Hot Glue bottle wax experiment - Home Brew Forums
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:53 PM   #1
conpewter
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I've been wanting to try waxing the caps of wine as well as beer for some long term aging, and for the looks factor. I tried to find a good price on sealing wax online but what I found was all about $30/lb. I had hoped to find a replacement that was cheaper.

I did find that they sold colored glue sticks that were used as sealing wax (for envelopes), so I thought I'd give it a try making my own.

I bought all-purpose glue sticks, cut the top off a can and got a hose clamp to use for the bottom in my double boiler setup. (20 hot glue sticks $2.99)
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Here are the boxes of crayons I bought for coloring the wax. Back to school sale, 30 cents each.
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The two colors I'll use, note it can be hard to peel the paper off of crayons, they seem to glue them on now, not like when I was a kid. If you peel it off and there is some glue you can just rub the glue off with a little effort.
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Double boiler setup. THIS DID NOT WORK! I left it there for probably 2-3 hours while I was doing some other stuff, canning strawberry preserves (helping out my wife) and though the glue sticks melted... it was very very slow and way too thick to use.
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Instead I just set the can right on the burner, I used some channel lock pliers to grab the edge when I needed to stir. This picture is after the addition of a few crayons, they mix with the plastic very easily.
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:54 PM   #2
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Dipped bottles. Some were dipped deeper than others, trying to get the technique down.

2 crayons in 20 sticks of melted all-purpose hot glue
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4 crayons
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6 crayons
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8 crayons
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No more red crayons


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Primary: Nothin
Secondary: Shady Lord RIS, Water to Barleywine, Pumpkin wine, burnt mead
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Bottles: Apfelwein, 999 Barleywine, Oatmeal Stout, Robust Porter, Robust smoked porter, Simcoe Smash


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Old 07-10-2009, 12:55 PM   #3
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After they had cooled down I tried peeling off the "wax"

2 - very hard to peel off, actually opened the cap and let out CO2, not good
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8 - Easier to peel, not as easy as the Dark Lord bottle I pulled the wax off of. (The only bottle wax I have experience with). Didn't leave residue on the bottle, also could have opened the bottle with an opener and peeled the wax later.
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In conclusion, for 20 sticks of hot glue, I think it will need 12 crayons to give it the right consistency. The color depth is fine with 8, but it needs to be thinner and easier to pull apart. You may be able to put in regular wax or beeswax instead of crayons as long as it doesn't dilute the color any, just needs to be thinner and peel off a little easier.

I do not know if 20 sticks will be enough for a whole batch. I think it would do a half batch, or if you bottled in 22 oz bottles.
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:24 PM   #4
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wow - great test and write up, conpewter! Very interesting. I have been thinking about trying this myself.
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:53 PM   #5
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that looks quite similar to the waz that Maker's Mark uses. What di you think this method would cost to wax a 12pack of beer?

I had not concidered mixing hotglue and crayons


 
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:07 PM   #6
DRoyLenz
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Wow Conpewter, this is great! Thanks so much for doing the testing so I don't have to! I think this turned out VERY well.

 
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:18 PM   #7
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So, I am confused.

You were canning strawberry preserves and the parrafin wax wasn't your first choice?

Wonder if you could get crayons in a single color too. They are just parrafin wax a coloring pigment.

Candle Supplies | Candle Jars | Candle Glassware | Candle Wax | Candle Fragrance Oils | Candlemaking Supplies | Texas Candle Supplies | Candlemaking | Candle Making | Candle Supplies | Wax

Not sure how well candle beeswax would work but heres a small quant for a decent price.

 
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:22 PM   #8
KingBrianI
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I think paraffin wax would be too crumbly on its own, but if mixed with hot glue sticks, you might be able to get to a ratio that is the right consistency.
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkador View Post
that looks quite similar to the waz that Maker's Mark uses. What di you think this method would cost to wax a 12pack of beer?

I had not concidered mixing hotglue and crayons
For a 12 pack I'm sure you'd get by with the amount I made, so with the prices I got stuff at, you'd be looking at $4.50 or so. Less if you can find cheaper glue sticks.

As for the canning, we didn't use any paraffin, the recipe didn't call for covering the preserves with wax, just putting in the jar with the lid, 1/4" of headspace and boiling for 15 minutes. Apparently there is enough acidity and sugar in the recipe to not need pressure canning.

The crayons were not the big expense, plus I can make so many different colors of wax now. Each box had 4 bluish crayons so I could have made perfect blue wax. Same with an Orange wax.

You could some crayons to get good color then add in paraffin if you have it, or just candle wax. Just need to add enough to get the right consistency.
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Primary: Nothin
Secondary: Shady Lord RIS, Water to Barleywine, Pumpkin wine, burnt mead
Kegged: Crappy infected mild
Bottles: Apfelwein, 999 Barleywine, Oatmeal Stout, Robust Porter, Robust smoked porter, Simcoe Smash


 
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:49 PM   #10
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Your "local" larger craft store that handles candle making supplies will have dye chips that are designed to color lots of wax and are very intensely colored.

Mix and match to create other colors



 
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