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.
(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.
I just melt the beeswax in a small pot
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.
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
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!
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.