trading bottles that you home waxed

Discussion in 'Beer Trading Talk' started by OneBeertoRTA, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I just bought a bunch of different beads and a portable electric stove to wax some of my bottles for cellaring (KBS, CAftw, Doggie Claws, 1414, BCBS, etc...). Do any of you mind receiving bottles that were home waxed? I watched some videos and will practice on some quality lagers before hand and expect (and hope) they come out nice. Is it poor form to not let the trader know the bottle has been waxed?
  2. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I was planning on doing it, but the temperature change could hurt the liquid. I'm going back to school to figure out how to melt the wax at 45 degrees.
    gpawned likes this.
  3. Pelican5

    Pelican5 Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    ^LIKE x10^
  4. nicks6217

    nicks6217 Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    As long as they're not waxed like older hickory bottle.
  5. Arbitrator

    Arbitrator Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2008 California

    I wax a bunch of stuff I send out, and it hasn't occurred to me to warn anyone. Though I think it caused some consternation when someone received fresh, waxed Pliny. "Did you... cellar this...?"

    Waxing isn't hard. I put the beads in a wide can and usually stick it in a double boiler -- but watch for turbulence that could tip it over.

    You can wax the whole bottle. The wax doesn't need to be all that hot (it gets too runny), so it won't hurt the beer. You want a goopy, viscous consistency; that makes it take fewer coats (ideally only 1) and it will cool off faster. But, if you just want to make a bottle anonymous, you could strip off the label... It's a lot less work.

    Protip: Cherry Adam from the Wood seems to peak at 1 to 1.5 years. I wouldn't really wax it unless I'm putting it away for many years, and I don't think that beer benefits from that much age. Standard disclaimer about palate differences, batch differences, cellar differences, etc. inserted here.
    AleWatcher and OneBeertoRTA like this.
  6. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    For beers like FS Anniversaries, Parabola, etc.. with the light wrap coat would you take it off before waxing?

    I figured a nice soup can (progresso, chunky chicken white meat noodles) not Cambell's would suffice...
  7. BigTomZ

    BigTomZ Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Virginia

    I received some waxed WWS not too long ago. I wasn't told in advance but it didn't bother me. I was actually pretty excited to see if they aged differently. I couldn't really taste much difference between the waxed and the unwaxed bottles (the experiment was using 2007 vintage if anyone is wondering).
  8. BigTomZ

    BigTomZ Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Virginia

    That is a good point, I didn't ask when they were waxed. It is possible it wasn't all that long ago.
  9. claaark13

    claaark13 Zealot (504) Nov 29, 2007 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    I still have awkward conversations with places that fill grolwers when I use a RR growler that you waxed and sent me. I can't get it off (safely).
  10. SubpoenaDeuces

    SubpoenaDeuces Initiate (0) Feb 3, 2011 California

    ah this is gonna be nasty, draw the blinds, clear the internet history

    false alarm. CTRL+SHFT+N window closed.
  11. MADhombrewer

    MADhombrewer Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2008 Oregon

  12. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Will your liver hold out 5 years?
    Bluecane likes this.
  13. rowingbrewer

    rowingbrewer Champion (849) May 28, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I have recieved waxed bottles and it didn't bother me
  14. dbfp210

    dbfp210 Initiate (0) Jun 27, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I wonder what the knife guy would do.
    innuendobrewskiman63 likes this.
  15. GraniteSkunk

    GraniteSkunk Initiate (0) Apr 17, 2007 Illinois

    Why they gotta be BLACK locals?
  16. claaark13

    claaark13 Zealot (504) Nov 29, 2007 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Dibs on your cellar.
    gpawned likes this.
  17. mhenson42

    mhenson42 Zealot (540) Nov 20, 2011 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I usually remove any plastic/foil.

    I wax any bottle that I think I may age. Just get a couple of cheap pots from Walmart for each color. I like to use black for stouts and burgandy for barleywines/old ales. I don't save any other styles.

    I don't really put a disclaimer that the bottle was waxed if if use in a trade. Not sure why it would matter. The wax can be removed if the person is a bottle collector or a cap collector.
    gpawned likes this.
  18. MrVonzipper

    MrVonzipper Initiate (0) May 9, 2011 California

    "Note to self. Wax all of the bottles you are saving for Scott. "
  19. yamar68

    yamar68 Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2011 Minnesota

    The only thing I wax on a regular basis is my beer peen.
  20. M1A2

    M1A2 Disciple (319) Jan 15, 2012 Ohio
    Beer Trader

  21. youradhere

    youradhere Devotee (490) Feb 29, 2008 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Waxing is pretty easy. I just found a can of peaches that was in our cupboard that our senile old-bat of a neighbor gave me (long story), dumped the peaches and put the beads in that, then put the can in a frying pan with 1/2" of water in it (I used a camping pan, so as not to get the good stuff messy.) I dipped one coat, just past the bottle cap- I personally saw no need to do a fancy drip-job, and I also didn't care to put in the effort. I waxed my bottles in winter, so they were cold and had a lot of sweat on them when I brought them indoors, and the wax adhered just fine. I also waxed a few C&C bottles for shitzngiggles, I don't advise that as I nearly lost a thumb after several minutes of trying to dig the cage out of one coat of wax. Live and learn...
  22. BeerThursdays

    BeerThursdays Devotee (414) Feb 28, 2010 Delaware
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, but it hurts like hell when you put it on...
  23. smonice

    smonice Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2012 New Jersey

    Should this be standard practice if you are aging beers?
  24. boogercrack

    boogercrack Initiate (174) May 24, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    bullshit.. there is no reasonably heated hot pocket.

    it's either still frozen or lava.

    there is no median.
  25. dbfp210

    dbfp210 Initiate (0) Jun 27, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I wax my hot pockets before I eat them.
    kansascitytrader likes this.
  26. Thehuntmaster

    Thehuntmaster Initiate (0) Sep 2, 2009 South Africa

    I have received 2 home-waxed bottles (Matt Bottleworks X and Bramble Rye). I thought it was pretty cool :slight_smile:
  27. Arbitrator

    Arbitrator Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2008 California

    I can't say for sure, but here's a general summary of the research I did into it.

    This link delves into the chemistry of wine oxidation. I couldn't find anything quite so thorough on the subject of beer, so I'm going to make a lot of assumptions about the chemistry translating over.

    But the gist is this: It's a complex process. And keep in mind that "oxidation" doesn't necessarily mean "oxygen reacting" -- oxidation is a chemical term for "losing electrons." So technically, you can have oxidation without the presence of oxygen. It will just occur between two reactive species over a period of time, provided you have enough catalyst and energy (temperature). Aging is essentially the process of letting that oxidation occur, and you can have a wine (or beer) evolve in a completely anaerobic environment.

    It's well known that too much oxidation damages a beer (or wine). But it seems that, in small quantities, oxidation has a positive effect: "Exposure of the developing wine to oxygen is crucial at certain stages of the process, and getting this right is one of the keys to successful winemaking." So (and here's where I'm assuming), the natural oxidation that occurs between species in a beer (or wine) in a completely anaerobic environment is probably ok (or at least highly dependent on the beer or wine in question). It's also possible that the small amount of oxygen in the headspace is probably just fine, unless the beer was capped improperly and has mostly trapped air. Then it's likely to just get fucked over time.

    Then the question becomes a matter of what additional oxygen is introduced into the beer as it ages. A small, baseline amount of oxygen is ok (the industry standard seems to be 0.1 ppm), but as you introduce more and more of it with time, it's probably going to be detrimental. That's where the wax comes in: it provides a barrier against the air that reinforces the polymer underneath the cap. So it eliminates a source of oxygen that could prove damaging over time.

    In short, I've come to the conclusion that if you're aging beers for 1.5 years or more, then waxing is a good idea. But it's going to depend on how good the bottling process was, and how that particular beer reacts to oxygen. And that's going to be highly variable. To really understand this, I'd recommend taking something common like Bigfoot and waxing half the bottles and leaving the others as-is. Age for 5-6 years. Drink a pair side by side. You may be able to tell a difference; that will teach you something.

    I did this experiment with Hair of the Dog Adam and was pleasantly surprised with the results; but I only did this with 1 bottle of each, so I don't know for sure if it's bottle variation or the wax having an effect. I had my fiancee pour them blind, then blind again when I emptied the glasses. Both times, I was able to identify which was which. The unwaxed one tasted duller and cardboardy to me, while the unwaxed one had more sherry and brighter dark fruit presence. It's not compelling evidence, but it's a place to start.

    When it comes to beers you're 'aging' until you can drink them, I'd just leave them as-is and not bother. The troublesome thing here is that I genuinely feel most beer doesn't age well; a lot of it drops off within a year or so. Just identifying good aging candidates is a major undertaking; then doing a controlled study to see which ones benefit from wax and which ones don't is another long experiment. But it's a fun one.
  28. smonice

    smonice Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2012 New Jersey

    Thanks for the technical and thorough reply!
  29. daysinthewake

    daysinthewake Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2010 California

    I've never had a problem with it. I save wax from Bruery and Deschutes bottles, so I can do it someday. I'm a little concerned about the initial heat affecting the cap's seal, but I guess it doesn't need to be that hot.
  30. DanzBorin

    DanzBorin Initiate (0) Apr 11, 2012 Texas

    This may be the most depraved sounding piece of filth ever typed on the internet.

    THANKS!!! :grinning:
  31. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Wax finally came in yesterday so this morning I was eager to see how this comes out


    I started with two guinea pigs to test temperatures and amount of wax, they came out like shit

  32. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    However, after about an hour of playing with containers, temperature and dip technique I think they came out pretty good.




  33. kmello69

    kmello69 Defender (618) Nov 27, 2011 Texas
    Beer Trader

    What did you find to be the best re:container? Soup can, or something else? I just bought a bunch of wax, and plan on doing this to some bottles soon as well.
  34. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I used a pretty big chili can for these

    The main tip is don't dip when the wax is scorching hot or there are beads that have not melted. It got to be really fun although I probably should have been drinking but it was early in the morning. I did at least 40 bottles with one bag of Home Brew beads.
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