Best way to process beeswax
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  1. #1
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    Aug 2015
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    Adelaide, Australia
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    Default Best way to process beeswax

    There's lots of information on the web showing different techniques to process beeswax. Most of which, are more suitable for hobbyists with smaller amounts of beeswax. Currently, I have about ten 27 litres full of unprocessed beeswax. I'm not sure if I should build or purchase a solar melter, or just get a large pot and use a double boiler method. Some articles suggest to put the wax in some cheese cloth, then squeeze out any of the gunk with some tongs. Some suggest to simply use paint strainers or paper towels to filter it.

    What works well and what doesn't work well?

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    I do it two different ways. Capping I have a antique Kelly's wax melter that I use. Junk wax, like brood wax old frames wax. A galvanized wash tub on a fish fryer burner. They go by a lot of different names. Like for beer making or deep frying turkeys. Once the heavy amount of junk is worked off. It goes to the Kelly's wax melter. That way it gets more filtering. and made in smaller blocks. For you it a solar melter might work. If you have time. Do you have a bottling tank? You could use that with a ball valve.

  4. #3
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    Jun 2015
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    Rib Lake WI
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    I tried paper towels and I don't like that the wax is slow to filter. The easiest I found was double boiler with chees cloth.

  5. #4
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    Jan 2014
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    Sandpoint, ID, USA
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    Steam rendering for me...

    You won't get aromatic wax from steam rendering though.

  6. #5
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    Feb 2016
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    Covington, Alabama, USA
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    757

    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    I get a deep cake pan. I build a wood frame to fit on top of its upper lip. Then I put a piece of #8 hardware cloth across the wood frame. I put 2 paper towels on top of the hardware cloth and then I pile my wax on top of that. Then I put it all in the oven and put it on 200 degrees F. It makes pristine wax. I can only do about 3 pounds at the time. Of course, you could build two and do 6 pounds at the time, etc.

  7. #6
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    Feb 2013
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    Humboldt Co., California
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    Solar melter for me...during summer. Way less messy than boiling in water or making a mess in the kitchen as bees wax is almost impossible to clean out of the oven or stove.

  8. #7
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    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    I use a solar wax melter in the summer as well. It saves me time and I get real nice wax. In the past I've just boiled all the wax and gunk in water and then let it cool. Pulled the wax off of the top, flipped it over, cut the junk off the bottom and repeated if necessary. You can usually do a final filter at that point.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  9. #8
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    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    Just finished my new and improved solar melter. Got to used it a few times in the fall at 70-80 degrees. Where it is now it gets only about four hours of sun which was enough to melt several loads of wax before getting cold.

    Made it to fit a piece of scrap corrugated steel siding approximately 3' x 4'. Cut 2" x 6" lumber for the sided and left over plexiglas pieces in a frame for the top. Painted the wood dark brown with left over paint. Aluminum window screen on top of the steel siding. Maybe 2-3 hour to make. I spread the wax cappings/comb on the screen it holds all the slump gum. The wax melts and drips on the steel siding and runs down to the bottom. It can hold over a five gallon bucket of capping at a time.

    It takes very little effort/time to load, comes out nice and clean, may need to be filtered depending on what your using it's for. I have selected wax straight from the solar melter for lip balm.

    If it needs to filtered I cut an old sheet to fit inside a crock pot, fill it with wax and melt. When melted lift the sheet let the wax drain through it. Can use the sheet over and over again.

  10. #9
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    Jan 2015
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    Hubert, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    I use a turkey fryer. I built a solar wax melter but have never used it.

  11. #10
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    Nov 2009
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    Manning, SC
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    Just finished my new and improved solar melter. Got to used it a few times in the fall at 70-80 degrees. Where it is now it gets only about four hours of sun which was enough to melt several loads of wax before getting cold.

    Made it to fit a piece of scrap corrugated steel siding approximately 3' x 4'. Cut 2" x 6" lumber for the sided and left over plexiglas pieces in a frame for the top. Painted the wood dark brown with left over paint. Aluminum window screen on top of the steel siding. Maybe 2-3 hour to make. I spread the wax cappings/comb on the screen it holds all the slump gum. The wax melts and drips on the steel siding and runs down to the bottom. It can hold over a five gallon bucket of capping at a time.
    Got pics?
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  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    nylon tricot fabric is great filter material. Buy on line. For the rest choose your safety level. Use no open flame.

  13. #12
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    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    Crock pots work good for very little funds 15.00 at walmart then pour thru cheescloth.
    500-1000 hives mostly honey

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    Quote Originally Posted by snl View Post
    Got pics?
    DSCN2774.jpg

    Here's a picture before I framed the plexiglass.

  15. #14
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    Oct 2010
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    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    I use a solar wax melter which works great. If I have cappings or comb with a lot of honey in it I'll render it with water on a stove and pull the clean wax off the top. The crud at the bottom then goes into the solar wax melter. Actually I run the clean stuff through the solar wax melter too lol
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  16. #15
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    Jan 2018
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    London, England
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    I've got a stack of about ten boxes full of frames that need to be rendered. I put in a steam wax extractor, then take the brick and put in a solar wax extract. The steam machine renders it very quickly and the solar extractor bleaches the wax from the brown colour my old brood combs make. I then pour it into bricks and exchange for foundation.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post

    Here's a picture before I framed the plexiglass.
    Tks!
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  18. #17
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    I use an old ice chest with a piece of plexiglass over it. A brick holds the plexiglass down, another couple of bricks under one end tilt it towards the sun. A coffee filter clothespinned over the catch basin cleans the wax. In the morning I pull the previous days clean wax out, throw away the coffee filter full of slumgum, and refill. It is slow but it uses very little of my time, so I don't care. Every other method I've tried uses up a bigger slice of my time.
    Zone 5B

  19. #18
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    Aug 2015
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    Adelaide, Australia
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    So it seems best for me to build a solar wax melter. I found this design:

    http://beesource.com/build-it-yourse...ar-wax-melter/

    I'm wondering if people have any experience or ideas on how to go about building a melter cheaply and effectively. I'm not so good at construction so with that plan, the hinges, the glass panel and the metal pan I'm rather unsure about. I have some glass panels from old car windows that I could use, if only I could find some metal for it to then sit on top of and work out a way of sealing it.

    JConnolly, did you line the ice chest with any metal? Did you cut out an opening at the bottom for the wax to drain out of?

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    Quote Originally Posted by JConnolly View Post
    I use an old ice chest with a piece of plexiglass over it. A brick holds the plexiglass down, another couple of bricks under one end tilt it towards the sun. A coffee filter clothespinned over the catch basin cleans the wax. In the morning I pull the previous days clean wax out, throw away the coffee filter full of slumgum, and refill. It is slow but it uses very little of my time, so I don't care. Every other method I've tried uses up a bigger slice of my time.
    Something you can put out and forget sounds great!

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Best way to process beeswax

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    DSCN2774.jpg

    Here's a picture before I framed the plexiglass.
    Nice cat

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