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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Castle Rock, CO
    Posts
    4

    Default How to filter honey before placing into jars

    I recently inherited 7 hives a small extractor and some bee keeping "stuff". I have read a few books but I am not really clear about how to best filter the honey before placing it into jars. Currently I collect the honey as it comes out of the extractor. I have a two stage metal filter that goes over a 5 gal bucket that has a gate valve at the bottom. But when I try to pour the honey into the metal filter the filter just gets gummed up. Am I doing some wrong or is there a multiple stage process to filter the honey?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Leetonia, Ohio
    Posts
    389

    Default

    If you are going to filter the honey it will be nearly impossible to do without heating it up first. If you want to keep the honey as natural (raw) as possible then fill bottling container and let the honey settle for a couple of weeks. Then bottle off of the bottom.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    I buy paint strainer bags at the local hardware store. They get it as filtered as I want it. I like a little sediment in it to make it look more "natural", or unprocessed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Chittenango,Ny (upstate)
    Posts
    309

    Default

    I have used paint strainer bags also. They worked well but they are messy. I now use a fine mesh stainless strainer that fits over the honey bucket.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Berkeley, CA
    Posts
    54

    Default

    What I do is lift the extractor onto a table, overhanging the edge. Beneath it, I put a bucket that also has a valve on the bottom, which is fitted with a doubled up hops bag from the beer brewing store (using a ruber band to hold it on the top). When I had a solarium to extract in the honey would go right through that bag, no problem, but now (I've moved) I have to fill up the indentation of the bag, wait for it to filter through, re-fill, etc, etc.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Union missouri
    Posts
    82

    Default

    Well, that is how I do it and it works fine. Are you spinning the frames to fast and getting wax into the steel filter? How are you uncapping the frames of honey? A heated uncapping knife works best. I do as you said and the honey will start to backup in the filter, but a little time to settle usually takes care of that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    563

    Default

    If you use your course filter as it comes out of the extractor and then pour it through the paint strainer bags or your finer filter you should be able to bottle your honey pretty quickly. The nylon paint strainers give a very nice product but will need to be changed out more quickly if your not straining the larger bits out first.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    Last year I used a nylon bag strainer. This year I got one of those 2-stage stainless strainers. I noticed that this year's honey is cloudier than last years, so I am guessing that the metal strainer is slightly more coarse.

    Temperature is a biggie. I tried to filter in October my first year. It took forever to get thru the bag. Now I work in July and leave the fall honey on the hive.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    Paint strainer bag for me.

    I got some free buckets with lids from the bakery, and drilled holes in the bottom of one bucket and cut the middle out of 2 lids. So I can snap the paint strainer in place inside the holey bucket with a cut lid, and set that on top of the other cut lid which is snapped on a whole bucket. Then it will rough strain the as much honey almost as fast as i can pour it, then throw my cappings into it to drain.

    I'll occasionally use the regular honey filters if I get a messy batch, but haven't bothered with that but rarely.

    Rick

  10. #10

    Default

    You can produce clear, clean honey without filtering. One simple way is to use one of those 5 gallon 'bottling buckets'. Pour the honey into the bucket. Let it sit for a week or so (the colder the honey the longer the wait). The junk will float to the top. You bottle the honey from the bottom of the bucket.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,771

    Default

    I extract directly into a bucket with a coarse filter across the bucket's top. The bucket has a honey gate on the bottom. A day or two later, I put that bucket on a table and place another bucket on the floor. The same coarse filter goes on top of the the empty bucket but I fold some cheesecloth over it. I open the gate of the top bucket and let it run into the bottom bucket. If the cheesecloth gets blocked up (it seldom does), I can just shut the gate off and replace the cheesecloth. A few layers of cheesecloth is all the straining I want. Clean but slightly cloudy honey is perfect for me and well received by customers.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Randolph County, Indiana
    Posts
    693

    Default

    I extract into a 5 gallon bucket with a gate, then I filter through nylon pantyhose. I can filter four 5 gallon buckets before changing the pantyhose. Of course if you do this, you will need to buy the pantyhose new

    Oh side note, the open end of the pantyhose can be stretched around the gate, then tied on. Open the gate and watch it flow.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Remsen, NY, USA
    Posts
    367

    Default

    Has anyone ever tried using a backyard apple cider press to squeeze the comb?
    Steve

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
    Posts
    371

    Default

    My first filter is some cheese cloth in a large strainer. I use cloths pins to hold the cloth around the edge. This takes care of wax and anything else that's large.

    The last straining is through panty hose. It does give a nice clear honey.

    Sr. Tanya

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV USA
    Posts
    2,310

    Default

    One of the best investments I have made is a clarifier. The honey flows from the extractor into a heated, double wall clarifier, runs under a baffle, which retains almost all the big chunks of wax then it flows to the other end and under one more baffle which hold back most of the small bits of wax and foam. The far end has a gear pump attached and is routed to the bottling tank fitted with a 120 thread count nylon filter. I have tried the 120 count nylon without the clarifier and it can be really frustrating. It has completely clogged up with 10 gallons of honey on top. If I heat the honey in the clarifier to about 100F I can fill up a 42 gallon tank quickly without any clogging. This is a really nice system. Our honey is crystal clear after settling for a week in the bottling tank. When we get to the last few quarts we have a bit of foam. I have begun collecting all scraps of honey, I cannot sell, for mead. Works for me.
    Last edited by HVH; 12-06-2008 at 11:22 AM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Castle Rock, CO
    Posts
    4

    Default Filtering Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by HVH View Post
    One of the best investments I have made is a clarifier. The honey flows from the extractor into a heated, double wall clarifier, runs under a baffle, which retains almost all the big chunks of wax then it flows to the other end and under one more baffle which hold back most of the small bits of wax and foam. The far end has a gear pump attached and is routed to the bottling tank fitted with a 120 thread count nylon filter. I have tried the 120 count nylon without the clarifier and it can be really frustrating. It has completely clogged up with 10 gallons of honey on top. If I heat the honey in the clarifier to about 100F I can fill up a 42 gallon tank quickly without any clogging. This is a really nice system. Our honey is crystal clear after settling for a week in the bottling tank. When we get to the last few quarts we have a bit of foam. I have begun collecting all scraps of honey, I cannot sell, for mead. Works for me.
    I have made is a clarifier. What exactly is a clarifier? Where do you find them?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,304

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve10 View Post
    Has anyone ever tried using a backyard apple cider press to squeeze the comb?
    Steve
    I've had the same thought. I make venison sausage and have a 15 pound press that can press apples if you have the right part in there. Unfortunately I do not have said part but I thought about using it for emptying the cappings. I'll post it as a new question to see if anyone has tried it.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV USA
    Posts
    2,310

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_K View Post
    I have made is a clarifier. What exactly is a clarifier? Where do you find them?
    I purchased mine from Maxant.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Winchester, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Strained Honey

    I strain my honey almost exactly like HVH does in the earlier post. what I use on the outlet side of my gear pump is a clear 1 1/4" hose run to my bottling tank with women's knee high nylon hose tied around a stainless hose clamp, I use 2 of the nylon hose , one inside of the other. I usually strain about 50 gal. of honey before changing them. The next day, all the honey is strained and the nylon hose is floating on top of the bottling tank. Depending on the weather I usually wait about a week before bottling. Honey is clear as can be. What could be easier???

    K Green

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Adlaide, South Australia
    Posts
    17

    Default

    I find that straining the honey through a babies muslin blanket/sheet works great... Just take the bay out first!
    Beautiful clear honey!

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