When Bryce was in the early days of creating the Beer Stones, he tried numerous types of materials—steel, glass, and soapstone. After a considerable amount of prototyping and testing, Bryce ended up choosing soapstone.
But what exactly is soapstone?
This unique material, also known as steatite, is a metamorphic rock. It transforms deep within the earth's crust under high temperature and pressure, specifically where one tectonic plate plunges below another into the molten mantle. I was really hoping metamorphic meant it came from planet Krypton or something. Soapstone is mined all around the world, but it is mostly quarried in Brazil, which is where Brew Muse sources its product.
In its purest form, soapstone is talc, which is most commonly used to make baby powder. Talc gives soapstone its characteristically smooth, slick feel for which it is named. The percentage of talc is what determines soapstone’s texture and strength.
While soapstone is an incredibly dense material that is typically used as kitchen counters and fire places, it also works well for carving and was actually favored by the ancient Egyptians for their statues. Since soapstone is easy to sculpt, Bryce was able to create the classic Beer Stone shapes and etch in the nucleation sites by hand. Soapstone is nonporous, nonabsorbent, resistant to acids, and heat resistant, all of which help make Beer Stones compatible with beer.Do you have more questions about soapstone? Let us know!