My beer soap didn't set!

by Rahel

I followed the directions for making beer soap with a locally-produced pale ale. I let the ale go totally flat and combined ingredients as I normally do. But the soap never set up! The mixture remained a liquid no matter how long I mixed it with the stick blender. After more than an hour on the stove, it hadn't reached anything resembling trace.


What did I do wrong, and how can I make beer soap successfully in the future?

And how do I dispose of the mixture that didn't turn into soap?

Thank you!

Answer:

If the soap never reached a trace you probably have a measuring error somewhere. Too much liquid or not enough lye would be my guess. Run the recipe you used through a lye calculator to make sure it is correct as well.

Another possibility could be that your recipe contains a very low amount of saturated oils (coconut, palm, shea, lard, etc) and this can result in much longer trace times. Over an hour is not unusual for an all olive oil batch of soap.

As for disposing of the ruined soap batch, if the liquid does not set up and remains caustic, I would contact your local municipality to see what the guidelines are for disposal. If the liquid does set up somewhat and isn't caustic after a week or two, you should be able to dispose of it in the garbage as normal.

Cathy

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Beer Soap
by: Anonymous

I liked Cathy's closeing sentiment, ..."into the garbage as usual." I'm sure she didn't mean it like that, but it was humorous nevertheless.

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