Steam, solar, double boiler, electric? What are your methods? I've been double boiling and I'm trying to find a better and faster way. Anyone have a good build out or another thread they can recommend? Thanks all!
Also I typically have to render 4-5 times through cheese clothe to get clean wax. Which method yields the cleanest wax? How many runs are needed? I'm seeing a lot of wall paper steamers and stuff but I want to render 5 - 20 gallons of wax capping and comb at a time
With my capping wax, I put it twice through the solar melter in August. The first run through, I just add the capping wax to the melter and collect the melted wax in a loaf pan filled with a little water. The second time, I remove the wax from the loaf pan and put it back in the solar melter on top of a paper towel. Most large debris sticks to the paper towel and the cleaner wax collects in the loaf pan. Next I melt the wax in a double boiler and run it through several thicknesses of cheesecloth. I collect the wax in smaller pucks as it runs out of the cheesecloth. If I still see debris in the wax after it cools, I will melt it one more time in the double boiler and run it through several more thicknesses of cheesecloth. By that time the wax is clean.
Most people say to pitch the brood comb but I hate wasting any wax. Brood comb wax takes quite a bit more processing. I add my brood comb to the solar melter and collect the easy wax in the loaf pan. The comb that remains in the melter is collected and put into T-shirts. I use a homemade wax press with boiling water to squeeze the remaining wax from the comb in the T-shirt. The boiling water drains into a bucket where it cools and the wax is collected. I run the collected wax through the solar melter on top of paper towels a few times to catch most of the big debris. Then I use the double boiler to filter the wax 3 times through cheesecloth. Even filtered, the brood wax is still much more yellow than capping wax. I guess that is due to pollen grains that are too small to get filtered by the cheesecloth.
I got a large oval crock pot for $3 from the Thrift Store. Pack it full of comb, add a couple cups of water, and in a hour or 90 minutes, it's melted. Pour it through a tight cotton cloth- old tshirt, pillow case, sheet, etc. Wear thick rubber gloves and squeeze/wring the cloth to get as much wax as possible out of the old brood cases.
I use silicon microwave baking pans to pour the melted wax into, it gives me nice blocks of wax.
i just use the maxant wax melter. Ive only done it the last 2 years as i didnt really have enough wax to process prior to that. Typically takes twice through the melter and strained through cheese cloth to come out clean.
You can fit a ton of wax in the melter and all the crapola separates from the honey and wax easily before you strain it out through the cloth.
Brood wax doesnt end up the same bright yellow color as capping wax for me though. Still clean with no debris just a darker color.
Thanks to all who replied. I've been thinking more and more, and my idea is this for a steam wax melter (inspiration from youtube):
A water tank or 55 gal drum held over a wood fire with a hose running from the top of the water tank to the bottom of a cappings tank (or stack of bee boxes if doing comb). Inside the capping tank would be a pillow case or the like, full of cappings and comb, which would then drip down and collect underneath. Has anyone built anything similar to this?
i happed yo come across a youtube video of a retired commercial bkeep in northern ireland that built a very similar version of your idea. that’s what i was searching for on here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxqqWKuSZtc
Solar melter for cappings. Mine fit five plus gallons a load. Gives back fairly clean wax and cooked honey
Steam melter to melt down old combs. Doesn't pay really. You need to recover the cost of the steam setup and propane.
Double wall honey/ wax tank to clean for candles or fully filtered for sale blocks.
This guy had what looked like an old scuba tank over an open flame wood fire that created steam and a hose went to a wood box he threw together with a pillow case inside. We have build a solar wax melter very similar to yours and use a 1/8" mesh screen to put everything on. Blocks turn our very clean on the first pass, even with old nasty brood comb. A quick scraping on the hardened block and A second melting, passing it through a cloth is all that is needed for very nice looking and clean wax. If I get a LOT of wax built up or get a bunch of old frames given to me (happens pretty regular) I build a wood fire under a 55gallon drum and dip everything, then let it cool. I've had 6" thick wafers that I break apart and put in the solar melter. The steam thing would alleviate some time and renderings though.
ML 30 gal jacketed tank. I shovel the cappings in until its heaped to the top and leave it over night. The next day I drain it into buckets through a filter bag. Once gets it clean enough for my use, twice gets it nice.
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