A Quick Guide to Olive Wax & Liquid Oil Ratios

Earlier this year Dale got in touch to ask if I’d ever worked with olive wax, and when I replied I’d never worked with it and not found it for sale in Canada, he generously offered to mail me some olive wax and some almond wax. Several months later they arrived in a space-age-looking shiny silver bubble wrap packet—two carefully labeled plastic baggies of waxy pellets. As always, my first step in “getting to know you” is one of my quick guide ratio experiments. Given that olive wax is marketed as an easy one-to-one alternative to beeswax, I modelled the experiment after my beeswax experiment so we can see if that’s really the case.

A Quick Guide to Olive Wax & Liquid Oil Ratios

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How to Scale Any Recipe

Recipe scaling is something I get a reasonable amount of questions about, so I thought I’d write out a how-to on how to scale any recipe so you can confidently make lots (or very little) of the things you love. I’ve also created a downloadable spreadsheet that you can input your data into, and it’ll do all the math for you (score!). Grab that, and the instructions to use it, at the end of the post.

How to Scale Any Recipe

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Research Red Flags & How to Learn About Your Ingredients

One of my favourite things about this community is the enthusiasm with which people research; the desire to learn more about ingredients, products, and processes is insatiable! However, as anyone who has done much poking about in this space will know, there’s a lot of dubious sources out there, so today I wanted to give a bit of an overview for things I look for when deciding if a source is trustworthy or not. Some of these “red flags” are bigger than others, and the presence of one or two doesn’t necessarily mean you should outright discard a source, but as always, think critically about claims you read and use common sense 🙂

Research Red Flags & How to Learn About Your Ingredients

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A Quick Guide to Stearic Acid & Liquid Oil Ratios

Today we’re looking at stearic acid, and how it behaves when melted together with olive oil at different ratios. Stearic acid is a pretty humble ingredient—mine is unassuming white beads that are bigger than cetyl alcohol, but not by much. We use it to thicken and harden our products when we want thickening and hardening, but we don’t want waxiness. Because stearic acid is an isolated fatty acid it thickens without adding the tack or brittle stiffness that wax can contribute, meaning waxes are typically not a good substitution for stearic acid as they’ll bring a few things to the party that weren’t invited.

A Quick Guide to Stearic Acid and Liquid Oil Ratios

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A Quick Guide to Cetyl Alcohol & Liquid Oil Ratios

Cetyl alcohol is pretty unassuming. Give it a cursory glance and it looks like white dust—teensy little moderately glossy blobs and specks of nothing all too exciting. Cetyl alcohol is a saturated fatty alcohol derived from coconuts, with a melting point of 49°C (120°F), which still doesn’t sound all that exciting, frankly. I swear you’ll be stoked about it by the end of this post, though!

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