Author Topic: How many here use beeswax to wax their cheeses?  (Read 9085 times)

Offline coffee joe

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Re: How many here use beeswax to wax their cheeses?
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2011, 08:46:08 PM »
I tried Bee's wax with both palm oil and mineral oil. Both had about the same results, a messy situation even though it is easier to apply. Straight bee's wax worked ok but I gave up and am now a fan of a natural rind. Especially for hard cheddar types, about all I do these days.


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Offline Tomer1

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Re: How many here use beeswax to wax their cheeses?
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2011, 07:13:59 AM »
Is patrolium jelly a good idea?
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: How many here use beeswax to wax their cheeses?
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2011, 04:27:23 PM »
Hi,

Don't know if you could use the oils, maybe?  When I was young, there was a brand called "Crisco" which I think was vegetable shortening, and it was very common in the supermarkets (in Canada, anyway). 

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Offline Tomer1

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Re: How many here use beeswax to wax their cheeses?
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2011, 05:45:10 PM »
Yeah we dont have that, by looking at the crisco ingridient list it looks very much like margarine minus flavour\aroma compounds exist in ours so it should be a direct substitute.

I'm making some colby this week so I'l give it a go.
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Offline Tiddlypom

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Re: How many here use beeswax to wax their cheeses?
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2011, 12:16:13 AM »
Real cheese making newbie here, but I do have a bee hive and supplies of my own wax so I was keen to read through this thread. I know that I use no chemicals in my hive so I am happy to use my own wax - if buying from someone else I would be asking if the bees have been treated with any chemicals/antibiotics etc. I would be unhappy to use mineral oil for food purposes, I much prefer using vegetable products.

There is a difference between the cappings (as mentioned above) which is effectively wax that has been used just once by the bees to seal the honey cells, and older wax from combs which may have been reused many times by the bees and 'emptied out' by the beekeeper each time and returned to the hive for refilling. This wax will tend to accumulate any treatments or pesticides either used on the hive or brought in by the bees.

I have made lip balm by mixing extra virgin olive oil into melted beeswax (for safety, always melt in a double boiler as the wax can ignite), you simply adjust the amount of oil for how solid or runny a result you require. I am sure you could similarly use just a small amount of vegetable oil with the beeswax to make it more flexible and less liable to crack, but without experimenting I would have no idea the appropriate proportion. Beeswax has a very high melting point and by mixing it with another oil/fat with a lower melting point you will make the mix more flexible at room/fridge temperature.


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Offline Tomer1

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Re: How many here use beeswax to wax their cheeses?
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2011, 04:08:18 AM »
The key is to use a saturated oil which turns solid when cold. (cave temp)
I suspect using veg oil will turn it too soft.

Ive been mixing bees wax with margarine (shortening) and got half decent results but found that its not as robust as the commerical stuff.
If I stress it it cracks so you need to give the cheese support.
For example I tried putting it on its side and just a day later it cracked and I had to rewax.
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Offline Silver

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Re: How many here use beeswax to wax their cheeses?
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2011, 03:39:15 AM »
I use it. You need to make it extra thick to avoid cracking when you handle it. It does leave a honey flavour that is pleasant but is actually annoying most of the time because it can change the flavour of cheese. It tends to go after the cheese has aired after you take it out of the wax. I think the main problem is that the wax difficult to get of the cheese I find. It is brittle so it is not 'peelable' like cheese wax. So you tend to have to almost chip away at it on the side before you can remove the top and bottom in one hit. Is it worth it? Yes if you like to try some traditional style options with cheese. I wouldn't use it as my complete waxing answer to all my cheeses and also would only use it for long term ageing due to the little bit more time needed to de-wax the cheese. You also have no chance in cutting a pie shape with wax still on from a  cheese wheel unless you use a glass cutter or heat knife to first cut the wax :)

Offline Tomer1

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Re: How many here use beeswax to wax their cheeses?
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2011, 05:22:04 AM »
I made another batch from bees wax and coconut (Dont really remember the ratio) and its working great,no cracking.
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Offline pliezar (Ian)

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Re: How many here use beeswax to wax their cheeses?
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2011, 08:34:30 AM »
I just waxed a cheese last week using bees wax that I added about a cup of Olive Oil too it.  So far so good.  I have poked and and pressed it several times and no cracking yet.  The only issue I had was the colour change.  I used red bees wax, and with adding the oil, it turned pink.  It looks like I have a giant petit fours in the cave

Offline Silver

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Re: How many here use beeswax to wax their cheeses?
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2011, 09:22:53 PM »
I don't add any oil, although I have been tempted. I use straight beeswax that I buy in bulk from a local beekeeper. It is not particularly light coloured either so I think I have the cheapest quality. To get around cracking I simply make the wax about 4mm (1/5 of an inch?) thick. I.e. I dip it quite a few times. It has never cracked for me even in the handling. That said my handling is only by my hands. I don't believe it would hold up in a commercial environment or in transport.


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Offline Joanna_S

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Re: How many here use beeswax to wax their cheeses?
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2012, 04:36:01 AM »
I made another batch from bees wax and coconut (Dont really remember the ratio) and its working great,no cracking.

This is good to hear. I was just about to suggest coconut oil, because it's very solid at room temp. Newbie cheesemaker here, interested in avoiding wrapping my cheeses in petroleum products (which is the nature of commercial cheese wax). I'd be interested to know whether you've determined a good proportion of coconut oil to bees wax.

Joanna

Offline tinysar

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Re: How many here use beeswax to wax their cheeses?
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2012, 05:19:50 AM »
I'm curious - all the coconut oil I've encountered has quite a strong coconut smell - doesn't this come through in the cheese?

Offline Tomer1

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Re: How many here use beeswax to wax their cheeses?
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2012, 06:20:58 AM »
Mine doesnt have much aroma, maybe it is lower grade and extrated by heat.

I followed this direction:
13.5 ounces beeswax to 2.5 ounces vegetable shortening (use palm or coconut oil)
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Offline TimT

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Re: How many here use beeswax to wax their cheeses?
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2014, 10:08:48 PM »
We use beeswax, and I'm pleased there's a thread about this.

We have a hive and this is a pleasing way to use wax up. Our method is to manually press the honey out of the wax cells; then gather the wax and soak it in water to remove residual honey; the water is set aside to be used in mead; and then the wax is melted and rendered, sometimes more than once, to get rid of impurities. Then you have a nice chunk of wax you can use on your cheeses!

I find the beeswax has a lovely sour-sweet smell that combines nicely with the natural bitter aromas of the cheese. There's no great difficulty in removing the wax from the cheese - it's perhaps not as good as cheese wax but it's really not that big a deal, and if your cheese is made well (ie, no cracks, smooth surface, etc) then you shouldn't have huge problems.

Unfortunately in my latest effort I attempted to do several jobs at once - I added an impure block to a relatively good block of wax, figuring the impure solids would float down to the bottom, and proceeded to wax my cheese. That part went well; my cheese looks good and smells nice - but then when my wife tried to make a few small wax candles the mixture began bubbling angrily; and when I dried the wax down again it seems none of the solids had dropped to the bottom. So we've got a sickly looking lump of beige wax that may have to be retired!

Never mind, lesson learned!