melting easy is it to get it wrong?

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Aug 8, 2009
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South Yorkshire
Hive Type
Number of Hives
1 Nat & 1 WBC
Hi All
Can you help. I am having difficulty with the seemingly simple task of melting old wax I have collected. Could somebody please take me through some sort of simpletons guide (step by tiny step if possible) to doing this as I am really not getting this right. Here is what I did do (wrongly I think!);

1. collected wax and separated via colour

2. put the dark ex brood wax in a bain marie tub with approx 3" of water with lemon juice in the bottom (thought I would start on the dark stuff first)

3. turned on the heat, initially to 45'C (this is the figure given on the outside, so not sure if it refers to the temp in the bottom container, or what it believes will be the temp of the 'goods' in the bain marie tub)...observed a little melting, but still a lot left unmelted. This was after approx 40mins. Should it take this long?

4. turned up heat to appox 60'C, still lumpy, and can now see what I think are lumps of pollen (not sure if i am now cooking the pollen as there is a faint aroma of sultanas !). After approx an hour, still a little lumpy, turned up to 70C for approx 20 mins, not much difference

5. Have now turned it off as I think that this is just not what it should look like / be like

hopefully photo attached
Wax melts at around 62. So not a lot will happen below that.

Put your 'cake' in the foot of a pair of discarded toghts. Sink the whole thing (use your imagination here), after securing the loose end as tightly as possible, and heat. Wax will float to the surface, crud will remain behind.

Allow to cool and remove the wax sheet, block or whatever you get.

Beware, melted wax is very flammable.

Regards, RAB
Thanks RAB

Do you know roughly how long this will take? To be honest I haven't really upped the temp too much as I was a little wary of the flamibility issue. I will retry with a pair of tights and a couple of stones!

ps should pollen smell like sultanas after it has heated...seems most odd
You can bring the water up to the point where it is just starting to bubble. The wax will melt quite quickly like this but turn it down to about 75C or a bit less a soon as it has almost all melted.

If this is your first go I suggest experimenting with different temperatures. The lower the temp the slower it will melt but the wax will keep its nice yellow colour. If you use too high a temp the wax will darken.
I mixed all my odds of wax with rain water (soft water) in a pan and melted it straight on top of the heat, once all has melted (shouldn't take very long just be careful not to let it boil) strain it through muslin into a container whilst still hot and just wait for it to cool. You'll be left with all the crud in the muslin and lovely clean wax floating on top of the water in the container.... when it's cool you can lift it out.

It will sacrifice a pan but you can reuse it for wax.

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