When most beer geeks get serious about beer they start a beer cellar to age their high ABV beer. Again as a beer geek knows this can build flavours while mellowing the strength of the alcohol in the flavour. Beers can really morph into a whole different animal with age for the good or the bad. There are a few enemy’s of beer when you age it though. There is light, temperature and oxygen and all can have a significant effect. Light can be easy to control as you can turn off the lights and temperature can be easy by finding a place in your home that does not fluctuate in temperature much from season to season. The one enemy that can be hard to protect against is oxygen. Some breweries either cork their beers that age well and some wax the top of the bottles. Many breweries do nothing though and this can be like playing Russian roulette with your beer and depending on the beer that could be an expensive game. A fellow local blogger got me onto the idea of waxing my own bottles to protect them for the long haul. Jason of Beer Scout posted a little blurb on waxing and I decided to expand it a bit with this post.
What you will need
Good high ABV beer
Crayons or any other paraffin wax (dollar stores)
Hot glue Sticks (walmart)
Oven Safe Dish (dollar store)
You will require equal amounts hot glue to crayons to make your waxing solution. Make sure when you start that all beer to be waxed is at room temperature as my first batch was cold and half of my wax seals cracked. Start by preheating your oven to 350C. While you wait prepare your crayons by removing their paper covers. I had large hot glue sticks and used two in my dish. I then placed 8 crayons of similar colour into the dish making an approximate 50/50 split. Once the oven was preheated I placed the dish into the oven and heated. Watch the oven closely as to not over bake the mixture. Once everything is melted take your dish out of the oven and mix everything very thoroughly. This will turn out horribly if it is not mixed well. Once everything is well mixed place the bottles into the mixture and coat the cap area of the bottle making sure it is well sealed. Do not take your time as the mixture will be cooling down as you do these steps. Oh yeah turn off the oven if you haven’t yet.
It is really that simple. I would recommend a container that is taller and skinnier than the one I have if you would like a more full wax seal like most commercially waxed bottles. Not sure if they are better but it does look better. Now go out and try it for yourself just be careful as the wax is at 350C!