Over the years we processed our beeswax cappings in small batches using a double boiler set right on our kitchen stove – then filtering the liquid wax through a stocking – a pound at a time. This year we had a lot more cappings and it became a much bigger job. We knew we did not want to do it in our kitchen so we purchased a turkey fryer. The turkey fryer comes with a burner assembly, a 30 qt pot, propane connections and a thermometer. Since the turkey fryer burner connects to a propane tank the actual beeswax rendering is done outside.
We were able to render a bigger block of wax much more quickly with the Turkey Fryer. Using the Fryer we simply add a couple inches of water to the bottom of the 30 qt alumin boiling pot, set it over the flame and then steadily add the cappings, little by little, till they are completely melted down; all the while we monitor the melted wax with a thermometer – wax becomes flammable at 220 degrees. Once the cappings are completely melted down, we then scoop out the liquid wax and pour it through a nylon stocking into a 5-gallon bucket. We ended up with about 15 pounds of wax in the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket after our first rendering; it worked very well. Now we are looking for another nice day to remelt this block and complete a final filtering and then continue melting the rest of the wax cappings. We consulted Kirk Webster’s web site on how he uses a 55-gallon drum set over an outdoor gas range for his wax rendering and then we simply pared down his instructions to our needs and it worked well out at our scale