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Author Topic: Honey problem!  (Read 626 times)
dfizer
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« on: December 14, 2013, 04:43:41 PM »

I'm completely confused.  During some time away from my house the temperature dipped into the 50's due to a heating problem.  I attribute this to my now rather significant honey issue. 

When I harvested my honey in October I did so in 5 gallon buckets and planned to bottle it when I had some free time over the winter.  I kept it inside but in a rather cool location (basement).  Today when I opened the first 5 gallon bucket I found it solidified.  Needless to say I don't really know to do.  Any help / advice would be GREATLY appreciated!

David
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Moots
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2013, 05:23:54 PM »

David,
It crystallized, what all raw honey will do eventually over time. How quick that happens is dependent on a number of factors...What the bees foraged, the presence of impurities, and temperature. It just so happens that temperatures in the 50's is optimum for making creamed honey, which involves accelerating the crystallization process.

You'll simply have to hear it to get it to return to a liquid state, but you don't want to over heat it. I want to guess that 100° to 110° is probably a good range, but I'm not sure what is optimal. Some people use water bed heaters wrapped around their 5 gallon buckets, others build boxes with a thermostat and light bulbs for heat. Lots of options, good luck.
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bud1
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2013, 05:50:51 PM »

old fridge or deepfrezer ,100wat light bulb, thermostat and a small fan and you in buisness
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dfizer
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2013, 06:20:07 PM »

Thank you for the information.  I actually don't have any old refrigerators or deep freezers around therefore I think I'll try the waterbed heater option or try to bring a large pot of water up to 110 degrees with the 5 gal bucket in it and hold it there until the honey liquifies.  How long do u think it'll take once the honey is in a 110 degree water bath?
This really stinks!  I assume this means that even if I had bottled it already the bottles of honey would be crystallized.  That would not be good.  How does one keep the honey from crystallizing?  I had planned to store the honey in the basement where it's 50ish degrees all winter.
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Moots
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2013, 06:43:18 PM »

David,
As I said, there are lots of options.  I want to say I've even read about one guy that claimed he used simple a large cardboard box, like an appliance box, with a light bulb in it...and said it did the trick.  Obviously, you do want do make sure you don't create a fire hazard.  

Here's another option that I found with a quick Google search, I can't vouch for it, I barely skimmed the article and peaked at the plans, but something like this may be the answer for your basement.
Home made Honey Heater!

As to preventing crystallization.  I assume you strained your honey when you extracted it...correct?  If not, I would certainly suggest it to reduce impurities.  I use the coarse pail filter from Kelley Bees, it's 600 microns.  You really can't control what the bees forage on.  So , the only thing that really leaves in what temperature you store it at.

As too the how long.  Depending on the method used, doing it right and not overheating it, I would guess a day or two for a five gallon bucket from what I've heard, but I have no first hand experience.

Keep us posted on the adventure.  Smiley
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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sterling
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2013, 07:25:49 PM »

If you are just wanting to bottle enough to use yourself dip some out of the bucket with a big spoon and put it in a large crockpot and warm it but be sure you have a candy thermometer to check temp. About 110 degrees is what people say is alright and will not harm the honey. When it gets warm and you  pour it into your bottling bucket pour it through a fine strainer to help keep it from recrystallizing.  Strainer helps gets stuff out that starts the crystallizing.  As has already been said you can't store honey at temps in the fifties. The eighties and up is best or freeze it. Warming it to 110 doesn't harm the taste at least for me.
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kathyp
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2013, 07:51:27 PM »

i stick my buckets in a deep sink with hot water.  when the honey is soft enough, i put it in bottles.  either scooped in or pored depending on how much of a rush i'm in.  there's no harm in crystallized honey.  most of the world uses it that way.  the finer the crystals, the better.  i don't like mine to chunky, but i don't bother trying to keep it from getting solid.
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rober
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« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2013, 10:28:01 AM »

I built a wood box. the sides have 1" blue foam sandwiched between 2 layers of 1/2" plywood.  the box is 8" taller than a 5 gal. bucket. I mounted a ceramic bulb base on the inside of the lid. with a 100 watt bulb it takes about 5 days to soften the honey. I found a source for free I gallon jugs so I'm using them as well. it's a lot easier to melt a gallon in a pot of warm water.
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rwlaw
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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2013, 10:54:40 AM »

Milk crate with a 75 Watt bulb and that foil covered bubble thermal wrap (most big boxers have it), cinch it around the lid of the the bucket. It keeps the honey about 95 degrees or so.
Oh ya, everybody stock up on your bulbs, last year they quit making 100 watters, this year it's 75's. The cfl's produce heat, but nothin like the incandescents.
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Moots
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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2013, 11:43:41 AM »

Milk crate with a 75 Watt bulb and that foil covered bubble thermal wrap (most big boxers have it), cinch it around the lid of the the bucket. It keeps the honey about 95 degrees or so.
Oh ya, everybody stock up on your bulbs, last year they quit making 100 watters, this year it's 75's. The cfl's produce heat, but nothin like the incandescents.

rwlaw,
Hate to sound like I rode the short bus to school, but I'm having trouble visualizing exactly what your doing here...can you offer some "details for dummies"!
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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kathyp
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2013, 12:54:01 PM »

Quote
can you offer some "details for dummies"!

or pictures?  i can do pictures.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
tefer2
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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2013, 08:24:32 AM »

This can simply be done by using equipment you already have.
Start with a super on the floor and place a light fixture in the bottom.
This could be a shop light or a clamp on with a light bulb attached.
Next put a queen excluder on top of the super.
Place honey container on excluder and surround with more supers.
When you have covered the container, cover with a top.
You can use a piece of plywood or a top cover.
Stock up on 75watt bulbs before the first of year.

I used to use a light dimmer switch in the circuit to adjust to heat to 110 degrees.
You can also use different watt bulbs to reach the right temp.
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