3.1.14

Beeswax Candles














Through the bitter cold and freshly fallen snow, Mike and I made our way to the home of The Beekeeper.  {I wrote about him here a few years ago.}  His wife emailed me and said they had some caps they'd been saving all year for us, and did we still want them?  Um, yes please.

So, with eleven gallons of cappings and a jar of fresh honey {in exchange for our homemade soap}, we were set to the task of processing beeswax.   

Here's how it worked....

* I filled the pot full and turned the heat on really low.  The cappings contain wax and honey at this point, so I needed everything to melt without burning the honey.  

* Once melted, I filtered the liquid to remove all the dirt and debris.  The filtered containers of liquid were moved to the front porch to cool.  As it cooled, the wax floated to the top making it easy to wash and separate from the honey.

*  Two of the buckets had fermented over the summer and smelled like mead.  We wanted to try and remove as much of the alcohol smell as possible from the wax, so we melted the raw beeswax very slowly again and filtered it one more time.  I think that really helped to cook the alcohol off and remove the unpleasant odor.

In the end, we processed about 10 lbs of usable wax.

Now, what to do with all this golden goodness?  By coincidence, there is a lovely article in the newest issue of Taproot about candle making and decided it would be fun to try a few jar candles for gifts.   

I made some simple labels for belated gift giving, too.  {Luke was carefully guarding a stack of jars, making sure there were some for us to keep, as well.}


p.s.  The beekeepers also have fainting goats.  Mike spent five minutes with them, and it's sure to say that these delightful creatures have now been added to the "most definitely" list of animals on the homestead.  Oh, how our list keeps growing...

12 comments:

  1. Beautiful images & beautiful candles. Hope you are staying warm. This cold spell is crazy!

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    1. Thanks, Ruby. We are trying to stay warm, even though the temps are hovering around 30 below for the next few nights.

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  2. They look so lovely! Quite a process, but your house must be smelling so nice while making them.

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  3. I can almost smell those lovely candles.

    But....fainting goats??

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    1. Oh, yes! They're incredibly docile and friendly. I've been doing some research and found out that the nigerian goats may be a better option for milking, though. Maybe a couple of each?

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  4. beautiful photography as always!

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  5. Wow that wax is a dark yellow! Several years ago my husband made beeswax candles to sell at the local farmer's market and craft shows. For several weeks leading up to the season, our kitchen ceiling and cabinets dripped wax every evening as he melted it. Drove me nuts, but smelled wonderful! People who are used to candles scented with chemicals don't think beeswax candles have a scent, but they do have a nice delicate smell.

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    1. Isn't the color rich. I don't think I've ever seen beeswax so dark! It was a huge mess, though. I'm still scraping wax off the floor, but I don't mind. I think the scent is intoxicating and sweet, however, my oldest son can't stand the smell. He thinks it smells like dirty shoes!

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  6. Oh lovely... I really love beeswax candles but hardly ever make myself burn them as they are so pretty and precious. I wish we had those pretty cut glass preserving jars in the UK - I've not been able to find them anywhere. What a satisfying project.

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  7. I think of candles as a necessity ~ I love having them near me while I read or knit or chat with family and friends as they give off such a warmth. Yours are beautiful. xo

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