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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Mars Hill, NC
    Posts
    33

    Default honey is too wet- how long will it last before fermenting? what should we do with it?

    So my husband and I just extracted 40 lbs of honey last night - our second harvest this year. The problem is, it's been such a humid, rainy season, the moisture level hardly went down after 2 weeks of placing a dehumidifier in a small room with the mostly capped frames. The dehumidifier isn't ours- we're borrowing it (and now need to return it), and since I had to rent the extractor from the local bee club, we were on a time crunch.

    Now we have 40 lbs of runny honey. It's hovering around 20% moisture. What should we do? Would you sell honey this wet? (maybe at a discount with a disclaimer?). Would you just give it away to friends/family and tell them to use it up in the next few months? Find some homebrewers to buy it as is for mead?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,952

    Default Re: honey is too wet- how long will it last before fermenting? what should we do with

    Generally, if you run a dehumidifier in a small space, you would also run a heater within that same space. The dehumidifier will be more effective at higher temperatures.

    One option is to freeze the honey until you can arrange to get a dehumidifier + heater for another try.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3

    Default Re: honey is too wet- how long will it last before fermenting? what should we do with

    If it was called it should be ripe. At least that's my understanding. I tend to shy away from extracting any uncapped honey unless its just a small portion on a frame of mostly capped honey.

    I've also seen a trick of shaking the hive on it's side over a clean surface. As long as honey doesn't fall out then it's OK. I'll usually do this with frames that have some uncapped honey. But in general, the bees shouldn't cap it unless it's ripe. I've noticed variances in how thick some honey seems vs others when I extract.

    The only "problem" I've run into so far was having old honey crystallize faster. It was from a hive that was 2-3 years old and had never seen an extraction. The bottled honey crystallized in just weeks of being extracted. But I've never had runny honey problems.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    649

    Default Re: honey is too wet- how long will it last before fermenting? what should we do with

    Now why would you want to sell or share honey that has or will in all likelihood ferment? That is surely something that they wouldn't soon forget.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Mars Hill, NC
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: honey is too wet- how long will it last before fermenting? what should we do with

    Good point, Risky.... would hate to leave a bad memory of beekeepers for people.

    As of now I am taking others' advice and trying to dehumidify it more in the buckets, while I still have the dehumidifier for a day or two. We'll see how far it goes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    649

    Default Re: honey is too wet- how long will it last before fermenting? what should we do with

    In my area we actually have a different issue. My honey is very thick and hard to extract at times. I need to make sure when its pulled its extracted and doesn't sit around for a week or so. Our normal summer humidity level is 10% or less and the bees are in no hurry to cap honey. I have had hives leave it uncapped as they gather another box on top. Its ripe though, so as soon as they begin to cap some frames I'm ok to pull it. They will gather and store as long as they have the open cells and then when the flow lightens up they tend to the capping. The extremely low moisture levels tend to help them out with their distilling process.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: honey is too wet- how long will it last before fermenting? what should we do with

    Absolutely find some mead makers! WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

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