Author Topic: Wax question  (Read 392 times)

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Offline tedh

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Wax question
« on: August 14, 2018, 10:02:29 am »


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Offline tedh

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Re: Wax question
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2018, 10:14:47 am »
The pic above, which doesn't show the difference in color as well, is of some capping wax I've been processing.  One piece, the lighter one, was processed/filtered twice while the darker piece was processed/filtered three times.  I use a solar melter and sack cloth towel material to process wax.  Why the difference in color?  I noticed the melter gets close, if not to, 200°F.  Am I cooking the wax?  The cappings are from this year and both pieces came out of the same pile of cappings. Thanks, Ted
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Offline Lburou

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Re: Wax question
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2018, 01:33:28 pm »
The only guess I have is the additional sunlight for the wax in the melter longer...?
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Offline tedh

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Re: Wax question
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2018, 07:32:25 pm »
Thanks Lburou.  I remember a post from Riverbee about bleaching wax to a lighter color by leaving it in the sunlight so I'm not sure how the longer exposure to sunlight could darken it. The difference is striking.  The lighter color is a very nice, light, lemon yellow.  The darker leans more towards biege.  I may just run another chunk through a third process in the same melter and see how it comes out.  Most of the wax will be for candles anyway so color doesn't matter much, if at all.  The rest will be used on foundation and the bees won't care about the color either.  It is an interesting phenomenon though.  Thanks again for chiming in!  Ted
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Offline Lburou

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Re: Wax question
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2018, 11:11:08 am »
It seems I remember Apis mentioning clorox bleach in a process...?
Lee_Burough

Offline riverbee

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Re: Wax question
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2018, 12:18:21 pm »
ted, these are very nice bricks of wax!

sometimes i will get a color difference in cappings wax when melted down in my solar unit.  much like honey, it's just the floral properties of the plant the bees visit. for example, clover honey is lighter than buckwheat or goldenrod, and the cappings wax harvested from these will also vary in color, clover= lighter, buckwheat, goldenrod, darker.

if wax is not properly filtered, any pollen, dirt or honey will also contribute to the color.  i don't see this in your pix, this wax looks very clean!

i have bleached wax using a solar method, the longer left in, the lighter the color, this would be wax i had already filtered clean, then placed back in a container to sit in direct sunlight to achieve a lighter color.
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Offline tedh

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Re: Wax question
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2018, 04:04:51 pm »
Thanks River.  That's what is confusing me.  The darker wax was that nice lemony color before the third filtering, the other blocks, filtered twice, is still that lemon yellow color which makes sense as all of it came from the same pile of cappings, it wasn't seperated by supers or anything. The only difference, that I'm aware of, was the third time through the melter.  It was really hot and sunny that day, and so, my supposition that it might have gotten too hot or "cooked.  I've had a couple head scratchers this year:  eggs above and below a queen excluder, this wax thing and where the heck did all this honey come from!!  The weather here has been other than I'd desire, incredibly hot, humid and dry. Not what I'd think of as "honey weather" but then, I'm not a honey bee so what do I know?  Thanks again, Ted
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Wax question
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2018, 11:29:05 am »
if the darker wax was a lemony yellow color before the 3rd filter? maybe it was overheated? overheating wax will darken it. how long was it at 200 df?

or what type of pan/container did you filter it into? or what did you do differently?

i have yet to overheat wax in a solar unit, but my melter doesn't get to 200, the window is a double pane.

the weather here has been the same for us too ted, and i don't really care for it. too hot and too humid. another weekend with 90 degree temps, high humidity, and i am not looking forward to it. 

where did all the honey come from?!..........that's a good problem to have............ :D
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Offline tedh

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Re: Wax question
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2018, 06:08:14 pm »
I can't say how long the melter held the 200° temperature or if it went higher than that, but it is insulated with 1 inch foam insulation on the sides and bottom with double glass on top.  And yes, the wax was lemon yellow before the third filtering.  I have two melters, one insulated (the large one) and one non insulated (the smaller of the two) they both have aluminum cake pans, sized accordingly, as the catch pan.  Side note: don't use your wife's cake pan thinking you can clean it up before she gets home.  You can't.  Ever.

I might try making cupcakes in the melter on the next hot day.  It could be fun.  Ted
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Wax question
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2018, 10:37:06 pm »
okay thanks ted, certainly a puzzler? sorry i can't give you a more definitive answer on the color change, but something changed from the lemon yellow color on the 2nd filter to the darker color on the 3rd filter, and i am sorry i can't answer this for you!

i would not use aluminum cake catch pans, they will discolor wax, and .....well especially using the wife's cake pans......... :D :D :D as you already know. :D

i use milk and juice cartons to filter wax into. less chance of discoloration and easy to pop out. i have also used a silicone bread pan, works great, maybe switch to something that doesn't annoy the wife?........... :D
i keep wild things in a box..........™
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