?
We use both! Essential Oils are derived/distilled from real botanicals, whereas Fragrance Oils are largely synthesized to replicate natural botanicals. Both are safe to use, and each kind of scent has particular applications. Some Starlite workshops use only essential oils, some use only fragrance oils, and many workshops use both.
Can I bring my own essential oils or fragrance oils?
Yes, you can, but we cannot guarantee that your particular product will be compatible with the specific project being created during the workshop. For example, some oils may “seize” soap, or be ineffective in candles.
Do you use lye?
Yes. Lye is a strong alkali and has been used for centuries in the manufacture of soap. Lye can be used as a cleaning agent and is also used in the food industry for the making of lutefisk, olives, cannedoranges, century eggs, pretzels, bagels,moon cakes, ramen noodles and other foods. Lye is the generic name for sodium, potassium and other hydroxides. In Starlite’s soap-making workshops, we use a small quantity of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide combined with distilled water. This is the traditional and best way to make gentle, natural soap. The lye completely transforms in the process of saponifying the oil blend and sodium hydroxide.
Do you use palm oil?
We regularly use RSPO-certified palm oil in soap making. Palm oil comprises 38% of the globe’s total vegetable oil production while using only 10% of the land required to grow soybean, sunflower or rapeseed oil, making it an extremely efficient crop. Humans consume an average of 17 pounds of palm oil per capita, per year. That being said, there are legitimate concerns surrounding palm oil’s impact on deforestation and loss of natural habitat for endangered animals. Greenpeace opposes the use of palm oil biofuels. We provide our customers with a palm-free alternate recipe in our workshop handout, should they prefer to avoid this product.
Does Starlite use paraffin wax?
No. Starlite Soap Studio offers candle workshops using only soy wax or beeswax. Paraffin wax (or petroleum wax) is derived from petroleum, coal and shale gas.The burning of paraffin candlesreleases toxic chemicals such as toluene, a known carcinogen for humans (and their pets!)
PRODUCT & SERVICE ENQUIRIES
Can I offer Starlite workshops in my own town?
We are developing an easy-to-follow program to enable beginner and established entrepreneurs to offer our workshops in their own home town, anywhere in the world. This program includes business basics, material lists, workshop notes & presentations, and lots more. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Does Starlite wholesale its products?
Starlite does not currently wholesale any of its products.
Do you sell soap-making supplies?
Yes, we sell soap making supplies such as colourants, soap oil blend, sodium hydroxide, soap cutters, soap molds, exfoliants, melt-and-pour soap, and more, within our section of The Good Planet Company, as well as at online at StarliteStudioStudio.com under the “shop supplies” section
Do you sell candle-making supplies?
Yes, we sell candle making supplies such as soy wax, beeswax, wicks, colours, scents and more within our section of The Good Planet Company, as well as at online at StarliteStudioStudio.com under the “shop supplies” section
Do you sell bulk supplies? I need 50kg of oil and 20kg of sodium hydroxide
No, we only sell hobbyist-size quantities of soap and candle making supplies.
Do you sell gift certificates?
We sell gift certificates for Starlite Soap Studio workshops online at StarliteStudioStudio.com. The certificates can easily be redeemed online by the recipient for any available workshop seat.
What shipping method does Starlite use?
If you order online and require shipping, we strive to dispatch your order within 24 hours from our base in Victoria, BC to any location in Canada by Canada Post Expedited Mail. We are sorry, we no longer routinely ship to the USA or other international destinations due to the steep increase in shipping rates. If you are located outside of Canada and would like a shipping quote please contact us at email@example.com
Can I buy everything I need through Starlite Soap Studio?
Not EVERYTHING ;-) but pretty much all you need to make some beautiful soap or candles, in hobbyist (not bulk) quantities. You can buy Starlite’s crafting products online at StarliteSoapStudio.com, or if you live close by, you can visit us within The Good Planet Company at 764 Fort St in Victoria, BC, Canada.