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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Post Falls, Idaho
    Posts
    168

    Default Processing Honey

    I am having a lot of trouble with my honey crystallizing rapidly. Once I extract and put into 3-5 gallon buckets or into jars, it hardens immediately within days. I have tried heating to about 103 in hot tub, putting into oven at lowest temp I can, and just yesterday tried a friends bucket heater. None of this works great. Hot tub method re-crystallizes soon, oven method and bucket heater browns the honey.

    I sell my honey as raw and explain crystallization is normal and unheated honey saves benefits we all want. I am trying to find a happy medium for my processing to keep the honey liquid, natural looking, and retain benefits.

    Is there a source of information on how to process and what methods will affect honey in particular ways. i.e. heating too much or too long browns it or certain methods and repetitions of filtration will have certain affects?

    I see all sorts of local beeks selling their honey as raw but never see any hint of crystallization. Either they are not truthful or their methods are working better than mine.

    Thanks in advance.

    Soapy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,322

    Default Re: Processing Honey

    I don't have the solution you are seeking, but consider that nectar from different plants has a different timeline for crystallization. Goldenrod honey, for instance, crystallizes quite rapidly.

    I'm not saying you should heat your honey more, but if you do heat beyond the hot tub temperature, consider building a box, insulated perhaps, that you can heat with lightbulb(s) inside. You can change the bulb arrangement to get a satisfactory heat level. Slow heat like this is much better than an oven, even on a low temperature. Some people use a dead refrigerator for this purpose. Aside from being free, the refrigerator is not a potential fire hazard.
    Graham
    -- The real problem is not precise language, it's clear language. - Richard Feynman

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Processing Honey

    104 will get you close but not all the way. If you study the Dyce method they recomend 115 to remove all crystals. that will give you the longest shelf life. I have used a food dehdrator on small batches, but the best is a heated botteling tank. most control for the buck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    JONESBORO, IL, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Processing Honey

    I use a 18 quart roaster with a thermometer stuck in through the top, so I don't get it to hot. When I start it, I turn the knob just enough to turn the roaster on, usually only 100 f or so, I wait 4 to 6 hours and turn it up until I get to around 110 or 115 f. I use the rack that comes with the roaster to keep the jars off the bottom and the lid of the roaster with a couple of towels on it to help hold in the heat. We can do 12 quart jars at a time, which is enough for our needs. It does not darken and stays liquid way longer than it does out of our extractor and doesn't hurt the honey that I know of.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Milw, WI
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Processing Honey

    What about a slow cooker set on Warm with some water in the bottom?

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