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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orange, Tx, USA
    Posts
    518

    Default How to lower moisture content

    My honey is showing at the 19.2% moisture content, by refractometer. I checked it with another refractometer, and it reads the same. I put it in a room with a dehumidifier and a pail heater, but the % moisture is not coming down. I have had the dehumidifier going for a few days, but only put the pail heater in use yesterday. Any suggestions to bring the moisture content down into the 18% or lower range?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orange, Tx, USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    As additional info, the humidity here has been very high. I am stirring the honey in the affected bucket, a couple of times a day. I imagine there is not much else to do, but does anyone have any idea how long it will take to bring the moisture content down? The other buckets are fine, just this one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Essex, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    I think the issue is that with honey in a pail there is very little surface area for moisture to evaporate. A solution would be a very large shallow pan but that's impractical. Or maybe hang a bucket full of honey with a small whole in the bottom so it slowly drips a few feet into a bucket below and is exposed to the dry air? Might work after a couple cycles of dripping. Just some wild thoughts and ideas.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orange, Tx, USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    The bucket dripping is a good idea. Yes, I am concerned with the small surface area, and why I keep stirring it. Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,658

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    You might also try placing a small fan on a chair next to the bucket, or a clip on fan, so that the fan blows right onto the surface of the honey in that room you have setup with heater and dehumidifier.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orange, Tx, USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    This really aggravates me. This happened to me back in 1984, and now again. Both times we were hit with a lot of rain and continual high humidity.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cumberland Va.
    Posts
    1,011

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    what percentage of the honey was capped? I thought the bees wouldnt cap it until it was below the threshold. Just wondering. Good Luck. G

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orange, Tx, USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    Very little, but, the humidity is so high, it might have absorbed it during extracting.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,030

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    I don't know if this will help much, since you seem to be doing about as much as you can, though you could do something different, I guess.

    Anyway, a friend of mine had a barrel of high moisture honey. His hot room was heated by a wood stove in the center of the room. He raised the barrel above and beside the stove. He set another barrel on the opposite side of the stove. He took a section of rain gutter and spanned the distance between the bottom of the raised barrel to the barrel on the floor across the top of the stove. He punched a hole in the side of the elevated barrel just above the bottom of the barrel, allowing honey from the elevated barrel to run the length of the gutter into the barrel on the floor, across the burning wood stove. That did the trick for him. Maybe that will inspire your creativity, maybe not.

    One bucket? Feed it back to your bees? Harvest it again when moisture is right? Next time don't extract so much open celled honeycomb? Check moisture content before extracting? I don't know. Just thinking out loud.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    737

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    I hear a lot about testing before extracting on frames that are not capped. How do you do that? You have 10 or 20 frames, 2 sides each, thousands of cells per frame, do you pick a dozen and run it though the refract meter and hope for a decent cross sample?
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,064

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    Take some of it out and heat it gently in your kitchen (with the ac up and the humidity low) until it thickens as much as possible then mix that back with the wet honey.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orange, Tx, USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    Moisture is down to 18.5% today, so it is coming down. I will work on it another day or so. Thanks guys!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,064

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    BTW, a couple of years ago I had a good bit of honey which did ferment - and it was delicious, everyone loved it.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    811

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    Make a tent of plastic film and put the dehumidifier and the honey container inside. Have seen a similar idea used for a small scale lumber drying kiln. Much more efficient because you get a lot dryer air when it is not diluted by the whole room.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,030

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    Quote Originally Posted by Chick View Post
    Moisture is down to 18.5% today, so it is coming down. I will work on it another day or so. Thanks guys!
    Where did you take the sample to check the moisture content? I surface I bet.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,064

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    After reading this thread i tried this experiment today - line a cooky sheet with parchment paper, fill with a shallow layer of honey, put in a warm (mine is 170 f) oven for 3-4 hours. Cover and freeze. Results in a solid taffy like candy that releases cleanly.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Nowthen,Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    Here are some photos of my 'drying hut'. Since these photos were taken, I have added more bracing for stability and have started hanging the fan from the ceiling to improve air flow. There is also a very small electric heater (set as low as it will go) and dehumidifier in the hut. It takes about 15 minutes to set up and take down and is made with PVC pipes and fittings. Generally, about a week in the hut is all that is required before a box is ready for extraction.

    IMG_1059.jpg
    IMG_1028.jpg
    IMG_1027.jpg
    -Phil Domeier
    www.nowthenhoney.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    737

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    You can also use an old air conditioner. As long as the air is chilled below the dew point the moisture will fall out. If the discharge hose is long enough the room will reheat the air before it goes into your drying room. Not saying to go buy an air conditioner but more have AC than dehumidifiers (especially in TX). It is how us facility guys ‘ring’ water from the air. You need to bring the heat back up but in TX I would think heat would not be a problem.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    chelmsford, ma. usa
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    if you knew a hvac guy you could pour into a pressure cooker and he hooks up his vacuum pump
    it would be bone dry in 24 hours. too bad your so far away from here.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orange, Tx, USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: How to lower moisture content

    HA! I got a vacuum pump, but never thought about that. And I have a large pressure cooker. I would have to look at installing a barb fitting in the R/V port.

    I am using a dehumidifier, but it quit coming down. I have been stirring it regularly, and take a sample from the spoon, after stirring. If this doesn't come down soon, I am just going to feed it back to the bees and let them take care of it.

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