Beer Info FAQ

Can I make my own lye?

Can I make my own lye?

To make lye in the kitchen, boil the ashes from a hardwood fire (soft woods are too resinous to mix with fat) in a little soft water, rainwater is best, for about half an hour. Allow the ashes to settle to the bottom of the pan and then skim the liquid lye off the top.

How did they make soap before lye?

Thousands of years ago before soap was available, people made their lye the old fashioned way by leaching water through wood ashes layered in a barrel or other container. If you're in a far corner of the globe and can't get lye locally, or are just curious how it's made, you can make potassium hardwood lye yourself.