Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Freshly Cut Grass Beer Soap

Imagine this:  It's a hot day (which it has been in Oakland, surprisingly!)  You've just mowed the lawn, and all that quenches your thirst in a nice cold beer... along the lines of a PBR!

Inspired by this vision, I have created the Cut Grass Bar!  Made with a PBR (not my hubbies home brew this time!), and fragranced with Freshly Cut Grass.

Though winter is approaching.. this bar will remind you of the summer.  So why not have a little summertime in your winter?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November 5th Giveaway: And the winner is...

We are very tech-savy when it comes to giveaways.  Everytime our Facebook or Pinterest page is shared or liked, your name is written on a piece of paper and thrown into a bowl.  The more you share and like, the more your name appears in the bowl and the more chances you have of winning. Congratulations to Kat Barber for winning the 3 Pack Sampler!  And thank you all for supporting and promoting Handbrewed Soaps!!!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jack of All Trades Oakland Market Nov. 9th

I am so excited to participate in this wonderful event!  Please stop by my booth and say HI!  You can sample some soap too!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Giveaway: 3 Pack Sampler of Beer Soap!

October is the month to celebrate harvest and BEER!  What better way to celebrate October than a BEER SOAP giveaway?!  To win, simply promote Handbrewed Soaps by doing one (or more) of the following things: 

1)  Pin/Share Handbrewed Soaps Giveaway and leave a comment that you did!
2) Follow HandbrewedSoaps on Facebook – Make a comment you did.
3) Follow Handbrewed Soaps on Pinterest, and pin this contest to your Pinterest board!
4) Follow Handbrewed Soaps on Blogger.  Make a comment you did.

The more you share, the more you increase your chances of winning!!... SO, share away and Good Luck!
Just remember to spread the word about Handbrewedsoaps.com and via Facebook (which is the easiest, invite your friends to win) or if you are on Pinterest Share HandbrewedSoaps Pins with the website on it. (I get an email when you repin which will enter you in the contest!)  The giveaway will end on 11/5/13 at 7 pm PST.   Open to US residents 18+ older.

Thanks to www.thefarmerette.com for such a great idea!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Reflections on my First Festival

Well, I did it.  A check off the old bucket list!  And I have to say, I'm coming back for more. I participated in my first festival... Oakland's 'Oak'toberfest in the Dimond.  Despite the early morning wind and the scramble to find tie-downs..., it was a successful day.  I was directly across from homebrew alley, were local homebrewers were giving out tastings of there brew.  This proved to be a great location, because two of my soaps, the Dunkelweizen and Hefeweizen, were being poured at the Brewmaster booth.  After the beer soap was purchased, I could direct people to taste the same brews used in my beer!  The best part of the day was meeting so many wonderful people!  And to top it off, the A's won game 2  !!!! So proud to be an Oaklander!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Labels! What do you think?

Fresh off the rack... Hefeweizen and Stout Bathtub Beer !  

 This is my first go at a cigar band with my logo.  I'm still undecided if the band should be vellum.  In these pics, I'm using card stock. When placed on my Stout Soap, I think the label is to stark. I would love to hear what you think.  What do think is the best for soap labels? 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Ale Soap

Despite the fact that we don't have a seasonal fall, here in Oakland, I have to admit, it's my favorite season. Maybe it's because I've never experienced a "real" fall with the leaves falling and crispness in the air.  For me, the fall month's bring with it a season of anticipation.  Plants, animals, everything making its last preparations for the cold months to come... (Again, I don't experience a real winter either...)  So, I may not be the best person to talk about the hardships of weather, but I do appreciate it. On that note, and my preparation for the fall, I present the Pumpkin Spice Ale Soap!!!!  I added pumpkin and swirled it with cinnamon!  Yummy!  I also added paprika to enhance the color.  I'm happy with my orange color....  I think it came out pretty good!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cute T-shirts

My shirts have arrived!  I ordered shirts with my logo and website on it for the festival.  I think they turned out pretty cute!  What do you think?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Curing Racks

As I'm making more and more soap, the need for curing racks has surfaced.  I'm not at the place in my soap journey to get those big curing racks...  I do not have the volume of soap nor the space.  I've been struggling with an organized method of curing, because as a few weeks ago, soap has been curing on every surface of my office, making it impossible to work in there anymore.  It wasn't until I went to my mom's house a month ago, that I found the solution.

My mom and dad have been on the paleo diet for the past year.  The have stumbled on a way of baking  paleo, and the day I went over to visit, they were going to town making paleo muffins and breads.  They were cooling everything on stackable cooling racks.

ME:      "Those are so cool! I didn't know you can stack racks! Where did you get those from? "
MOM:  "A garage sale!  Why, do you need them for cooking?"
ME:      "No...  I can cure soap on them!!!!  Have you seen my office lately?"

Two weeks later, a big box was at my front door, the contents of which were three stackable cooling racks!  My mom, knowing I would not have the time to research and order them online, took it upon herself to make the curing process easier for me.  Now, I can have my office back!  Thanks MOM!!!!

From Top to Bottom:  Curing IPA, STOUT, and Abbey Ale Soap

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Festival Booth: Getting My Soaps Ready For Oaktoberfest

Oaktoberfest is an annual festival in the Dimond District of Oakland.  In the 1900's this area of Oakland was known for Beer Gardens and German Resorts.  This year, I will have a booth there!   My first booth!!!  Yes, my first booth!  I am very excited... and a little nervous...

I had to submit a picture (with my application) of my booth to the organizers. That gave me a deadline to get things together.  So after a banner and display was purchased, this is what I submitted.  Let me know your thoughts on the booth.  I would love to hear tips on selling soaps at a festival too!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

History: Black and Tan

What is a Black and Tan?  I know they serve it at Fenton's...  an amazing ice cream dish...  but what is it really in the beer world?  Traditionally, it a drink made from a blend of pale ale and a dark beer such as a stout.   But the term, Black and Tan, is not commonly used in Ireland, as the term is associated with the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force, nicknamed the Black and Tans. The term "Half and Half" is therefore used for this drink.

To prepare a "Half and Half," a glass is filled halfway with pale ale where the stout is then added.  To honor the tradition of the "Half and Half," I have prepared a soap that combines home-brewed chocolate stout and an ale. The result is a uniquely colored bar of soap that is unscented, yet the esters of the beer remain including malts and chocolate.  It has a deep lather, and is moisturizing.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Let's be "Transparent"... the truth about parchment paper, wax paper, glassine and vellum!

Let's get real here peoples.....  I'm breaking it down, cause I haven't found a post that REALLY explains the above title and how it relates to soap packaging.  Below, are two versions of my discovery story... choose at your own risk!

1) Get to the point:  Use glassine paper or printable vellum if you want your soap bands to be somewhat transparent...  You can print on both types!  I prefer vellum!

Where to get it:
  • Glassine Paper:  You can get get cheap glassine sheets or pages from Uline.   
  • Printable (affordable) Vellum:  I recommend Kelly's Paper off Grand Ave. in Oakland.  It's local!!  
  • Anyone know of other places???

2) Long Winded Version:
We've all seen beautiful soap packaging...  let's say, the "transparent" look appeals to you (it does me!)

So you think hum....that looks like parchment/wax paper...  hey, I've got that!... and you start to wrap your soap in it... Ahhh... so cute!

Then you use it on bigger soap...  hum...  what's going on... it worked on the small soap... but not now...  Then you realize that it's the sticker that is sticking to the soap (not the parchment paper, duh!).  And then that genius moment hits you...  THE STICKER STICKS TO SOAP !!!! (who knew?)

So, what is this transparent paper all about????  Bottom line...  to package soap... scroll back to the top, and GET TO THE POINT!!!

You got to admit....  The title's clever... I'm so proud of myself!

Hope this "clears it up" for you!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

History: Wheat Beers

My Husband brews the beer...   and I make soap with it.  He brews at his leisure and impulse.  If he's craving an ale, that's what he'll make... if a Hefeweizen sounds refreshing, you get the picture.  My palate has grown as I'm introduced to new flavors, yeasts, hops and grains... And just when I think I "know" my beer families, another term is thrown at me.  For example: Would you like a white beer.... what the hell?

So after some very long winded research.. I would love to thank Beeradvocates for this simple history, for someone who is learning about beer !

During the middles ages, Germanic tribes brewed, using the resources they had including wheat and barley.  These grains where lighter than the traditional beers brewed at that time.  These light beers where termed "white beer" aka weisse.   Today their are four main styles of white beer:   German Weissbier, Berliner Weisse, Beligan Witbier, and American Wheat.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

There's more to life than beer... there's coffee!

Yes, yes, yes... Handbrewed Soaps is more than beer soap...  it's anything you can brew soap!!!  Why not take a brewing activity that I do everyday, and make soap with it?  So why coffee...

1) This soap can remove onion and garlic smell off hands when cooking (probably any smell!)

2) The coffee grounds (used to exfoliate) really helps get dirt off hands after working in the garden.

So here's to Coffee Soap!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Why Beer Soap?

Well for one, we LOVE beer!   

My Husband brews many different styles of beer, from wheats to ales to stouts… and each beer gives the soap a unique character.  From color, to their own natural scent (I add no additional scents).  What I’ve noticed is that they all have a great lather and moisturizing effect!

The jury is still out on some of these ideas (I think these are fun factoids), but beer is reported to:

Skin Care: Brewer’s Yeast, an ingredient found in beer, is thought to help keep the skin smooth and diminish discoloration. (Ancient Romans and Egyptians are reported to use it in their beauty regimes)

Relaxation: Hops, an ingredient found in beer, itself is known for its relaxing properties. Hops contains poly-phenols thought to account for its anti-bacterial, preservative effects; and it also contains skin-softening amino acids. (Beer Spas are popping up all over Europe)
Hair Care:  Beer is extremely rich in amino acids, which help improve hair follicles and coat and repair each strand of hair. (Beer is a home remedy for dull and frizzy hair for ages)
Now you may be thinking to yourself, am I going to smell like beer when I get out of the shower? Don’t worry, you won’t.  The “beer smell” and the alcohol both disappear during the soap-making process.  However, the esters produced by the yeast used in the beer-making process, like banana (Bavarian Hefeweizen), clove/bubble gum (Belgian Saison), chocolate (Chocolate Stouts), for example DO contribute to the scent of the soap.  Your skin will thank you for a bath in beer! And by the way, there is no alcohol in the final product.
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