Waxing your beer bottles

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Waxing your beer bottles

Postby moodybrews » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:26 am

I thought this was a cool idea and thought I would share.


Making bottle wax for your beer


I’ve been intrigued by the idea of waxing my own beer bottles for quite some time now. And now that I’m officially a homebrewer, I have proper justification. Not only does adding wax add as an extra precaution in preserving the beer, it also adds a certain “cool” factor to the aesthetic look. Fortunately, you can wax your own beer bottles for about $5.00 USD, if you know where to look.

In it’s simplest form, I’m going to outline the process so you can start waxing. This method originally was mentioned on the HomeBrewTalk forum, and involves extremely common, easy to find items. With the given amounts and proportions in the article, you should be able to wax at least 36 bottles.

The Process

1. Buy some Crayola (these work best) crayons. I found these 24-count assorted boxes on sale at Target for a mere $0.25 per box. You’ll need 10-12 of the same color crayons, so I purchased 12 boxes. The great thing is, these will last you for a long time if you plan on doing different colored wax. Take out the color you want and peel the paper off each crayon.

Crayola crayons, 24-count

2. The second “ingredient” in this concoction is some All Purpose Glue Sticks. These are essentially the hot glue gun sticks. I purchased a 20-count pack for around $2.50 at a craft store.

All purpose glue sticks

3. Add all 20 glue sticks to an emptied out “canned food” can. I used a bit of a larger one than a normal sized soup can. Place the can directly on top a propane burner and keep on a low heat, less than half-way to full force. Once the glue sticks begin to melt, break the crayons in half and add them to the can.

When I was stirring the mixture, I used a clamp tool to hold the can (it gets hot) while I stirred with a wooden rod. (Your stirrer will get ruined so use a scrap piece of wood or something along those lines). I kept mixing and kept the heat applied until everything felt smooth inside the can, which took about 15 minutes. Here’s what it looked like (this is after I was finished and it cooled).

Crayon & glue mixture

4. Turn the heat down even lower. Hold the can with your tool and dunk your bottle into the wax mixture. You’ll have to play with how far to dunk, as to what effect you want. Be aware that even though you may only do it quite shallow, the wax will run down the bottle a bit while it’s cooling. Place the bottles on an area to dry.

That’s about it. The wax should cool down and dry within 15-20 minutes and you can put them back into storage.

Enjoy!
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wax-bottles.jpg
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"He that drinketh strong beer and goes to bed right mellow, lives as he ought to live and dies a hearty fellow"
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Re: Waxing your beer bottles

Postby bmock » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:59 am

I don't bottle anymore, but if I ever do bottle a big beer, I'm doing this. I like that look.

Does it peel off well?
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Re: Waxing your beer bottles

Postby tlael » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:01 pm

bmock wrote:I don't bottle anymore, but if I ever do bottle a big beer, I'm doing this. I like that look.

Does it peel off well?


You should wax your kegs.

Cool post! I'm going to wax up some of the BA Barleywine that I've bottled. Extra insurance for long term aging.
-Tim Lael

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In The Barrel:
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Belgian Blond
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Re: Waxing your beer bottles

Postby moodybrews » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:07 pm

It may be difficult to flip the keg and dip it once its full haha. @bmock - sometimes you can scrape it right off and sometimes its a little more difficult. You may still have a residue left on. a light scraper can usually pull it right off rather easily. It would prob take a hell of a long time to scrape the wax off of an entire keg though...
"He that drinketh strong beer and goes to bed right mellow, lives as he ought to live and dies a hearty fellow"
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Re: Waxing your beer bottles

Postby turkeyjerky214 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:39 pm

Same here, Tim. I was planning on bottling mine in a few weeks. I'm thinking about bottling half as-is and then adding a little whiskey to the other half.

I wonder if it would be possible to add a pull tab like Maker's Mark has and how difficult that would be.
-Brian

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Fermenting: Roggenbier, Pumpkin Ale
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