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  1. #1
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    Default Honey temperature

    I've got a double jacketed bottling tank I picked up from one of the beekeeping suppliers online. I've currently got it warming my honey but it's been three days and still isn't as fluid as I would like it to be before I bottle it. What's the warmest temperature I can keep it at without causing damage/harm to the honey. It's a 55gal. bottling tank and I've only got 15 gal in it, it wasn't a solid mass of crystalized honey but it was pretty thick. I've got about another 60 gallons of honey I need to warm in this thing and I don't want it taking until Thanksgiving before I can bottle.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    they should be set to about 105. your honey should bottle great at that temp, and it shouldn't take more than 3 hours to warm up. we run ours at 105 and its very fluid. One question is what kind of valve do you have on it??

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    they should be set to about 105. your honey should bottle great at that temp, and it shouldn't take more than 3 hours to warm up. we run ours at 105 and its very fluid. One question is what kind of valve do you have on it??
    No idea, a dripless honey bottling valve? It just has a 14" piece of 3/8" metal round stock coming off of it that you pull down and a metal bracket that acts as a fulcrum to pry up the valve and then the honey flows out. The tank is currently set at 109 but it's been at that temp for 3 days and the honey is definitely warming it's just not warm enough that it's clear; it still has a milky color to it (it's white honey and when I extracted it's so light it's almost void of any color. Looks almost like HFCS)
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Bolton, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    Have you checked the actual temperature of the honey? Is it a the set point temp.?
    Maybe one or more of your heating elements are not working.
    What voltage is the tank rated for?

    Glen
    You Tube bee Channel Zone 5A
    http://www.youtube.com/user/GlenGH

  5. #5
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    Sounds to me like Moon is saying that the honey has some crystallization in it which is making it pretty thick. A temp of 109 is not nearly hot enough to dissolve the sugar crystals, you need to go up to at least 130 to do that, but at that temp you begin to destroy nutrients in the honey.

  6. #6
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    If it is partly crystalized you will have to raise the temperature up to 140 degrees at least and more likely 150 to get rid of all of the crystals.

    That sure seems like a HUGE tank. I have two Maxant Bottling Tanks which each hold 25 gallons each, which is plenty for me. I bottle as much as 30,000lbs of honey per year using both of them.

    I can't imagine washing out a 55 gallon bottling tank.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post

    I can't imagine washing out a 55 gallon bottling tank.
    Yeah it's pretty deep, I had to stand on my head to do it. We don't sell all of our honey at once so it's more of a honey storage/bottling tank. I just plan on keeping it at around 109 degrees until it's all sold.

    Glen H. the tank is a 220V tank and I believe it only has one heating element. I'm sure the honey is at the set temp because there is a thermometer mounted in the tank that tells me what the temp of the water is, I'm not going based off of what the temp the heater is set at I'm going off of the thermometer.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    You can raise the temperature by the dial on the end of the heat element. You should not keep the honey at 109 for very long or it will darken. Unless you sell it quickly, I guess.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    What would be the optimum temp to keep it at mark?
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    What are you putting it into? Customer's jars?

    I don't put any heat to it until it's time to put it in jars.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    Okay...

    Walk me through the process that you use then if you don't mind? It was a huge pain in the butt last year for me to deal with honey that had been bottled that was already crystalized. I had to take it from a 5 gallon bucket and put it into a 1 gallon bucket so it would fit in a pot on the stove that I could put into a water bath and then bottle. It was outrageously time consuming. So this year I was just going to put it all into a bottling tank/storage drum, keep it from crystalizing and then bottle it as needed for each one of the trade shows I go to (I don't sell to stores yet because I don't have all the paperwork set up to sell through a third party).

    On top of that, honey that I bottled that I didn't sell would cyrstalize before the next trade show and I would have to deal with warming up honey in plastic bottles without getting it to warm.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    I bet we have different kinds of honey, so maybe you have more problems w/ crystalization than I do.

    I extract my honey and put it in 5 gallon buckets. If the 5 gallon buckets crystalize I set three into a round waterbath tank and warm them enough to make getting honey out of them more easy. Then I pour 4 buckets of honey into Tank #1, warm it to 150 degrees, and strain the honey through a nylon cloth back into 5 gallon pails. Then they sit over night cooling down. The next morning I pour these buckets into the other tank, warm them to 100 degrees and bottle that honey. I then take that honey to stores so they can sell it. Some bottled honey is kept ahead.

    That's more or less how I do it.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    Hmm, my honey will crystalize within about 2-3 weeks. :/
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    What happens if you warm it to 150? Still crystalizes?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    No no, I've had it at 110 for 3 days now and I just went out and checked it and it's more or less fluid. I wasn't sure if I could keep it at 110 without causing harm/detriment to it is why I was asking what the optimum temp was or what people heated there honey to. If I heated it to 150 it would decrystalize faster but I don't want to run the risk of scorching it or damaging the honey. I've heard even heating it above 100F will destroy the pollen in it so I'm trying to be careful about the amount of heat I put into it. It just crystalizes so bloody fast, I don't know if it's because the moisture content out here on the prairie is low or if it's because I don't fully destroy the sugar crystals when I warm it. I really want to avoid pasteurizing it.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    You can't have everything. If you want liquid honey that doesn't crystalize quickly again you will have to heat your honey to 150.

    What does pasturize mean?

    What kind of honey do you have there? Mesquite?

    You should have gotten a smaller tank.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    Mark, what kind of tank are you using for liquifying the crystallized honey in buckets? Sounds like I need something like that myself when the honey won't come out of the buckets anymore. John

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    Mark, I run at a lot less temp than that and have no problem removing most crystals. Yea its faster at 130, but drums held at 110 do just fine. never had an issue getting it to liquefy at 110. some takes a bit longer.
    There are probably a lot of crystal left, but it flows bottles and stores fine. Maybe differnt types of honeys, but never had to run up higher unless makeing creamed honey.
    Last edited by gmcharlie; 09-14-2013 at 08:18 AM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    What I have found is that liquifying honey and removing all the crystals is two different things. You need to bottle a jar of liquified honey and hold it up to a light ( I use a regular light bulb) and see if the honey is completely clear or not. Those fine crystals can be hard to see swirling around in there, but if they don't get dissolved completely, your honey will get cloudier and cloudier even after a few weeks.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Honey temperature

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    Mark, what kind of tank are you using for liquifying the crystallized honey in buckets? Sounds like I need something like that myself when the honey won't come out of the buckets anymore. John
    It's a round tank w/ a heat element for heating the water one puts in it. It holds three five gallon buckets. I think it came from Kelley Co. I have seen rectangular ones in catalogs recently. Seems like I recall them holding 6 buckets.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

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