View Full Version : Pouring temperatures for Beeswax & Votive Candles
11-21-2006, 07:14 AM
Does anyone have any comments about pouring temperatures for Beeswax?? I'm doing some molds, votives and tea lights. The book I am using (The Complete Candlemaker - by Norma Coney) says pour beeswax at 170, does this sound right?? So far the tealights and molds are doing fine...It's
The votives are giving me the most grief. I'm using the zinc core wicks that you place in after you pour the wax. It says to re-pour to fill in these wells. I never saw a well around the wick. Could this be because I was using the pre-manufactured zinc-core wicks, instead of the more usual votive pin style that you add the wick later?? It seemed that when I tried to add more wax after 45 mins to fill the votive, it only made matters worse. When I burned these candles, they melted away very quickly and fizzled out after 3/4 of the way down. It didn't take long to burn this supposedly 20 hour votive...UGH.
[ November 21, 2006, 08:20 AM: Message edited by: Cyndi ]
JohnK and Sheri
11-21-2006, 10:03 AM
Yes, 170 is good. I try to pour at about that.
What do you mean by topping the votives "only made matters worse"? In what way?
Did you prick the surface of the candle prior to topping?
I usually don't have to top my votives but candles I do top, I do it much sooner than 45 min, usually within about 10, breaking the surface so any interior cavities can be filled.
As for the burn time, are you giving them a couple days to cure before burning them? Curing will greatly improve burn time.
I have not used zinc core wick so cannot comment on that. Why are you using a cored wick? It shouldn't really be necessary for a beeswax votive.
Also, you might want to experiment with different sized wicks. For instance, if the wick is drowning in a large melt pool it is too small.
[ November 21, 2006, 11:08 AM: Message edited by: JohnK and Sheri ]
11-21-2006, 05:06 PM
So Sheri what type and size wick have you found works good for votives?
Dipped candles I don't have a problem with but as a new candlemaker, I've yet to find a suitable wick for votives.
11-21-2006, 06:06 PM
> as a new candlemaker, I've yet to find a suitable
> wick for votives.
I can't resist asking... have you looked in your freezer? I thought you kept all your candle
making supplies there. ;)
11-30-2006, 07:20 AM
Hi Sheri, Thanks for your response, I've been out of town.
>Yes, 170 is good. I try to pour at about that.
That sounds about right, per most books too.
>What do you mean by topping the votives "only made matters worse"? In what way?
Since this was my very first time, I was reading from the instructions with my equipment. It said to pour the molds (votives) to almost 3/4 full. Then it said to wait until a well formed, then re-pour to top it off. Well, a well never formed, so I poked and picked. Nothing was happening, it seemed pretty full. So, I topped off the mold to fill it completely up. When I burned these candles, they pooped out after about say 5-6 hours of burning. They melted very quickly as if there was a hole somewhere in the middle. Now, there is one thing that I failed to mention and didn't realize when I wrote this because I'm soooo new at this. I mixed my beeswax with some beeswax I bought. It was a 75 to 25% ratio, with the 25% being my beeswax. My beeswax still had honey in it still because I discovered towards the end, that there was honey floating at the bottom of my pour pitcher. I thought I was being careful but obviously not enough. Some of it, I'm sure got into the molds and I was pouring at a high temperature, it was over 200 at least. I know this was really not smart. So, basically the top offing off wax had the honey it it. The structure of the wax was totally screwed from the beginning.
>Did you prick the surface of the candle prior to topping? *See above
>I usually don't have to top my votives but candles I do top, I do it much sooner than 45 min, usually within about 10, breaking the surface so any interior cavities can be filled.
So, are you saying that you fill them completly up to the top and not worry about it?? Another words, unless there is a well that forms, then you pick it and then pour more to fill in the gap? and/or Do you pick at it to see if there is a well forming underneath, then re-pour??
>As for the burn time, are you giving them a couple days to cure before burning them? Curing will greatly improve burn time.
No, I didn't. Since I'm back from my trip, I'm burning one now to see how it burns.
>I have not used zinc core wick so cannot comment on that. Why are you using a cored wick?
These are pre-made votive candle wicks. It was easier to insert them into the votive mold after pouring. This is what the instructions say. I'm not using the molds with wicks that you tie up with a pencil or a stick. That's another method.
>It shouldn't really be necessary for a beeswax votive.
I'm confused about this statement.
>Also, you might want to experiment with different sized wicks. For instance, if the wick is drowning in a large melt pool it is too small.
Yes, you may be right about that. Today I'm going to experiment with the votive candle wicks that I got from Betterbee to see if this helps. I have a feeling that their wicks will be perfect for the beeswax, and the others (which I got from Michaels) will be good for the parrafin candles. Today, I'm not going to use beeswax that has honey in it either, :D
BTW, thank you for that resource for the wax melting pot on Ebay. I spoke with that lady on the phone when I placed my order, she was very nice. Her tealights are the BEST quality I have ever seen. Although, they are more expensive, but well worth it!! The pot is perfect!! If you have any more candle making resources, I would be very interested in knowing about them. Thanks a lot Sheri.
[ November 30, 2006, 08:24 AM: Message edited by: Cyndi ]
12-01-2006, 12:02 AM
Votives/wicks and type of beeswax (how thouroughly rendered) are needed to test each batch of wax I have found. So since we can not find a "normal" wick size is why. That is the candle makers secret. As I have asked many times, and no one will TELL. LOL They just say...test test test for YOUR Beeswax and purity, which then will bring the conclusion of which wick size for votives. I had a great darker wax burn, and used the same size in a VERY WHITE beeswax and ughhh the WHITE did not burn with that larger wick size. Go figure. Back to the drawing board.
JohnK and Sheri
12-01-2006, 08:08 PM
Sounds like you have different issues that have all contributed to your trouble.
Topping. Yes, I fill the mold entirely up. After a while, (maybe 10 minutes?) a skin will form over the top and the wax will shrink down in the mold. I poke a hole or two beside the wick down into the candle, not marring the outside of the candle and not disturbing the wick, then fill the vent hole and top off the mold. With larger candles you might have to do this a couple times. You have to be careful not to let any wax run down between the first pour and the mold, it will mar your candles. In addition, if you pour only 3/4 full, the line of the second pour will show, usually not the result you want.
Impure wax. It sounds like honey in your wax might be preventing a good burn. Make sure the wax is clean.
Temperature. Sounds like your wax was too hot. Can be dnagerous, can change the burn properties of your candle and sometimes makes it very difficult to get the candle out of the mold.
Wick size. Betterbees pretabbed votive wicks work great. If your particular mold doesn't work well with their wicks you can tab and test your own. As pkwilbur says, ya gotta test,test,test! lol.
Lack of curing. It takes a day or two before the wax reaches final hardness. If burned right away it will probably burn quicker than it should, the wax is still soft, you won't get a true burn test.
>> Today I'm going to experiment with the votive candle wicks that I got from Betterbee....<<
Have fun and let us know how the 'new and improved' candle burns.
12-05-2006, 04:00 AM
Cooler is always better. The wax doesnt turn dark and there is no need to top candles.
I personally like 160-165 F. If it is any cooler then you will see fill lines in the candle which is unattractive. If the wax is too hot you encourage sinking in the candles.
Topping usually results in an imperfect candle. The customers do not mind a slight well at the top of the votive.
Eliminate extra steps as you will regret the time wasted especially if you are selling them.
02-04-2007, 06:11 PM
I'm back to candlemaking again.
1. The Betterbee pre-tabbed votives do not work with beeswax. Called Betterbee and was told they were having some technical difficulties. Tried making paraffin votives with these, wick was too large. Flame scared me too death!! :D
2. The Betterbee pre-tabbed tea light wicks work okay, just okay...because...it took over a month of curing time for these tealights to burn properly without smoldering out. Note: I was using Brushy Mountain's Beeswax. Not ALL of them burn all the way down. I'm not getting the burn time I feel I should. I got 5 hours on some and 3 on others. But, at least they are not pooping out after say 30 mins. to 1 hour. I'm not 100% satisfied with these either, but it seems to be the best so far.
3. NOW, if you decide to use both the votives and tealights from Betterbee, for say parafin....bee careful. The wicking is too large, no matter how far I trimmed down, which was almost nothing, it was too big for me. So, today, I used the remaining tea lights I had by making Soy wax Tea Lights. I can't wait to see how these burn. I have a feeling they may do just fine. In fact, if I get good results, I'm considering blending Soy and Beeswax together to get the 'perfect' tea light. I have a funny feeling that finding pre-tabbed tea lite wicks for beeswax is going to be difficult.
As for the Betterbee Pre-tabbed votives not working...I may try the Soy wax later - I don't really know what else to use these for. Although today I used the Betterbee 51-32 wire wicking for my votives. I primed the wicking, made my own tabs, and used Soy Wax and Beeswax, to see what would happen.
So, that's my update. It's so cold here in the mountains. It just felt like a good day to start this project up again.
Kurt, I know what you mean about the votives and paraffin. I'm not even going to worry about it. I don't mind the small well. The good news about beeswax and soy wax, is that they don't need topping off. I really like Soy Wax, its got a real neat creamy feel and look to it. I think Soy works better with containers and votives, possibly tea lights.
I'd be really interested in knowing if any one has ever blended the soy and beeswax together, successfully. Any ideas or comments on the ratio...I think I would prefer more beeswax than soy though.
[ February 04, 2007, 07:16 PM: Message edited by: Cyndi ]
02-06-2008, 07:30 PM
Cyndi, For tealights, I use the rubber mold from Betterbee which pours 15 candles and uses the metal pins for the wick holes. I use # 2 wicking with no zinc core. Here's the fastest way I've found to wick them. As the candles cool, I slide a wick clip over each pin and press in into the wax, then pull the pins. After they are fully hard, I dip the end of my spool of #2 wicking into some melted wax and thread the candles like a necklace. Then just crimp and cut my way down the line. berkshire
02-16-2008, 08:12 AM
Thanks for the info. I can't believe this post has come around again..one-year later. Boy, have I learned alot since then. :)