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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    12

    Default Cleaning buckets without tainting honey

    Hello BeeSourcers, another Africa beekeeping question. For our beekeeping project in South Sudan, it isn't always easy to get clean water. We'll be collecting the honey in 5 gallon buckets, even using the drilled/filtered buckets as honey strainers, so cleaning the bucket/strainer and reusing the buckets is important.

    I know we can use iodine tablets or MP-1 tablets to purify the water, but I'm worried about affecting the flavor of the honey. I know honey is supposed to be bacteria resistant because of the pH level and water content, but I don't want to mess around here.

    Suggestions welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,424

    Default Re: Cleaning buckets without tainting honey

    1. Make sure the buckets will not impart their own taste....there are all kinds of plastic out there. Given the same material, "food grade" only really indicates how it is handled out of the mold to the customer, but, if you are looking to export the honey, being able to truthfully state that the processing equipment is food grade would be a plus.

    2. Our health department allows us to sterilize 5 gallon plastic buckets with a standard 3 bay wash/rinse/sanitize sink...with bleach (concentration checked with pH paper) as the sanitizer. This is probably a bit of overkill for something that had honey in it and will get more honey into it, but we follow the rules and it is not a big problem.

    3. Be very careful of any kind of soldered metal containers at any point in the process....my recollection is that there were some issues with honey in India because the acid honey leached out lead solder into the honey.

    4. Stainless steel is expensive, but it is durable, and being able to certify that the honey is handled only in stainless steel from extraction down the line would be, I would think, helpful in marketing the honey.

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Cleaning buckets without tainting honey

    Just boil the water.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: Cleaning buckets without tainting honey

    Wash with bleach/water solution and rinse with boiled water.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,424

    Default Re: Cleaning buckets without tainting honey

    The purpose of the bleach solution is to sanitize, the strength used is such that it does not leave a smell or taste. It is counterproductive to rinse, even with boiled water. The only reason you would need to do this would be if your bleach solution was too strong.....which would also be unnecessarily expensive in the first place.

    Deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kennesaw, Ga, USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Cleaning buckets without tainting honey

    Proper strength of using bleach as a sanitizer is one tablespoon per gallon which equals 200 ppm. It takes a minimum of one, maximum of five minute contact to sanitize and then allow to air dry and your good to go. When sanitizing, more is not better.

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