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Thread: Honey "Fridge"

  1. #1
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    Default Honey "Fridge"

    As a small time marketer of unfiltered local honey, I have issues with granulation. Most of my crop is bottled in quart and pint jars so when they start granulating all I need to do is warm them up or set them out in the sun for a couple hours and the granules dissolve.

    However, I also bottle some in no-drip squeeze bottles which are plastic. These bottles seem to be able to tolerate very little heating before causing deformation of the plastic, rendering them unmarketable.

    So I have a couple questions and concepts to run by the forum to get your thoughts.

    What would be a good way to keep this honey warm to keep it from granulating to begin with?

    How warm does it need to be to keep it from granulating indefinitely?

    I have one idea. A while back, I picked up a mini fridge with a solid state (Peltier Effect) cooler. It has a bad circuit board which renders it useless without a power supply and controlling circuitry. The Peltier Effect is reversible, so I can use the fridge as a low temperature oven (or incubator). Of course the same thing could be done with a lightbulb and a thermostat. The thermostat can be had from Amazon or any number of sources.

    Does this have a reasonable probability of working?

    The purpose is to warm the plastic bottles but keep from deforming them.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    Put em in the freezer (not the fridge) ........no crystallization
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    From my experience with comb honey, I would think cold, not heat, would better prevent granulation. Store the bottles in a freezer?
    Regards, Barry

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    I know it depends on your nectar sources, but just keeping it in the house at stable room temps keeps mine from granulating for a long time. Out in the temp swings of the garage not so long. So, i've been thinking of the same thing more or less - an old freezer with a light bulb just to have stable temps.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    I've done both (freezer and warmer). The freezer is easier. The warmer set to run from 90-95 degrees will keep honey liquid for a year at least. That's as long as I've tried. You need a good thermostat. I got my first one from somewhere on the internet. It's harder to set and only goes to 100 degrees and you turn a dial to get as close as you can on a little scale. I got the other from Tim Arheit (I think) and it's real nice. It has digital settings and was all wired up when it showed up at my door.
    Bruce

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    We built a simple box (holds drums) insulated and heated with a 25.00 wal mart space heater...... total cost 75.00

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    I use an old 400 liter "all in one" freezer laid on it back (no shelves). I have three light bulbs in it. one on one switch, two in the other switch. I can have 1,2,or 3 globes running. I also have a reasonable fan running to move the air. With plastic bottles put them away from the globes so no radiant heat. It works OK . I also use an indoor/outdoor thermometer to keep an eye on the temp. Wish I had a thermostat.

    Have fun

    Geoff

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    The consensus appears to be either freezing or approaching 100 degrees. Any other data?

    I would consider the freezing, but freezing seems to offer no remediation for already crystallizing honey, am I correct?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    I missed one part of your question... super delayed granulation is achived by flash heating to 150........ Can't stay there very long or the honey darkens noticably. I do that for creamed honey, flash heat to remove any crystals already formed.

    Actualy freezing it will accelerate it if its already started. It won't get worse WHILE its froze, but after you take it out it will go faster.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    Sorry, freezing just keeps it in it's current state. You'll somehow need to warm to remove the crystals.
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for Oxalic Acid Vaporizers

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    Right, that's what I getting at, the need to warm these plastic bottles without deforming them. I wonder what is the minimum range of temperature that will dissolve crystals.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    My honey is unfiltered and unheated (beyond temperatures available in nature), so it begins granulating within a month or two, and there's certainly no room for 20+ gallons of honey in my freezer.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    110 will retard granulation for a few months generaly (some types less) with 20 gallons, I would just buy a botteling tank set it at 105-110 and your good to go. only need to turn it on when you want to bottle. a good used one runs 250-300 bucks for a jacketed tank.

    to un-crystalize my wood box/heater is set at 110. HDPE bears are fine in there, but it can wrinkle the lable if humidity is high.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    If you are thrifty, consider looking into plans for DIY chicken incubators that use a water heater thermostat. I have never built one, but my recollection is that the thermostat is connected in a circuit with an incandescent bulb. An online search using the term "chicken incubator water heater" turns up a diy video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPNsEkMGu5Y.
    Pete. New 2013, 7 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    That's an interesting idea Chemguy, I already have a Hovabator Genesis, 12 volt supply, it could be adapted to do the job, might need a relay.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    Like I said above, keeping the liquid honey at 90-95 degrees will keep it liquid, but if it is already crystallizing you will need a little more temperature. I put crystallized buckets in the sames refrigerator (warmer) but turn the temperature up to 105 and leave it for 2 days. It will be liquid. I do this for the honey that I make into creamed honey. I do that in late fall (or early spring if I was lazy) since 57 degrees is easy for us around here then. But most of the time my honey has crystallized by then. So two days at 105 fixes that.

    PS: I wired a computer fan into the system to come on when the light bulbs come on.
    Bruce

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    In my experience, freezing preserves the flavor much better than heating. Next time, avoid getting in this situation and keep your honey frozen till you're ready to fill and sell. If I was getting a premium for honey, I'd invest in a freezer just for this.
    Regards, Barry

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    I agree with Barry.
    When honey is frozen, the molecules cannot move, hence cannot crystallize. Honey is supposed to cream best between 10 & 15 degrees C and under that is harder to crystalise as teh molecules find it harder to move .

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    If you keep honey just warm enough to keep it liquid over time the honey will darken. Knowing what you know I wonder why you puit honey in these containers before it's time to sell them. Or, really, knowing your honey will crystalize anyway, why would you put honey in Invert containers to begin with. Passing the problem on to your customers you are.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Honey "Fridge"

    Quote Originally Posted by sweetas View Post
    I agree with Barry.
    When honey is frozen, the molecules cannot move, hence cannot crystallize. Honey is supposed to cream best between 10 & 15 degrees C and under that is harder to crystalise as teh molecules find it harder to move .
    Is that the same as 57 dgrees F, the optimum F temperature at which honey crystalizes best?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

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