white round thing with brush nearby wax cheese
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How to Naturally Wax Cheese with Beeswax

How to Naturally Wax Cheese with Beeswax

It’s been sitting on my shelf in all of it’s obnoxious bloody redness for years. I couldn’t do it. When it came down to what I encased and preserved a product that I had invested so much time and effort into, I knew too much about the adverse health effects of food dyes to intentionally coat my home raised and homemade cheese in such an unnatural product as cheese wax. I knew there had to be a more natural way and obviously learning how to naturally wax cheese with beeswax was the first thing that came to my mind.

Seriously, at first glance it might seem like it only took a few hours, maybe days when you factor in the rind forming to make homemade cheese, but it goes back so much further when you really think of it.

I mean in order to get that round of cheese in front of you, first you had to try to figure out when on earth your dear dairy gal is even in heat. And if your gal (or all 3 of your gals *ahem*) like to have quiet cycles in the absence of a bull, believe you me, that is no easy job! Then of course, there are the anxious days leading up to calving, wondering if it will go well, if you forgot the one supply you’ll need in the event that something goes wrong, will your husband be 3 hours away from home when it finally happens. Even more anxiety filled are the postpartum days when milk fever could strike. We fret over the fullness of their rumens, if they’re chewing cud, is the feed mill lying and charging us for non-GMO feed when in reality the pelletized soy comes from an “unknown source”. (*cough* Maysville *cough*) Not to mention the early mornings as we freeze relieving the  pressure in their udder by harvesting the milk. Or the hectic dinnertimes as we do the farm chores while scrambling to put something nutritious on the table at the same time.

All the way down to making the actual cheese which needs more babysitting than a 2 year old for the few hours while it’s being created.

How to Naturally Wax Cheese with Beeswax

I don’t say this all to discourage you. That first slice of cheese is worth every ounce of anxiety and work, it will taste so amazingly delicious, not to mention you can set your mind at ease that you’re not making it with GMO rennet. No, no, no. I am simply making the case that I couldn’t bring myself to coat my cheese with something that seemed so abnormal in its gaudy bright redness as cheese wax. Even if I was certain that the food dyes wouldn’t permeate the rind, I like pretty and beeswax cheese wax is so much more beautiful in its rustic simplicity. When you brush it on, it reminds me of old drippy candles. Bonus points because it smells so good. So good.

It’s quite easy to make cheese wax with beeswax too.

How to Make Cheeses Wax with Beeswax

1.) Set up a double boiler on the stove by placing a large glass bowl over a saucepan filled halfway with hot water.

2.) Measure out ½ cup of  beeswax pastilles into the bowl. (Find high quality beeswax here.)

3.) Add a large dollop of tallow (it’s about 2 tablespoons worth).

4.) Boil the water in the pan and melt the beeswax and tallow together until they are liquified.

5.) Thoroughly brush the liquid wax over all the edges of the cheese paying particular attention to any nooks and crannies.

Make sure you keep the bowl of melted wax warm while you’re waxing the cheese. It hardens up quickly. And make sure that you wax your cheese over newspaper or cardboard so that it’s easier to clean up the drips. And especially make sure that you don’t burn yourself if the wax is hot. Mine must not have been too hot because the kids were dipping their fingers in the wax, letting it harden a second, and then peeling it off.

Using this amount of wax & tallow was enough for me to brush about 2- 1 pound rounds of farmhouse cheddar. 

See it’s too simple not to go au natural with your cheese wax!

How to Naturally Wax Cheese with Beeswax

Are you a home cheesemaker? What’s your favorite type of cheese to make? 

Learn how to naturally wax cheese with beeswax instead of that bright red stuff made with food dyes.

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11 Comments

  1. Can you tell me how much 1/2 c pastilles comes out to by weight? Unfortunately, my bees don’t produce wax in that shape for me!

    1. I’ve used blocks before, you just have to grate the beeswax. I would recommend that anyway because a chunk is going to take forever to melt in a double boiler.

  2. Does the tallow prevent the beeswax from cracking and becoming brittle during the aging process?

    1. I ‘m not sure. I think it might depend on how soft your lard is. (Mine is usually fairly soft whereas tallow get’s real hard and makes a nice shell.)

  3. I figured it might be less mess but I worried I would need to melt more wax that way. I had my husband pick up the block of beeswax from the store because I had run out and it was $28/lb! There was some sticker shock on that one and I ended up feeling like a tightwad when it came time to use it. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  4. I use beeswax on my 500 gm rounds. I just chill the round in the freezer for a few minutes, then dip top then bottom in the bowl of wax, then hold it on edge and roll the round to coat the edges. Then stick on a bit of paper with date etc on the top and repeat the waxing again to be sure. Much less messy than using a brush. The fingers do get the odd nip when I dip them in the wax but thats all part of the challenge! I haven't needed to put in any lard, and no sign of cracking.

  5. I have had a chunk of honey scented candle-scenting 'stuff' in my art box for 5 years or more now- simply because I love the smell when I open the box (as a reward, it encourages me to open the box.) Just the scent would fill me with ideas of honey and rosemary dribbled over a chunk of warm white cheese… well that would be enough to send me over-budget, lol. Your results are indeed rustic and stunning in simplicity. Thank you for sharing.

  6. I have moved away from waxing cheeses, but when I did, I had problems with the lighter-colored wax, because I could never quite tell if I had covered the cheese completely. Even so, I love the idea of using of beeswax. Your cheese looks beautiful. And you're right, regardless of whether or not the food-grade cheese wax leaches in or whatever, there's a wonderful aesthetic to beeswax anything.