In continuing the suet theme started pre-Christmas, I decided to try to make suet candles. I believe I got this idea from the Edwardian Farm series or a similar one. I found instructions for how to do it though in a book I already own and love, The Encyclopedia Of Country Living by Carla Emery.
I first tried the hand dipped tallow candles. I decided to use an old lamp we have for this and covered it with packing tape and a bag to protect it. That was my first mistake as getting the tape off was very difficult afterwards. There is still some tape on the lamp. I warmed the tallow in the microwave with a couple of green crayons and some Frankincense oil in a mason jar and then kept it warm in some hot water in the crock pot. I used some cotton weaving thread I have for the wicks. I repetitively dipped the wicks in the tallow but never seemed to accumulate much on the wicks.
I remember vividly listening to the the Unknown DJ on KSQM while doing this. I decided to try the suggestion of dipping the wicks in cold water after the tallow. It helped get the tallow to stay on the wicks rather than just drip off, but it become glompy.
I decided to take the tallow out of the crock pot so it wasn’t so warm and would cool quicker on the wicks.
So then I tried one of the candles out with a bath.
It looks amateur for sure. But the real problem was that it didn’t stay lit. I kept having to relight it over and over. So a failure.
Then I remembered that I have a candle mold. Tom found it for me in the trailer, under the sink in there.
It is funny how brains work sometimes.
So I melted more of the same tallow but added another crayon to try to deepen the color. I put the wicks in the mold, knotted the bottom end and poured the melted tallow in with the mold in a bowl I let it sit overnight. The next day I put them in the refrigerator for an hour to try to release them. That did not work so I ran hot water over them and got two of them out.
The third one I accidentally pulled the wick out completely with the candle still in the mold. So Tom eventually extracted that tallow, and I can reuse it to make another candle. I can only make three at a time as the mold is damaged.
But after a slow start the candle worked perfectly!
And I love the way it dripped.
So now I have figured out how to make suet candles. I will remelt the tallow I have, adding more crayons for darker colors. And I can remelt the tallow from the dipped candles as well and make molded candles from them. Tom has some waxed thread I can use for the wicks. And there is some silicon mold releases spray we found under the sink trailer as well that should make getting the candles out of the molds easier. So I am happy. Unfortunately, for some reason, I did not get much suet from the butcher from our cow this year. So I may be in the market for suet later. I think this is a really good use for it (as well as the soap).