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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,149

    Default Fermented Honey - Mind over Matter

    A few days ago I started extracting my first "real" honey crop - about 90 quarts when it was done.

    After I'd already done a good bit of it I read on here that you shouldn't extract when it's rainy/humid which of course is exactly what I had done, but I figured that since my shop is very well air conditioned it would probably be alright.

    Then I went to the local bee keepers meeting where I was told that one drop of water could start the fermentation process and spoil the whole lot. So the next day when I got back to work on my honey and uncovered everything that was in progress I thought I smelled that yeasty fermentation smell, so I investigated and sure enough I could clearly smell alchohol/fermentation in every single container I checked.

    Man was I ever sick and sad. All that work and time for 2 1/2 years. All that money spent on equipment and sugar and bees.

    When I told my wife and daughter they said it smelled fine - like honey. They were right, it was fine all along. But I swear It clearly smelled like fermenting beer to me - until after they convinced me that it didn't.

    Paranoia will destroy ya.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Garfield, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Fermented Honey - Mind over Matter

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    Paranoia will destroy ya.

    "Paranoia strikes deep.....
    Into your life it will creep....." Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield ) 1967

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Fermented Honey - Mind over Matter

    The smell of fermentation is often found in honey as bees do not discriminate between sources. Some of my best honey ever was made with a small component of rotting peach juice. The honey smelled like peach wine. Just because honey smells like fermentation does not mean it is fermenting. However, do be careful.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    shelby twp MI
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Fermented Honey - Mind over Matter

    what is wrong with fermented honey? i like things fermented.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: Fermented Honey - Mind over Matter

    If you really want to ease your mind, spend the money and buy a good refractometer. There are a lot of cheap ones on the market. A good one will set you back around 300 bucks...but how much spoiled honey could that investment save?

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: Fermented Honey - Mind over Matter

    I bought a dehumidifier to use in my extracting room this year. Will turn it on the day before, and calculate that will reduce the probability of moisture gain as I extract in a humid environment.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    901

    Default Re: Fermented Honey - Mind over Matter

    Uh oooh. I extracted 14 frames the other day on a humid/rainy day, no air conditioner, no dehumidifier. If they were going to ferment, how long would it take? I planned to sell this honey.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Fermented Honey - Mind over Matter

    "When I told my wife and daughter they said it smelled fine - like honey. They were right, it was fine all along. But I swear It clearly smelled like fermenting beer to me - until after they convinced me that it didn't."

    What did/does the comb smell like? I would not take non-experienced opinions on the smell of honey especially once its all mixed together. I set a bunch of comb aside this fall because I know I could smell some of it going bad (I will use it in splits come spring). I wont risk my reputation on it. Im convinced you need to extract honey asap after removing it from the hive, checking water content right away and drying must be done right away if needed. Capped honey from the previous season even if it was in the hive the whole time can be really nasty yet it seems the bees can use it with no problem. At least that has been my observation.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,149

    Default Re: Fermented Honey - Mind over Matter

    I don't know what the comb smelled like, but this was my first year making a honey crop (3rd year keeping bees) at all, and I don't even have any old comb. The honey was fine - I've had quite a few repeat customers - I pulled it in batches (in July) no more than I could extract by bedtime that day. The fermenting smell was all in my head. It's very good actually. I wish I could enjoy more of it, but my doctor says no.

    Nonetheless, next year I will probably start running a dehumidifier for a few days in my "honey house" before I start. I was really sad when I even thought that all that work (and money) was just going to result in bee feed - or mead.

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