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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    660

    Default Melting/Heating drums

    Looking at getting something to melt drums of honey. Any thoughts/experience with the grid style heaters like this: http://www.legaitaly.com/en/cart/pac...x-1000w-detail

    vs the blanket heaters with thermostat like this:

    http://powerblanket.com/drum-heaters/
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Blythe,California,USA
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    I'm in the same boat. Hey what was the price on the second link one. Couldn't find it..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Budapest, HUNGARY
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    The cheapest method is to build a cabinet for the barrel size from some insulation material (e.g. styrofoam).
    You put the barrel and a heater fun
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Optimus-6...1322/205495248
    into the cabinet and set the heater to 40-50 Celsius (100-120 F). The barrel cannot be on the floor there should be some space under its bottom.
    Also, there are factory solutions:
    honey heater cabinet.JPG
    In case of smaller buckets old fridge can be used as cabinet.
    The Lega immersion heater also works fine. Never used blanket heater.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Cartersville, Gerogia, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    I have been bottling honey on a small scale for about 30 years. For the 30 years I have heated the honey in 55g drums to around 150 degrees. I set the drum in a water bath tank with a 2400 watt water heater element. I built my own unit for about $50.00. I found a used 36" dia. tank about 24" tall, I cut two holes near the bottom on the side, one for a drain valve, the other hole for a flange and the 2400 watt water heater element. I have changed the element twice in 20 years. The drum of honey goes in at room temp, the water is cold out of the hose and I plug it up. In the winter when the honey around 40 degrees it takes around 6-7 hours to get the honey to the 150. In the summer when the honey is around 90 degrees it takes around 5 hours to get the honey to 150. I do stir it once or twice to speed up melting the crystals. I have only scorched two drums of honey when I got busy, forgot and left it in the hot water for 10 hours or so. I have tried the strap or band drum heaters only to scorch the honey at the strap area and in a hot box with an electric heater it takes too long and I darken the honey. Victor H

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    I built my own box using 4 inch thick foam insulation. It takes longer to warm than it does for Victor, but we are in no rush and our honey is generally 5 degrees in winter months as opposed to 40. I am in process of hooking up a REZNOR 30K BTU propane shop heater on it to warm it.

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

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    Another option is to get a simple heat tape from a big box store, that folks use to keep pipes from freezing. Wrap the barrel with the heat tape. Then get some batts of insulation, wrap barrel with the insulation, hold in place with a rope. Plug heat tape in, wait a couple of days, and the honey will be liquid. No overheating.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    Steven is this how you uncrystalize your honey?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    265

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
    Another option is to get a simple heat tape from a big box store, that folks use to keep pipes from freezing. Wrap the barrel with the heat tape. Then get some batts of insulation, wrap barrel with the insulation, hold in place with a rope. Plug heat tape in, wait a couple of days, and the honey will be liquid. No overheating.
    Regards,
    Steven
    Problem here is most heat tapes have a thermostat and will not turn on until temp. is close to freezing and shut off at to low of a heat temperature.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    I really want something that is thermostat controlled to keep temps around 100 or below. I have been leaning towards the blanket because it is smaller for storage. Space or lack thereof is always an issue here.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    Ranco Temp controllers range from -30 to 220F and you can set temp lag down to 1 degree! 70 bucks USD.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    BMAC yes I have done some honey that way.... the heat tape I used had some sort of internal control, but once plugged in it started heating. The barrels I liquefied were solid. Two days later great tasting liquid honey! woo hoo! Best part of this setup is it was cheap. I think I spent $20 for the insulation, had the heat tape laying around. Rope was left over from another project. I put a piece of plywood on the concrete floor to set the barrel on, to insulate the barrel from the concrete floor.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Caledonia,michigan
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    I wondered about using heat tape on a settling/bottling tank to warm the honey to bottle. I'm gonna have to try it

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    There are some heat tape options here: http://www.mcmaster.com/#heat-cable/=tnv3ff

    You would likely want the constant wattage type. I am still looking for something closed loop that limits the surface temperature the drum reaches. By the time you add a temperature sensor/temperature controller, you start getting into the same price range of purchased solutions.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,775

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    Seems like the solution posted by Tomek in post #3 is the way to go. The Ranco temp controller that BMAC is a very useful tool to have around. Lots of place to buy it, but I got mine here: http://www.etcsupply.com/ranco-etc11...ller-p-86.html

    Seems to me that you good get such a system in place for less than $150.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Arabsiyo, Somaliland, Africa
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    Quote Originally Posted by zhiv9 View Post
    I really want something that is thermostat controlled to keep temps around 100 or below. I have been leaning towards the blanket because it is smaller for storage. Space or lack thereof is always an issue here.
    I have been having a big problem to heat my honey in Ethiopia. I have just started a honey packing company in Ethiopia but, alas, I failed to heat the honey there. I bought a belt heater from Mann Lake in USA, but sadly its voltage is only 120 volts and 1500 watts while they have 230 volts in Ethiopia. I tried voltage regulator and transformer but all in vain. Now, for 3 days ago, I installed a heater with a thermostat from Germany (bought in Sweden) in a small room (1.50 x 1.20 meters) where the honey is in plastic containers (around 50 kg) and I set the thermostat at 50 degrees Celsius and I left it go. I am now in Somaliland and will be back tomorrow to Ethiopia to see if it is still working and the honey is melted. I hope it will work.

    Sultan, www.somalihoney.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    The heat tape I used, and I've had it for years so I don't know exactly what I paid for it, does not get the barrel too hot to touch with a bare hand. All in all, the cost of the heat tape and the insulation was probably under $50.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,812

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    I have some heat tape that sounds quite similar to what StevenG used . It is Eaton Unitherm 2504 self regulating heater tape, 4 watts/foot, 120 VAC. It has 2 parallel copper strands, with a carbon/plastic surrounding the wires. It comes on a spool. you cut off the wattage you need, and solder leads on one end. From memory, it self regulated to around 120 deg. F. I would guess about 20 feet would be enough to heat a 55 gallon drum.

    Crazy Roland

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    I have some heat tape that sounds quite similar to what StevenG used . It is Eaton Unitherm 2504 self regulating heater tape, 4 watts/foot, 120 VAC. It has 2 parallel copper strands, with a carbon/plastic surrounding the wires. It comes on a spool. you cut off the wattage you need, and solder leads on one end. From memory, it self regulated to around 120 deg. F. I would guess about 20 feet would be enough to heat a 55 gallon drum.

    Crazy Roland
    Thats almost exactly what i use. Heat tape self regulates to 118 F. 25-30 feet liquifies a drum in 2-3 days.
    Luke

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    Actually I got my idea from Roland...true confession! Roland, didn't you have a home made version you used? How did that work? And how would a person make such a heat tape?
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,812

    Default Re: Melting/Heating drums

    My buddy used to work at Eaton, and when they closed his office,a length of heat tracing was in the give away pile.

    You can currently(no pun intended) buy a similar, but less precise, product at the local hardware store for use on the roof to prevent ice dams. They sell it by the foot, you cut off what you and and attach leads.

    Hey StecenG, that's the last time I show you a gizmo I made.....(he he he)

    Crazy Roland

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