Beeswax has been used for thousands of years. 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. 250 grams per package enough for about 10-15 cheeses.
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Yes you can. In fact beeswax has been used for centuries to wax cheeses, although ‘modern’ waxes have become more popular these days.
Beeswax, like most waxes, can become brittle when set and stored in cold conditions and may crack and pull away from the cheese. Parrafin based waxes have an extra ingredient added to avoid this issue. Some cheese makers and beeswax fans have suggested adding vegetable shortening, coconut oil or a small amount of mineral oil to the beeswax to assist with the pliability. Others believe it doesn’t need it and prefer to keep the beeswax pure and untainted by other ingredients.
Beeswax, like normal cheese wax, also needs to be applied with care.
Your cheese should be dry, and cold before you attempt to apply the wax.
Like the paraffin based waxes you can dip your cheese into the wax half at a time, and then carefully rotate it to coat all of the surfaces. Or you can paint your wax on.
Beeswax isn’t necessarily cheaper than paraffin based cheese wax but the cost is usually weighed up against the positives of using a natural, renewable and sweet smelling product.
Also, you don’t use a large amount of wax to wax your cheeses and beeswax can be reused as long as you reheat it and strain it to remove any debris that may mold over time so you won’t need to buy kilos and kilos of the stuff. 250 grams will cover about 10-12 cheeses if you use the brush-on method. See this video to learn how.
Wax when heated will reach a point where vapors accumulate and may ignite with life threatening results.
A wax fire is extremely dangerous and cannot be put out with water.
Never let your wax exceed 120C and never leave the wax unattended on the stove.
To limit the potential danger here, use a heavy pot with a candy thermometer, heat slowly and control the wax temps carefully. It may seem to take a long time to get the wax to go from solid to liquid, but once it has liquefied, the temperature will rise sharply. Make it a habit to constantly monitor the temperature of your wax. If that wax reaches the flash point, then the vapors produced are extremely flammable. The flash point of wax is typically above 150C.