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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have several buckets with about 4 gallons of honey per bucket that I had to extract early due to health issues. I have placed them in a small room with no cover and a dehumidifier. I periodically stir, but I am unable to get them below 19.1 %, after several days. I will be out due to surgery and wonder if they will ferment or if anyone has any suggestions. Never had honey that did not reduce in several days. Currently I placed covers on the buckets as I have no time left to deal with them. I ususally try for below 18.6 and often it is in therange of 18.0 to 18.5.
Thanks
 

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If you can contrive a tent from cheap poly weave tarps or poly film to create a small room for the dehumidifyer and pails it will increase temperature and drop the humidity of the exchange air. If you have more pails to partially fill you will greatly increase surface area and that will help. Honey that has been pasteurized will tolerate higher than 19 % moisture but I dont know what the cut off level is for raw honey.
 

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I have never tried reducing the moisture after extracting. I did it once when the honey was still in the supers by leaving them stacked in the garage with a fan going. It will probably ferment if it's over 18%. Before it goes bad you could always blend it with some "good" honey and make mead?
 

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I have found that honey in the 19% range will take quite a while to ferment, on the order of months. In a jar on a shelf in my basement. ;) Keep trying to dehydrate - smaller space? It can wait for a few months. If that seems iffy, put in freezer for that time? it should be fine tho.

keep in mind that as long as the stuff wasn't shaking out of the cells, then the bees cure it as they are putting it into the cells - so they've added all the magic that turns nectar into honey already, even if not capped. So, it is still good honey. But it would make great mead... ;)
 

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When I need to reduce the moisture level, I use both a dehumidifier and fan. Also, I have less than 2 gallons of honey per bucket.
 

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Try the dehumidifier in your shower stall or bathtub. I added a small fan to blow over the buckets and it reduced it from 18.5 to 17% in 2-3 days. J
 

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This is my second attempt so it will be much less detailed; always have trouble with this site's forums.

Honey in bucket with gate valve on counter or table. Collection bucket on floor. Prop a plate or cookie sheet against cabinet to drain into bucket on floor. Crack the gate valve to drizzle honey onto plate / cookie sheet and flow into collection bucket. Fan is good but dehumidifier even better. This creates surface area for evaporation which you don't get sitting in bucket.

This is a coworkers approach which has worked very well and quickly for him; I am pulling honey for first time and solicited advice. Glad to answer questions.

Good luck,

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Recovering fro serious surgery so i cant lift anything.Since I haveseveral buckets I wil use my dehumidifier which did do thatmuc and Iwill add theuse of a fan.
Will report back on the results.
 

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......I am unable to get them below 19.1 %, after several days..........I ususally try for below 18.6 and often it is in therange of 18.0 to 18.5.
Thanks
I would not worry about it.
Especially after all the honest effort already done.

Here is a fact - the federal standard in Russian Federation defines the allowable moisture content up to 21% (depending on the honey type).
This is really a range anywhere from 15% to 21% (depending on the honey being inspected and a subject to annual variation too), NOT a single, hard and fast number.
A single number is a very odd approach to the honey moisture problem and not always achievable anyway - especially granted that the beekeeping is a very much local phenomenon and is different year to a year.

Source (if care to translate):
http://docs.cntd.ru/document/1200026588
 

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I have found that honey in the 19% range will take quite a while to ferment, on the order of months. In a jar on a shelf in my basement. ;) Keep trying to dehydrate - smaller space? It can wait for a few months. If that seems iffy, put in freezer for that time? it should be fine tho.

keep in mind that as long as the stuff wasn't shaking out of the cells, then the bees cure it as they are putting it into the cells - so they've added all the magic that turns nectar into honey already, even if not capped. So, it is still good honey. But it would make great mead... ;)
Agreed, Trish!
Too much artificial headaches to follow...
Especially if you don't sell, who then cares.
Freeze and pull as needed if so concerned.

OK, granted IF you do sell, then the moisture is the part of the business problem.
 

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Here is an older BS thread on the subject. https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?319408-18-25-Moisture-Content-Acceptable

There are links to the UA dept. agriculture regulations and much discussion about the variables that make make blanket statements highly suspect especially if the figure is on the high side. Honey varieties prone to crystallizing can start to separate in a fashion creating a sugar weak portion that can ferment. Other varieties depending on local yeast types can tolerate a bit higher.

The regulation max moisture content should be adequate safe for any common honey variety.
 

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I've had to do this several times to our summer honey, which is made when the outside humidity is very high. Here's what I've had luck with:

  1. Place a bucket warming belt on the pail of honey and warm up the honey.
  2. Put a fan blowing directly on top of the open pail.

The fan will keep the honey from getting too hot. The belt not only heats the honey, but provides convection circulation within the pail, which really improves the moisture removal.

This needs to be done in a room that has low humidity air, or a dehumidifier in the room. Relative humidity less than 50% seems to work okay - lower is better! I have 4 inch box fans that can securely hang on the edge of a pail.

You should see a measurable difference in 1 day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Finally I used a fan and a dehumidifier and reduced one 2 gallon bucket from 19.1% to 18.4%..the other 4 gallon bucket was 19.1% and is at 18.7%...... will let it run for another day. This has bee a very unusual year with very low yield and high humidity.
 

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Finally I used a fan and a dehumidifier and reduced one 2 gallon bucket from 19.1% to 18.4%..the other 4 gallon bucket was 19.1% and is at 18.7%...... will let it run for another day. This has bee a very unusual year with very low yield and high humidity.
Nice to see the numbers going in the right direction; did you stir thoroughly before taking the samples to test?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Still struggling with a bucket of honey .After mixing it is 18.9-19.0. If I wait a few minutes it goes down to 18.8. I am using a dehumidifier and a fan and stir several times a day. About 3-4 pounds in a 5 gallon bucket.
 

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As I've already suggested - if you're able to - put that honey in a freezer. What else is a dehumidifier except a freezer unit which cycles ? (the best ones cycle - the cheaper and less efficient ones stay on all the time)
Freezer cabinets have a small volume, so their dessication efficiency is maximised. You will get some snow/ice build-up in the cabinet, but removing that afterwards is a very small price to pay.
LJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I dont have a freezer. So I may try and reduce the amount of honey and use 2 buckets with smaller amounts. Thnaks
As I've already suggested - if you're able to - put that honey in a freezer. What else is a dehumidifier except a freezer unit which cycles ? (the best ones cycle - the cheaper and less efficient ones stay on all the time)
Freezer cabinets have a small volume, so their dessication efficiency is maximised. You will get some snow/ice build-up in the cabinet, but removing that afterwards is a very small price to pay.
LJ
 
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