honey moisture
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Thread: honey moisture

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
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    192

    Default honey moisture

    hey all,

    I pulled my supers off yesterday and extracted the frames. There was a fair amount of uncapped stuff (my bees seemed to have a tough time this season capping.. maybe the high humidity of Eastern PA?). Anyway, the honey I have in a bucket measures around 19.25% (calibrated refractometer). It's not a large quantity- around 2 gallons. Nice dark stuff that tastes great.. but does seem a bit runny so I do believe my refractometer.

    I set the bucket in front of my dehumidifier w a fan blowing down into it. I plan to stir it twice daily. Realistically, think there's any way I'll be able to drop the moisture content this way? I saw some extravagant set ups on google search with stainless steel drip runs in humidity controlled areas... hoping there's a simple way (like what I did) but I also don't want to waste time if folks w experience give this technique the thumbs down. Ideas?

    Thanks

    brad

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    4,735

    Default Re: honey moisture

    If you had a clean rubbermaid tote to dump it into the surface area would be tripled. Surface area is the bottleneck with a pail. If you can throw a bit of plastic tent like over your setup it would raise the temp and make it more effective. Quite a bit of fussing for a couple gallons but might be useful experiment for some time when you have a few pails of it.

    Proof of concept.
    Frank

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    4,735

    Default Re: honey moisture

    Dup. removed
    Frank

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
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    192

    Default Re: honey moisture

    Makes sense re. surface area. In retrospect perhaps I should have left it on the frames and placed them in front of dehumidifier for a few days prior to extraction.

    I'll give that a shot. For what it's worth I just checked it (24h of fan/dehumidifier) and top layer is now <19%.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default Re: honey moisture

    What Frank suggested will work. As a guy with only a few hives, its worth the trouble for me. If you have room, a tub or shower stall works well to enclose the space. Another option is to use the higher moisture content honey first. I would still bring it down some, but if its still a little high and you get sick of trying to lower it, bottle it and mark it as high moisture so you use/give away that honey first. That's what I have started doing with small amounts that are a little high. J

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: honey moisture

    yeah, seems reasonable. I'll tell family/friends to just eat it and not plan to store it forever.

    I'm assuming heating it up like maple syrup is a nonstarter? Change taste?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Fargo, North Dakota
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: honey moisture

    I constructed a confined space using 2”x2”s covered with plastic 3’x8’x2’ housing a dehumidifier and three (3) five gallon tubs (70% full). Over eight (8) days with stirring three (3) times a day, the refractometer reading went from 19%, 18.9%, and 19.0% down to 17.9%, 18%, and 18.1%. It can be done, but I really regret having to do the extra work. I did not properly calculate how much uncapped honey could be extracted; I should have evaporated in the frame. Lesson learned!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: honey moisture

    I just did the same with a dehumidifier and a fan. There is a thread. It will work but it could take several days. Have to stir. It would be faster in 2 buckets.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,859

    Default Re: honey moisture

    Quote Originally Posted by thisoldfish View Post
    hey all,

    I pulled my supers off yesterday and extracted the frames. There was a fair amount of uncapped stuff (my bees seemed to have a tough time this season capping.. maybe the high humidity of Eastern PA?). Anyway, the honey I have in a bucket measures around 19.25% (calibrated refractometer). It's not a large quantity- around 2 gallons. Nice dark stuff that tastes great.. but does seem a bit runny so I do believe my refractometer.

    I set the bucket in front of my dehumidifier w a fan blowing down into it. I plan to stir it twice daily. Realistically, think there's any way I'll be able to drop the moisture content this way? I saw some extravagant set ups on google search with stainless steel drip runs in humidity controlled areas... hoping there's a simple way (like what I did) but I also don't want to waste time if folks w experience give this technique the thumbs down. Ideas?

    Thanks

    brad
    You need to quantify things.
    What is fair amount of uncapped?
    20%? 30%? 40%?

    Pretty much with 20-30% of still uncapped AND if you don't sell AND it is a small volume - do it, bottle it and move on.
    More than likely your honey is fine as is.
    If for personal use and still worried - just freeze the jars.

    But at ~19% documented moisture - seriously, just move on.
    People get hung up over little things like that - no need.
    Unless you are bored and have nothing else to do and actually enjoy drying honey... Well, then..
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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