A Recipe for Citrus Honey Scotch Ale Soap

Fun fact about homemade soap: because of the “superfatting” (a small % of excess oils), homemade soaps are so much more moisturizing than typical store-bought soaps that you may never need to use a hand moisturizer again. I’m speaking from experience here. When the weather gets colder and flu season is in full swing, I become a compulsive hand washer. I’ve always been a little nuts about it, and though it has successfully prevented me from getting the flu, it’s also caused my hands to crack, peel, and take on practically every other form of hand discomfort – until I switched to homemade soap. Hand washing used to be a 3 step routine – wash, dry, moisturize. Now it’s wash, dry, point at my hand moisturizer and laugh mockingly. I can say the same for hubby, who rides a motorcycle to work even in extremely cold weather, causing his hands to be even MORE crack-worthy. He hasn’t needed hand moisturizer at all since we’ve started using our own soaps!

Speaking of men and soaps… did you know you can make soap with beer? When we had our soap party a week ago, we split into 2 soap-making teams. The ladies concocted the Cafe Soap made with real coffee and real coffee grounds (recipe here), and the guys created a Citrus Honey Scotch Ale Soap, made with a dark ale and ground malted barley as an exfoliant. You heard me right! Now I know what you’re thinking – kinda cool but why would anyone want to smell like beer? Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, but honestly the soaps smell more like an extremely rich caramel with a hint of citrus and honey. The guys absolutely LOVED the scent and these are going to make perfect gifts for the men (or beer enthusiasts) in your life.

For a detailed tutorial on Cold Process Soap Making, click here! This tutorial will give you all the information you need to complete any of the soap recipes we post.

Citrus Honey Scotch Ale Soap Recipe
Makes an 84 oz. batch, yielding twenty 4.2 oz. bars if cut from a loaf mold

Base Oils
– if you can’t find some of these oils locally, check the fixed oils section of TheSage.com
21 oz. olive oil
5 oz. macadamia nut oil
10 oz. jojoba oil (you can substitute apricot kernel oil for jojoba oil if you need a cheaper alternative)
3 oz. castor oil
12 oz. coconut
9 oz. palm kernel oil

Lye Solution
19 oz. dark beer – very very flat at room temperature. I suggest pouring your beer into a large bowl and letting it sit for a day or 2. When you mix the lye in with the beer, if there’s any carbonation, it will bubble up and overflow like a volcano experiment. Because there’s a chance of this happening even if you do air out your beer, definitely place your mixing pitcher inside a larger bowl (or the sink) so that any potential spillage will have a safe place to go.
8 oz. lye

Essential Oils
3/4 oz grapefruit
3/4 oz lemon
3/4 oz orange

3 generous tbsp honey – to add at trace, right after your Essential Oils.

2 tbsp ground malted barley

What are some unlikely scents/ingredients you would like to see in a bar of soap? We just may create a recipe for them!

Remember to let your soaps cure for 4-6 weeks before using or gifting!

10 responses

  1. Which Scotch Ale did you use? There are a number of varieties out there, some that are fairly light with brown-sugary notes (like Samuel Adams Scotch Ale or Traquair House) and some that are very thick, with smoked malts (like Orkney Skullsplitter or Magic Hat’s Jinx). Perhaps an experiment with a nice smoked-malt Ale may add an extra dimension to the next batch?

  2. Hi it’s Wanda again. This is the one I want to try and HP. If you read my other post on this site. Could I sub Ginger beer. I want to make some ginger soap and this would satisfy my need to make both the Ale and Ginger soap and see if I like and can gift and sell a few bars. Thank you in advance for your reply.

    • You can substitute pretty much any liquid you want, but the scents will definitely vary (and some may not turn out as delicious as you originally planned). It’s all about experimenting! Whatever you do, make sure any carbonated liquids are completely flat before combining with lye! 🙂

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