Foam: skim it off or leave it?
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  1. #1
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    Sep 2017
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    Milford, Michigan, USA
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    Default Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    About a week ago, I strained 40ish lbs of honey through a 400-micron honey filter and into a food-grade bucket with a honey gate at the bottom. Yesterday I did the bottling, and I noticed that the top of the honey in the bucket had a bit of whitish foam on the top. I ended up bottling everything but set aside the last few bottles with the foam. Is it tiny wax particles? Should I have skimmed it off? I was going to sell most of the honey at a holiday bazaar put on by the company I work for, but I can just set these jars aside as my personal stash if the foam is not acceptable. All of the frames were capped, so I don't think it is related to moisture content.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    Itīs some wax ( or pollen if you have no queen excluder on) residues, no problem, but some people donīt like it and itīs more likely to ferment.
    Next time you can put a piece of pergament paper on top of the honey. The "foam" sticks to the paper and you can pull it off. You can try this with your bottles too.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    Thank you! I don't use an excluder, so may be some pollen in there too. I could market the honey as extra-raw with more beneficial properties! But I do worry about it fermenting. I will give the paper a try.

  5. #4
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    Missouri
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    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    When honey falls from the strainer into the bucket, it causes a certain amount of air to be mixed with the honey. As the honey settles the air rises to the top and that causes the foam on top. The foam is mostly cosmetic, but best to avoid on top of jars. It can be avoided by doing exactly what you did...pour and let it settle, then bottle from the gate at the bottom. You can remove it before bottling as described above with plastic wrap.

  6. #5
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    I also do the plastic wrap. Then I put the plastic on a plate and rub my biscuits in the honey... The foam is just a matter of presentation. The honey looks much better without it. It tastes just as good as the rest of the honey...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    I tried using the plastic on one of the jars and it worked but was kind of tricky with the narrow opening. I think I'll pour all of them back in the bucket and use the plastic before re-bottling. I tried the foam and it is in fact delicious! Thanks for the advice.

  8. #7
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    If honey for yourself - just eat the darn thing. Foam or no foam.

    If people look for "pretty looking foods" - let them have pretty looking dyed sugar syrup.
    That's what they eat anyway and don't know any better.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    GregV
    he ( she) said he (she) wanted to sell it. There is nothing wrong with a learning process and to produce a nice product.

    My first honey harvest had some bottles with foam on top. The foam fermented, which was no problem to me I love fermented honey. Mix it with garlic and hot pepper and such.
    But after selling some bottles the customersīhoney fermented too , later at their home and they did not know what is was or why it was. Best way to loose some customers or the start of bad talk.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    I read a story some where about these Russian beekeepers in some remote area were all living to an extremely old age, over 115 years of age and apparently were still active. Some scientists who studied them were inclined to believe it was from the honey they consumed. As they were poor they sold all their best honey and kept for themselves all the dregs like the foam, unclear honey and all the stuff at the bottom of their buckets. Now as I am also poor I also sell all my best honey and keep for myself and give away those last 2 jars of honey from the bottling bucket. Actually I am so tight I squeak when I walk.
    Johno

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    Quote Originally Posted by johno View Post
    I read a story some where about these Russian beekeepers in some remote area were all living to an extremely old age, over 115 years of age and apparently were still active. Some scientists who studied them were inclined to believe it was from the honey they consumed. As they were poor they sold all their best honey and kept for themselves all the dregs like the foam, unclear honey and all the stuff at the bottom of their buckets. Now as I am also poor I also sell all my best honey and keep for myself and give away those last 2 jars of honey from the bottling bucket. Actually I am so tight I squeak when I walk.
    Johno
    Why not.
    They just eat the old brood honey combs with all the perga mixed in (and drone brood mixed in too in summer).
    Of course, people scoff at me for saying this because that does not look pretty.
    Oh well, don't have to believe.

    Combs full of beebread (fermented pollen) are always the first to sell out (as cut comb), and inspire the most exuberant customer reviews. If extracted, they boost honey’s pollen count – the quality sought after by a growing number of consumers.
    Source: https://www.beeculture.com/selling-honey-20-pound/
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    GregV
    he ( she) said he (she) wanted to sell it. There is nothing wrong with a learning process and to produce a nice product.
    I just said what MB also said -
    It tastes just as good as the rest of the honey...
    Double standards again?
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #12

    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    MB? Double standards? What do you mean? I posted about selling stuff to customers and about their reaction. Personally I donīt want to lecture customers, I want them to be happy.
    Most of them donīt want honey looking like that and most of them want "white pure" capped combs without pollen.
    They only know pollen in the dried "clean" state. I know of some thinking the wonderful dark honey tastes like old shoes. They only want to taste "sweetness".

    You have to find your special circle of customers, the paleozoic orientated will love to eat all coming out of a hive, no matter how it looks , pupa encluded. I have those customers too.

    Fermentierter Honig 2.jpg fermentierter Honig 1.jpg

    This is how I use my fermented honey, if I donīt make mead or heat it to stop fermenting:

    Fermentierter Honig 4.jpg

    You can offer your fermented honey like that, I did and got nice reactions. @ johno, how about keeping a little of your bottom honey prepared like that?
    Last edited by 1102009; 09-26-2018 at 10:29 PM.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post

    This is how I use my fermented honey, if I donīt make mead or heat it to stop fermenting:

    Fermentierter Honig 4.jpg

    You can offer your fermented honey like that, I did and got nice reactions. @ johno, how about keeping a little of your bottom honey prepared like that?
    Wow! What do you put in there? Looks interesting!

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    Hey Sibylle I do not even eat yogurt which I claim is rotten milk, there is no way I am going to eat rotten honey.
    Johno

  16. #15

    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    johno

    idlemere,
    we discussed it here:
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...ermented-honey

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Novi, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    johno

    idlemere,
    we discussed it here:
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...ermented-honey
    Thank you, that was a very entertaining thread!
    I do have sage, thyme, rosemary and garlic all growing in my garden. Maybe I’ll trade the bees a capped frame for an uncapped one so I can try this out.

  18. #17
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    Catskills, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I also do the plastic wrap. Then I put the plastic on a plate and rub my biscuits in the honey... The foam is just a matter of presentation. The honey looks much better without it. It tastes just as good as the rest of the honey...
    The “foam” on the Autumn honey which was recently extracted, which is the reddish honey from the Japanese Knotweed plant, has the consistency of Marshmallow Fluff, not “foam”. Is this consistency caused by the extracting process? Deb
    Proverbs 16:24

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    woodland, wa usa
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    43

    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    Once I extract and allow the honey, wax, and bee body parts flowing from the extractor through a double metal screen into a bucket with a gate near the bottom, I let the honey settle for a few days. Everything in it (but there ain't much left after straining, and is likely mostly pollen or foam, and only visually unwanted in customer product jars) will rise to the surface, allowing for the jar-ing of pure honey from the bottom gate.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
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    1,244

    Default Re: Foam: skim it off or leave it?

    I have a few customers who want any foam left on top.

    Tom

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