Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: Wax processing - best solution !?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Aberdeenshire
    Posts
    500

    Default Wax processing - best solution !?

    Hey all - I'm fed up of crappy wax processing.

    Every year I generate 4 or 5 very large boxes of capping wax, broken frame wax, off cut wax with varying degrees of honey in it and debris. I dont have time to deal with it when its generated so I leave it in boxes till winter.

    I'd love a simple but effective way of cleaning the wax. Obviously I would love an apimelter but cant really justify cost !

    At the moment I put it bit by bit in a slow cooker in water in some nylon tights and leave it to melt. Then microwave it to pour into wax block moulds at a later date. Not great.

    Any equipment you would recommend ? I would love to save the honey from it but its not likely I know - plus lots has set by the time I get round to dealing with it.

    GG

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Aberdeenshire, on top of a wind-swept and exposed hill.
    Posts
    1,141

    Default

    So am I, GG, and I don't have a good answer. I keep the cappings wax separate from other wax in the hope of saving honey still in the wax for mead or cooking. I still have to find a good way of retrieving that honey.

    As for the other wax, one of the easiest and cheapest options is to borrow a wax melter from the association. I'm always pleased for an excuse to visit Sandy. They work like this one from Thornes, but are round.

    For further rendering and cleaning of large amounts of wax, I've bought a Kochstar from Abelo (they're not as fancy or expensive as the Thorne's ones). It's ok, but still not ideal. I've tried wrapping the wax in a large piece of muslin, but lifting the muslin out of the bucket of molten wax and trying to squeeze all the wax out of it, is difficult. I don't think I'll repeat that. Also difficult is lifting the bucket from the Kochstar and then pouring the wax into moulds - but it is quicker than a bain marie on a stove. You can also melt down larger pieces of wax. That was perhaps the main reason I bought the Kochstar - to melt down chunks of wax that's too large for a bain marie.

    Kitta

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Aberdeenshire
    Posts
    500

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mellifera Crofter View Post
    So am I, GG, and I don't have a good answer. I keep the cappings wax separate from other wax in the hope of saving honey still in the wax for mead or cooking. I still have to find a good way of retrieving that honey.

    As for the other wax, one of the easiest and cheapest options is to borrow a wax melter from the association. I'm always pleased for an excuse to visit Sandy. They work like this one from Thornes, but are round.

    For further rendering and cleaning of large amounts of wax, I've bought a Kochstar from Abelo (they're not as fancy or expensive as the Thorne's ones). It's ok, but still not ideal. I've tried wrapping the wax in a large piece of muslin, but lifting the muslin out of the bucket of molten wax and trying to squeeze all the wax out of it, is difficult. I don't think I'll repeat that. Also difficult is lifting the bucket from the Kochstar and then pouring the wax into moulds - but it is quicker than a bain marie on a stove. You can also melt down larger pieces of wax. That was perhaps the main reason I bought the Kochstar - to melt down chunks of wax that's too large for a bain marie.

    Kitta
    Thanks Kitta ! I didn't think about the association but will do that. Seems like there are a few wax melters with the association. Do you know who has the good bigger one and I'll contact ?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Aberdeenshire, on top of a wind-swept and exposed hill.
    Posts
    1,141

    Default

    I think they’re probably all about the same size, GG. I’ve only ever borrowed Sandy‘s - and I have it now - but I think he has two. I think Erling was expecting his back around now.

    But I’ll hurry with Sandy’s. I promised to return it some time next week. I need space!
    Kitta

  5. #5
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Norfolk East Anglia, South Scotland
    Posts
    908

    Default

    I used to use a slow cooker but one day I forget it and the room was full of wax fumes and something dark and unpleasant inside the cracked slow-cooker bowl. I now have one with a timer and thermostat which is safer! I generally pour out the molten wax into plastic pots and let it cool, then take the worst of the junk off the bottom the now solidified wax and heat it again and then strain it through something. It's time-consuming and messy.

  6. #6
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Fife and Ardnamurchan
    Posts
    1,654

    Default

    I also use a slow cooker, though mine sounds a little safer than Adam's.
    I melt it in the slow cooker with some rainwater, let it solidify in the pot, tip it out, scrape off the propolis and other junk that sinks to the bottom with a hive tool, then remelt it without water. This is then sufficiently clean to pour through a single sheet kitchen paper filter into ice cream containers. I use a silicone release spray in these first.
    The resulting wax blocks are more than clean enough to trade for foundation (irrespective of the colour) or, if the wax is pale enough, make candles. I've also sold wax for woodturning and something to do with needlecraft or stitching.

    I wouldn't use it for cosmetics (and refuse to sell it for this purpose) because any amount of 'slap' is too late for me

    Did you know you're supposed to be able to make wax paler coloured by treating with oxalic acid?

    Allegedly. I've tried and was not successful

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Aberdeenshire, on top of a wind-swept and exposed hill.
    Posts
    1,141

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    ... I melt it in the slow cooker with some rainwater, let it solidify in the pot, tip it out, ...(
    I suppose I can do that in my Kochstar - but I thought the wax might get stuck to the sides, and that I wouldn't be able to get it out from the Kochstar. I once melted a bucket of wax in my warming cabinet, and it was a struggle to get that solid wax out of the bucket! Isn't that a problem in the slow cooker?

  8. #8

    Default

    If you melt it with loads of water, you can then put a stick or similar in it when you start to let it cool. When it has solidified, pull out the stick, turn the vessel upside down, pour out the water and you can easily break the wax up because there's nothing underneath it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Aberdeenshire, on top of a wind-swept and exposed hill.
    Posts
    1,141

    Default

    Thanks Jambo, I'll try that!
    Kitta

  10. #10
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Fife and Ardnamurchan
    Posts
    1,654

    Default

    The wax always shrinks away from the sidewall of the slow cooker as it cools. Sometimes I need to give the rim of the bowl a gently tap, but it always comes out pretty easily.

    The stick is a good idea ...

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •