View Full Version : Cloudy honey - how to fix?
08-12-2005, 09:28 AM
My wife and I bottled some honey earlier last month. It came out pretty cloudy, even though I filtered it through #100 grade nylon cloth (from Betterbee).
Any ideas on how I could fix this?
One of the 12 frames I extracted had a lot of pollen in it which probably accidentally got blended into the honey - would this cause a problem?
We also extracted last fall and it was all very clear.
Thanks for your help!
08-12-2005, 10:43 AM
I wouldn't do anything to it. Why extract all the healthful bits of wax, propolis and pollen? You'll end up with a product similar to store-bought honey. Your honey the way it is is far superior. I educate my customers as to the physical characteristics and appearance of my honey, and when they come to realize all the benefits of the "added ingredients" and then taste it, they kiss store-bought honey goodbye!
08-12-2005, 10:55 AM
Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, I think most people (at least my friends, family, and coworkers) expect their honey to be somewhat clearer than what we have. Also, we were hoping to compete some of it in the state fair and we KNOW it won't pass muster with the judges.
Would heating and refiltering the jars we're competing clarify the honey?
It sure tastes great. I'm thinking about extracting a frame of any capped honey we see this weekend when we visit the beeyard again and maybe using that for the state fair instead.
I asked my wife what to tell people about the cloudy honey. She said to tell them it's the "honey spirit" in every jar. smile.gif
08-12-2005, 11:16 AM
I suspect that you took frames from the brood box, which would explain why you got so much pollen in your honey. Honey supers rarely have a significant amount of pollen stores in them.
You could try using a 200 micron filter (I think I got mine from Dadant) which fits nicely over a 5-gallon bucket. That should remove a signifant amount of pollen.
Alternatively, I would still try to educate your customers about the wonders of under-strained honey. Really Raw Honey is a company that sells such a product. I don't endorse it and haven't bought products from them, but they have a rather educational website:
08-12-2005, 01:02 PM
Hey, maybe you have found a niche!
Tell your customers that they will not only benefit from the purely natural honey you are supplying them, but that they will also benifit from the addition of pollen in YOUR honey to further help with allergies, etc.
I think I saaw it on another post in here.
"When given lemons, make lemonade!"
08-12-2005, 02:47 PM
You may want to make spread-able honey or what they call creamed honey. It's normally not clear so no one would notice that you have a bit of a haze.
I've had good luck making small amounts by putting it in large mouth jars and setting the jars in the refridgerator. It takes a few weeks and it comes out smooth and creamy. If your honey crystalizes with larger crystals, you may want to add a small cell size starter and then put it in a cool place.
I think the mid to upper 50s is supposed to be the optimum temperature if you can find a place at that temp.
Personally, I think crystalized honey loses a little of it's flavor -- not a lot, but a little. But since it's so easy to spread and doesn't drip, we keep some around the house.
08-12-2005, 03:15 PM
Amen to all of the above. My customers come to expect wild, raw honey with all of the goodies. Many of the people that stop at my street corner stand specifically ask for minimally processed honey. From the extractor, the honey goes through a kitchen sieve and then through two layers of cheesecloth with no heating or filtering. And I play up the nutricional benefits and how much better it is than common store shelf honey that has been super processed to extend shelf life.
08-12-2005, 03:43 PM
No need to filter the honey. Heating should do a fine job clarifying the honey.
Here's a hot box I built for clarifying honey:
08-12-2005, 08:37 PM
great frig! smile.gif
08-14-2005, 10:51 PM
NB, what's the bulb wattage? don't have to bee exact just like 60 or 300?
08-16-2005, 07:55 AM
Did you cut the bottom of the freezer out ?
We run a simlar unit. 60 watt does every thing we need. We usually load about 8 cases at a time and even in the dead of December it runs around 95-100 degrees. In the spring, early summer and fall you need a timer because in 3 days it will reach 140 if you don't open it.
As far as cloudy, heating will help to remove any crystalization which can happen quickely with some floral source and also get those tiny air bubbles resulting from the nylon strainer out of the honey. I'm assuming you are not using a chain uncapper which will make your honey cloudy permanently.
08-17-2005, 05:44 AM
I cut the freezer out to accomidate more honey, and I also reconected the deefroster fan to curculate the air.
I use 60 watt bulb, but you must remember to wire in a thermostate, because the temps will soar and may pose a fire hazzard if you do not.
Just a suggestion that worked for me. I use an aqurium heater. It works great and isn't expensive either. And you can be sure you'll never overheat the honey.
10-23-2005, 06:42 PM
I uae an old Freg. with a 100 watt bulb with a wall dimmer switch to control the temp. and a degital thermometer to watch the temp.
Less than $20.00 in the hole thing.
We use the same set up as honeyman except a 60 watt bulb. Keeps abour 8-10 cases liquid at at time. One of the better things I did for my business.
I put this on my honey labels:
This is local raw honey. My bees are chemical free. The honey is filtered but is not skimmed or heated. Heat destroys the flavor as well as the antibiotic properties of honey. For health reasons commercial producers are compelled by law to heat their honey to homogenize the beeswax and pasteurize the honey. Hobbyist honey is produced under more sanitary conditions thereby giving you health benefits lacking in commercially produced honey. If there is foam on the top of the honey, the honey has not gone bad; it is only beeswax. If it bothers you, simply lie a piece of Saran Wrap on top of the foam and lift. The foam will lift off with the Saran Wrap. If the honey should crystallize, you can reliquify it by placing it in a pan of hot water for a little while.
Customers seem to appreciate the information and I get no complaints.
10-24-2005, 06:35 PM
Thanks Tia, I did a copy and paste into my beestuff info saver and will try to do the same. Really sounds like a great idea.
10-24-2005, 06:44 PM
> For health reasons commercial producers are compelled by law to heat their honey to homogenize the beeswax and pasteurize the honey.
I'm just trying to be helpful here. I don't think this is true. The packers do it because the stores don't like the honey on the shelf to crystalize. They don't homogenize it at all, and I'm not sure what they do qualifies as "pastuerized". If I remember right that would be a minimum of 161 F and, it seems like it used to be it was something like 180 F for 15 minutes. I don't think they heat it that much. They usually flash heat it just to prevent crystalization, not enough to kill all the possible microorganisms (which is what pastuerization is for).
I don't believe there are any health reasons involved.
10-24-2005, 07:03 PM