Given a choice between a bowl of dirty, sticky wax chunks full of debris sitting in our freezer and a fresh round of fragrant, golden beeswax ready for use, I opted for the latter.
I’d say “naturally” or “of course,” but in fact, there was some mild dissent with the household ranks over the issue, since the latter involves getting up off the couch and doing a thing vs. not.
Anyway, I prevailed and we processed beeswax!
Here’s how to do it, if you’re an ordinary civilian whose abode includes a standard-issue residential kitchen and lacks specialized equipment with which to furnish it.
(If that doesn’t describe you, then may I refer you to Williams-Sonoma, where you can drop $30 on a candle-making kit)
1.) Depending on the amount of wax you’ve got, fill one or more aluminum pans with water to the halfway mark; add wax crumbles.
2.) tamp down the wax, since there’s a lot of air trapped inside
3.) place wax pans on sheet pan and melt in oven at the low end of the dial* until you get this:
4.) “NO!” you cry, removing the sheet pan from the oven. “I’ve ruined it!”**
5.) Don’t worry, you haven’t. Just let it cool and set; it’ll look like this —
6.) Kind of like a weird yellow candy bar…
7.) …with toffee-colored chunks embedded in it.
8.) Now, break up the bars into chunks and place them in cheesecloth (which is, I swear, one of the most useful materials in existence), like so:
9.) Then tie it into a bundle and place it in a pot of water on the stove. You’ll want to get the air bubbles out, and you may need to use a weight to keep the wax submerged.
10.) Heat slowly, then turn off the stove. As the wax melts, it will seep out of the cheesecloth bundle and float to the top, where it will harden into a golden disk.
11.) By the way, this is what’s left in the cheesecloth after the wax has been filtered out.
12.) And here is the wax!
13.) And here’s a view of the other side!
14.) Finally, here’s a view of the little lunar craters that form on the bottom of the disk (the side submerged in the water.)
And there you have it. A large disc of beeswax, measuring about…I don’t know, actually. I’m useless at measurements. I’m hoping My Fella will chime in somewhere in the comments, providing all dimensions in metric, as he is wont to do.