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I want to put some honey away in 5 gallon food safe plastic pails. Has anyone stored honey this way? Do you put anything on top of the honey (i.e. sheet of Saran Wrap perhaps) before sealing the pail? How far up should I fill each pail? Any other advice? I really appreciate any help.Thanks in advance.
 

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I use 5 gallon pails. No saran wrap; however, I do use good quality food grade #2 pails. These will not keep honey forever, are not as good as glass jars, but they will keep it for what should be long enough. The honey will keep longer if stored in a cool dry place.
 

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I use good lids with rubber gasket seals that must be put on with light tapping from a mallet. I use 90 mil buckets which can be difficult to find.
 

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Because I sell honey in 5 gallon buckets I usually have a ton or two of it stored in buckets in the shed. Keeps just fine in buckets for probably years although I don't normally have it for much over a year, from one extraction season to the next. Just make sure the plastic is food grade and the lid is fully sealed. Room temperature is fine but cooler the better. It will granulate of course, most people want it liquid so before sale it goes in the warmer for a few days.
 

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As said above, just be sure to use a good bucket with good seal. I had found some used food grade buckets that had cherries in them, the lids were sketchy at best and if bumped just a little they would pop open.
There are a couple of ways to liquefy granulated honey, heater band, water bath, inside the car sitting in the sun, etc.
 

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I want to add just make sure you don't store these where sunlight can hit them. 5 gallon buckets are wonderful...until the sun hits them, then they start to dissolve so fast. Its possible you already knew this but I don't think everyone knows what who reads these threads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone. I will do as suggested & tap down the sealed lid. I like the idea of 1 gal food safe pails & will pick some up. 5+ gallons of honey seems to be getting a lot heavier since I turned 67, I'm going to go with the 1 gallon size. Thanks again.
 

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Thanks everyone. I will do as suggested & tap down the sealed lid. I like the idea of 1 gal food safe pails & will pick some up. 5+ gallons of honey seems to be getting a lot heavier since I turned 67, I'm going to go with the 1 gallon size. Thanks again.
Good choice on 1 gal buckets. If you have the room to store it, definitely the way to go.
 

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I want to put some honey away in 5 gallon food safe plastic pails. Has anyone stored honey this way? Do you put anything on top of the honey (i.e. sheet of Saran Wrap perhaps) before sealing the pail? How far up should I fill each pail? Any other advice? I really appreciate any help.Thanks in advance.
I had one last year, almost full, ran out of jars.
used a bucket heater on it this spring, it was crystalized but fine.
covered in Saran wrap and a tied string.

GG
 

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If you use a band heater on a plastic bucket, wrap some aluminum flashing around the bucket first, then put the band heater around the flashing. Plastic is not a good conductor of heat, the flashing will move the heat up the side of the bucket a little more.

I hope that is more clear than mud.
 

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If you use a band heater on a plastic bucket, wrap some aluminum flashing around the bucket first, then put the band heater around the flashing. Plastic is not a good conductor of heat, the flashing will move the heat up the side of the bucket a little more.

I hope that is more clear than mud.
Sorry not following the science...
Not trying to be a smatry pants...
If the heat goes thru the pail then then honey melts.
with foil the heat goes thru the foil , then the pail, then the honey melts.
so you have added one more thing to have the heat go "THRU" , there is never a 100% conductivity of dissimilar materials for heat transfer, so band to bucket to honey has less loss than band to foil to bucket to honey.

As well any flash sticking out from the band heater has transfer outward, IE band to flash to air, so this surface would exacerbate the heat loss.

we could dredge up a formula, and calculate the loss, but in my ever to be humble opinion there is a loss adding the foil.

So I take the other side of the bet, it works worse.

;)

GG
 

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One of the big drawbacks of band heaters is that they are bands. Thin metallic strips that wrap around a bucket. They somewhat suck to be honest. When your honey has crystallized into a solid plug in a bucket, the band is not terribly good at liquifying the whole bucket. If you leave it in the middle, the top and bottom are much slower to decrystallize than the middle. So generally, you have to overheat honey in the middle of the bucket, possibly discoloring it, in order to get enough heat for a long enough duration to liquify the entire bucket.

Now your point is well taken as to how well the flashing would actually distribute the heat across the bucket. Most of your heat will likely be heavily concentrated at the band. But I find it an interesting idea/concept to attempt to radiate the heat across the surface of the bucket. While I have never owned one, there are now bucket “blankets” that wrap around the majority of the bucket and heat almost the entirety of the bucket. A friend that owns one says that it still never quite liquifies the bottom, but works much better than the band heater.

I purchased a 25 gallon water-jacketed bottling tank a few years ago, so I am out of that game.
 

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I am out of that game also, I sit mine in a clarifying tank full of water.

When I did use a band heater (with flashing LOL) I would put the band as low as possible and then wrap a regular blanket around the whole bucket to hold the heat in. Just overnight it would melt the bottom half and the next day I would stir it all up and let it sit for another day or so.
Not sure where I got the idea of the flashing, I could have swore it was on the instructions of the band heater. Just read over them an the EXPO website and could not find it. Read it somewhere, I'm not that smart to think of a thing like that on my own!! :unsure:
 

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Yeah, looks like it's not going work in my case since I left it overnight and it didn't help. As for why... he bought it? I mean, longer story is that the honey was bought by a group of friends (and me) to make mead for the group, but the brewing kept getting put off and left for later until I said "screw you guys, I'm doing it so it gets done," leading to this point in time where I stand over a bucket of crystallized honey with an ice pick having an internal debate over sanitization (not serious)
 

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If you only need 1 bucket decrystalized for mead, I think this group can get you there. We are all beekeepers, so we are yammering on about repeatable methods and strategies. But for God’s sake, put away the ice pick.
You need to maintain the bucket at about 120 F for a few days. Putting it in a car parked in the sun will help for certain (assuming you are still warm). Bathtubs filled with very hot water will help as well. Others her are more creative than me and can help with suggestions. Know anyone with a green house?
 

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put a hand full of butter knives in the bottom of a canner (one for canning food) set the bucket in add water set the burner to low, simmer not boil. may take all day.

rather an icepick a stout butcher knife can cut out chunks, stay away from the edge or you will pierce the bucket.

good luck with the mead.

GG
 

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I used an old electric blanket one year. (One side of it was defunct) Use a large cardboard box to surround the blanket wrapped 5 gal. Pail.
 

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Well... there is a small detail to know; when you look at bucket pricing the pricing of less than 5 gallon buckets doesn't really lower much as you go down. I understand someone wanting lighter buckets. the 5 gallon ones are even heavy for younger guys. But the prices of 1 gallon, 2 gallon, and 3 gallon containers are about the same as a 5 gallon lid and pail price.

Good luck.
 
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