Survival Manual

How To Make Your Own Candles

candleThis is how you can make your own candles. Take the hard fat from a deer and rendered it down to make tallow. Tallow is hard like wax. Rendering is a process which takes fat which would otherwise go rancid and removes impurities, this keeps it from going rancid.

Fat from deer, sheep, beef and bison is considered tallow while fat from pigs is considered lard. Most any fat will work but the hardness of the rendered fat will vary.

Now cut the fat into small pieces completely devoid of any red flesh. The smaller the pieces the better and running through a meat grinder is excellent. You want pure fat with nothing else attached. Very important!

The amount of hard fat on a deer is variable and depends on the size of the deer and how far north you live as well as what part of the season it was killed. But expect to get maybe two pounds of hard fat per deer but that can vary greatly.

Now boil the fat in water because it is safer and prevents overheating. Do not add to much water as that will just make the process slower. Just enough water to cover is enough.

Bring water/fat to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. Let it simmer until the fat cooks out. Usually about 1 hour are longer if your pieces were not ground up. Your choice, boil longer or grind.

Now after boiling strain it through a fine mesh strainer. Don't let any go down the sink or it will plug it up.

The strained bits can be fed to pets but for this process it is just scrap. Or if you are starving for food you can eat it yourself. It won't taste very good though.

Now set it aside and let it cool off. Basically just let it sit overnight. The next day you should have a basically white disk with a few brown flecks in it. The less brown the better. The brown is contamination that made it through the cutting and filtering process.

Break up the tallow into a small pan and place that in in a large pot with some water. Water can not get above 212 degrees and this helps prevent you from over heating.

Add heat and melt your fat/tallow. Be careful not to boil the water over. The fat will spit and sputter as the water in it reacts with the fat. You are driving off any remaining moister. Once the spitting stops remove from heat and let it start to cool again.

tender fungusAs it cools pour it through a fine filter. A coffee filter works great. It needs to be pretty warm to run through the filter if it is put into a glass container it will likely crack or break the glass as glass doesn't like having its temperature changed quickly.

It can now be stored or used once it cools off. How well you purified it will determine how long it can be stored at room temperature. Obviously it can be stored much longer in a refrigerated environment.

Now it is a simple matter to make candles with tallow.

You will need a wick for your candle and fungus is one of the best wicks you can use that is found growing naturally. Slivers of cardboard will work as well.

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