Author’s Note: Post contains affiliate links
Most beer enthusiasts will agree, there is something distinctly sexy about a wax-dipped bomber bottle. The waxed top gives the impression of quality and somehow has the ability to separate a bottle from others on the shelf. Some people laud the “preservative quality” of waxing bottles and even suggest using wax to seal rare beers before cellaring. I cannot confirm or deny these claims, but I can definitely confirm that the look is really cool! Waxing your bottles is particularly useful if you want to give them as gifts… great for all occasions: bachelor parties, weddings, Christmas, President’s Day, Tuesday, etc…
Ok, here’s how we can class up our bottles on the cheap. You will need the following supplies:
- Wax Crayons – If you are seeking a specific color, Amazon sells single color packs for between $3-$5. Colors such as gold or silver make great wax options. If you don’t need an exact color, bulk packs are a fantastic value. Crayola also offers an 800-count box with 16 different colors, best for homebrew clubs or someone who plans to dip EVERY BOTTLE FOREVER!
- Mini Glue Sticks – 100-pack for around $7 shipped.
- Small container – I used one of my extra sample (4oz) glasses, and it worked perfectly. Many tutorials use old coke cans or tin cans. I prefer the small glass, because it allows for a deeper wax dip using less crayons/glue sticks.
- Baking Sheet
- Aluminum Foil (optional)
- Name Badges & Marker (optional – labels)
The process is quite simple, so follow along. I decided to brew an imperial stout for the holidays and thought bombers would make nice gifts for my beer buddies. Without any graphic design skills for labels, hand-writing the labels seemed like a nice personal touch. Many of you likely have much better skills in this area, so use them to your advantage! Now, on to the waxing…
- Pick a color – Since I was bottling a dark beer with a relatively sinister name (Cerberus is the 3-headed dog guarding the gates of Hades in Greek mythology), I chose to go with a dark blend. Conveniently, this color can be created by using generally “dark” crayons – black, brown, navy blue, gray, and purple. Select which ever color you prefer and pick out your crayons.
- 3:1 ratio – Once you select the crayons to use, grab three mini glue sticks for each crayon. I was able to wax 20 bottles using 7 crayons and 21 glue sticks, but this will vary based on the dimensions of the container you use and how deeply you dip the bottles.
- Remove crayon wrappers – Slice the wrappers length-wise with a small knife to save a lot of time.
- Cut into small pieces – Use scissors or your hands to break the sticks and crayons into smaller pieces which will melt more easily.
- Prepare for baking – Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil (just in case), and place the cup of pieces in the center.
- Melt – Place the sheet on a central rack in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. Stir the mixture every 10 minutes. I recommend using an old knife that you don’t care about, because the wax will be very sticky.
- Dip the bottles – Use a pair of channel lock pliers to hold the container in place while you dip the bottles. Otherwise, you may accidentally lift the container and make a mess. Dip the top of the bottle all the way to the bottom of the wax container, then quickly lift and place upright. This will allow the wax to drip a bit before hardening, creating a nice effect. You may want to practice your technique on an empty bottle first… my first couple attempts were a bit messy. Once you get the hang of it, your bottles will look professional!
There you have it! Waxing your bottles is not a complicated process. Now you can make thoughtful, personal, and inexpensive gifts for friends and family. Have you ever tried wax dipping your bottles? What techniques do you use to get great results?
If you find the content on Brew on a Budget to be valuable, please consider ways you can offer support. Cheers!