Beef tallow is used to benefit mankind in a lot of ways. Tallow candles are one such benefits. Many candle manufacturers use beef tallow in candle making. They are not only cheap, they are a good replacement to the expensive paraffin wax candles. And they do function well as candles, though they light only hardened beef fat.
Before we go into details on how to make tallow candles, understand that tallow is the rendered form of raw red meat or suet. It is a rendered form of beef fat, meaning commercialized fat useful for soap making, biodiesel preparation and a lot of other things. Tallow candles were in use right from the early centuries as they are easy and simple to make even at home.
How to make beef tallow candles: Candle preparation first involves preparation of tallow. Yes, you need to first render the tallow and then, use it in candle preparation. Tallow candles are made in two different forms – Mold candles and Dip candles. Since there is nothing different in the quality of both the candles, you can choose to make candles through the preparation method that suits you. Below are a few steps to make tallow candles:
Step 1: Making tallow from suet: Tallow rendering can be made at home without any possible hiccups. A good tallow contains about 1/3 beef fat with mutton added for mustard flavor. To harden the prepared tallow, you need to dip it in mixture 1 and mixture 2. Mixture 1 consists of 50% of stearic acid, 44% tallow, 3% camphor, 2% white resins, with 1% of gum danar. Mixture II comprises of 70% of tallow, 24% tallow, 3% camphor, 2% white wax and 1% gum danar.
Step 2. Making candle wicks: Before starting to make candles, you need to first get ready with the candle wicks. An ideal wick for candles of 8 to the pound is about 40 threads, while that for candles of 6 to the pound is 50 threads of yarn. The yarn needs to be twisted together to make wicks. No.16 in the market is the most suitable and desirable wick for the purpose.
Step 3. Making mold candles: There are both advantages and disadvantages in mold candles. They are: many mold candles require molds which means money in the candle industry. This is why several cottage or homemade businesses prefer dip candles to mold. Once the mold designs are ready and the wicks are finalized, the wicks are inserted into the center of each mold. Once the wicks are in place, melted beef tallow is poured into the molds and then, allowed to cool for about 6 hours.
Step 4. Making dip candles: Dip candles are pretty easy to make. It is made by looping a number of wicks over a rod and then dipped straight into the tallow wax. Once the required thickness is attained, the tallow is allowed to cool and harden before taking the second dip. With this method, you need to be adaptive for everything. You need to find a suitable feature to hold the rod while drying it with beef tallow. This is to avoid dripping in the dips.