My recipe/method for sugar blocks - Page 14
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  1. #261
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I would think that a large number of people could simply allow the moisture to evaporate from the molds/pans that they choose to use. Sugar "cakes" easily without any heat.

    If allowed to air dry for several days one could skip all the heaters, boxes, old refrigerators, fans etc.

    Obviously, if trays of wet material are put inside a closed box, ventilation will be necessary. Skip the complications, water wants to evaporate, and sugar harders very well on its own without fans, blowers, coils and thermostats... At least that's the way it has been at my house.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

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  3. #262
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    Boston, MA
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    And Lauri's greenhouse, as published back at the beginning. People use dehydrators, ovens, etc. to speed up the process.

    Tony
    There must be a harder way to do that... let me find it for you.

  4. #263
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    Grand Blanc, MI
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I've got sugar cakes drying in my basement, 2 furnaces and a dehumidifier dry 9" cake pans in 2-3 days rock hard. The large aluminum pans took a week and still weren't totally hard. The round cake pans dry quicker and are easier to handle, and at 88 cents each won't break the bank. The big aluminum pans were over $10 each and take much longer to dry.

  5. #264
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    So I typically use these when I build warming fridges. It should work for the dehydrator also. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Thanks for the refer idea. I have one for warming. I guess I can look at another for dehydrating. Not as portable as one of these http://www.restaurantequipment.com/holdingcabinets.html.

    I wonder if you can convert this into a dehydrator http://www.lowes.com/pd_591037-47224...0160175&rpp=32. If you add heat coils you could have a dehydrator and refer all in one.
    I use temperature controllers on indoor applications only. I have found they fail on and will overheat in outdoor conditions. At the very least have a second stat in the circuit as a safety.

    The links in your post either won't load for me, may be my computer. or are broken.
    Last edited by Daniel Y; 11-25-2014 at 05:51 AM.
    Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)

  6. #265
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    Perhaps someone with knowlege about bee nutrition could improve on the recipe with additional ingredients.
    Off hand, I can't think of a thing I'd change.
    I saw a presentation by Noah Wilson-Rich, a researcher interested in honeybee nutrition and immune response (his Ted Talk can be found here). He spoke about the similarity in the biomes of Honeybees and humans, and that the bees could benefit by adding probiotics to syrup for feeding.

    He cited this study: Bacterial Probiotics Induce an Immune Response in the Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    by JAY D. EVANS and DAWN L. LOPEZ
    USDAŠARS Bee Research Laboratory, BARC-East Building 476, Beltsville, MD 20705

    J. Econ. Entomol. 97(3): 752Š756 (2004)

    ABSTRACT
    To explore immune system activation in the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., larvae of four ages were exposed through feeding to spores of a natural pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae larvae
    , to cells of a diverse set of related non-pathogenic bacteria,and to bacterial coat components.These larvae were then assayed for RNA levels of genes encoding two antibacterial peptides, abaecin and defensin.Larvae exposed to either P. l. larvae or a mix of non-pathogenic bacteria showed high RNA levels for the abaecin gene relative to controls. First instars responded significantly to the presence of the non-pathogenic mix within 12h after exposure, a time when they remain highly susceptible to bacterial invasion. This response was sustained for two successive instars, eventually becoming 21-fold higher in larvae exposed to probiotic spores versus control larvae. The mixture of nonpathogenic bacteria is therefore presented as a potential surrogate for assaying the immune responses of different honeybee lineages. It also is proposed that non-pathogenic bacteria can be used as a probiotic to enhance honey bee immunity, helping bee larvae, and other life stages, survive attacks from pathogens in the field.


    I modified Lauri's basic recipe slightly, adjusting the amounts based on 10# of sugar (for hobbyists like me that don't need as many blocks):

    10 pounds sugar
    1 Tablespoon citric acid
    1/4 teaspoon elecytrolytes
    3 capsules probiotics (available from your local health-food/whole-foods)
    1 and 1/4 cups Apple Cider Vinegar

    This filled 3 aluminum 8" x 12" x 1" trays, which dried very quickly in my Excalibur Dehydrator set to 130 F.

    Admittedly, real Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother, not the ACV-flavored vinegars) contains probiotics; I just added some additional strains (based upon the suggestion by Noah Wilson-Rich).

    Cheers,
    Tony P.
    Last edited by toekneepea; 11-25-2014 at 12:43 PM. Reason: grammar, and links
    There must be a harder way to do that... let me find it for you.

  7. #266
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I just picked up one of these to use to dehydrate.

    000000004220101-00001-20090916.JPG
    http://www.hatcocorp.com/products/pa...ng-cabinet-947

    It will hold 7 full size trays and can go down to 120 degree's. Plus I can use it at Thanksgiving and Christmas to hold the food warmer. Muti purposed.

    I do wonder if the vinegar will corrode anything as it evaporates.

  8. #267
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    new castle delaware usa
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    My black Blazer dries the cakes out pretty quick,,,,Pete

  9. #268
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    Mcarthur, Ohio,USA
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Lots of chat about how to form and dry Lauri's sugar bricks. Pans, dehydrators, oven settings. I mixed mine in a bucket with a paint stirrer on a drill, then scooped it into brown paper lunch sacks. Each sack can hold as much as 4 pounds of the mixture. Pretty handy when you get sugar in 4 lb bags. Lay them out flat and mash them down to the thickness of your feeder rims, let dry several days, preferably outside. They do put out plenty of vinegar smell.

    The bag solves a couple of problems.
    No pans to buy. No expensive dehydrators
    Cost is just pennies for 100 bags
    Catches all the pieces and crumbles
    Easier to handle, they can be stacked after dry. Breakage is no big deal.
    The bees will easily work through the thin paper bag.

    I found that 2 bags fit great on a nuc and 4 bags fit on a full 10 frame hive with about 3/4 inch around the perimeter for ventilation. I made my feeder rims 3 inches tall. That lets me put 4 pounds in each bag, so the nucs get 8 pounds of feed insurance

    The bees LOVED this recipe. They were all over it as soon as it was put on the top bars.

    capathome

  10. #269
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Great info and link! Thanks!

  11. #270
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    That looks almost like it would make a decent incubator too.
    May I ask what they cost?

    I've never had the vinegar corrode anything.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  12. #271
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    Cloquet, MN
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I have made 2 batches in the last week. One was put in the oven at 200 for 3 hours and got slightly gooey on the bottom . The other I set out next to a heat run near a sunny window and dried in a few hours.

  13. #272
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    The regular retail for the Hatco model#FSHC-5W1-EE 'Proofing Cabinet' that EastSideBuzz linked appears to be $3269, based on these vendors:
    http://www.webstaurantstore.com/hatc...FSHC5W1EE.html
    -and -
    http://www.hotelrestaurantsupply.com...HC-5W1-EE.html

    However, here is a used one for $995: http://www.wholesalerestaurant.com/p...g-cabinet.aspx
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #273
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    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I made 2 shallow pans of them last night.
    Then put the pans in the oven at 250 for 3 hours. My question is do they have
    to be completely dry to the core before I can use them? Is it o.k. at 70% dryness? They came out
    perfect hard like a brick my first try. Cane sugary smell with a hint of sour taste. I like them too.

  15. #274
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    That looks almost like it would make a decent incubator too.
    May I ask what they cost?
    I got mine on criags list for 600 bucks. It is the 7-1 version I see them all over the country for about the same price on craigs list. Search tempest will do a much wider search.

    Nice thing is without water in the tank it dehydrates, with water it will do moist for the incubator kind of thing. Multi purpose thing on wheels.


    https://www2.hatcocorp.com/LIT/SPECS...6-20141029.PDF
    http://www.manualslib.com/products/H...-1-577620.html

  16. #275
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    Booneville, Mississippi
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I have been using the MCamp method. Tonight I mixed up about 10 cups of sugar with a few teaspoons of HBH. I put it in the oven for 10 mins until the oven hit 350 then took it out. Let it harden and broke into small pieces.
    I will go out tomorrow and put the small chunks on my hives.

    I figure the heat breaks the sugar down , so the bees can digest it better and avoid it being hauled out as trash.

    And man oh man does the house smell good......

  17. #276
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by labradorfarms View Post
    I have been using the MCamp method. Tonight I mixed up about 10 cups of sugar with a few teaspoons of HBH. I put it in the oven for 10 mins until the oven hit 350 then took it out. Let it harden and broke into small pieces.
    I will go out tomorrow and put the small chunks on my hives.

    I figure the heat breaks the sugar down , so the bees can digest it better and avoid it being hauled out as trash.

    And man oh man does the house smell good......
    The heat can turn the sugar into something that can kill the bees I believe.

  18. #277
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I will try on my strongest hive first. And if they do not die after 1 week then I will try on
    the rest of the other hives. The oven has a thermostat that will not burn off the bricks as long
    as your temp. is not set too high.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  19. #278
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by jwcarlson View Post
    The heat can turn the sugar into something that can kill the bees I believe.

    From all I been told its no worse than making sugar syurp.... The same rules apply...... Don't scorch it and the bees will be fine....

    Scorched sugar will kill bees.......

    I even tasted mine to make sure it wasn't scorched.

  20. #279
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    HMF formation does not require scorching.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  21. #280
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    Default Re: My recipe/method for sugar blocks

    I think if you turn the oven to 200 and then turn it off as the sugar goes in...that may be safer.

    After two batches of failed fondant...got thick goo instead...I am willing to put trays of dampened sugar into my own dehydrator (the furnace room!) a la Lauri Miller's method.

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