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Author Topic: Why does my wax end up brown?  (Read 1737 times)
kace069
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« on: June 16, 2006, 03:34:49 AM »

Saturday I melted down some wax and filtered it through some cheese cloth. The wax I melted was white to yellowish in color. But it turns a brown kind of mud puddle color. I use a double boiler. That is I melt the wax in a melting pot in a pot of water. What is going on? My mentor gets a nice gold colored wax. All I want to do is seal my bottled mead with it but not with such a crappy colored wax.
Any suggestions? Can I do anything with what I have already melted to lighten the color? I really hate the idea of buying beeswax when I am already producing it. Plus this wax is worthless in my opinion, for resale at least.  So it seems to me that I have a valuless hive product. The wax is supposed to be the icing on the cake after the honey crop. Well unless I started collecting propolis. I hear that propolis is going for $6/lb.
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mick
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2006, 04:18:54 AM »

Hmm, get yourself to a microscope with a smear of the wax on a slide. It should be easy to spot whats making it brown.
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2006, 11:58:06 PM »

I have heard that wax melted in a solar wax melter will get some bleaching from the sun but i do not know how much...
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2006, 03:47:04 AM »

(have heard that wax melted in a solar wax melter will get some bleaching from the sun but i do not know how much...)

  Shouldn`t sun bleaching make it lighter?
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2006, 09:33:50 AM »

Yes and I believe that is the result he (or she) wants
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Dale
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2006, 11:08:00 AM »

It is brown from dirt.  When you melted it, did you let it cool and settle?  That lets most of the dirt drop to the bottom, and the wax come to the top.  I then scrape the bottom, and remelt it, and filter it through a coffee filter.  It will be golden that way.
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Dale Richards
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2006, 11:54:16 AM »

Comb changes color with age as bees track pollen and dirt across it.
Micheal Bush has mention this in a couple of other threads.
I use a solar wax melter. This is what I have seen. Wax that comes from older combs appears to be closer to orange in color. Clean wax cappings are a light yellow in color. There may be ways to strain and purify wax but I just letting it melt and making sure it is wax. I am seperating based on color but that is about it. My wife has been making candles with it. I have some I use to prepare the permacomb.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2006, 07:30:28 PM »

Old comb is discolored from pollen, propolis, and layers of cacoon sacks.

A solar wax melter allows the impurities to settle out and just the finer wax spill off into the collector.  Additional straining can collect more impurities.  

Also note that too high of heat while using a duble boiler will cause some of the impurities to remain suspended in the wax.
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TwT
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2006, 09:17:40 PM »

Quote from: Brian D. Bray
Old comb is discolored from pollen, propolis, and layers of cacoon sacks.



thats what I would say..... but I think age and use also counts which will add to the above statement.....
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Apis629
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2006, 11:42:52 PM »

Aren't the old pupal sacks in wax commonly reffered to as "slum-gum"?  Anyways, that and propolis are probably your most likely culprits.  You could try filtering your wax through something while it's in a liquid state.  I seem to recall seeing some website recomend coffee-filters (maybe beesource.com).
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