Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    224

    Question

    i've been making batches for a little while. i've read the dyse method, i've tasted REALLY good creamed honey (stoller's and oregon apiary's) and mine always ends up gritty.

    i don't believe i have a problem with air getting in the honey, and the fridge temp seems right. i use light colored honey and strain it. and use a dadant mixer.

    oh yea, i've tried several different mixers on the end of the drill.

    so, what am i doing wrong?!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Post

    The three factors are:

    The starter must be very fine, Dyce suggests grinding it to make sure. I suggest a flour grinder for this.

    The temperature must be very close to right. Slight variations aren't a problem but they need to be pretty close.

    You have to get lucky and get perfect honey that crystalized nicely. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    You can always grind it when you're done [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    Trying using the Stoller's as seed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    Buford, You must clarify the crystal out of the existing honey by heating it enough. That usually requires the 125-140 degree range. It may also help to use more seed to speed up the process. If you don't get the pre-existing crytal seed out it will effect the final product by froming at least some crystal chain the size of the honey your are seeding into.

    The fact you can't see crystal in honey holding it up to a light doesn't mean it's not there.

    Jim, what's the backlight device used to expose crystal in honey? I can't seem to think of it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    224

    Post

    so grinding honey that is already crystalized won't put air in? seems like it would be harder to re-bottle when it's that thick.

    jim,

    i have used stoller's as seed, but i don't think i'm heating it enough. someone told me to heat it to 140F then strain it and bring it to 70F as fast as possible. after that they said repeat the heating and cooling of it (i don't know if repeating it is necessary, but he seemed to think it was.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    224

    Post

    michael,

    i let it crystalize in bottles. when you say that i can grind it when i'm done, do you mean that i have to reheat all of it, or just warm it enough to work with it?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    224

    Post

    one more thing.

    will a meat grinder work just as well as flour grinder?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    Grinding isn't for the finished product, it's for the seed. The size of the seed will deterimine the size of the crystal in the finished prouduct if the "native" crystal has been removed through proper heating. I never reheat. I heat and then cool adding the seed at around 95 degrees. The finer the seed the finer the finished product. I think it is worth the few dollars to do as Jim suggests and buy a case of known quality such as Dwight Stoller sells and use as starter. Once you have your 1st. batch you will always have seed as long as you maintain the quality.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Post

    >so grinding honey that is already crystalized won't put air in?

    Probably, but it will make coarse into fine.

    >i let it crystalize in bottles. when you say that i can grind it when i'm done, do you mean that i have to reheat all of it, or just warm it enough to work with it?

    Better to get it right in the first place, of course, but it's a way to salvage coarse honey.

    >will a meat grinder work just as well as flour grinder?

    I haven't tried the meat grinder, but I don't think it will grind fine enough. I really bought the grinder to grind the seed to make sure there is no coarse crystals in the seed.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10

    Post

    I have heard of using a powdered Dextrose as the seed also. I have not tried this method because I do not want to adulterate but it is an incredibly fine product akin to pwdered sugar. If you want to try it, it is available at most homebrew shops.

    When I made mine last year, it seemed that each subsequent batch made with seed from the prior batch just got larger and larger crystals. The way around this would be to save all of the first batch made for future starters.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    224

    Post

    here's another question.

    when i mix (using the drill mixer and starter) i stop whenever it looks right to me, when it looks like pancake batter. is that good enough or is there a set length for this?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Post

    Just in case you all missed this:

    "4) Prepare an intermediate batch of seed crystal from a starter batch of previously crystallized honey. The starter batch is ground to a suitable fineness, then added to 10-20 times its weight of pasteurized and strained honey. Using less than 5% seed crystal to seed a new batch of honey results in a coarse product. Adding more than 10% seed crystal is wasteful. The seed crystals and honey are thoroughly mixed, being careful not to incorporate air into the honey, then covered and placed in a cold room at 55 °F for one week. This intermediate batch of seed crystal is prepared in a wide mouthed container so that it can be easily removed once it has crystallized.

    5) After the intermediate batch of seed crystal is completely crystallized, you must process it before you can use it as seed for the main batch. Remove it from the cold room, bring it to a temperature of 70 °F, and grind it to a fine consistency. After grinding, the intermediate batch of seed crystal is added to 10-20 times its weight of pasteurized and strained honey, and mixed thoroughly, again, paying attention not to incorporate air into the honey. The container in which you mix the seed crystal and honey for your production run must be equipped with a 2” gate to facilitate the flow of the relatively cold honey. The length of time that the honey and seed crystal are mixed also affects the rate of crystallization and the grain of the final product. The optimal time for stirring will depend on the specific equipment used. Caution! Over-stirring can raise the temperature of the honey and damage the seed crystal."

    http://www.masterbeekeeper.org/creamhoney.htm

    Grinding the seed is mentioned more than once.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Odessa, Missouri
    Posts
    629

    Post

    Although the #4 above is the most common formula for making creamed honey there are some secrets.

    I have tried to pick Dwight Stoller's mind at many an ABF meeting. He is not talking.

    If you buy the creamed honey available on store shelves his always seems to taste better.

    Creamed honey sales in the U.K. far out pace liquid. My U.K. friends tell me a big difference exists in quality & taste.

    If you are waiting for me to tell you the secret
    you are wasting your time as I do not know the Stoller secret but I can share a few suggestions I learned in my search. Use at your own risk.

    1. use a higher moisture content honey ( 19- 19.3%)

    2. use a temp in the 90 F. range when mixing in the starter

    3. pour into heated jars

    4. use a different type of honey for the starter

    5. use the first honey of the year (fresh)

    6. Some say the stirring process needs to cover a four hour period. Not all the time but as you pass the container during the period.

    The making of the Blue Ribbon creamed honey is in my opinion a trial and error method (kind of like making mead). I have tried a few of the above and saw no difference. A couple I thought might have helped. In all cases I was satisfied with the end product but none tasted as good as Stoller's!
    Bob Harrison

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    Rob, that explains why Dwight has no hair!

    Last ABF I was at was Norfolk-1997, where you there? I think that's when the merger was going on because he was on edge the whole week.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Odessa, Missouri
    Posts
    629

    Post

    Yes I was at Norfolk.

    I almost did not attend as I had a fire in my honey house on Dec. 22nd. and burned 20 foot off the end of the building and heavily damaged a loader. Construction was going on while I was at Norfolk. Being the dead of winter I decided to let insurance repair the damage and the loader. Both were repaired and back in service by the 22nd. of January.
    Bob Harrison

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    224

    Post

    just in case anyone is curious, here's the results of an experiment:

    i ran some of my gritty "starter" through a meat grinder. the result was slightly better, but still gritty.

    next i ran it through a manual (non-electric) flour grinder (3 times). this gave much better results... BUT, it was still gritty (albeit very fine).

    therefore, my opinion is to buy smooth starter from the store (and not try to grind anything). if i get a good batch, then i may try to use some of it as starter. if it has a tiny bit of grit, i may sell the batch but i won't use any of it for starter (nor would i grind it).

    i haven't tried an electric flour grinder (it's out of the price range of my experiments), but if anyone has had success with making gritty honey COMPLETELY smooth with one, then i may reconsider.

    thanks for the links and good advice. if y'all have any more ideas i'm all ears. [img]smile.gif[/img]

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    224

    Question

    when heating the honey to 140F, how long must it be held there?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    224

    Post

    nevermind, i found my answer.

    michael's link says hold it at 150F for 15 minutes. [img]smile.gif[/img]

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    224
    SUCCESS!!!

    i followed y'all's advice and got my FIRST EVER batch of creamed honey with ZERO GRIT!!

    thank you so much! i've been struggling with this for about a year and a half!

    i used kroger's "whipped" honey and sue bee's "spun" honey for the seed of a twenty pound batch. my bulk honey was a bit dark, but the texture was PERFECT!!

    now, if i don't get cocky maybe i can make a second batch. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    thanks again.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Schenectady, NY, USA
    Posts
    266

    Post

    Great! But you got so much different advice that I think you should tell us just what you did (other than use Kroger's and Sue Bee's honey for seed).

    Please!
    Lloyd Spear, Owner of Ross Rounds, Inc. Manufacturers of round section comb equipment and Sundance Pollen Traps.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads