Author Topic: Wax - Beeswax?  (Read 1726 times)

Offline bjelkeblue

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Wax - Beeswax?
« on: July 28, 2010, 11:58:02 PM »
Attempts to buy cheesewax locally in Perth have so far failed. It is costly to purchase ex-East (Australia) so I'm wondering if any-one knows if beeswax - which is abundant here - can be used.

Is there a recipe that converts beeswax from brittle to supple? I've read about the use of mineral oils with beeswax, but I understood mineral oil to be the stuff that is used with machinery and in engines.

Tks.



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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Wax - Beeswax?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2010, 12:02:31 AM »
in the past, it was parrafin mixed with mineral oil that was used for wax, now it's a parrafin derivative. Yes, you can use mineral oil mixed with beeswax, but it's still delicate. Have to be careful with the wheels.

Mineral oil is just a distillate related to kerosene. It's fairly inert.
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Offline the big cheese

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Re: Wax - Beeswax?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 06:34:24 AM »
I was told that wax can be re-used so depending on your scale of production, invest in some good cheese wax and just re-use it? I've yet to test this out so Id be interested if this is ok to do.




Offline Groves

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Re: Wax - Beeswax?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2010, 01:24:13 PM »
Modern beekeeping is very often a very chemically intrusive affair.

Cheesemakers may squabble over whether to wax or not, whether PVC leaches harmful chemicals or not, but beekeepers very very frequently use chemicals that they think help the beese, but end up in the wax that I would not ever want near my cheese...or my honey.

Lots of people on both sides of the fence, just another data point. I'd make sure I knew where my wax comes from and what's been done to it.

Offline Gina

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Re: Wax - Beeswax?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2010, 01:48:14 PM »
I was told that wax can be re-used so depending on your scale of production, invest in some good cheese wax and just re-use it? I've yet to test this out so Id be interested if this is ok to do.
I reuse my wax (not beeswax). When I take off the wax from a cheese, I'll carefully wash the wax pieces in warm soapy water, then rinse well and let air dry on a rack for several days before re-using. I want to get off any odors or wax soluble fats that might have come from the first cheese so it doesnt get into the wax that will be used to cover other cheeses.
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Offline coffee joe

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Re: Wax - Beeswax?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2010, 03:37:08 PM »
I use beeswax, natural and with 5% Mineral oil. I didn't notice much difference with the oil so I quit. If the wax is new wax and light colored, it works better. Beeswax is not inert like cheesewax and does impart a beeswax flavor, especially on smaller cheese sizes. This is noticeable on a 6"cheddar and not so much on an 8" wheel.
I like it, not all would however.

Offline Chris K

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Re: Wax - Beeswax?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2010, 08:24:21 AM »
Modern beekeeping is very often a very chemically intrusive affair.

Cheesemakers may squabble over whether to wax or not, whether PVC leaches harmful chemicals or not, but beekeepers very very frequently use chemicals that they think help the beese, but end up in the wax that I would not ever want near my cheese...or my honey.

Lots of people on both sides of the fence, just another data point. I'd make sure I knew where my wax comes from and what's been done to it.


What beekeepers are you referring to, specifically?  My wife is a beekeeper and I can tell you she keeps chemical-free as do most in these parts. Beekeepers are very sensitive to issues of chemical contamination, especially with the rise of CCD.


Offline coffee joe

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Re: Wax - Beeswax?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2010, 09:07:47 AM »
I keep bees and am not sure what the comment refers to in the way of chemicals we beekeepers would use. I do know that bees fly far and wide, about 3 miles as a radius. In that radius, depending on the location of the apiary, bees can come into contact with all sorts of garden or farm chemicals.

Offline Groves

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Re: Wax - Beeswax?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2010, 09:24:47 AM »
What beekeepers are you referring to, specifically?  My wife is a beekeeper and I can tell you she keeps chemical-free as do most in these parts. Beekeepers are very sensitive to issues of chemical contamination, especially with the rise of CCD.


No offense meant, I certainly wasn't referring to you, or anyone specific.

My generalization is valid on the whole, and all the more so with any commercial operation, which, let's face it, accounts for an increasing amount of the bees being kept these days.

I applaud your wife's direction and it's one that I and others are also taking.

There are many many others who think nothing of introducing pesticides, miticides, fungicides, and essential oils, all of which, as you've said, can have devastating effects both short term and long.

This is all separate from the issue of what the bees encounter when they forage, too.