Bottling question
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Wildwood, FL
    Posts
    6

    Default Bottling question

    I am a new beekeeper. I have been working with a mentor. We harvested about 7 gallons from his hives last week. After the bucket from the extractor was full, we poured some into a pitcher and then into the jars. He also tried using a honey gate on a 5 gallon bucket to fill from, but that dribbled and came out too fast to make a clean fill, so he just went back to filling a pitcher from the bucket, then filled jars from the pitcher. Seems to me there should be an easier way to fill honey jars. I saw someone on YouTube put a spigot on a bucket, but it was way too small an opening and took about 45 seconds to fill a pint jar. I looked for larger spigots. I found some 55 gallon drum faucets, but those are 2" opening. How do you bottle your honey?

    Thank you,
    Steve in Central Florida

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Bottling question

    All of the bee supply house carry honey gates. That are used with a 5 gallon bucket. Yes they can get messy.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sedgwick Co. KS
    Posts
    1,087

    Default Re: Bottling question

    I use the honey gate on the bucket.....takes a bit to get used to it, but works very well.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    6,071

    Default Re: Bottling question

    I've converted a few buckets to accept a honey gate. They work pretty well. Helps if the honey is on the warmer side so it flows easily and you can just crack the gate to get it started.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    sparta, tn
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Bottling question

    The honey gate works great, it just takes practice

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Covington County, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,417

    Default Re: Bottling question

    I built this. Stainless steel valve and nut. Silicone on exterior of bucket. I have bottled about 1000+ pounds a year for 2 years with it and really happy with it. Warm honey bottles much faster than cold.

    honey spout1.jpg
    honey spout2.jpg

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,129

    Default Re: Bottling question

    The honey gate takes a bit of finesse. You have to open it just enough to get a moderate flow and then close it as the bottle fills. There may be a drip on the outside of the filled bottle/jar, but a wet rag will clean it up quickly and have you ready to cap. The spigot may have been made for wine. Since that is what I had at first, I tried it. The flow is very slow and not worth it.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Murphy, TX
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: Bottling question

    I use a lead-free brass ball valve from Lowe's on a 5 gallon bucket. Much better than honey gate. Zero spill this year with this setup vs honey gate that caused a lot of mess last year.

    20190624_135059.jpg

    PS: I used some PVC couplings and silicone O-ring to secure the valve to the bucket.
    Last edited by pjigar; 06-25-2019 at 11:36 AM.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    556

    Default Re: Bottling question

    Should always allow recently extracted honey to settle.
    Any air bubbles created by extraction will rise to the top and you can skim off.Otherwise bubbles will collect on the neck of the jar and detract from the appearance.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Wildwood, FL
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Bottling question

    Quote Originally Posted by pjigar View Post
    I use a lead-free brass ball valve from Lowe's on a 5 gallon bucket. Much better than honey gate. Zero spill this year with this setup vs honey gate caused lot of mess lass year.

    20190624_135059.jpg

    PS: I used some PVC couplings and silicone O-ring to secure the valve to the bucket.
    Looks good, what size is the coupling?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Murphy, TX
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: Bottling question

    Quote Originally Posted by srockey View Post
    Looks good, what size is the coupling?
    I bought following valve and walked over to the plumbing isle and found a PVC male-to-male coupling that would fit the thread in the brass valve. I cut off one side of male thread and kept the hex part. Then I cut off some threads off the other side of the coupling to make sure the coupling will fit completely to the valve female end. Also I had to create a recess groove in the coupling to seat the O-ring (1-1/8" ID X 1-3/8" OD).

    Brass 1-1/2-in FNPT x 1-1/2-in FNPT Ball Valve
    Item #: 369203|Model #: G100112

    20190625_122827.jpg
    20190625_122847.jpg

    PS: Much easier to create a recess groove using the parting blade if you have access to a lathe. Otherwise you can chuck the coupling in the drill and touch the hacksaw blade carefully (two people job to keep things secure or use a vise).
    Last edited by pjigar; 06-25-2019 at 11:45 AM.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    806

    Default Re: Bottling question

    One of my best investments was a Maxant 16 gallon bottling tank. Their valve is outstanding and only has one drip after filling a bottle. The standard cheap honey gate drips quite a bit after filling a bottle. The other fittings from the big box stores hold too much residual honey and also drip after filling. IMHO

  14. #13

    Default Re: Bottling question

    After using the honey gate, making my own jacketed bottling tank. An then buying a Maxant tank. They are the only way to go.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Covington County, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,417

    Default Re: Bottling question

    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    One of my best investments was a Maxant 16 gallon bottling tank. Their valve is outstanding and only has one drip after filling a bottle. The standard cheap honey gate drips quite a bit after filling a bottle. The other fittings from the big box stores hold too much residual honey and also drip after filling. IMHO
    My next purchase is either the Maxant 16 the Maxant 25 or the MUTT. I will have the Maxant bottling tank before the 2020 season. Eric, any regrets with not buying the 25 gallon instead of the 16?

    What size did you purchase smoke? Would you buy a different size if doing it over?

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    806

    Default Re: Bottling question

    Do I regret not getting the 25 gallon tank? Yes and no. I hate hefting 5 gallon buckets to fill the tank so a bigger tank would be nicer. The other thing is that I do not have a honey room so I am storing the tank in my living room. I have the tank on wheels so I can easily move it around. When filled, it is hard to move the 16 gallon. I imagine the 25 gallon tank would be much too heavy to wheel around so I am glad I have the 16 in that aspect.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Covington County, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,417

    Default Re: Bottling question

    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    Do I regret not getting the 25 gallon tank? Yes and no. I hate hefting 5 gallon buckets to fill the tank so a bigger tank would be nicer. The other thing is that I do not have a honey room so I am storing the tank in my living room. I have the tank on wheels so I can easily move it around. When filled, it is hard to move the 16 gallon. I imagine the 25 gallon tank would be much too heavy to wheel around so I am glad I have the 16 in that aspect.
    Thanks. That helps. I do not have a dedicated honey house either, so I will need to have portability as well.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sedgwick Co. KS
    Posts
    1,087

    Default Re: Bottling question

    The brass ball valve looks nice, but honey will still drip. Ya just can't save every drop.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    frederick, md
    Posts
    806

    Default Re: Bottling question

    I hang a funnel off the honey gate, just sit there and swap bottles as they fill. Usually no drips, no mess, unless my mind wanders and one overfills.
    Zone 6b: 18 hives in Maryland, Carniolan, Italian mix mutts: Still learning - started bees spring of 2014.

  20. #19

    Default Re: Bottling question

    No one has mentioned the need to loosen the lid on a sealed honey bucket to ensure there is not a vacuum build up and a sudden release of honey.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sedgwick Co. KS
    Posts
    1,087

    Default Re: Bottling question

    Quote Originally Posted by srmid View Post
    No one has mentioned the need to loosen the lid on a sealed honey bucket to ensure there is not a vacuum build up and a sudden release of honey.
    Honey doesn't usually do anything suddenly.

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