Candle gel, paraffin and soy wax: Candlemaking made easy for everyone
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The time has come for a Kriek Belle-Vue

Our visitors from Belgium know it: "the more you taste it, the more it suits your taste!" And for our foreign friends, here's a chance to discover one of the prides of Belgium: the beer. And not any kind of beer, since today we're going to make a Kriek Belle-Vue (a cherry-flavored beer, hence the name).
Nothing imitates better the freshness and transparency sprinkled with bubbles than the Gel. And if you didn't know it yet, the paraffin has the advantage that it can be stiffly beaten, like egg whites, and that it imitates perfectly the beer foam. We don't need much more to start this project...



Specifications
  • Difficulty: relatively easy
  • Time needed: about one hour


  • The real thing... Supplies needed
  • 450g (one pound) of Candle gel,
  • red dye,
  • 1 glass specific to the beer we are going to "copy", in this case a Kriek glass,
  • 200g of paraffin,
  • 1 wick whose size matches the diameter of the glass,
  • 1 wick holder,
  • 1 thermometer,
  • 1 old fork to whip the paraffin.
  • and, of course, the classical supplies like double-boiler, pitchers...


    How to make a beer candle

    1 It is not the cowl that makes the monk, the dictum says, but we have to confess it helps a lot!
    So make sure you get the type of glass in which the beer you're going to "brew" is generally served. If this beer does not come from a small craft brewery with limited distribution, it shouldn't be a problem. Very often big store departments offer in their crockery sections original glasses from the brewer himself for less than 2 Euros.
    If you're a beer lover, the stores often offer a free glass for buying one or two packs of beer. This is the ideal moment for enlarging your collection. Of course, it is even simpler if you know somebody who works in a tavern...
    Wash the glass thoroughly with soap and water, wipe it dry and make sure it doesn't have any residues of soap or fingerprints.



    2 In a suitable casserole and on open fire, over slow heat, slowly melt the Gel which you have previously broken up into small pieces with your hands or with a pair of scissors, in order to make it melt faster and evenly. Don't forget to place a thermometer in the recipient from the very start, so that you can keep an eye on the temperature of the content: the temperature of your gel should never go over 225░F.
    Once the gel has completely melted, color it brilliant red. Start with a small quantity of colorant and increase the dose until you get a color similar to your model.
    In this case don't be afraid to energetically stir the colorant and the gel with a spoon: this creates bubbles and these bubbles are welcome in this project, you don't want a plain beer...


    3 Once the colorant is homogeneously mixed, allow the temperature of the gel to decrease between 160░F and 170░F.
    Pour a centimeter of gel on the bottom of the glass and immediately place the wick. As it congeals, the gel will stow the wick on the bottom of the glass enough for you to keep it straight with the help of a skewer.


    4 After checking if the gel still has a temperature between 160 and 170░F, fill the glass until you reach the level of the upper part of the logo (here the barrel).
    The rest will be filled by the foam as the rule of the art decides...
    Now leave the gel all the time it needs to cool down completely (3 hours is a good lapse of time). If you don't know what to do during these three hours, you're allowed to drink your model.


    5 Once the gel has cooled down, it's time to take care of the foam! Use a double boiler to melt the paraffin (without additives) in a small melting pot.
    As you probably noticed, the foam of a beer preserves some of its color: the Guinness, for example, a very dark beer, has slightly brownish foam. The Kriek is no exception: its foam is pinkish, certainly not white. So we are going to color light red the paraffin which will represent the foam.
    Given the fact that paraffin is always darker in liquid than in solid state, add more red. Notice in the photos which illustrate this project the difference of color between the paraffin about to be whipped and the foam on the finished candle: this difference is not due to the photos!


    6 Take the melting pot out of the double boiler and let the paraffin cool down until a thin layer starts to form on its surface: this is a sign that it will soon quit the liquid state and it's the perfect moment to whip it.
    Holding the recipient with your left hand (if you're right-handed), energetically whip the paraffin with a fork. You don't want to obtain real foam, but a stage halfway between foam and liquid. Once you achieve that, slowly pour the "foam" into the glass on top of the gel, and continue until you almost reach the brim.
    It is very likely that a small cooling cavity will form around the wick. If it's not too obvious, leave it as it is. If you don't like the look, you can melt the paraffin again, whip it once more and fill the cavity.


    7 Don't worry if the foam looks very red in the beginning. As it cools down (and solidifies), the color will become paler and you will be amazed to see how well it resembles the original. Unlike it, however, your Kriek will never lose its bubbles or its foam. ;-)

    Here it is, to your health!

    I hope this project will inspire you and will make you want to "recreate" other types of beer from your region. Not to mention that it is always a much appreciated gift for the winter holidays.

    Almost as good as the real thing... a candle to make you thirsty!
    Almost as good as the real thing... a candle to make you thirsty!

    Advanced search:
  • candle gel
  • Kriek


    It is not the cowl that makes the monk... but it sure helps
    1It is not the cowl that makes the monk... but it sure helps.

    Melt and colour the candle gel
    2Melt and colour the candle gel

    Pour a little quantity of candle gel in the glass and put the wick in place
    3Pour a little quantity of candle gel in the glass and put the wick in place

    Fill the glass with gel, making sure you leave enough room for the foam
    4Fill the glass with gel, making sure you leave enough room for the foam

    Melt the paraffin that will figure the beer foam and whip it vigorously
    5 & 6Melt the paraffin that will figure the beer foam and whip it vigorously

    Don't worry if the foam appears very red in the beginning
    7Don't worry if the foam appears very red in the beginning

    Your Kriek is finished. Cheers!
    EndYour Kriek is finished. Cheers!

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