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Wax tamper proof sealing

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Classick    1

Anybody on here using a wax dip to seal your bottles, as opposed to a heat shrink or spin on?

I have a client that has opted to go with this finish, and as i have never applied wax before, just looking for any suggestions.

We will be heating the wax in a crock pot to the manufactures specified melting temp.

I have been advised that the wax is specially formulated to dry almost instantly, and should only need 1-2 dips to properly seal the top.

Thanks in advance for input.

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Suggest you rethink the heater. If you use a crock pot you will have to have different crock pots for each color wax you use. We found the best after many other heating mechanisms was a cheap Walmart two burner electric hot plate and two cheap aluminum pots. The greatest advantage is the adjustable heat controls. One more note, get the "high temperature" wax; the lower temp waxes come undone when bottles are left in a hot place, wax softens in the heat and the warmth expands the liquid in the bottle which pushes the cork upward.

R

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Classick    1

Hmmm thanks for the advice. I was not in charge of ordering the wax, but i know that it came from a company than specialized in wax for sealing bottles, so hopefully it will be right stuff.

As for the crockpot... i believe we are only using one color, and this is only for one client. They are providing the heating vessel, but i will forward along the info to my client for their consideration.

Any tips on dipping technique? did you have to twist at the end, like when pouring wine?, did the wax drip evenly down the bottle neck before solidifying?

Thanks much Ralph.

Suggest you rethink the heater. If you use a crock pot you will have to have different crock pots for each color wax you use. We found the best after many other heating mechanisms was a cheap Walmart two burner electric hot plate and two cheap aluminum pots. The greatest advantage is the adjustable heat controls. One more note, get the "high temperature" wax; the lower temp waxes come undone when bottles are left in a hot place, wax softens in the heat and the warmth expands the liquid in the bottle which pushes the cork upward.

R

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Hi Dave,

If you're using natural corks, you might get some air leakage that could cause a bubble at the top of bottle. The hot wax heats up the neck of the bottle which, in turn, heats up the cork a little bit, causing it to leak air into (and occasionally through) the wax. So, I find that being quick at dipping it in and pulling it out works well. It would help if the bottle were already at room temperature, or even a bit warmer (without affecting your spirit, of course); less contract in temperatures.

You should also get the hang of twisting the bottle around so that the wax doesn't drink too far down the bottle. You'll get the hang pretty quickly--do a few trial runs. It's like flipping an omellette... B-)

If you're using bar tops, I don't think you'll have the same problem but it's possible that the air could come out through the side (under the bar top) but that never happened to me.

Lastly, dipping it in twice never worked for me as I ended up with bottles of different closure thicknesses. When something was wrong, I let it cool down, sliced off the wax, and did it again. But give it a shot and see if you like the way it looks.

For an added flair (and more work), you could use a silk strip over the neck of the bottle (or even a string to be used as a tear band) such that one or both ends dangled from under the wax. Just a thought...

Good luck!

Robert

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will    3

Looks like nobody has mentioned that Makers Mark considers the distinctive wax dripping down the neck of the bottle to be one of their signature marks - may even be trademarked. Might want to avoid stepping into a pile of dog doo.

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Classick    1

Looks like nobody has mentioned that Makers Mark considers the distinctive wax dripping down the neck of the bottle to be one of their signature marks - may even be trademarked. Might want to avoid stepping into a pile of dog doo.

lol

i dont think someone can trademark a drip... think about how many drips there are in public domain... paint dripping, water dripping, etc.

plus, i seriously doubt they'd be worried about the 100 cases of grappa im going to do.

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Classick    1

Thanks Robert... i guess ill just have to play around with it.

Hi Dave,

If you're using natural corks, you might get some air leakage that could cause a bubble at the top of bottle. The hot wax heats up the neck of the bottle which, in turn, heats up the cork a little bit, causing it to leak air into (and occasionally through) the wax. So, I find that being quick at dipping it in and pulling it out works well. It would help if the bottle were already at room temperature, or even a bit warmer (without affecting your spirit, of course); less contract in temperatures.

You should also get the hang of twisting the bottle around so that the wax doesn't drink too far down the bottle. You'll get the hang pretty quickly--do a few trial runs. It's like flipping an omellette... B-)

If you're using bar tops, I don't think you'll have the same problem but it's possible that the air could come out through the side (under the bar top) but that never happened to me.

Lastly, dipping it in twice never worked for me as I ended up with bottles of different closure thicknesses. When something was wrong, I let it cool down, sliced off the wax, and did it again. But give it a shot and see if you like the way it looks.

For an added flair (and more work), you could use a silk strip over the neck of the bottle (or even a string to be used as a tear band) such that one or both ends dangled from under the wax. Just a thought...

Good luck!

Robert

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Guest Liberty Bar - Seattle   
Guest Liberty Bar - Seattle

My understanding from visiting the Maker's distillery is that Maker's HAS trademarked the wax drip... AND, they are very proud of it so expect to get a call from an attorney at some point if a dripped wax product gains enough success to appear on their radar...

Surely don't use red wax...

On that note, at the Maker's distillery, a machine applies a plastic 'puller' before the four ladies that do all of the dipping put the bottles in the wax, which causes the opening of the Maker's bottle to be a much easier task. Many people have moved from wax - I believe that PVW used to have wax-sealed bottles until two years ago.

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grehorst    3

The trademark is for wax dripping down the neck and seems to apply to whisky only. Perhaps Chuck can verify. View it here-

http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=73526578

They recently filed suit against a tequila company but I believe that was because they used a similar logo and red wax.

On heating wax...

A crockpot heats slowly, so start heating them up about three hours before you need them. If you're doing a lot of bottles buy a few crockpots and run them simultaneous, use one as your dipping pot and the others to keep melting more wax, pouring wax from one of the backups into the dipping pot as needed. Add a pound as soon as you have the space, the melted wax helps to quickly melt the cold blocks you add. We use 3 or 4 crockpots when doing day long runs. We clean them by allowing them to cool completely, heat again for 30 minutes until we can pop out the wax block and then wipe the crockpot with paper towels while still hot. We get crockpots for $10 at the local HOBO. It can be messy, and it's a good idea to keep a pan of water handy in case you drip some on your hand- it burns like hell until you cool it.

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Classick    1

From the Trademark Office

WRT Makers Mark

Description of Mark THE MARK CONSISTS OF A WAX-LIKE COATING COVERING THE CAP OF THE BOTTLE AND TRICKLING DOWN THE NECK OF THE BOTTLE IN A FREEFORM IRREGULAR PATTERN. THE STIPPLING SHOWN IN THE MARK OF THE DRAWING IS FOR SHADING PURPOSES ONLY.

How did they get away with this? the description is so arbitrary, that it could include any drip of wax on any bottle, in any color.. how the hell did they trademark "free-form irregular pattern"?

Well if they have eyes on us, and this product in particular, i welcome the lawyers note, because it means we are successful enough for them to notice.

Image: http://tess2.uspto.gov/ImageAgent/ImageAgentProxy?getImage=73526578

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Classick    1

Thanks for the tips Guy.+

The trademark is for wax dripping down the neck and seems to apply to whisky only. Perhaps Chuck can verify. View it here-

http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=73526578

They recently filed suit against a tequila company but I believe that was because they used a similar logo and red wax.

On heating wax...

A crockpot heats slowly, so start heating them up about three hours before you need them. If you're doing a lot of bottles buy a few crockpots and run them simultaneous, use one as your dipping pot and the others to keep melting more wax, pouring wax from one of the backups into the dipping pot as needed. Add a pound as soon as you have the space, the melted wax helps to quickly melt the cold blocks you add. We use 3 or 4 crockpots when doing day long runs. We clean them by allowing them to cool completely, heat again for 30 minutes until we can pop out the wax block and then wipe the crockpot with paper towels while still hot. We get crockpots for $10 at the local HOBO. It can be messy, and it's a good idea to keep a pan of water handy in case you drip some on your hand- it burns like hell until you cool it.

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grehorst    3

THE MARK CONSISTS OF A WAX-LIKE COATING COVERING THE CAP OF THE BOTTLE AND TRICKLING DOWN THE NECK OF THE BOTTLE IN A FREEFORM IRREGULAR PATTERN. THE STIPPLING SHOWN IN THE MARK OF THE DRAWING IS FOR SHADING PURPOSES ONLY.

How did they get away with this? the description is so arbitrary, that it could include any drip of wax on any bottle, in any color.. how the hell did they trademark "free-form irregular pattern"?

Yeah, amazes me that you could trademark something the laws of physics create.

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Korn Likker    0

JUST TRIM OFF THE "FREE FLOW PATTERN" OR DISRUPT IT IN A PLANNED VARIATION, USE A DIFFERENT COLOR AND MAKE A CUSTOM IMPRESSION... LIKE OLD SCHOOL WAX LETTER SEALS...

THAT'S WHAT I'VE IN MIND WHEN I GET TO THAT POINT...

(RUNNING TO PATTEN OFFICE RIGHT NOW) lol!!

CHEERS,

BRANDON

"KORN LIKKER"

Not yelling... all caps was on... too lazy to re-type...

And yeah.. I look at the keys when I type...

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We wax seal our vodka. We really like the look and I think it really gives the handcrafted feel to the bottle. That said this step in our bottling process has literally proven to be the bottleneck. We dip our bottles straight down and remove them quickly. One dip is all you need, then angle the bottle up side down at a forty five degree angle and let the excess wax pour off the bottle--it takes anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds per bottle. We add a slight twist at the end to create a little curl in the wax.

We bought a candle wax making vat that holds about forty five pounds of wax to melt the wax and that will last the whole day. It does take a long time to melt all that wax though, for example we will be sealing bottles tomorrow and I just turned on the wax melter.

As for trademark issues. Maker's Mark does take seriously their trademark. I have a letter in hand from them to prove that. However, their trademark is on the free form wax drippings. We knew this and intentionally made sure our wax was different in all aspects from theirs to avoid any issues. If you are thinking of emulating their free form drips, I would advise against that.

One final thing, we are still in search of the perfect wax seal remover. The tear tape doesn't work well. We use a piece of wire, but it only works well then it can be kept against the bottle during wax dipping, which is tricky. If anyone comes up with a good idea or solution let me know.

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grehorst    3

One final thing, we are still in search of the perfect wax seal remover. The tear tape doesn't work well. We use a piece of wire, but it only works well then it can be kept against the bottle during wax dipping, which is tricky. If anyone comes up with a good idea or solution let me know.

Stuart, we use tape and it works very well (unless you dip twice). We use re-enforced packaging tape (clear stuff with the string in it). We buy the 1" width and slit it twice. Then, wrap a strip around the junction of the bottle and the bartop. Fold over the last 3/4 inch of tape so it doesn't stick to the bottle, dip in wax rotating against the wind of the tape. Works like a charm.

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Wow, I would agree in the comments here about how can Makers Mark trademark the drip of the wax. The only possibility I can think of is that the formulation of the wax that they use is formulated in such a manner to make the long drips happen. This reminds me of Harley Davidson and the law suit against Yamaha and the sound of that a Harley produces.

I am wondering if a clarification can be made through the governmnet as to how this is possible so as not to duplicate this?

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helocat    1

From the Trademark Office

WRT Makers Mark

Description of Mark THE MARK CONSISTS OF A WAX-LIKE COATING COVERING THE CAP OF THE BOTTLE AND TRICKLING DOWN THE NECK OF THE BOTTLE IN A FREEFORM IRREGULAR PATTERN. THE STIPPLING SHOWN IN THE MARK OF THE DRAWING IS FOR SHADING PURPOSES ONLY.

How did they get away with this? the description is so arbitrary, that it could include any drip of wax on any bottle, in any color.. how the hell did they trademark "free-form irregular pattern"?

No one opposed it. At least successfully. Most likely the Trademark Office rejected it a few times but eventually accepted it. I have always left the legal stuff up to the attorneys. When we have submitted for design patents, we just plan for a rejection at first, then resubmit with the argument and it goes though. (have one in right now actually) Unfortunately for us little guys it’s hard to do and properly defend since it all comes down to $. In the case of Makers Mark, the Samuels family came back into the industry with money not being a huge concern. This is also why they can and not surprisingly do defend it aggressively.

Edit: On using using a different color of wax, Makers Mark also uses different colors other than red. Probably more key is the fact that what is shared above from the patent office says nothing about a specific color.

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Paul G    0

I toured the Clear Creek Distillery in Portland a couple years ago. Apparently they were using red wax and letting it drip in "freeform irregular patterns" and got a nasty cease and desist letter from Maker's Mark. In other words, yes, they're looking. As I recall, it only applied to red wax. Other colors didn't seem to enter MM's radar.

FWIW

Paul

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I am aware of another micro-distillery that recieved a call and letter from Makers Mark regarding the trademark of the red wax seal random drip pattern. The distiller had been using a similar design (and color) on a 375 ml brandy bottle, produced in small quantity and distributed locally. Neverthelss, Makers Mark did defend their trademark. I believe that the Makers Mark claim had been limited to the color red. In reading the link provided in this string regarding the trademark, it does seem to indicated that it is for Whiskey, but in this instance they objected to the red wax drip on a brandy bottle.

By the way, if you want to learn how Makers Mark does it, you can visit the distillery and dip a bottle yourself. It is part of the tour. And they will even give you a red bib to wear and take your picture doing it. Pretty cool, actually. And the bourbon tastes good too.

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Classick    1

well i tried the wax dipping last week... what a failure. lol

we ended up melting the wax in a big pasta pot, and using a small camping stove to control the heat... i dont know what we were doing wrong, but the wax was either too thin (or too hot) or it was too think, and didnt apply well.

Plus, the hot wax seemed to create an air bubble in the space between the bartop and the top of the glass, leading to a very unattractive "mole" on the wax seal.

I think i am recommending to my client that he move to a spin on or a pvc shrink... Wax is not going to work.

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well i tried the wax dipping last week... what a failure. lol

we ended up melting the wax in a big pasta pot, and using a small camping stove to control the heat... i dont know what we were doing wrong, but the wax was either too thin (or too hot) or it was too think, and didnt apply well.

Plus, the hot wax seemed to create an air bubble in the space between the bartop and the top of the glass, leading to a very unattractive "mole" on the wax seal.

I think i am recommending to my client that he move to a spin on or a pvc shrink... Wax is not going to work.

We have been using wax for over 25 years. Here are a few tips from our experience.

1. The two burner electric elements work best and they are cheap.

2. Don't buy pots that are too big, the wax will take forever to reach the ideal sealing temperature.

3. Heat the wax on medium heat until it starts to melt. It usually takes 30+ minutes depending on the type of wax you are using. If it gets too hot it will smoke and will become very runny.

4. As far as air bubbles go, use a paper clip or the like and pop them. Don't worry about a small spot that may have a void of wax. If you have a paint stir stick they work great for stirring the wax and also to fill those voids if you are quick enough to do so.

5. Dip the bottle only once! Hold the bottle on an angle so that it runs off of one side.

6. It shouldn't take you more than 10-15 seconds for the dripping to slow down. Once it does, give it a quick twist and bring the bottle upright. You should also at this time try to get any excess wax to run to the center of the cap. For instance, if you twist the bottle upward and the wax is to one side try to get it to run to the center of the bottle.

7. This I believe is the most important and most of you are unaware, but have a small bucket or pot of cold water handy. Once you are finished dipping, dip the bottle in the cold water for a few seconds (3-4) to get the wax cooled down. It will also make it shine a lot more.

Drew Kulsveen

Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd.

1869 Loretto Road

Bardstown, KY 40004

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Classick    1

Thanks for the great info. My project is over, and we ended up not using the wax, but i will definitely refer back to this thread if another project comes along.

Cheers!

Dave

We have been using wax for over 25 years. Here are a few tips from our experience.

1. The two burner electric elements work best and they are cheap.

2. Don't buy pots that are too big, the wax will take forever to reach the ideal sealing temperature.

3. Heat the wax on medium heat until it starts to melt. It usually takes 30+ minutes depending on the type of wax you are using. If it gets too hot it will smoke and will become very runny.

4. As far as air bubbles go, use a paper clip or the like and pop them. Don't worry about a small spot that may have a void of wax. If you have a paint stir stick they work great for stirring the wax and also to fill those voids if you are quick enough to do so.

5. Dip the bottle only once! Hold the bottle on an angle so that it runs off of one side.

6. It shouldn't take you more than 10-15 seconds for the dripping to slow down. Once it does, give it a quick twist and bring the bottle upright. You should also at this time try to get any excess wax to run to the center of the cap. For instance, if you twist the bottle upward and the wax is to one side try to get it to run to the center of the bottle.

7. This I believe is the most important and most of you are unaware, but have a small bucket or pot of cold water handy. Once you are finished dipping, dip the bottle in the cold water for a few seconds (3-4) to get the wax cooled down. It will also make it shine a lot more.

Drew Kulsveen

Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd.

1869 Loretto Road

Bardstown, KY 40004

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