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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Stillwater, Minnesota USA
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    62

    Default Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    Hello. I want to buy a water jacketed bottling tank but I'm not sure what size to get. I was thinking I'd want a bigger tank maybe a 42 gallon Maxant or maybe a 55 gallon Mann lake and keeping a lot of honey warm, say around 85 degrees F. to delay crystalization but someone was telling me I'd be better off with a smaller tank and heating only what I thought I could sell in the immediate future and only when it needed to be decrystalized, he said he thought it would be better for the honey to heat it only once when it needed it than to keep it warm for a prolonged period. Does anybody have any thoughts on this? I sell honey at farmers markets and I want to keep the new honey harvested around the first of August liquid through October, after that I don't care if it crystalizes and I would only decrystalize it in small amounts as I needed it. Thanks for any input anybody might have.
    For the love of bees

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ayer, Massachusetts
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    748

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    This is my own PERSONAL thoughts as this how we do it.
    We use the smaller tank, and keep it filled year round and bottle as needed.
    There is no difference keeping it in buckets vs storing in the bottling tank IMO.
    Our honey never sees over 110, and if it does get that warm we back the thermostat down to 90-95 for bottling.
    I think you are going to get alot of yes do it this way, and no do it this way. In the end you need to do what works best for you.
    On another note, that ML tank is a thinner SS than we use. Mine has a lifetime warranty.
    www.maxantindustries.com
    American made Honey Processing Equipment "Built to last a lifetime"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Stillwater, Minnesota USA
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    Thank you for the reply Maxant, I also have a question on the heater.

    Does the heater have a proper built in thermostat so that it doesn't matter whether the tank is plumb full or practically empty because the thermostat will kick on and off as needed to maintain the set temperature, or is the temperature setting dial more of a rough guild and depends on tank fullness?
    For the love of bees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ayer, Massachusetts
    Posts
    748

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    Yes, the heater has a proper thermostat. The thermometer on the front of the tank is telling you the temperature of the product in the tank, thats what you want to go by.
    www.maxantindustries.com
    American made Honey Processing Equipment "Built to last a lifetime"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Bermuda
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    I also thought about the smaller vs bigger tank not only for the reasons you stated but for energy loose and consumption. You can always get a bigger tank and half fill it. I decided to go with the 25gal Maxant tank, works for me. It's a good size if you plan on bottling all your warm honey at once. I supply 7 of the major grocery stores here with 4 different size bottles.
    “The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.”

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,236

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    In my opinion, the proper use would be to warm the honey to 120F for 48hrs and then bottle it all. Assuming that the bottled honey is stored at room temp it will not begin to granulate for 9-12 months.

    It cost's a bundle to keep a lot of honey warm for 3-4 months.
    I currently use an extractor tank, with a light box below the bottom surrounded by a styrofoam box to do the warming.

    Fuzzy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
    Posts
    746

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    I have a 16 gallon and keep it around 85-90 and bottle for 3 months. Filling it as I need. Honey can slowly darking even at low temps. I close up shop around October so I turn it off.
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,236

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    BGhoney,

    Just curious... Have you ever measured the initial moisture content when filling and then the final moisture content after 3 months ?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Stillwater, Minnesota USA
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    Does anyone know if the 16 gallon Maxant bottling tank (15 inch I.D.) will hold a 5 gallon bucket with a gate valve. I measured a bucket with valve and it looks like it should fit but its close.
    For the love of bees

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ayer, Massachusetts
    Posts
    748

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    Should fit ok.
    www.maxantindustries.com
    American made Honey Processing Equipment "Built to last a lifetime"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,793

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    Can a bottling tank be used as a cappings melter/honey seperator?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ayer, Massachusetts
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    748

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    Yes and no.
    You would need a set of couplings/nipples welded though the tank. We can and have done it, just cost a little more.
    Bermybee has this option installed on his. Perhaps he can chime in with how well it works.
    www.maxantindustries.com
    American made Honey Processing Equipment "Built to last a lifetime"

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Bermuda
    Posts
    129

    Sad Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Can a bottling tank be used as a cappings melter/honey seperator?
    To tell you the truth I haven't use the wax separator part yet, ask me again around December. Couldn't ask for a better bottling tank or service though.
    “The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.”

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
    Posts
    746

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    No I have never checked the moisture over time, I will just to see, I'll fill up maybe 8-10 gallons of bottles then top it off again.

    That did give me an idea if I had high moisture, I could turn it up a little with a cloth cover and maybe reduce the miosture over time, while stirring. I've done that with a food dehydrator that worked pretty good.

    I really like the way the wax and impurities float up pretty quick at 90 degrees. I poured in 10 gallons waited 5 days , poured it into 2 queenline jars the day of the fair and got a perfect 100 score. go figure.
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Bermuda
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    129

    Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    Quote Originally Posted by MAXANT View Post
    Yes and no.
    You would need a set of couplings/nipples welded though the tank. We can and have done it, just cost a little more.
    Bermybee has this option installed on his. Perhaps he can chime in with how well it works.
    Well I finally got the chance to try that out. I used my mini melter, as usual to get all the honey out of the cappings.(I can’t see using honey after it was sitting above all that water.) I then threw all the wax/slum gum into the tank with water over the top gate. The 25 gallon tank melted the wax no problem. Opened the gate of curse some water came out then the wax. Filtered it as it came out of the tank.

    Here is where the problem came in. After letting the tank cool I was still left with a 2 inch disc of wax with wax moth cocoons (they will actually float in wax as it cools) 1 inch of dirt stuck to the bottom of the wax. So I scraped the dirt off best I could, tilled the tank forward tried again. This time I drain it down to the second valve. Now I have a 1 inch disc with little dirt under it and cocoons through out.

    I should have just rinsed the mini melter and wax, and just used the melter as a baffled double boiler as usual it would have been easier, plus all the wax would have been rendered. I think the tank is too wide for that method of rendering wax. But I still got a first-class bottling tank and gained a new respect for efficiency and versatility of the mini melter.
    “The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.”

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,793

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    So, if i want a tank that will separate honey and wax, leaving the honey cooked but unadulterated by water, as does a solar melter, which product do I buy?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Bermuda
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    Thumbs Up Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    The Dadant melters are the only thing I can think of that will process cappings, wax and honey efficiently.
    “The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.”

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    So, if i want a tank that will separate honey and wax, leaving the honey cooked but unadulterated by water, as does a solar melter, which product do I buy?

    Get a bottling tank with a ball valve instead of the dripless bottling valve. If you look in the Mann Lake catalog, their bottling tank is identical to the wax melting tank except for the valve.

    You may want to rig up a screen filter on the inside of the tank to prevent slum from plugging up your outlets.

    I have seen people use bottling tanks as wax melters. It works just fine. Just don't try to see how hot you can get the wax before you drain your melter honey off. Any melted wax that gets drained into your melter honey barrel floats to the top and is easily skimmed off.

    A piece of nylon stocking clamped over your outlet will clean your wax pretty good when you go to drain off your wax.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    The lids on those stainless steel storage/bottling tanks are not airtight... is there a problem with moisture gain in the honey, if left in the tank for several months?
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    west point, ms
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Proper use of a heated bottling tank and choosing right size?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
    The lids on those stainless steel storage/bottling tanks are not airtight... is there a problem with moisture gain in the honey, if left in the tank for several months?
    Regards,
    Steven
    I would like know this also.
    Don't think you are on the right road simply because it is a well worn pathway.

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