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Author Topic: Question from a Newbie  (Read 1404 times)
Cub Honey
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« on: December 06, 2010, 08:10:25 PM »

How can I bottle honey directly from a 55 gallon drum without spending a fortune ?  Thanks
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2010, 08:50:57 PM »

Lay it on the side and screw one of these in the small bung

http://www.mannlakeltd.com/ProductDetail.asp?idproduct=1041&idCategory=

Cost $6
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2010, 04:04:29 AM »

I think you want to screw that in before you lay it on its side.

Sorry, Had to do it Robo!
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2010, 07:22:53 AM »

Someone always looks for the easy way, "screw in the tap before laying on it's side" Now where is the fun in that?
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2010, 08:25:29 AM »

I use a standard 3/4" thread brass faucet from the local hardware store.
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Cub Honey
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2010, 10:01:06 AM »

 THANKS grin    Do I need to heat the drum if it's at room temp?
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iddee
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2010, 10:44:30 AM »

Depends on how big a hurry you are in. I always filled a 5 gallon bucket with a honey gate on it, then bottled from it.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Cub Honey
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2010, 11:27:27 AM »

That makes sense.   OK, this is really gonna show how little I know . What's a "Honey Gate" rolleyes shocked huh      As for speed, I need to bottle around 200 Qts per wk or 30 or 40 per evening if need be. All 200 in one  evening per wk would be best.
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2010, 11:47:24 AM »

Honey gate -

Mounts in a 5 gal bucket.




works much better than the valve I mentioned above. (less dripping and wasted time waiting for dripping to stop)
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2010, 12:00:07 PM »

Thanks, Robo. I don't know how to post cut outs like that.

Cub, that makes it a lot easier. You can keep the drum in the garage or somewhere, and still bottle in the kitchen.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2010, 12:09:03 PM »

if the honey is setup (crystalized) in the barrel, you will have to heat it to some extent.

200 quarts is 50 gallons....most of a 55 gallon drum.

if you plan to bottle 50 gallons a week (which is what it sounds like), you will want to invest in some infrastructure (otherwise you will end up overheating the honey to accomplish what you are attempting).

barrels are often less than perfect...sometimes a bit of grime in the corners, sometimes a bit of lining has chipped off and there is some rust.  ...do you want to avoid having this end up in your finished product?  if not, don't bottle directly from the barrel.

the hotter you get the honey, the faster it will flow (and the more likely you are to alter the taste/quality of the honey).

we scoop by hand out of the drum (using stainless steel scoops) directly into a bottling tank (we use maxant tanks), then warm the honey just enough to get it to flow (without breaking the crystal....most want honey clear of crystals, our customers want it crystalized).  this is labor intensive (to say the least), but works for our needs.

if you really plan to bottle a barrel a week, you will want to gently warm the barrel for several days (a hot room or hot box is probably better than heating bands), and you will want some way to get the honey into an actual bottling tank (mcmaster carr makes a barrel lifter/pourer, many make pumps).  if you can't afford a bottling tank and some equipment for bottling 600lbs/week, you don't have enough margin built into your plan.  if the honey is suffiecently liquid, you could get 10 5gallon buckets with honey gates (as robo suggested), but for that kind of volume, you are really better off with a proper bottling tank (stainless steel, double wall with a water jacket, thermostatically controlled).

deknow
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Cub Honey
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2010, 12:28:42 PM »

THANK YOU folks very much.   I bought my first hive last year and have loved messing around with it when I had time. I lost my job last year, a few months after I started getting interested in Bee Keeping. This Nov after several months of no luck with jobs I got an idea. I decided to test the waters selling honey. I went to the fellow I bought my hive from and purchased 48 qts of honey wholesale ,"sorta" and  started calling on places where I go in the course of a day, ex copie shop,tire store,dentist office. Long story short I sold all 48 qts in a few hours of dropping in and allowing folks to taste the honey.   You know,one person will taste and say yum and then others would be drawn in. Heck ,several folks bought 4 qts.  I'm going today to pickup a 55 gallon drum of some REALLY GOOD cotton,soybean "my favorite". I have access to 20 drums of this years honey. I want to begin to build my hives up and plan to add 10 to my 1 this year. My plan is to purchase less honey each year as I grow in the business.    This for me is not for extra money,this is for survival money. I'm down to 3000,00 in my savings. I need to make 2000 or so per month for now.That with my wife's job will see us through. Ive got one daughter in college and one at home in the 8Th grade. My son and oldest is in the Air force stationed in England.   The taste thing seems to be selling the honey. Any ideas on easy,quick,and neat ways to sample honey while on the move?   Another question: About how many hive's does it take on avg to produce a drum of honey in a season?  Thanks so much for your help so far.    
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Cub Honey
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2010, 12:39:18 PM »

"if the honey is sufficiently liquid,"    It is----I'mleaving now with my trailer to pickup the drum.  Illckthis tonight and see if I can learn more from your willingness to help.  Thanks Again PS I do think I will go ahead and order a couple of pails and gates. Me ,wife and daughter can bottle.   
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2010, 12:45:16 PM »

Thanks, Robo. I don't know how to post cut outs like that.


It's not difficult, just use the image command around a link to the photo.

Code:
[img]http://www.mannlakeltd.com/m23ProductImages//small/cn-205.jpg[/img]

give this:

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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2010, 01:23:47 PM »

one word of caution:

it is common (nearly ubiquitous) for folks to buy honey (in drums, pails, or jars) and put their own label on them (pretending to their customers that they produced it).

first of all, there are often health code issues at play (in many states you can pack a certain amount of your own honey in your kitchen with no certification...this is not the case if you are buying the honey, you probably need a certified facility...also, if you claim the honey to be produced by you, you are mislabeling the product, and if there is a problem that reveals this, you will have problems with the health dept).

second, if you are selling a food product, you really want liability insurance (really).

third, producers know that if they sell to large packers or chains that their honey will likely be tested for both contaminants and sugar adulteration.  beekeepers buying in bulk will almost never have their honey tested (and neither will their wholesale accounts or customers).  it is tempting for a producer to sell anything questionable to the beekeeper, knowing it will not be tested (this is not just theory....we've tested honey off the shelf that is supposedly from an organic farm, but is really from a migratory operation that was 30% beet sugar).

deknow
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2010, 01:55:32 PM »

Thanks, Robo. I don't know how to post cut outs like that.


It's not difficult, just use the image command around a link to the photo.

Code:
[img]http://www.mannlakeltd.com/m23ProductImages//small/cn-205.jpg[/img]

give this:




              
  
Thax  Robo  for the tip...


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 02:18:33 PM by Jim 134 » Logged

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Cub Honey
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« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2010, 02:34:34 PM »

1.The Beekeeper I'm working with used to be the inspector for this area.He buys NO honey,but gets it all from his hives. He has already educated me somewhat about the folks who put corn syrup in the honey to increase the profit margin. 
2.I'm not using my label.I'm using his with my phone # of course.When I do go with my label I will have my legal house in order. I'm certain his is. I think he said the Beeinspector came over a few weeks ago. 
3.I do tell folks that I am a new beekeeper, but I don't make claims about the honey  that aren't true.It's funny but so far hardly no one has asked who's hives they came from.
4. I am very aware of the need for liability ins. Ive owned a couple of businesses in my life and would  not leave home without it.

5. Don't worry about me staying honest. I intend to keep my hives on my farm next to my still. I have a reputation for the best and purest moonshine money can buy and  I'm not about to mess it up with honey that's not pure grin  "just kidding"


 
one word of caution:

it is common (nearly ubiquitous) for folks to buy honey (in drums, pails, or jars) and put their own label on them (pretending to their customers that they produced it).

first of all, there are often health code issues at play (in many states you can pack a certain amount of your own honey in your kitchen with no certification...this is not the case if you are buying the honey, you probably need a certified facility...also, if you claim the honey to be produced by you, you are mislabeling the product, and if there is a problem that reveals this, you will have problems with the health dept).

second, if you are selling a food product, you really want liability insurance (really).

third, producers know that if they sell to large packers or chains that their honey will likely be tested for both contaminants and sugar adulteration.  beekeepers buying in bulk will almost never have their honey tested (and neither will their wholesale accounts or customers).  it is tempting for a producer to sell anything questionable to the beekeeper, knowing it will not be tested (this is not just theory....we've tested honey off the shelf that is supposedly from an organic farm, but is really from a migratory operation that was 30% beet sugar).

deknow
   I
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Cub Honey
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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2010, 08:56:30 PM »

How can I bottle honey directly from a 55 gallon drum without spending a fortune ?  Thanks
    Are those heaters that heat the drums worth having?
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