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Newbie Question - Whats up with wax?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by KevinGordon, Jan 16, 2013.

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  1. Some bottles are coated in wax. What gives? Besides making that bottle an incredible pain in the arse to open, does the wax serve any purpose besides looking fancy? I feel like I need Mr Miyagi to get the wax off..
    floraday likes this.
  2. mcaulifww

    mcaulifww Initiate (0) Virginia Aug 18, 2011

    it may create a better seal on bottles ment to be aged. a bottle that is just capped might let in some oxygen. otherwise, it just looks cute
  3. DSlim71

    DSlim71 Savant (495) New Jersey Mar 3, 2010

    By coating the caps with wax, brewers are trying to prevent oxidation by not letting as much air in through the cap. Ideally, you will be able to age bottles longer because of the wax compared to regular capping.
    acevenom, dianimal and jglowe77 like this.
  4. thanks for the info!
  5. kdmcguire10

    kdmcguire10 Savant (385) Michigan Jul 15, 2011

    The wax serves to reinforce the seal, adding some additional insurance against potential oxidation.

    Removing the wax can be done a number of different ways. I typically just score the entire area around the cap enough to allow me to get my standard opener latched on. Then, just pop it open as normal.
  6. Kadonny

    Kadonny Advocate (705) Pennsylvania Sep 5, 2007 Beer Trader

    I hate the wax purely for being a pain in the ass to open. I had an Olde Hickory this past weekend that I couldn't get the damn wax off of. Frustrating.
  7. UnderJoath

    UnderJoath Savant (280) Illinois Jul 29, 2010 Beer Trader

    Practice, kiddies.
  8. Zhiguli

    Zhiguli Savant (355) California Jul 12, 2012

    lowers friction when we geeks attempt to self-penetrate with aged bottles
    DanK4, fullmetal1381, ijaap and 20 others like this.
  9. Forget all of these logical reasons....
    the brewers just wanna play with some wax.
  10. Lare453

    Lare453 Champion (975) Florida Feb 1, 2012 Beer Trader

    I wish there was a love button, not just a like.
    ChicagoShoop and crushedvol like this.
  11. mhksuccess

    mhksuccess Advocate (630) California Jul 7, 2012 Beer Trader

    I like the wax for aging but do agree that it is difficult to open
    I learned the hard way last year when I hosted a tasting and toward the end of the night after numerous beers
    tried to open a bottle of the Bruery CUIR and sliced my thumb
    drinking the bottle helped the pain but will definitely use a different method next time removing some was
    glaze3 likes this.
  12. Wax: it's how a beer that would be $12 in sixpacks turns into a $22 750ml bottle.
  13. To open: take a knife and move from bottom of wax to the cap. Peel off. This makes it very easy to open.
    Also you can take a knife and make an "x" in the top of the cap an peel wax off like a banana.
    It does take a little practice.
    cosmicevan likes this.
  14. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Champion (875) Michigan May 30, 2005 Subscriber

  15. ABisonEgo

    ABisonEgo Savant (300) Illinois Jan 31, 2012

    Ive heard that a bottle that is waxed always tastes better than unwaxed bottles. Example: Dark Lord vs Guinness
  16. dawatts

    dawatts Savant (335) Massachusetts Dec 27, 2006

    Looks like Backlash is probably not waxing their bottles anymore. And "easier to open" is one of the reasons, and keeping costs lower. That being said, their wax dipped, and then brass knuckle stamped top is bad ass.

  17. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (725) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011 Subscriber

    I was thinking that with the intelligence displayed in some of the clips in the best beer videos thread, there must have been some nimrod somewhere who tried to melt the wax off with a blowtorch...or microwave...
    Zach136 likes this.
  18. SeaOfShells

    SeaOfShells Savant (350) California Feb 22, 2011

    I had an Arcadia BA Shipwreck Porter, and it was laughably difficult to open the beer.
    szmnnl99 likes this.
  19. Too lazy to make a new label for each variation of the same beer.
    luwak likes this.
  20. Pecan

    Pecan Savant (490) Arizona Dec 20, 2012 Beer Trader

    The real question is: Once I get through the wax, how the hell am I supposed to get this metal disk off the top? God, it's on there so tight and it makes it sooooo difficult to open. Advice?
    RaulMatisse and ericj551 like this.
  21. It's also a way to persuade people subcontiously that the beer is extra special and thus worthy of a higher markup. It's like how wax seal stamps on envelopes look all fancy. Surely the sender wrote it with a feather dipped in ink.
    LeRose likes this.
  22. RDMII

    RDMII Savant (485) Georgia Apr 11, 2010

    Waxed caps are fine and simple to remove, it's the waxed swing tops that I hate. Sweetwater's 1L 2010 Festive Ale took me 30 minutes to open and I had to vacuum the kitchen to get up all the little pieces.
  23. Hey, the beer was gonna suck anyway.
  24. JustXBeer

    JustXBeer Savant (325) California Nov 29, 2012 Beer Trader

    that must have been fun :eek:
  25. TWStandley

    TWStandley Champion (805) Massachusetts Jan 15, 2008 Beer Trader

    It is so that when you are drinking and the power goes out, you can pick up the wax, roll it into a ball, take off a shoelace and poke it through the middle to create a candle.
    beertunes and dachshunddude86 like this.
  26. acevenom

    acevenom Advocate (555) Louisiana Oct 7, 2011

    That's where having a combination of a wine corkscrew and a bottle opener all in one tool is useful. It's a good grip and the length gives you plenty of leverage. I've had no trouble getting through wax with that thing.
  27. JustXBeer

    JustXBeer Savant (325) California Nov 29, 2012 Beer Trader

    This works evey time
  28. drewone

    drewone Champion (850) California Sep 18, 2006 Subscriber Beer Trader

    Waxed caged and corked are the worst!
  29. Despite the rationale of being better for long-term aging, I genuinely believe 90% of the bottles out there are waxed to stand out.

    Most wax comes off pretty easily once you've done it enough. Except The Bruery, because they use like a quarter inch of wax...
    beertunes likes this.
  30. Or Arbitrator's. That sadist likes to wax corked and caged beers.
    adamcarlson28 likes this.
  31. JustXBeer

    JustXBeer Savant (325) California Nov 29, 2012 Beer Trader

    Now that must be really fun...lol
  32. Sabre it.

    jarrgal, Pecan and JustXBeer like this.
  33. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Advocate (670) Michigan Jan 8, 2011

    I take it no one was paying attention to Ray Daniels tweet fest on wax about a month ago? He went into it IN depth, from type of wax, to why wax? If a beer does not get any oxygen thru the crown, how can it further develop, therefore what's the point? It was educational to say the least.
  34. Chelsea1905

    Chelsea1905 Savant (485) Washington Sep 3, 2008 Beer Trader

    Shows of the years some bottles were waxed too.

    Personally I think some of it is a gimmick. Surely caged and corked is just as good, but if a brwery doesn't have acces to cage and cork, or even cap and cork, then I can see it being somehwat cool

    However, if it is meant to be for "aging" purposes to make sure a bottle doesn't oxidize, then why are some IPA's waxed? Surely you'd not want to age them anyway.
  35. I dont know about that comparison. I've never had Dark Lord, but isnt it possible that it tastes better than Guinness because Guinness doesn't taste that good?
  36. I wish I saw this, but I dont use twitter, so...
  37. I have yet to have a waxed bottle. But thats because Im young and poor. Probably going to go pick up a waxed bottle of something now, for some reason Im very curious as to how hard it is to get off.

    Nope. Its all because of the wax
  38. tgchief

    tgchief Savant (325) Iowa Nov 30, 2010

    It's pinkies up...you know, fancy pants....nothing more. Lots of fun for brewers, messy additional costs for owners, gingerbread for marketers!
  39. ijaap

    ijaap Savant (265) Washington Jan 5, 2013 Beer Trader

    On the other side of the spectrum, it is ridiculously tedious to actually apply the wax to beers. Currently doing this. As a buyer, when I see a beer with a wax seal I always investigate said beer.
  40. ABisonEgo

    ABisonEgo Savant (300) Illinois Jan 31, 2012

    I was being completely sarcastic. As stated above, mostly for oxidation and aging purposes
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