Melting beeswax -equipment question - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Tipton, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    Might want to be careful on the pressure cookers... While I suppose the risk is minimal. Most of them warn against cooking over a turey fryer. I'm not sure if it causes the bottom to weaken or....

    I just know that my pressure cooker came with a giant card saying not to do it. LOL

    Also, the bottoms on my turkey fryers are definitely distorted... So, I'd say proceed with caution....

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Winnipeg, Canada
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    41

    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    I'm planning in running 50 hives and I do not have hired help. I'm running solo on this mission. So why is a liquified such a bad idea? Is it money lost? I prefer to do my wax inside during the cold winter months so outside doesn't really help much...

  5. #24
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    Apr 2010
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    Tipton, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    I don't know what you mean by Liquified.. It's a prereq that the wax is going to be in liquid form to collect, filter, and mold it. It just comes down to how you want to get it into that form. Steam, Boiling water, Solar heat, etc....

    Steam is probably the "easiest" to do inside. Your not exposing the wax to an open flame and your not dealing with gallons of boiling water. Solar is the best passive means, but it does require the sun to be shining.

    Like previously posted, my initial plan is like the youtube videos. Cut a hole in the top of the lid, connect the hose from a wall paper steamer. Place tray under hive body and cross fingers.

    Once I get more excited about it.. I'll weld up a sealable tank with drain spout.

  6. #25
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    >Might want to be careful on the pressure cookers...

    Yes, they probably will have a limited lifespan as I need to heat them hot to make a lot of steam. But other than cracking and spilling there should be little risk. Checking Craigslist for replacements.
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Winnipeg, Canada
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    41

    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    Kevin, its a term used for boilers that you throw cappings in and separate honey, wax and slumgum. maxant has such a product on their site.

    http://www.maxantindustries.com/wax.html

  8. #27
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    Apr 2010
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    Tipton, TN, USA
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    783

    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    Goldenman,

    I didn't realize that you were still asking about the specific product or more of the overall process.

    I'd expect that the device will do fine, but you need to figure out the math and find out what your return on investment is. Assuming you care about that.

    If you are only doing 20lbs of wax a year, that 600+ bucks might be better spent elsewhere. However, if your doing 500lbs a week...

    I have close to 60 hives and I still haven't bought one.

    Assuming that my solar melter is full or it's too cold. I put my comb/burr in a bucket, then freeze for a couple days to kill shb/wax moths, then into a sealed barrel. Once I have enough wax saved up. I usually boil it.. But IMO that takes more effort that I want to do for the small amount of wax that I get. Labor to Wax ratio that is...

    I plan on using the steamer method. If I can just plug in the cord and hose, then walk away.. It would be time well spent for a $50 steamer and a hole cut in a migratory top. The pressure cooker might be a good option, but I picture an exciting spinning ball of steam death when the bottom ruptures. Then again it might just fall off the stand and spray steam into the air for a couple seconds.

    You can also look at a steam generator that is used buy the steam powered uncapping knives. Like on the Cowen.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Winnipeg, Canada
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    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    Kevin, I actually do save wax until
    I have a lot ready to be processed. Right now I have over 4 barrels to process.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    ODfrank wrote:

    and steam leaks from the lid that is just held on by gravity.

    And that is your pressure relief valve, well done.

    I doubt if a 1500 watt electric calrod can come close to ODfrank's propane burners.

    Crazy Roland

  11. #30
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    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    10,925

    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    An electric appliance using 1500 watts converts to 5,100 BTU/hr. Typical propane cookers similar to what is in Ollie's photos seem to be in the 54,000 BTU/hr range. Ollie's photos show two burners, each with its own pressure cooker, feeding steam to a single melter box.

    I would say that since the electric element is enclosed by the appliance there is close to 100% conversion to steam. The propane burners likely lose more efficiency in conversion to steam as the burners are not enclosed by the cooker, but clearly the dual propane setup produces many times the steam possible with the electric cooker.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  12. #31
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    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
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    Thumbs Up Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    Ok Goldenman,

    Here is your answer. Yes you can use a bottling tank. I've been using a 500 lb maxant bottler for 20+ years. I melt wax with it in the winter then wipe it out when I'm done and bottle honey. The trick with the wax is you have to make a screen to place in front of the drain hole in the tank to hold the slum back. I had taken SS perforated metal and made 3x5x3 u-shape basket that goes from top to bottom of the tank. This way the wax can drain without the slum being a problem. Your honey can be drained off as you melt the cappings.

  13. #32
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    Roy, Wa
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    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    Dang, I had a bunch of these commercial stainless steam kettles last year. I advertised them for months with not one reply. They sold at auction for $500.ea 40 to 80 gallon sized. They would have made a dandy wax melter...or for brewing beer...They run about $15,000. new
    Glad I kept a few



    This was a 60 gallon with 1 1/2" drain. I kept a 10 with 1 1/2" drain and a 30 gallon with a 3" drain
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  14. #33
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    Tipton, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    I was at a auction Friday, two of them sold for 100 bucks per... I "almost" bought one, but I didn't have the storage nor steam equipment to make use of them. Not sure I could fit 2 of them in the back of the truck...

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinR View Post
    I was at a auction Friday, two of them sold for 100 bucks per... I "almost" bought one, but I didn't have the storage nor steam equipment to make use of them. Not sure I could fit 2 of them in the back of the truck...
    Dang, just set up a hot water tank and circ pump..or fill double wall with oil and pressure valve and use propane burner on low. I think something like that would work for warming honey or melting wax?
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    Yea I'm sure that something like that would work.... I just had a truck full of gear... I bought a small cnc mill, a rockwell 10"unisaw, an incubator and a hobart welder.... Spent 400 bucks... LOL, was all I could do to fit it in the back of the truck....

    I looked at the steam kettle and like.. you know I could brew beer in that... Then I was like.. How will I get it home.. LOL

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    Where there is a will there is a way. Or you could use my motto:

    There ain't a horse that couldn't be rode..there isn't a trailer I can't overload
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  18. #37
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    Ron please can you post a picture of your 3x5x3 basket and how it fits in the tank. I am refurbishing 2 maxant 42 gallon bottlers, this might be an excellent use for one of them. Thanks.

  19. #38
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    Apr 2011
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    Sacramento California
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    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    I use my Blazer solar
    Sorry about pics they won't turn right side up.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Seven Hills; 11-12-2013 at 10:37 PM.

  20. #39
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    Hamilton, Alabama
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    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    My solution for handling wax is low tech, low cost, and very effective. I purchased a used 100 gallon stainless steel honey tank and fitted it with a stainless strainer from Kelley. The strainer can be adjusted higher or lower into the tank as needed. I put a nylon strainer cloth on top of the stainless strainer for the finest filtering. then I put another stainless strainer on top so that the two strainers are separated about 2 inches. Then I uncap directly into the top of the honey tank. The cappings drop onto the top strainer and over a period of about 3 days will be almost completely dry. The honey runs into the bottom of the tank where I let it settle for several days, then run it out via a honey gate directly into jars. I do not heat my honey, but with the floral type I have here, granulation is not an issue.

    Once the cappings have dripped dry, I drop them into a stainless double boiler type melting pan I made that holds about 10 gallons. With the heat set properly, the cappings melt just about as fast as I can dump them into the pan. I put about an inch of water into the bottom of the pan to trap debris and any remaining honey and to make the wax cake release easily when cool.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Melting beeswax -equipment question

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    Ron please can you post a picture of your 3x5x3 basket and how it fits in the tank. I am refurbishing 2 maxant 42 gallon bottlers, this might be an excellent use for one of them. Thanks.
    Sorry not much luck posting picture on here, but if you have a smartphone I can shoot you some pic. from mine. Just PM me your #.
    Ron

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