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First test day! 464


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I'm testing my first candle today. Yay!

  • GB 464 - 16oz
  • ECO14 wick, centered but not held taut
  • Lemon FO from Candlewic - 1oz
  • Melted to 175
  • FO added and stirred at 125
  • Poured at 125
  • Jar 16oz w/ 3.75" diameter
  • Cure time: 7 days

Ok, so there are a few things I know are probably not right.

  1. I should have used 15oz wax and 1oz FO for a 16oz candle. The amount that I used means there is 5.8% FO, and I could have used more.
  2. The wick should have been held taut.
  3. I think that the wax should have been heated 180ish, FO added at 180, and then poured at 160. These are the temps I used for another candle the day after I made this one, so I'll test that one tomorrow :)
  4. This size jar should possibly be double-wicked, so from now on I will be using smaller jars.

Here are some not-so-great-quality photos from my phone (real camera is out of commission) but you can see the melt pool size and flame size, at least. These pictures are after about a half hour. My newbie assessment is that the melt pool is too large for only a half hour of burning -- which means the wick is too large. Thoughts?

At this point, I can smell the lemon from about 1/2 foot away. Not very strong. (However, someone mentioned in another thread that lemon is a hard scent to get a strong HT out of, so we will see.) I will update with pictures.

6ULrMl.jpg

szkBNl.jpg

post-13979-139458486798_thumb.jpg

post-13979-139458486802_thumb.jpg

Edited by emahleem
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You may be right in that after only 1/2 burn time your MP is out quite a ways already but see what happens. Soy does burn down then out so it might slow down some. Soy also does have a tendency to send all kinds of little surprises our way sometimes :)

Lemon can be a tough one to wick. I've ran across where if I get a good ST, I smell fuel. If I slow it down, I don't get the throw...but that is just me. With your wax and your fragrance brand, it might work out just fine.

GL & keep the pics coming.

Edited by jeanie353
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Here are pics from about 1.5 hours in.

6KmJ0l.jpg

zGpckl.jpg

Observations:

  • The wick is definitely too big. The flame is flickering pretty consistently and just... looks too big. It is also smoking a bit.
  • I think the MP seems like an okay size; it is about an inch and a half radius. Too big? The wick is definitely big, but how about the MP?
  • The HT is great! My boyfriend said he smelled it but I couldn't at all, so I left the room for 5 minutes and when I came back, I could smell the lemon immediately! The room is about 10x14, not small but not huge.
  • I tried to trim the wick with a pair of scissors, but I forgot that when I trimmed it, the wick would fall into the melted wax... duh. So you can see in the pictures where I tried to scoop out the fallen wick and messed up the outer edge!

Candle veterans, I feel like this is a silly question, but how do you trim the wick without it falling into the melted wax? Are you supposed to blow out the candle and let it harden to trim it? Confused...

Edited by emahleem
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Burn the candle to completion a few hours at a time, I see at least 3-stages in a candle's life and they all show a different burning behavior. Take notes but don't consider it a success or failure until the end. As you noted the flame is too big as is the melt pool for just 1.5 hours, it should take twice that time or more for that sized container. The good HT is probably coming from the extra heat produced from the flame.

I trim wicks after the candle has cooled, I think if you feel compelled to do it during the burn (not a power burn), it certainly says the wick is too big.

Edited by rjdaines
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I'm going to blow it out at the 3 hour mark because I have to go out, and I figured 3 hours is a decent first session. Should I wait until tomorrow for the next burn session, or is it okay to do another one later tonight after it has cooled/hardened? Don't want to start again too soon.

The good HT is probably coming from the extra heat produced from the flame.

Good point about the HT, I hope I can still get a nice strong HT with an appropriate sized wick.

I trim wicks after the candle has cooled, I think if you feel compelled to do it during the burn (not a power burn), it certainly says the wick is too big.

That clears it up. Thanks :)

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Burn the candle to completion a few hours at a time, I see at least 3-stages in a candle's life and they all show a different burning behavior. Take notes but don't consider it a success or failure until the end. As you noted the flame is too big as is the melt pool for just 1.5 hours, it should take twice that time or more for that sized container. The good HT is probably coming from the extra heat produced from the flame.

I trim wicks after the candle has cooled, I think if you feel compelled to do it during the burn (not a power burn), it certainly says the wick is too big.

Yeah, I agree. That wick is too big along with the flame. Maybe go down 2 sizes and see what happens on the next test.

Each has their own way of testing but I do fully agree with rjdaines about the stages of a candle's life. I tend to suggest to wick for the lower part of the container b/c of those phases. As the candle burns along it will get hotter. I have to tell my customers they need to do the initial burn of "x" amount of time to prevent the candle from tunneling. On first glance one of my containers may appear to be underwicked b/c it burns a small area for quite while very slowly moving outward. If they extinguish it too early and don't burn long enough on the 2nd burn as well, it is going to tunnel. If wicked higher the candle is too hot at the bottom 1/3 of its life and also loses scent throw due to burning off too much.

Edited by jeanie353
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I forgot to address your other question. Blow out or extinguish the wick by dipping it into the wax melt pool. Once the wick is cool you can snip it with a large nail clippers, wick trimmer or with your fingers like I do. Once the candle is totally cool when testing, you can go ahead and light it back up to continue.

Do you have that wick adhered on the bottom? If not you could just pull it when the candle cools and insert another. Otherwise, you can melt it down in the microwave or double boiler, candle warmer.... pour the melted wax into another jar, rewick your original container and pour the melted wax back in.

I don't know if this interests you since we each have our own way of doing things....when I am starting out with a new fragrance to test, I pour the wax in the container non-wicked. Poke a hole with a wood skewer, cut the tab off a wick and stick it in there. It gives a good indication as it goes along if that will will be suitable to actually adhere and burn an entire candle without the remelting and re-gluing of tabs.

Edited by jeanie353
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Good info, thanks jeanie! Glad I don't have to wait too long between burns... my patience is wearing thin after a whole week of staring at it! Hah

Here are the 2 hour pics. Doesn't look too much different to me, but the last one was only 30 mins ago. Next will be the 3 hours pics and then I will start the 2nd burn when it cools. :yay:

HQ2jdl.jpg

Wvh4Al.jpg

Edited by emahleem
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You already have listed the "mistakes" in your candle I would have pointed out. It's gonna take a long time to test that big ol' candle. While I have no problem wicking 3.75" diameter candles, that might not have been the easiest choice for a noob. I also wouldn't have chosen lemon FO...

A 3/75" INSIDE diameter candle should be burned for 3 hrs. 45 minutes per session (approx. 1 hour per inch of candle diameter). Each test session should be the same amount of time. It is not desirable for a soy candle to achieve FMP on the first burn - some hangup is even okay on the second, but you should have FMP by the third test burn. You are wicking for the last 1/3 of the container. The temperature is higher as the candle burns down into the container, so if the candle achieves FMP right at first, you can bet it's gonna be a hot mama by the time it burns halfway down.

I don't use ECOs so I cannot comment about the wick size. I would have used a CD 16 or 18 in that diameter jar. You would have been wise to have chosen a smaller container with a smaller inside diameter to begin with. Try a 4 oz. JJ... Those are easy to wick (CD 8) and do not take a long time to test. Once you begin to understand the mechanics of making and wicking a decent candle, then move up in size.

Dip your wick to extinguish instead of blowing it out. It reprimes the wick. I do not trim a wick while testing - only before the test begins. It should be trimmed to 1/4". Some people use wick trimmers, some people use toenail clippers, some people simply break off the curled portion with their fingertips. I like the wick trimmer best. It is important to get a clean, straight cut.

My boyfriend said he smelled it but I couldn't at all, so I left the room for 5 minutes and when I came back, I could smell the lemon immediately!
Your first lesson in "candlenose."

If the last pic was after 3 hours, I think the candle is burning on track. Let it cool COMPLETELY to room temp before resuming the test. Since you only tested for 3 hours the first time, keep that schedule, but on your next candle, burn for 3.75 hours per session.

you could just pull it when the candle cools and insert another

This is NOT a good idea and I never suggest pulling wicks to noobs. The environment of the candle changes each time it is burned. Pulling a wick and changing it in a container skews the data. Stay the course with one wick. Even if you pull wicks, you STILL have to burn a tester all the way down with the wick you choose, then a powerburn, so you gain nothing by doing this. Now if I were testing a pillar, I could cut the top level and change wicks without skewing the burn data, but this is NOT the case with container candles.

Have fun and update us on how it's going.

Edited by Stella1952
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Do you have that wick adhered on the bottom? If not you could just pull it when the candle cools and insert another. Otherwise, you can melt it down in the microwave or double boiler, candle warmer.... pour the melted wax into another jar, rewick your original container and pour the melted wax back in.

I strongly disagree with the melting it in the microwave if there is a metal tab at the bottom of the wick assembly ... even if it is not adhered to the container ... it could damage the microwave! One of my customers tried this, the glass at the bottom shattered and the arcing from the metal ruined his magnetron.

I believe jeanie353's advice would be great if only a piece of wicking (minus the metal tab) was being used.

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You're so right, Judy. I've done the microwave thing... I turned it off at the first sign of arcing so my container & magnetron were saved, but I didn't do that again! Even if the tab has a LOT of wax on top of it, the metal still heats up a LOT, as Judy explained, and can easily crack the glass on the bottom of a container. Digging the wax out and melting in another container is a far better idea if one is going to melt in the nuker...

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I definitely agree that I was silly to start with such a big candle, and lemon wasn't the best choice.

should be burned for 3 hrs. 45 minutes per session

Yes, I was so excited to burn it that I didn't think about what time it would be finished and I have to leave at 3:00. I'll make sure I follow the 1 hour per inch rule next time.

If the last pic was after 3 hours, I think the candle is burning on track.

Those last 2 pics were after 2 hours, sorry, that was confusing. I was saying that the next post would be after 3 hours. I assume then that you will agree the candle is burning too quickly after 2 hours? :P

I never suggest pulling wicks to noobs

I'll stick with the smaller candles from now on so that this won't be tempting, because I see what you mean about still having to test the next wick with a full candle. The 4oz jelly jars sound good, much less time and materials invested in each test candle.

Oh, and dipping into the wax to extinguish the flame while repriming it makes perfect sense.

Next post will be the 3 hour pics and then I'll be back later for burn #2. Thanks for all of your advice and encouragement. :)

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I try never to judge a candle on the first burn, unless it's something extreme (like flames licking up to the ceiling or the wick drowns completely). Even with photos, it's hard to tell when not in person, KWIM?

Did you take a photo at 3 hours?

Have fun and shoot us some photos at the end of the 2nd burn...

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Ok, I'm back! Here are the pics from 3 hours of burning. I am just waiting now for the wax to harden before I start burning again and I'll post the photos when I finish.

zpkJMl.jpg

j6gxzl.jpg

In the meantime, I've been looking into some smaller jars... I would really prefer to not pay shipping, obviously, so what do you guys think of these? They are listed as "3 oz Libbey Votives" with capacity of 2 oz. Would I have to test them in a bathroom because the MP would be so small?

Edited by emahleem
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See? I think that looks pretty decent after 3 hours...

Dollar Tree, etc. have lots of small containers, like flowerpots, etc. The votive glass you found is actually something to slip a standard sized votive into to burn. Sure you COULD pour into it... but I think there might be better choices out there...

You don't have to test them in a bathroom - test them in a normal sized room to see how well they scent... Some votives are plenty strong enough to scent a big room... just depends...

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Almost finished with my second burn. The smell is still great, hot and cold. I will take a picture soon and post it a little later tonight.

I just ordered 2 packs of these 4oz jelly jars from Walmart and I'll be picking them up tomorrow. Stella, do you think a CD-10 wick would be too big? I'd like to get them from Candlewic but they don't have the 8's listed. I just emailed them asking if they happen to have them anyway, but we'll see. Think CD-10 will be okay as a second choice?

Oh, here are pics of the candle right before I lit for the 2nd burn.

ksOyLl.jpg

IYqsHl.jpg

Edited by emahleem
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Lone Star has CDs in 8s... check around. I can't be certain which will will work for you. I'd start with an 8, but if it didn't work as well as I want, I'd sure try a 10. This is why it pays to buy a sampler kit - you have a range of sizes from which to choose.

I had not see those jars - they are cute!

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LOL! That wick doesn't look too good, does it... I've just been knocking off the extra in between burns, and that's what happens. Remember though, when I made this I didn't know the wick was supposed to be taut while drying, so maybe that's affecting it.

I can't imagine that it's underwicked because the flame flickers so much, but it could be. There is a pretty substantial ring of unmelted wax around the perimeter. But like you said, maybe it will hit FMP after a few more burns. I'll keep posting... doing one more burn tonight (finishing at 1 am) so I will post those photos tomorrow and get started on burn #4!

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Lone Star has CDs in 8s... check around. I can't be certain which will will work for you. I'd start with an 8, but if it didn't work as well as I want, I'd sure try a 10. This is why it pays to buy a sampler kit - you have a range of sizes from which to choose.

I had not see those jars - they are cute!

I believe Bluegrass has them, also.

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I've just been knocking off the extra in between burns, and that's what happens

Don't "knock off the extra" - please trim it straight. Toenail clippers will work if your scissors won't work...

can't imagine that it's underwicked because the flame flickers so much

Wicks flicker for different reasons - this doesn't necessarily mean the candle is overwicked.

Be sure the candle is completely cool all the way through before lighting again. Burning a warm candlle will mess up the test results.

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