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Linda P

C3 / Coconut 2 outcome part 3

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My original plan didn't include a part 3, but after last week's blending experiments,  the C3 / coconut 2 80:20 blend had the most promise in terms of appearance. I decided to see if I could replicate that result, this time using advice and experience from  @Trappeur and @TallTayl. Trappeur's best results are pouring C3 at 149, so I decided to start at the temp and work down, as necessary, to TT's pouring temp of 120-125. Also, I also set up a floor fan pointing up at the bottom of my table per TallTaly. My ambient air temp at the time of pouring was about 72 °F. I used 8 oz Libbey status jars this time and poured 2 candles, leaving a little wax in my pour pot to smooth the tops if needed. Still no FO, wicks, or dye. My focus right now is finding a blend and a repeatable/scaleable basic process for turning out a nice looking candle (i.e. smooth tops, minimal frosting/wet spots).

 

Well, I'm happy/thrilled/ecstatic with today's pour. The 2 candles turned out with tops even smoother than last week's 80:20 blend. After the wax had completely melted, I held the heating temp steady while I slowly stirred the wax to make sure the C3 & coco 2 were thoroughly blended. I then slowly heated up the wax and watched the release of air bubbles. Once all the air bubbles had dissipated, I raised the temp to reach the max of 185, then let the wax cool to 145. 

 

I wouldn't have needed to do a 2nd pour, the tops of both candles were smooth with no sign of dips or evenness. I poured the leftover amount anyway, because I wanted to see what happened, if there would be a visible line between the two pours or if I'd get rough tops or whatever. Nope. No line showing the 2 pours, and the final tops were just as smooth.

 

So until/unless something changes, I've found my blend—80% C3 & 20% coconut 2—and my basic process. No extraordinary measures required. Later this week, I'll do wick trials in these jars along with last week's 80:20 jar. 

 

Below are 3 pics of one of today's jars at different angles so you can get an idea of how smooth the tops are. 

 

For the first time since I started this candle making venture, I finally have hope that I can do this.

 

Thanks, Trappeur and TallTayl, for your generous and patient guidance. 

 

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Your candles look beautiful Linda.....great job!  No now on to the wicking and fragrance.  What fragrances are you going to test and where are they from?  I'm following your post here......

 

Trappeur

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Those are lovely candles! I've been following the conversation, and truly enjoyed the exchange of information. Please do keep updating! I'm curious to hear how the introduction of wick will change things.

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10 hours ago, Trappeur said:

now on to the wicking and fragrance.  What fragrances are you going to test and where are they from?

Figuring out the wick series will be my next step. Hopefully, these 3 80:20 candles will give be sufficient in determining that. And then I'll do another few wicked trial (fragrance-free) candles to zero on my base wick for the containers I'm considering.

 

As for fragrances. I'm almost scared to start going down that path. *shudder*

 

Nevertheless, I have on hand several FOs from Candle Cocoon: Mountain Meadow Honey, Lavender Lullaby, Sweetgrass, Sun-warmed Sandalwood, Winter Woodlands Whisper, Mulberry and Moonbeams, Neroli de la Luna, Crushed Strawberry & Rhubarb, Vanilla Voodoo, Lemon Blossom, and Lovely Lilac. 

 

From NorthWood, I have Lavender 40/42 EO. And from NorthStar, I have Lavender Fields. Oh, and from Flaming Candle, Eucalyptus and Spearmint.

 

I think I could be one of those people who doesn't know when to quit when it comes to buying fragrance samples. The only reason I don't have samples from more vendors is that my many lists of FOs I want to try from different suppliers overwhelms me every time I look at them. 

 

But back to your question: I'll start with the fragrances from Candle Cocoon. Mountain Meadow Honey is one of my favorites, so I'll try that one will be first. 

 

PS: I'm following your recent post about your new Woolrich line of candles and I'm getting some ideas from that about fragrances I'm adding to my lists.  

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2 hours ago, Sarah S said:

I'm curious to hear how the introduction of wick will change things.

That makes 2 of us!

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They look great!  I did almost the same blend, not sure what mfg my coconut wax was.  It colored way better than C3 alone, which was a plus when you get an order for colored candles.  I was super happy with the smooth tops I just wasn't as pleased when it came to actually burning them.   I'm waiting patiently to see how your results are.  I only tested Zinc & Premier wicks so far.

I went ahead and used up the rest of my melting pot in melts which were fine (originally thought too soft for clams).  I went back to just C3 + USA in candles for now.  If I could find a decent soy candle in my area I'd quit making them and just buy wholesale to sell 🙃

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17 minutes ago, kandlekrazy said:

when it came to actually burning them

That's where the rubber hits the road. For the next few days, I'm enjoying the thrill of victory over this first insurmountable hurdle before I put my feet in the blocks for the second heat. 

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You will love Candle Cocoon Linda.  On the bottles it says the recommended usage amount of oil to use per pound.  Her oils are very concentrated and pretty much I stick to what is recommended by Lyschel.  I love all the ones you have selected from CC and will be ordering some of the ones you have.  I use Vanilla Voodoo for my go to vanilla....and it is STRONG...my other great ones I use from her is Sultry Angel, Lilac is gorgeous, Lemon Blossom I need to get,  the honey is another great one.  Please keep us posted on how they perform.

 

So your not going to put the oils in till you find wick size?  I see....

I have a question for TTayle regarding this which I really never could understand why.  I have never tested for wicks without adding my fragrance oil to it as I really don't understand why a test would be done like that if you intend on using oils.  I can understand if they were going to be fragrance free, but just don't understand the reasoning behind this.  I mean if you test without oils, is this same wick going to fit well for a candle that is going to have fragrance?  Anytime you add additives, it surely does affect what wicking sizes you are looking to secure.   So why waste the energy and time to try and find your wick size in an unfragranced candle if you intend on going to do "fragranced" candles?   Know what I mean?  Just doesn't make sense to me.  I can understand that it is important to get to "know" your wax..ok so you've made a candle without any fragrance and after many different wick sizes tested till you found one that works perfect in an unfragranced candle, so now..what?  The only thing that I can see that you would have learned is what size I need for an unfragranced candle.  So what is next?  Now add the oil and start the testing all over again and wait for the cure time and then burn and see if that wick that was originally picked for unfragranced wax is the same size you need for one with fragrance?   So my question is why even do that step if it isn't needed to begin with?  What is the purpose of a test like that?    Know what I mean?    My other question too is if testing without oils, then I'm assuming you can test the wick right away as you don't have to wait for any oil to bind with the wax, correct me if I am wrong here.  So can you test the next day, 2 days or have to wait weeks?    This is my opinion.  I'm not trying to rock the boat here as TTayle really is the pro here but I just never could understand why this is suggested if you are going to make a "fragranced" candle versus one with no fragrance?

 

Trappeur

Edited by Trappeur

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Thanks for the question and  your point of view about when to test wicks and fragrance. If you're rocking the boat, I'm not feeling it.

 

My rationale for going to wick burning before adding fragrance—and I may be (probably am!) completely off base, is that I'm trying to nail down a wick series before I figure out what size to use in a particular fragrance/container combo. To my way of thinking, and really, without the benefit of years of experience as you and others have, there are so many variables, that I'm trying to limit the number of variables once I really start scaling candle production. If I narrow my options to one or maybe two wick series, then I don't have to have every wick on hand, infinitum. If I'm remembering correctly, someone else on this forum said that once s/he settled on a wax, a container, and a wick series, any fragrance tested that didn't work was abandoned. That seemed like sound reasoning to me. 

 

Also, when I've reviewed Candle Cocoon's wick recommendations, Lyschel has a base candle listed with the wick series/size that works without fragrance or dye. When she advises to wick up, I know she means to wick up from the base of whatever your wax/container combo is. At this stage of my candle making adventure, and given my lack of knowledge/experience, it makes sense to me to have a home base from which to start. But that's just me.

 

I love Candle Cocoon's principle not to add many fillers to her scents. I love her "less is more" philosophy. There are a few of her fragrances I'm not crazy about OOB. And her Dragon's Blood that I used with her starter kit, well, let's just say I won't be buying it again. :-)

 

I was waiting to let my test candles cure for about a week because of something Ttayl said about soy changing over time. So I wanted to give it a little time to do its thing, settle down, whatever. I also wondered if waiting a week was necessary, but decided that was compromise between the 2 weeks cure time with fragrance and burning the day after pouring. That's as far as I went with my calculations on that score, i.e. completely gut feeling. 

 

Oh, I also have samples of CC's Sweetgrass, Bunchberry and Moss, and Sugar Shanty fragrances. That last one doesn't wow me OOB, but I saw it on your Woolrich list, so I'm going to give it a try. I want to like it, that's for sure.

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Hi Linda,

 

Yes, I agree, sometimes you have to go with your gut feeling....Don'e that plenty of times! lol

 

I guess what I was asking as far as a wick series goes, I was wanting to know if a for example (cd series) worked for an unfragranced candle is that cd series a correct one you can count on when you go with a "fragranced" candle, meaning all you have to do is then find the correct wick size?  I know adding additives changes variables but as to what extent we won't know till the testing is complete.  I'm thinking say you have for an example a cd 10 picked out for your final choice in a jar.  You've done all your testing....great flame, burns clean, etc. etc....ok now you move on to a candle that has fragrance and that wick doesn't work as the flame is too high, not high enough, etc....and you have no scent throw to add to this...so of course now you try out other sizes in that cd series and you still are not satisfied with the performance as it isn't doing the job right.  Well after all testings, I in this case would try another series like maybe a performa, or htp or cdn or eco.. but I wouldn't be testing an unfragranced candle, but a fragranced candle as that is what I'm trying to accomplish.....Maybe I've missed something here along the line and just don't understand it, which I don't.  I just don't see what you learn from an unfragranced candle when that is not the ultimate outlook I'm looking for to achieve and therefore I won't test something I'm not intending to use when I can't see the purpose of it..... I never saw where Lyschel states wick series for unfragranced and fragranced candles.  I'll have to check that out.  Thanks for that info!:) When she says "wickup" she means that you have to go with a bigger wick or wicks....Thankyou for your detailed info Linda and I understand exactly what you are saying...Isn't candle making just soooo fun?  Never bores me...I love it!:thumbsup:

 

Trappeur

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Lyschel has a downloadable wick chart somewhere on the CC website. Close to the top of her chart is the scent name "Base," with NA given as the fragrance amt/lb and CD 8 listed as the wick size for a votive and CD 14 for a 3" diameter jar. I haven't specifically asked about this item on her chart, but have assumed that it refers to an unfragranced candle that they use as a reference point for starting wick tests. When I've chatted with CC staff about recommendations for a wick size, or even in the emails they've sent following an order, they've sometimes advises me to "wick up"—to start with a higher wick size than usual. In the case of Mountain Meadow Honey, I suppose the advice would be to wick down, since her chart says they use CD 10 in a 3" diameter jar instead of the base candle's CD 14. 

 

Until recently, when Candle Cocoon started testing wave wicks, they used CD and CDN wick series exclusively. Another assumption on my part is that an aspect of her fragrance development is that if a fragrance doesn't work with either of those series, she sends it back for further refinement. 

 

That's pure speculation on my part, though.

 

I can see what you're saying, though. If I find out that an ECO wick, for example, works in my unscented candle, how will I know ECO is still the best series for a scented candle? Good question for which I don't have an answer. But maybe I'll find two or 3 wick series that seem to work well with my unscented candle. At least I'll have a place to start with scented candles. 

 

What I do like is that Candle Cocoon limits themselves to 2 wick series. And that's what I want to do too. Find 1 or 2 wick series that work, starting with my base candle, and if a fragrance doesn't work with any sizes in those 2 series, the fragrance gets eliminated. I don't want to have to keep testing wick series. Wick sizes, yes. But I don't want to keep a bazillion wick series on hand. As far as I'm concerned, there are so many fragrances to choose from, it's not worth it to me to keep going to the wall for a stubborn fragrance. It works with my chosen series or out it goes. Starting off as I am, I want to keep things as simple as possible, even if my method seems convoluted right now.

 

Bottom line for me is that I want to avoid trying a bunch of different series with different fragrances. It's probably naive of me to think it's possible.

 

You are definitely making me think! I love it.

 

Here's the link to Candle Cocoon's wick size chart http://www.candlecocoon.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/Wick_Sizes.docx

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@Trappeur the reason I started doing unscented, naked wax, tests is because too many variables were making it nearly impossible to create a half way decent candle all of a sudden.

 

I did a quick pan test to learn how my base wax burned side by side. A few wicks stood out as top contenders, so I was able to eliminate a whole lot of testing in one fell swoop. If the wicks mushroom, soot, carbon ball or otherwise burn unwell, I know it’s the wicks, not any of the other variables, so I could shorten my testing phase. The unscented wax is simple to recycle saving me a good deal of $$. 

 

Now, when I get a new lot of my wax, a quick burn with my typical wick tells me if I will have any other problems before I make 500 candles and discover too late there’s a problem. (That was one super expensive lesson!!!)

 

Before I started this process I collected, no lie, three 6 gallon pails filled with failed scented candle wax. Hundreds of dollars worth of fragrance alone, without calculating the wax. I had no idea what my baseline was so every candle was a new shot in the dark. 

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Thanks for chiming in, @TallTayl. I knew there was a reason I was doing it this way, and you explained it so much more clearly than I was doing.

 

Yes, to the economics of testing wicks in unscented wax. In the long run, an economy of time in addition to money & supplies. Limit the variables so as to reduce the frustration of troubleshooting. 

 

I've yet to do a pan test. On my list of things to do someday, if only to see for myself how a pan test works. 

 

I appreciate the discussion. It helps me think through what I'm doing and why, even if I can't articulate it well.

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It’s a lot like  algebra. You isolate variables and then you solve the problem. Once you’ve identified the value of each variable you can solve the problem all day long.

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2 hours ago, Linda P said:

Thanks for chiming in, @TallTayl. I knew there was a reason I was doing it this way, and you explained it so much more clearly than I was doing.

 

Yes, to the economics of testing wicks in unscented wax. In the long run, an economy of time in addition to money & supplies. Limit the variables so as to reduce the frustration of troubleshooting. 

 

IMO there's no downside to unscented pan tests when experimenting with a new, novel wax blend with no clue what wicks to begin with.  You can reuse the wax so it's really only a small investment in time and not much time at that.

I've done pan tests where every single wick type mushroomed by burn #2 and most mushroomed in the 1st 3 hours.  That saved me from potentially spending weeks looking for a unicorn wick that won't quickly mushroom in that wax.   Had I been testing with FO, I would likely have concluded that the fragrance oil was responsible for the mushrooming. 

 

Really enjoying reading about your wax blending and results Linda..  Thanks for sharing it! 

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@Trappeur I think of testing unscented as a way to know how the wax itself performs and if you want to continue testing it.  For me it's always saved me a little $ on fo because I'm not wasting it on wax I don't even want to go further with.  It's all expensive and I'm cheap!

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