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Making Soap with Beer

Oct
7

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Since I’ve been making, and selling, soap with beer, I’ve had people ask me how do you do that? It’s definitely a special process from a usual soap, and it’s not a last-minute project. You gotta plan ahead if you want to make beer soap. Gotta have flat beer.

I start with a 12 ounce bottle of beer, pour it into a small saucepan, and bring it to a boil. Then I simmer it for about three minutes. After that, I pour the beer into an open container and place it in the refrigerator for at least one day (uncovered) until using. This process is all about first burning off the alcohol in the simmering, then releasing the carbonation by leaving it sitting in an open container for at least 24 hours. (The reason I place the open container in the refrigerator is because of those little bugs that love yeasty things! We don’t want beer-bug soap, just beer soap!) Releasing the alcohol and carbonation makes the subsequent combination with lye a safe thing to do. You don’t want to mix an alcoholic carbonated liquid with lye.

Of course, you lose some of the beer to the simmering and the evaporation, so don’t expect to have 12 ounces of beer when you’re done. Depending on your recipe, you’ll have to add some amount of water back to add up to the required amount of liquid. You’ll lose about 30-40% of the beer. OR you could use a beer and a half (and drink the other half, if you like beer). OR you could do what I do, which is rather than adding water, I add goat’s milk to make a combination beer and goat’s milk soap.

Will the soap end up smelling like beer? Not really, but they sell ale-scented fragrance oils, so you could try that. I think beer goes great with citrus, so I use orange and patchouli essential oils in mine.

Why use beer in soap at all? Beer adds lather and conditioning to soap.

By the way, you can use this same simmer-evaporation process to make soaps using other types of alcohol, such as wine. Though I think this is a misuse of wine personally. (Ha ha.)

If you want to learn how in person, I have two upcoming all-day soapmaking workshops, November 19 and December 10. (The November 19 date is nearly filled, but I have a number of openings for December 10.) We’ll be making both hot and cold process soaps, including goat’s milk, beer, green tea, and liquid soap, plus homemade aloe vera body lotion, and you’ll learn how to use a soap calculator to create your own recipes. You can find out more about the soapmaking workshops here.

Or, visit my Soap Store if you just want to buy some!

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Hand-Crafted Goat’s Milk Soaps

Sep
26

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All products are natural and preservative-free.

Bar SoapsFresh & Creamy
Goat’s milk soaps from Sassafras Farm are made with fresh raw goat milk from our own herd, with all the milk’s benefits of natural, nourishing vitamins, proteins, and alpha hydroxy acids. My soaps are hand-crafted the old-fashioned way, in small batches, using as many organic, locally-sourced, and home-grown ingredients as possible. These are simple, rustic, hand-cut bars, developed from my years of soap-making and soap-teaching experience, that will leave your skin feeling soft and moisturized. Every soap is made with 100% goat’s milk from the farm (no water added) except the beer soap, which is made with a combination of beer and goat’s milk. In addition, all soaps are formulated with the following fats and oils: Cocoa butter, lard, olive oil, coconut oil, and shea butter. Extra large bars, approximately 5 ounces. Find available soaps and other products below along with ordering details, and for more information, see the Questions section at the bottom of this page.

Note: Plain, fragrance-free goat’s milk soap is available on request.

lavenderoatmeal1Goat’s Milk Lavender & Oatmeal Soap. Made with dried lavender, lavender essential oil, and ground oatmeal for soothing qualities.


coffeepeppGoat’s Milk Peppermint & Coffee Soap. Made with coffee grounds for gentle conditioning, with peppermint essential oil.


beer1Beer Me Babe Goat’s Milk Soap. This is the only one of my soaps that is not made with 100% goat’s milk. It’s made with 60% beer for the sugars and carbs that make added lather, and 40% goat’s milk, with dried orange peel and orange and patchouli essential oils.


lemongrasshoneyGoat’s Milk Lemongrass & Honey Soap. Made with dried lemon peel and the natural healing properties of local raw honey with refreshing lemongrass essential oil.


sugarspiceGoat’s Milk Burnt Sugar & Spice Soap. A burnt sugar fragrance oil blended with orange essential oil scents this soap straight out of the farmhouse kitchen–sugar and spices and fruit.


rosemaryGoat’s Milk Forever Rosemary Soap. Made with dried rosemary from our own gardens and the clean, invigorating scent of rosemary essential oil.


brownsugaroatsGoat’s Milk Brown Sugar & Oats Soap. Smells like the inside of a cookie, sweetened with real brown sugar and a spiced brown sugar fragrance oil blended with the warmth of cedarwood essential oil. Light conditioning with finely ground oats.


sampler4Goat’s Milk Soap Sampler Pack. Enjoy every goat’s milk bar soap variety made at Sassafras Farm! The Soap Sampler Pack includes seven handmade bars, one each of Beer Me Babe, Burnt Sugar & Spice, Lavender & Oatmeal, Lemongrass & Honey, Brown Sugar & Oats, Forever Rosemary, and Peppermint & Coffee. Save 50 cents per bar off the regular individual bar price when buying the sampler pack.

soapcubesGoat’s Milk Soap CubesPerfect for travel or guest bath
Mini blocks of creamy goat’s milk soaps, convenient for use on trips or to create an inviting, country-style display for guests in your home. Soap cubes come in Lavender & Oatmeal, Peppermint & Coffee, Beer Me Babe, Lemongrass & Honey, Forever Rosemary, Burnt Sugar & Spice, or Brown Sugar & Oats. Six cubes per package.

lotion1Aloe Vera LotionLight & Nourishing
My homemade lotion is moisturizing and safe for both face and body. 4 ounce jars. Fragrance free. Made with olive oil, water, glycerin, and aloe vera. Can be shipped with soap orders.


bodybutter1Vitamin E Body ButterRich & Luxurious
My body butter is decadently crafted with cocoa butter, shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and Vitamin E. 4 ounce jars. Fragrance free. Can be shipped with soap orders.

Prices
$7 per soap bar (1 bar)
$45.50 per Goat’s Milk Soap Sampler Pack (7 bars)
$7 per package soap cubes (6 cubes)
$4 per aloe vera lotion (1 jar)
$9 per body butter (1 jar)

Shipping: Soap and/or soap cube packages can be shipped in padded envelopes by USPS first class mail. For example, I can ship a couple of bars of soap or soap cube packages for about $3 by first class mail. (Body lotions and butters must be shipped by USPS priority mail medium size box ($13.45) and can be combined with soap orders.)

For priority mail (two-day mail) I can ship up to six bars of soap and/or soap cubes for $6.45. If ordering a larger number of soaps or combination items of soap, lotion, and/or body butter, contact me for a shipping quote based on your order. In most cases, the shipping price for larger or combination orders including body butters and lotions will be $13.45 (medium size priority mail box). Stock up and combine items for your best shipping deal! You can also combine items with an order from my Fudge Shop.

One free soap sample comes with each order.

When you contact me with your order, let me know if you want to ship by first class mail or priority mail and I will get back to you with a shipping price specific to your order along with your payment information.

Shipping prices listed are for continental U.S. only. For Canada and other locations, contact me for a shipping quote.

Gift Orders: Soap makes a great gift! If your order is a gift, I can ship your items directly to your recipient with a handwritten note letting them know it is a gift from you. Just let me know when you order.

Contact Suzanne at sassafrasfarmcontact@gmail.com to place your order!

Payment may be made by check or PayPal. If you wish to use PayPal, please contact me first for my PayPal address and additional information.

Or if you prefer, you can order through my Etsy shop here.

Valentina’s happy face.
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Questions

Q: Does the milk really come from your own goats?
A: Yes. I milk my Alpine and Lamancha dairy goats every day. You can see me milking my goats here, with video!

Q: Why do hand-crafted beauty products cost so much?
A: Ingredients, man. What we think is soap at the store often isn’t even soap. It’s a synthetic detergent from a manufacturing plant. Real soap is made with lye (sodium hydroxide) and real ingredients, natural and nourishing. And those ingredients don’t come cheap. For example, each bar of hand-crafted Sassafras Farm soap costs over $3 just in ingredients. Add in my time and labor–hours per batch of soap and years of experience developing knowledge–and I think $7 per bar is a fair price for a soap including natural cocoa butter, shea butter, and only premium grade essential oils along with all the other ingredients, in extra-thick cut bars. (If you’re getting hand-crafted soap cheaper, the ingredients are cheaper and the bar is smaller.) It’s a similar equation for the lotion and body butter. My prices are as low as I can go and still justify doing it for love. Regarding shipping, prices are what the post office charges, I can’t help that.

Q: Do you make any vegetarian/vegan soaps?
A: I regularly use lard in all of my soaps. Lard is a hardening agent, and is an historic ingredient in soap for that reason. Non-animal fat hardening agents in soap (such as palm oil) come from non-sustainable practices that are harmful to the environment. Lard comes from pigs that are going to be butchered anyway. They aren’t butchered for soap. The lard is a by-product. Plus, bacon is delicious. I love pigs! See my pigs here.

Q: How should I take care of my soap, lotion, or body butter after it arrives?
A: If your order includes soap, please know that the plastic bag used to enclose your soap is for shipping only. Please remove your soap from its bag on arrival. Soap should always be exposed to air as it needs to breathe. If your order includes homemade lotion or body butter, please remember that these are preservative-free products. You may keep your lotion or body butter at a room temperature of 68-70 degrees for two months. If you will use it more slowly than that, or if you purchased extra lotions or butters, please keep refrigerated until ready to use. Refrigerated lotion or body butter will keep for six months or more.
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Q: I want to make my own soap. How can I learn how?
A: Come to a workshop at Sassafras Farm! See all the workshops coming up here.

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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