How to Wax Your Homebrew Bottles
You've slaved for hours over this year's holiday brew. You really went all out to show off your monster brewing skills and to tell your friends how special they are. So you did a triple decocted, 8 month lagered eisbock that is going to blow their minds. After all that effort, you want to give it that special touch to make sure it stands out. Handing them out in those old, crusty bombers with the labels still on is not going to do the trick. You could print your own labels, sure, but everyone does that.
So take it up a notch. This year, give your bottle tops a nice coat of colored wax before handing them out. Waxing is a great return on your investment as it's easy and inexpensive, and really gives bottles that "gift-y" appearance.
Here's how to do it:
- Pick up some bottle wax. It's available in a wide variety of colors and comes pellet form
- Add the wax pellets to an old aluminum soup can. The taller and narrower the better as you'll use less wax to get a longer coat
- Place said can in a pot of water on the stove and bring the water to a boill. Stir occasionally (I like to use a disposable chopstick for this) until the wax melts into a thin, uniform fluid
- Dip your bottle tops one at a time into the melted wax
- Remove the bottle, and hold upside down while twisting the bottle in a circle. This part is key as it ensures a uniform distribution of wax across the top; while a wax runner looks great dripping down the side from the bottom of the coat, it looks janky if coming from the top (see the second bottle in the photo above). After about 15 seconds or rotating you should be good to flip the bottle over and set it aside
It's best to move quickly to keep the wax uniform for coating. As you wax supply dwindles in your can you can take a break and stir in more pellets. We recommend doing this a little at a time (more frequently is better than less for easy melting).
Finally, a thinner coat is better than a thick one, as your recipient will not be able to get the top off with a thick coat!
If you really want to get festive, you could do two colors. Let the first one dry before applying the second coat, and be sure both are thin.
That's it! You can still add a lable if you desire, but the wax will really help your bottle stand out.