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Discussion Starter #1
I would like help on equipment that I need to purchase.

1. I would like to purchase a tank for creaming honey.
2. I would like to process (liquefy and melt) cappings and beeswax.

To save costs, I would like to know if I could get by with just purchasing the Maxant honey creamer, which is basically their bottling tank with a agitator on top. The agitator would be removed when processing beeswax. would this bottling tank work to melt cappings? The difference from their liquefier is that is doesn't have two valves but I think I could just strain using the one valve. Slumgum comes out first.. When wax comes along, I could put that into my fiberglass tubs. Also I wouldn't use the no drip valve, just the regular ball valve. We already have a wax spinner to extract honey so that isn't a priority.

Can someone with experience tell me if a bottling tank 15gallon would work to process the beeswax for approximately 50 hives?
 

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I'm not sure how the sun is in Canada, but I'd just run them through a solar melter. They are easy enough to set up and deal with.

I'm not sure how hard it would be to get the wax residue out of the tank when it was time to deal with honey.

I'd like to here more information on how other people deal with their wax. Including rendering down culled and/or old combs.
 

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I think it was Roland that said `once you use a tank for wax that's all you'll use it for in the future'. Wax is pretty messy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok if I need two tanks, does a liquifier do the trick for both separating cappings and then remelting wax for further processing?
 

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I bought a liquefier tank from Dadant when I first started with bees. The ad said you could liquefy honey, bottle and melt wax all from the same tank. The ad is right on the first use but once you melt wax in it all you have is an expensive wax tank. This is the only piece of equipment I have bought so far that I feel was a waste of my money. However I will say that good advertising works.
 

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I don't think you want a tank for making creamed honey. You want to mix the seed crystals and the package into the final container. It will then go to creamed honey in that container.
 

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Ok if I need two tanks, does a liquifier do the trick for both separating cappings and then remelting wax for further processing?
With 50 hives I am wondering if you are paying for labor or doing it yourself? There are plenty of people throwing out cast iron bath tubs and radiators that you could run a tap off your hot water boiler if you have that form of heat in your house. If not boilers are cheap on craigslist.
 

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I can only guess you havent rendered any of your wax yet??? when you do you will quickly understand as everyone else has posted... whatever you use for your wax, will immediately become useless for anything else.
Go to yard sales and look for large pots or old crockpots, or go to your fav chain store and buy a canning pot. Pick up some cheesecloth, scrounge a couple of plastic cooking spoons to stir with... when your done rendering.. you clean those things up the best you can and set them aside until your ready to render again.
Also...
The size of your pot is dependent on how much wax you need to render.. your volume of wax will not approach your volume of honey. Heating a large pot may not be cost effective if you have a dozen hives or less. I render, and set the blocks aside until I have a dozen or so, then re render to purify. you will also be amazed at how much the volume changes once the wax begins to melt and you begin filtering/straining.
 

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I still say that the solar melter should do the majority of what you need/want to do with the wax. How many pounds of wax are you harvesting per year? You should be able to put a metal screen/lathe with a single sheet of paper towel. Then dump the cappings/comb on top. Under that you have your catch basin, which has water in it to catch the drippings. Once you have the refined cappings, you can clean it up more. If required. If you are trading it in for foundation then I'm sure they will be happy with how clean it is.

Now if sun in Canada isn't as hot as it is in Tennessee, you might have to resort to steam/boiling water. I'm looking at building a box that I can pump steam into via wallpaper removal tool. If it works well, then I'll look at upgrading to a real steam generator. In the meantime, I'd take the one with the lowest input costs.

Also, I like to have passive things that work for me, while I'm doing something else.
 

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>I still say that the solar melter should do the majority of what you need/want to do with the wax.

The problem I have faced in recent years is that the die off generates the frames I want to renovate during the winter after the solar wax melting season has ended. My steam box works year around.

>I'll look at upgrading to a real steam generator.

What brand is affordable?
 

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I had a bung that accepts a 1" npt immersion heater welded into a beer keg and that will make a lot of steam. I had two bungs for two elements actually.
 

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Odfrank is on to something with his steam. Just make sure you have pressure relief valves that function.
I am still searching for a better way than the old submerged grape press method for old comb.

Crazy Roland
 

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>Just make sure you have pressure relief valves that function.

My masterpiece does not involve contained pressure. The steam just shoots into the tank which has an open drain and steam leaks from the lid that is just held on by gravity.

>Wagner. works great.
Ace, I need a real man's steam generator, not a tinker toy. I bet my two pressure cookers produce more steam than that.
 

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There is a youtube video somewhere of a beekeeper in London (England) who put the steam outlet from a wallpaper stripper (as Ace showed in post #14) directly into an old deep, covered by an outer cover. The set up had some kind of angled bottom board and the wax ran out of the front.
Goldenman, what method are you using to uncap before you extract? What volume of uncappings do you have? Do you anticipate running more than 50 hives?
 

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Ace, I need a real man's steam generator, not a tinker toy. I bet my two pressure cookers produce more steam than that.
You didn't give me a btu rating, but don't sell it short. There is a 1500 watt element in the thing and that is equivalent to the large burner on an electric stove that you might use for your pressure cooker. Time of use might be a factor because you can only put so much water in it. It is good for an hour or more.
 

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Here is the steamer video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbx-Dv5iLmA

My pressure cookers are good for over two hours which is more than one batch takes. I chose them because I did not want to invest in equipment with only one purpose and use. My propane burners can be used for turkey frying or what have you. And less likely to break down.
 
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