Dirty Sugar
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Thread: Dirty Sugar

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Lumpkin County, GA
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    Default Dirty Sugar

    I have a problem that I hope someone can suggest something.
    I found someone who was selling barrels of sugar relatively cheap so I bought 2 barrels. It was dropped sugar which was why it was cheaper. I started making syrup from one of the barrels and the syrup is absolutely black. When you look at the sugar, it looks a bit off white but nowhere near the black color of the prepared syrup. After mixing the syrup, the container has small rocks and sand that settle to the bottom. I have been pouring the syrup through coffee filters to try and clean it because it clogs the Boardman feeders I use on my nucs. But it takes hours to filter 2 gallons.
    Does anyone have any suggestions to try clean this syrup? The syrup is fine for open feeding but using in Boardman feeders is a problem.
    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    How about not filtering the syrup at all, just let it settle for a while, then siphon it from the original container into a second container. Make sure that the 'suction end' of the siphon hose is not on the bottom of the first container.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #3
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    Jan 2013
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    I let it settle overnight and it was still very turbid. I was using a ladle to scoop the syrup and pour it through the coffee filter. I had to change the coffee filter 5 times for just 2 gallons. The dirt is very, very fine and stays suspended in solution for quite a while. I was wondering if I could build a centrifuge to spin it down.

  5. #4
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    May 2009
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    Grand Rapids MI USA
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    I picked up 4 drums of the stuff a couple years ago, most definitely headaches in a barrel lol.
    Rod

  6. #5
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    Feed it in baggies on the top bars. It is a better way to go than boardmans anyway.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Feed it in baggies on the top bars. It is a better way to go than boardmans anyway.
    That is a good idea. Thanks!

  8. #7
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    Dec 2014
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    Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    Do you know Where it was dropped? Did the sugar look dirty or just turned dark when mixed with water?
    Personally unless I was eating it myself I would be careful to feed to anything else.
    I only say that because there should be No reason why it would still be dark like that after sitting.
    Could it have a chemical on it that was on the floor?
    -Linda

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Dayton, TN
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger19687 View Post
    Do you know Where it was dropped? Did the sugar look dirty or just turned dark when mixed with water?
    Personally unless I was eating it myself I would be careful to feed to anything else.
    I only say that because there should be No reason why it would still be dark like that after sitting.
    Could it have a chemical on it that was on the floor?
    This ^^^. If it is just dirt (earth) who cares, other than it clogging your feeders. The bees will sort it out. If you can determine it's not chemicals causing the discolor and only something inert then I would forge ahead with a method like the baggie feeders or whatever you can devise.
    Andy

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    It looks like ordinary sandy dirt except that it is extremely fine. There are also rocks in the sugar.
    I make it in 2 gallon batches. I mix in the water and strain through a t-shirt. Then if the syrup is going into hive feeders, I strain through coffee filters one more time to remove as much as possible. Where I am open feeding, I only strain into the t-shirt.
    Lesson learned. Just because it is cheaper, doesn't make it a good deal.

  11. #10
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    Dec 2014
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    Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    Did you try it yourself? If it was just dirt and you cut it to 1 sugar to 2 water, then it should 'settle out'.
    I am assuming that you are 2 sugar to 1 water so that may be why it isn't settling.
    But like I said I would more be worried about chemical that got soaked into the sugar (you said it was off color).

    I would try it and see how it tastes. You eat a pound of dirt in your life so it really isn't all that bad
    -Linda

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger19687 View Post
    But like I said I would more be worried about chemical that got soaked into the sugar (you said it was off color).

    I would try it and see how it tastes.
    yah, tasting is probably a great way to check for chemicals, especially deadly ones.....

  13. #12
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    Dec 2014
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    yah, tasting is probably a great way to check for chemicals, especially deadly ones.....
    hahaha Ya, I get what you are saying, doubt he is going to go get it tested and spend $$ when he saved so much on cheap sugar.
    I am suggesting that he take a small Lick. It won't kill him but he will know that it is 'Off' and then hopefully won't feed the Bees and kill all of them.
    -Linda

  14. #13
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    Mar 2015
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    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    Do know what product was being made with this sugar or from where it was swept off the floor? That might give you a clue as to what contaminates it could could contain.

    When I mix one tsp. of bleach into a gallon of our well water it turns a deep bright golden color.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    Okay, you forced me to taste it..... yum...... sugary....
    I had already fed some to the bees which is when i found out it was plugging the feeders. No ill effects.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    Do know what product was being made with this sugar or from where it was swept off the floor? That might give you a clue as to what contaminates it could could contain.

    When I mix one tsp. of bleach into a gallon of our well water it turns a deep bright golden color.

    Alex
    I don't know exactly where it was used but was purchased in TN so it was probably liquor related.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    Get a kid's plastic swimming pool (cheap) and open feed it with straw over the top.

  18. #17
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    Sep 2018
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    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    When I filter water for my sprayer, from the rain barrel, I pour it with buckets thru a heavy bath towel held to the top of a 50 gallon plastic barrel with Bungee straps. I no longer have the nozzle plug up. you could try to make 2 to 1 and pour it thru a "filter" of some sort, top of the barrel is like 16 inch so it has more surface area that your coffee filter. make a dip/pocket pre bungee to hold a bit more it goes faster.
    GG

  19. #18
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    Dec 2019
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    SE Michigan USDA 6a (Macomb Co.)
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    When I filter water for my sprayer, from the rain barrel, I pour it with buckets thru a heavy bath towel held to the top of a 50 gallon plastic barrel with Bungee straps. I no longer have the nozzle plug up. you could try to make 2 to 1 and pour it thru a "filter" of some sort, top of the barrel is like 16 inch so it has more surface area that your coffee filter. make a dip/pocket pre bungee to hold a bit more it goes faster.
    GG
    If you have the want/need for smaller batches, I use a small "cone" sieve strainer, with a cheap "panty hose" nylon pulled over the top. Works like a charm to get out nearly all particles, they come in a pack of like 10 pair for a low cost, and the syrup goes through much faster than a coffee filter. When I tried coffee filters, I essentially got 0 flow regardless of time spent.
    USDA 6a, 8 frame equipment

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim KS View Post
    Get a kid's plastic swimming pool (cheap) and open feed it with straw over the top.
    Got my vote. Everything else mentioned too time consuming IMO.
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  21. #20
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    Jul 2012
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    lafargeville ny usa
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    Default Re: Dirty Sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by snl View Post
    Got my vote. Everything else mentioned too time consuming IMO.
    if it has brown or dark sugar mixed in, use it up when it will not be used for winter stores. i would not buy this stuff again.

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