candles, tallow



candles, tallow defined in 1909 year

candles, tallow - Candles, Tallow;
candles, tallow -

Tallow Boiling

First, the fat is chopped; cutting machines are often used similar to the straw-cutting table; sometimes a thin, sharp-edged, mince-hatchet is employed, about 2½ ft. in length. This is held with both hands, and the fat, spread out on a beech block, is chopped into small pieces in all directions. A third instrument is a kind of stamp trough with muller, having a sharp blade in the form of an S, a contrivance frequently adopted for cutting beets. A more desirable instrument, however, is the ordinary rotary sausage-cutter. The fat is then placed in melting caldrons, hemispherical in form, and made of cast iron, which are heated by open fire. These caldrons are covered with movable tin-plate hoods, so adjusted that, by means of pulleys, ropes, and counter-weights, they can be easily raised or lowered, whilst, at the same time, they serve to carry off the offensive vapours arising from the heated fat. Water is sometimes mixed with the fat in the caldrons, and this addition is specially beneficial when the fat has been long kept during the summer months, and has thereby lost its natural moisture by evaporation. By gradually raising the temperature in the pan, the fat runs from the cells, and the whole is kept boiling from 1 to 1½ hour. During the whole operation of melting and boiling, the ingredients must be constantly stirred in order to keep the fat and cracklings in incessant agitation, otherwise pieces of unmelted suet, coming in contact with the sides or bottom, would become scorched and acquire a brownish tint, of which the whole melting would necessarily partake. Scorched tallow is not readily whitened. For separating the melted fat from the cracklings, it is ladled off from the caldron into a fine willow basket, or a copper box perforated at the bottom with innumerable small holes, set over large copper coolers, and allowed to remain undisturbed till all foreign matters have settled down. Before it congeals, it should be transferred into small wooden pails. This operation is continued so long as the cracklings yield any fat; and during the process the heat must be maintained at a moderate degree, to avoid scorching the materials. When the cracklings begin to harden they acquire a darkish tint, and hence are said to be browning. They are then pressed, and the fat thus obtained possesses somewhat of the brown colour of the cracklings, but not so much as to render it unfit for use as soap stock; it may, consequently, be mixed with that which has spontaneously separated while heating.

Clarifying Tallow

  1. By mere melting and straining we do not obtain a fat entirely free from admixture of fine, undissolved substances. For separating these substances, it must be clarified, by remelting it in water, either on free fire or by steam. Generally, no more water than 5 per cent, is taken, and stirred well with the fat till the mixture becomes emulsive. The whole is then allowed to rest, without further heating, till the water has separated, when the fat may be drawn off, or dipped off. Sometimes, to conceal the yellowish tint, a very little blue colour is added, consisting of indigo rubbed finely with some oil, of which a few drops are sufficient for large quantities of tallow. The process of clarifying is occasionally repeated. At the line of demarcation between the water and fat, a grey slimy substance is often perceptible, and the liquid itself is turbid. Instead of pure water, some tallow-melters take brine or solutions of alum, saltpetre, chloride of ammonium, or other salts. These agents have no chemical action upon the fats, but simply induce a more rapid settling of the impurities and water, principally when strong agitation is used.
  2. Dissolve alum 5 lb., in water 10 gal., by boiling; and when it is all dissolved, add tallow 20 lb.; continue the boiling for an hour, constantly stirring and skimming; when sufficiently cool to allow it, strain through thick muslin; then set aside to harden; when taken from the water, lay it by for a short time to drip.


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