I used to use a drain cleaning product that was 98% NaOH, but they have changed their recipe and I find that I don't get a good consistant result anymore, so I now purchase both my NaOH and KOH from a chemical and paints company here, but I can only purchase it in 25kg lots, which is fine as I go through it fairly quickly.
My laundry gel is actually a soap that is then grated down and melted in hot water to make a gel. Liquid soap can be made a couple of ways, but basically it is a paste that is then diluted down to the desired consistancy. I have been making my own shampoo this way for the last 4-5 years. And then there is cream soap. That is another beast all on it's own, which I have only recently started playing with.
A couple of places you might find NaOH and KOH are, www.aussiesoapsupplies.com.au www.seoc.com.au
I can't comment on the brewery but as long as it is 98-99% pure it should be alright. Just check it doesn't have other additives.www.aquasapone.org
has a book called "Soap Naturaly" which is one of the most comprehensive books on soap making that I have found. Marina has a wealth of knowledge, and if you are really interested in soaping I would definately recommend getting this book first before starting out.
Most of the oils that you will need for soaping can be found at a local supermarket, so they are easily accessible.
Hope this helps.