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Rendering Wax for the First Time

I finally got around to rendering wax for the first time! It was an interesting adventure. Many folks write and commented on the fact that you shouldn’t do it in your kitchen. Of course, I ignored all of that (I can be careful – no big deal!) That was big mistake number 1…

I am not sure that I would follow this method again, but I basically took an old crab broiler that I had and put it on the stove (again, in my kitchen…). I then took an old boiler (for making things like creme brule) and cut my wax into it to melt it. It melted fine and then I poured it through a screen (like a window screen) into milk cartons that I had cut the tops off of. Effectively, I was pulling out any of the bee parts or bits of brood comb that were not wax and making it pure. All of the cartons look great (I hope to make a candle or two before Xmas), but I did have spillage…and fire…

Unfortunately, the boiler slipped into the water on one go… This meant wax and water mixed a bit, in BOTH the boiler (with melted wax) and the larger broiler (with boiling water.) No real big deal, except when I put more water in the broiler and some of it splashed off the side onto the stove!

Two bad things happen when this occurs. First, wax gets on the stove which is very hard to get up. My significant other was not pleased about that one. The second is that a fire starts. Wax, if you didn’t know it, burns a bit like fuel. Before it was over, I had a fire extinguisher out and dousing the flame (and covering the stove with fire extinguisher dust…) Unfortunately, my wife did not buy the argument that ‘at least the house didn’t burn down’ and this only added fuel to her flame. I had no fire extinguisher for that one…someone needs to invent that.

So, next year I will be doing it outside. I actually mentioned that a hot plate might be a good Christmas gift… On a bright note, I had purchase one of the wax-melters from Dadant last Spring. This turned out to be a huge boon, as I put everything in that thing and the wax dribbled down into a container, nearly 100% pure right there. It really helps with brood comb. That stuff doesn’t melt. You can put a whole frame of wax from old brood comb into a boiler and only get a few spoonfuls of wax. It’s very messy – it really isn’t worth it. But, if you let mother nature do the work during the Summer, it works like a champ.

At any rate, lessons learned all around. This time, I should have listened to everyone’s advice…

1 comment to Rendering Wax for the First Time

  • Barbara Fifer

    I am seriously behind in reading your blogs (which I thoroughly enjoy!), just reading this one on wax melting and it glad me a great laugh, which I really needed! The lessons we learn on our own are the best and most lasting, and listening to your wife is always a good idea!
    Barbara

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