Friday, November 2, 2012

DIY: Waxing Bottles

About two weeks ago I decided it was time to wax the beer bottles I have in my cellar. Most of the beers in there I don’t plan on aging for that long; however, it doesn’t hurt to still wax the tops since I had a pound of wax.  I purchased the wax pellets from my LHBS.

It’s fairly common to find breweries that wax the tops of their bottles, generally this is done for special release bottle, beers that are meant to be aged. The reason for this waxing is to create an air proof seal between the bottle cap and the bottle. Usually air can slowly enter a beer through the seal of a bottle cap, very slowly; however, over a large amount of time this can cause oxidation off flavors and aromas in your beer. I wanted to wax some of the bottles that I was planning on aging, because that brewery, for whatever reason, uses twist-off caps. Those caps are notorious for not creating a tight seal.

I generally would recommend if you are planning on aging a beer for 2+ years that it is good to wax the cap to prevent oxidation. I had the time and the wax so I decided to go ahead and wax pretty much all of my beers.


  1. Make sure all the beers you are going to wax are at room temperature. For me this meant pulling out most of my beers from my fridge in the morning, even though I probably should have done this the night before. The reason is because the bottles will form condensation while they are warming up and you don’t want that to form under the wax. The water from the condensation will also have negative effects on the consistency of the wax.
  2. Place the wax beads, or what ever else you choose to use (I’ve heard of people mixing crayons and glue from hot glue guns before, but regular paraffin wax worked for me) in an old soup or tin can. Make sure the label is removed from the can and the can has been cleaned. Place the can with wax on a burner and turn the burner on to low heat. I believe we had the heat setting set to around 2 or 3, you don’t want it too hot, or else you will burn the wax.
  3. As the wax slowly melts stir it with a stick, we used a wooden skewer, to break up any wax chunks.
  4. Once the wax is evenly melted dip the top of the bottle in the wax and remove. 
  5. Carefully rotate the bottle to allow for even cooling. Once the wax cools, dip the bottle again and repeat the rotating process. The second layer helps to make sure there are no missed spots around the underside of the cap. To help prevent missed spots we found out that holding the bottle upside down while you rotate it and let the wax drip off helps to fill in the cap seal. 
  6. The final step is to set the bottle to the side and let the wax cool. It shouldn’t take very long for the wax to finish cooling, I think it only took about a minute. Once you are done you now have an air tight seal for your bottles.  

We used about two thirds of the wax, maybe, and waxed probably over 200 bottles.

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