Cheese Wax, All-Natural Beeswax
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Cheese Wax, All-Natural Beeswax
All natural beeswax can help prevent unwanted mold growth and retain moisture while cheese is aged. Beeswax can add a wonderful complexity to both the aroma and flavor of aged cheese. It's much more brittle than traditional wax though, and can crack when aging cheese. We suggest adding vegetable shortening to beeswax to help make it more pliable.
Beeswax has been used for thousands of years for its unique chemistry. It has the ability to produce creamy textures in a variety of cosmetic applications. Because of the highly complex composition of beeswax and its soft, pliable nature, beeswax remains an indispensable raw material for many finished products even after centuries of commercial use.
Wax is applied to a hard cheese after pressing and drying for the aging process and is one of the most convenient ways to protect cheese during aging. Waxing cheese can help in easily maintaining the desired moisture level within your cheese. To apply the wax with a brush, check out our boar bristle brush.
A block of beeswax weighs one pound.
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When your cheese is done aging, and you've removed the wax there's no need to throw the wax away. It can be reused many times. To prepare your used wax for reapplication simply melt it down and strain it through cheese cloth. This will eliminate any particles from your wax. The high temperatures it takes to melt wax will sterilize it too.
Equipment for Waxing
There's no way around it, waxing is a messy business. We suggest using older equipment for waxing and dedicating it solely to waxing thereafter. Ideally you will use the same container to heat, melt, cool, solidify, and store your wax in. This can a heat safe glass container, a coffee can, an older pot with a lid. Using the same container for all of these steps will cut down drastically on clean up, along with preparation for the next time.
If you’re applying wax with a brush, be sure it has natural bristles, otherwise they can melt. To cut down on cleaning time, keep your brush in the same container as your wax and let the wax melt off the brush when you heat things up next time.
Caution on Heating Wax
The safest method is to use indirect heat such as a double boiler or water jacket to melt your wax.
It may take awhile for the wax to go from a solid to liquid state, but once it's liquefied, the temperature will rise quickly. Make it a habit to constantly monitor the temperature of your wax. If wax reaches flash point, the vapors produced will be extremely flammable. The flash point of wax is typically above 300° F. Please don't let your wax exceed 250° F! Never leave wax unattended on the stove.
More Cheesemaking Equipment
See our cheesemaking category page with more!
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Use & Care
Waxing Homemade Cheese
It is safest to melt wax in a double boiler so that it is not subject to direct flame. Never leave melting wax unattended. Wax can explode at high temperatures. To prepare, heat one pound beeswax and, if desired, two ounces of vegetable shortening, to 200°F. Wax can be brushed onto a dried and chilled cheese with a natural bristle brush (anything synthetic will melt), or you can very carefully dip your cheese into the wax pot one side at a time (it can get very slippery). Two thin coats are preferable to one thick coat. Be sure to fill up any air spaces as mold needs air to grow.
When you are ready to eat your cheese, the wax is simply peeled off and can be strained through Butter Muslin to be reused over and over again.
Waxing Store Bought Cheese
Wow, wax is flying off the shelf here! Many people are trying to prepare for a different type of future. Here is our short explanation of waxing store bought cheese.
Usually cheese bought in the grocery store is an already aged to perfection finished product. Waxing it in small pieces may cause some problems. If a cheese is not turned on a regular basis gravity will cause all the moisture to fall to the bottom causing a mushy mess under the wax. We would suggest you buy whole wheels or make your own cheeses and after waxing them, turn over at least once a week to prevent problems. We also suggest you air dry your cheese for 2-3 days prior to waxing.
Note: Vegetable shortening can help prevent cracks, by making beeswax wax more pliable.
Store in a cool place, away from high heat.
Accessories for this product:
One of the easiest ways to apply wax to your cheese is with a brush. When selecting a brush look for one with natural bristles since synthetic ones can melt right into your wax. It's best to have a brush desginated to waxing cheese since it's nearly impossible to remove all of the wax after...(More info)
Norpro's stainless steel double boiler is ideal for melting chocolate, caramel, custard, and for cooking sauces slowly and evenly to avoid scorching. The double boiler capacity is 1.5 quarts and the boiler includes a tempered glass lid with a vent hole so you can easily see into your pot...(More info)
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