Couldn't find anything using the search option so I'll assume this has never been asked before..
Has anyone used beeswax to wax their cheese instead of an actual 'cheese wax'? I'm making cheddar tomorrow and everything I've read calls for cheese wax. I can buy that online but it's about $10 for two pounds. I bought a 2-3 pound block of beeswax from a beek neighbor for $3 for my herbal salves, I still have most of it left. Could I just use that instead? I haven't the fainest idea what's even in 'cheese wax' to begin with. I'm it's guessing petroleum based or soy, neither of which I want on my cheese.
I'd call the manufacturer of the cheese wax and ask them what makes their wax specific to cheese. The details in the answer you get may lead your search in the right direction at least. Perhaps it's an issue of breathability or balancing moisture. You never know. Good luck!
The points to consider are the melting points of the two waxes, and how brittle each one is when at normal cheese storage temperature. You could probably lower the melting point and soften the wax slightly by adding some other oil, such as butter, coconut oil, or tallow. If you could add some propolis too, it might offset any tendency for those softer oils to support unwanted organisms.
(Buyer beware. Use at your own risk. This posting offered for entertainment value only. I'm making this stuff up as I go. Do small experiments first.)
Coat with beeswax when the cheese is dry to the touch. They sell a paraffin cheese wax but we are testing out beeswax. No petroleum, natural product. Beeswax I just melt the beeswax in a small pot Melted Beeswax
and use a barbecue brush to brush the wax onto the cheese. Waxing the Cheese
I made my first waxed cheese earlier this summer, I used beeswax to avoid the artificial coloring and the petroleum product. It worked beautifully if you're ever looking for a more sustainable option to the traditional red cheese wax.
Ok, I found out that cheese wax is paraffin.. With something else in it.. I don't remember the word that was used.. Some sort of micro crystal something wax..
I'm stubborn so I probably would have used beeswax anyway. I figure beeswax is softer than paraffin, but probably a bit harder than this actual cheese wax stuff. I might play with the idea of adding a bit of oil to it. I make soap so I have plenty of coconut, palm kernel, etc.
Thank you for your posts everyone!
I was reading about adding crayons to it for various colors, not sure I want to do that, but how cool would that be? I could have blue, green, red... Heheh
Hi Aganippe, I went ahead with the beeswax, it's sitting in the fridge now. I'm sure I could still add the crayon but I might have to do that for another batch. I reckon I'll wait another month and a couple days before I taste it (it's goat cheddar). I know I accidentally added too much mesophilic culture but the curd tasted alright, so I guess I'll see how it tastes then!
I know this reply is a little late, but since I make my own candles I know a little about wax. Beeswax can be brittle at room temperature, which isn't good when you're cutting cheese, and has high viscosity, which makes the coating thicker than it need be and can double or treble the amount of was you use. Coconut oil has a low melting point which will make the blend less brittle at room temperature, and it will also reduce the viscosity; because it's very high in saturated fat (86%) there's no risk of it going rancid.
Also, several spices can be used to colour beeswax, including cocoa, turmeric, saffron, cochineal and paprika, some of which will leave a stain (and subtle flavour) on the edge of the cheese; whether or not that's desirable is really up to you. Beeswax can also be used to coat flowers to use as decoration.