Ask the Expert: Is it Possible to Get the Brown Wax Color to be a More Yellow Color?

Ask the Expert: Is it Possible to Get the Brown Wax Color to be a More Yellow Color?

Gene J. Lindner asks:

I heated some beeswax at more than 170 degrees Fahrenheit and it turned a brown color. Is it possible to get the brown wax color to be more yellow color?

Rusty Burlew replies:

Unfortunately, excess heat causes permanent changes to beeswax and there is no way to undo the darkness. It begins by turning light brown, then proceeds to get darker and darker until it’s almost black. The more heat you add, the darker it gets.

Most sources say the discoloration begins at 185 degrees F. With that in mind, the ideal melting temperature is right around 170 to 175 degrees F. But you may get different results depending on your thermometer. Inexpensive thermometers can show wide variations in temperature and, without testing, you don’t know which one to believe.

Also, it’s possible to get local hot spots in your pan. One part of your burner may be hotter than another. So unless you are stirring constantly, one section of the melting wax may get hotter than others. If a small area turns brown and then you stir it in, one brown spot can tint the entire batch.

You can still use the browned wax for certain projects like coating plastic foundation, making swarm lures, or molding cups for queen rearing. The darkness does not ruin the wax, it’s just less pleasing to look at.

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