Making colored candles out of beef fat?

"Candles have been used as sources of light for thousands of years. The ways in which these candles have been made has differed greatly over time. There has also been a wide variety of different ways in which candles have been fuelled and also a wide variety of different uses for candles. The humble candle has become a multi use item with thousands of benefits that go well beyond the initial use - to produce light.

The candle’s other primary function has been to provide heat and many versions of candles have been developed to maximise the heat output. Candles have been around for a long time and in this time they have been used in religious ceremonies and also for timekeeping as well as for decoration, for air freshening and also for adorning a birthday cake.

The products used to create candles are different all over the world and throughout time candles have been made out of different substances. Candles that were made in the early parts of the 19th century were made from beef fat rendering known as tallow. The modern candles are more commonly made from wax. There are many different types of wax including gel, soy and beeswax but the most predominant type of wax is paraffin.

There is evidence of candles that were in use in Roman times. At this period of


time many candles were made from the animal fat residues and the long pith found in a rush. Beeswax was used as a fuel by the Egyptians and many of their candles date back over 3000 years. By the 18th century was much more common for the fuel to be extracted from the oil taken from sperm whales."

Huh. I wonder how that works for air freshening.
Ambergris … I believe that is the incense for Kether, that is extracted from a particular whale, and that fat is used for incense and candlelight.
Anyway, how different is the process for making candles out of beef fat versus wax, I wonder.
I also wonder if it makes any significant impact spiritually by use of beef fat vs wax candles. Or no difference.

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You see beef fat candles contain of dead animals energies. On the other hand wax candles simply contain something nature itself (bees) has gathered for us humans to use. It’s your pick, but I would choose wax candles over any other.

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Tallow candles were traditionally made from the fat from around the kidneys of sheep not cattle but that’s not really important.

What is important is to know that the reason they switched first to beeswax and later to parafin for candles is because tallow candles tend to be Smokey, are not that bright as far as providing light, and some people found the smell unpleasant.

I haven’t used them. Having read about them I decided on beeswax or parafin.

My spell check hates parafin btw so if there’s a spot I Missed and didn’t correct don’t blame me blame spellcheck :stuck_out_tongue:


It’s less about process than what kind of candles you can make.

Beef fat tends melt around room temp, so in hot climates or hot rooms it would be burned more like an oil in an open lamp, or as a container candle, in which case I’d recommend to use a self standing wick, like one with a zinc core.
You can’t make pillar candles out of it unless you add alum to harden it. There are a lot of yt videos talking about the various recipes and techniques, often by history enthusiasts, I’ll link my faves below :slight_smile:

For good light people made rush candles, as they didn’t have modern wicks, and used the reeds soaked in fat instead.

Making basic tallow container candles in tin cans

18th century use of tallow lanterns, lots of info on formats, by Townsends

How to make historical rush candles, experimental by Modern History TV

And more of a discussion about types of candles and techniques in medieval times from one of my fave content providers Shadiversity


Awesome :slight_smile: