beeswax looks like it's separating into wax and brown something
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    sturgeon county, alberta, canada
    Posts
    8

    Default beeswax looks like it's separating into wax and brown something

    I have been making pure beeswax candles for approx 2 months. After heating the wax, filtering and pouring candles, it will somehow start to congeal or something. (temperature is kept at approx 165 - 200 Fahrenheit). Is it possible this is the scalding that I've read about? or is this honey in the wax? Is this propolis?
    Can I get rid of it?? I have probably 4-5 pounds of this dirty type wax - prob use it for fire starter pine cones.

    I water bathed my wax, let it cool, scrape the dirty stuff off the bottom of the block, then heat it in a double boiler, filter it through 5-6 layers of filter cloth (80 micron - that I bought at the Bee store), then pour my candles. What's Happening??? Driving me crazy

    I usually pour 4-5, 2 x 6 inch candles, before this separation brownish stuff shows up. The candles that I've poured before this "showup" seem fine, but then I'm not able to use the rest of the batch because of this floaty stuff. It will dissipate into the wax if it is stirred, but then start to separate out again if wax is left in the pot while I'm setting up moulds.

    I've tried filtering this brownish gunk stuff out, to no avail! I've gone ahead and made candles from this wax and when the candles are burned, the floaty stuff is there
    grrrrr. . Help Please :-(
    I'm going to go Bald - pulling my hair out!!!!

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    1,214

    Default Re: beeswax looks like it's separating into wax and brown something

    Several things can be going on here. A picture would help.

    It sounds like dirty wax to me and the source could be things you mentioned or even minerals from the hard water if that is what you used. Also, slum gum can be in dirty wax. Try filtering the beeswax thru quality paper toweling with the wax melting through the paper toweling into distilled water in the collection pan. I use one layer of paper towel. Sometimes I go through this process twice. Beeswax must be very clean or there are problems with the burn because the wick plugs up.

    High temperatures for long periods of time can damage beeswax. Best not to let it get so hot. Try to pour at 165* F. Beeswax melts at about 145* F. plus or minus, but you need a little more heat when pouring into molds. High temps can ruin molds, too.

    What is the source of your beeswax?
    Is it summer yet?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    sturgeon county, alberta, canada
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: beeswax looks like it's separating into wax and brown something

    Thanks BeeBliss for your response.
    The strange part to me is that this slurry of brown isn't apparent at the start. When I first start out - once I've gone through the bath filter reheat stages - the wax is nice and clear. I'm able to get my first little batch of candles poured and they finish perfectly.
    It's when the wax has been heated for say over an hour at the melted stage - I've been diligent about keeping my water in the double boiler at 165 and under for the past 4 days. Yet 2 days ago I got a muddle- bottom portion of the pour container separated into the wax and brownish floaty stuff. I'm using 18/8 stainless steel and 18/10. Is it possible that the cheaper pour containers (Fr china) could be causing a reaction with the wax??
    I'm not sure how to post a photo?? I do have one

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    1,214

    Default Re: beeswax looks like it's separating into wax and brown something

    Your wax has something in it. Maybe even honey. If you do what I said that will take care of slum gum, honey, pollen, propolis or whatever is in the wax.

    Filtering takes care of the solids, and the distilled water will take care of things like honey. I am not familiar with your filters and so I was suggesting what is cheap and works for me.

    For what it is worth, first only melting the wax in water, cooling, scraping and then dry filtering is not enough in my opinion and experience to clean the wax. Have the waterbathed wax melt and pass thru a proper filter AND also have it drip into a pan of distilled water.

    I am wondering if the brown slurry is burnt honey. Is it sticky? Is it water soluable? You did not state the source of your wax. Are you melting comb? Was there honey in the wax at the start?
    If I remember correctly, a sputtering candle could have honey in it.

    Your wax is too hot at 200* F.

    Your reputation as a candle maker depends on you fixing your problem. Surely, what you have now will affect the quality and burn of the beeswax candles. Test them.
    Last edited by Bee Bliss; 11-10-2016 at 09:42 AM. Reason: typo
    Is it summer yet?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    sturgeon county, alberta, canada
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: beeswax looks like it's separating into wax and brown something

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Bliss View Post
    Your wax has something in it. Maybe even honey. If you do what I said that will take care of slum gum, honey, pollen, propolis or whatever is in the wax.

    Filtering takes care of the solids, and the distilled water will take care of things like honey. I am not familiar with your filters and so I was suggesting what is cheap and works for me.

    For what it is worth, first only melting the wax in water, cooling, scraping and then dry filtering is not enough in my opinion and experience to clean the wax. Have the waterbathed wax melt and pass thru a proper filter AND also have it drip into a pan of distilled water.

    I am wondering if the brown slurry is burnt honey. Is it sticky? Is it water soluable? You did not state the source of your wax. Are you melting comb? Was there honey in the wax at the start?
    If I remember correctly, a sputtering candle could have honey in it.

    Your wax is too hot at 200* F.

    Your reputation as a candle maker depends on you fixing your problem. Surely, what you have now will affect the quality and burn of the beeswax candles. Test them.
    So it sounds to me like you're suggesting 2 water-baths then?? I hadn't heard of that in all the research I've done, but certainly worth a try. Seems like a lot of filtering to do: water-bath, cool, scrape, melt, dry filter . . then again . . water-bath, cool, melt, dry filter. Is this the same process you do?
    I do care about how my candles turn out. If it needs these last 2 steps then it needs it. but seems to me like it's something different going on as I've not read in any of my reading that anyone takes those last 2 extra filter steps. If this wax is that unclean then Maybe I need a new source??
    The wax is coming from a local apiary. They have a huge vat - not certain how it works.
    I can't tell if the brown stuff is sticky as I'm not able to get it out of the wax. As soon as I go into the melted wax with a spoon or what have you it dissipates. If I give the wax a stir, it seems to dissolve into the wax only to reappear once it has been left to 'settle.' That said, it does not settle to the bottom of the pot, it stays suspended in the wax

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    1,214

    Default Re: beeswax looks like it's separating into wax and brown something

    Quote Originally Posted by chickabee1 View Post
    So it sounds to me like you're suggesting 2 water-baths then?? I hadn't heard of that in all the research I've done, but certainly worth a try. Seems like a lot of filtering to do: water-bath, cool, scrape, melt, dry filter . . then again . . water-bath, cool, melt, dry filter. Is this the same process you do?
    ..............................

    No, all I am saying is when you filter to have it drip into a pan of distilled water rather than just collect it into an empty pan.

    Do the candles smell sweet like honey?
    Is it summer yet?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    2,461

    Default Re: beeswax looks like it's separating into wax and brown something

    I've processed quite a bit of bees wax and found what seems to be the simplest easiest way (for me).
    I melt the combs in a pot then pass it thru a screen. I collect about 5 pounds of wax this way.
    Second step is to melt it all into one of them candle pouring pots. All the crap goes to the bottom. I pour off the stuff from the top that's clean like store-bought. My final product is so clean that it looks like it came from the store.

    Tried the water bath method and it just takes too long.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    sturgeon county, alberta, canada
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: beeswax looks like it's separating into wax and brown something

    Hi Bee Bliss
    Sorry for the extended delay. Didn't realize I had to sign back in to the forum to see a response.
    The candles do have a wonderful light honey scent. No issue there. I did just put another query on the forum as a follow up to my candle disaster. I'm definitely in tears over this. Any and All suggestions are welcome

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •