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Barrel Wax

So, what is barrel wax? Barrel wax is just a fancy name to hide the real name:beeswax and/or candlewax. Yes, that is all it is, and you can purchase it for a fraction of the cost at any local store. 

This is the reason although we do sell it, we make sure our customers understand they can easily purchase it locally. The only reason it is called barrel wax is to confuse consumers and get them to purchase expensive beeswax for their barrels.

I have seen sellers sell both beeswax and candlewax. Please be aware beeswax is safe for food consumption and candlewax although cheaper is petroleum based which is not food safe and should not be used to seal barrels.

New barrels should not need beeswax to seal as they should be able to seal naturally by swelling. The only reason you should resort to beeswax is if:

  • The barrel has been stored without liquid and it has dried out and will no longer seal.
  • Or if the liquid content added to the barrel does not contain enough water to keep the barrel in a swelled state.

Some cases to be aware are those barrel manufactures who go as far as adding candle wax to the interior of the barrel which is unsafe and even dangerous for consumption.  You may ask why they would add candle wax to the interior of the barrel:

  • When making a barrel and bending the staves it is normal for a few staves to weaken or snap.  These staves must be change or the barrel will leak which takes quite a bit of work and time, in order to make barrels cheaper they skip this step and just add candle wax to the interior.

  • When placing the head on the barrel there may be diminutive pieces of chip wood which will not allow the barrel to seal so instead of replacing the barrel head which again costs time and money they skip this step and add candle wax to the head in order to make it seal.

We fortunately are a cooperage and cooper our own barrels, so we have full control of how barrels are made and make sure they are made safe for consumption. Unfortunately, out there are many resellers who buy the cheapest barrels possible to maximize profit without knowing how the barrels are being made and what corners are being cut.

How to use beeswax to seal the barrel:

Melt in a pot a small amount of beeswax and use a spoon to pour it on the spot that is leaking on the barrel.

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