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Oldtimer " temperature control," If you pasteurize the honey how do you get the temperature down "quickly to 70F" in any sizable quantities, say 15 gallons in 1 hour? Tube heat exchanger? Other tricks like drain honey through a pipe packed in ice?
 

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Cloverdale - a workable non-pasteurized method I believe. I would think you would warm it to 120F for 1/2 hour to insure a crsytal free honey before cooling to RT and adding starter crystals. I am learning and playing to understand all the versions for handling honey short and long term. This is in response to some lightly fermented honey caused by crystallization. It amazed me that Fall honey shows no signs of crystallizing but my light colored spring honey does, slowly. I may also try a freezer process for fresh honey, warm it and then freeze it, but have found no clear information on it so far.

I simply put some fairly finely crystallized,natural honey in a Vitamix. Wow - what a change in texture and taste. It was really surprising. Obviously it air in it but it did not last too long.

Problems with being too successful caring and "farming" my bees. I accept donations for al lmy honey adn donate it to various environmental and humane charities but I do not want to pass on inferior stuff, even to food banks. I can always turn to Mead making with older stuff. My first impression was "it is good forever - check out the pyramids" - another misleading tale.
 

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Hi .Robert, in my experience with creaming honey it will still cream with less starter. I dont use the Dyce method, I do follow what Oldtimer does. I use fresh extracted honey, and add the starter with a whisk to blend it through, let it sit about a week and stir a minimum of 2 x a day +. Then jar it. 57* till creams. I like this method because it does a softer set, it doesn’t get hard. :)
My honey sets up slowly with a quite fine texture. On small batch experiment less than 10% starter does the trick. My sons honey crystallizes quick with large grain and unless you hit it with a fairly high percentage fine grain starter its own crystal identity wins the race.

As crystallization takes place the liquid in the grain boundaries becomes locally less sugar rich. Yeasts have a sugar tolerance limit and can locally become active. That is the reason for bringing the honey up to pasteurization temperatures for foolproof surety against fermentation in the Dyce method.

A counter flow heat exchanger can get the the temperatures elevated and quickly lowered so that very little darkening or flavor change occurs. Slow heating and returning to room temperature will likely not be a good experience.

My experience with flash heating and cooling for pasteurization was milk related but similar concerns apply with honey qualities.
 

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Help: I have been reading Dyce's testing bulletin and will read it again. I have identified one unresolved question in my mind. After pasteurizing to eliminate yeast and dissolving any crystals in the honey, it is cooled cooling to 70 -75 F (below 90F) to add and mix in 5 -10% "finely crystalized honey" by weight. Lowering the temperature to 57F +/- initiates rapid, 100% crystallization over a 3-4 day period. Crystallization takes up about 9-10% of the 17-18% free water in the honey. What is the remaining free water state? Dispersed like an inverted mix through out the matrix? In interstitial voids? Is this what provides a soft creamed honey versus a hard creamed honey? If not pasteurized does the free water at RT now accelerate fermentation? Store frozen to avoid this?

I know, more than one question.
 

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If not pasteurized does the free water at RT now accelerate fermentation?
Yes.

"Granulated honeys ferment more readily than do liquid honeys. When dextrose forms crystals in water solution, the composition of the crystals is that of dextrose hydrate, and the water of crystallization amounts to only 9.09 per cent of the material in solid form. Since the average water content of honey is about 18 percent, this means that, when crystals form, the remaining liquid phase has an increased water content, giving a favorable medium for the growth of yeasts." - Elton Dyce, 1931
 

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I think the bottom line is, if you are going to market creamed honey, you should probably pasteurize it -- unless you do an incredibly good job of educating your customers. If you are making some for your family and friends, I would not bother to pasteurize it.
 

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Good info in this thread. Just one thing that has only been touched on briefly ( by Robert Holcombe) but is important, most honey types cream best ie finest crystal size) if the creaming process happens at 57 degrees F, or close to that.

Even if a fine starter is added, but the creaming process is done at too high of a temperature, the honey can end up with a bigger crystal size than the starter honey was.

Certain honey types naturally cream at a fine grain size even at a warmer temperature, but the majority need the right temperature to get a nice, tiny grained product.
 

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I have been creaming honey for about 4 years, not pasteurizing at all and haven’t had any fermentation issues that I know of. I think it is used up pretty fast.
 

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I have been creaming honey for about 4 years, not pasteurizing at all and haven’t had any fermentation issues that I know of. I think it is used up pretty fast.
I am sure that fermentation is likely more the exception than the rule. If your honey is on the low side of moisture content all will be well. On the high side may be the risk that pasteurizing eliminates.
 

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Cloverdale " it is used up pretty fast." ----- that is very enjoyable and workable solution. But being a bit older, rapid carbohydrate consumption is not one of my better choices for food supply. One of my "hobbies" is learning to grow, forage or buy food that I can store in various modes as a long term supply; 1 year, 2 years and longer. Jams work, canning veggies works ( Bell jars), selected environments work ( potatoes), pickling I am learning about, frozen is good but not reliable. Year round foraging works; fishing, clamming and hunting if necessary. Then I thought honey was a great addition but crystallization followed by fermentation (when warmed up) showed up. I think I have a handle on it now ( Dyce Fermentation and Crystallization Bulletin, 86 pages, is very informative) except for that one issue - understanding free water. Leaving honey in a hive is also a great storage method - taking what is needed. Pasteurized and creamed honey is a good long term solution if bottled properly, hermetically or vacuum packed ( another issue). That pervasive yeast issue is a tough one when mixed with water plus carbohydrates. Then of course there is an alcohol solution.

Following the pathways of a drop of water through a hive, in time, is an astounding story. From what I have read, crystallizing honey leaves about 9% free water. Free to do what? Maybe it is not "free".

Post thought: Crystallization with free water is a low energy state. Creamed honey stores well at RT and even better as it gets colder. Warm it ( energy input) up above 90 F (into brood temperature range) and it liquifies again. Yeast becomes very active too but capped honey emulates a hermetic seal, sealing yeast and moisture out. Saving capped honey, even crystallized capped honey, maybe the best, simplest long term storage solution.
 

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I discovered fermentation of creamed honey by accident (not that anyone would do it on purpose). I squirreled away a few jars at the end of a season in the back of the pantry to keep as seed for the next season. I couple of seasons later, I found it. Creamed honey definitely ferments.

Like Frank said, a lot depends on the moisture of the honey you introduce to the seed to start the process. A lot of folks talk of 15% and 16% moisture levels. I have never seen anything that low in my area. I am always on the line of 18%. I am assuming it is due to my humid climate. Those in more arid conditions can probably get away with a lot more.

I use to never pasteurize my creamed honey because I never made it in any real quantities and always sold it directly. However, I started providing a local farmer's market with it and it has become quite popular. The market is on a major access route to the Florida beaches. I started pasteurizing last year because I did not want fermentation to become a problem for the market or its customers.

Like all things beekeeping, it is a situational thing.
 

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psm1212 " I started pasteurizing last year" .

How do you cool the honey rapidly from the pastuerizing temperature? Dyce basically says the faster the better to preserve flavor and "quality" - basically avoiding accelerated aging. I am thinking a stainless steel length of tubing in a cold water bath ( home made) - scrounging / searching.
 

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psm1212 " I started pasteurizing last year" .

How do you cool the honey rapidly from the pastuerizing temperature? Dyce basically says the faster the better to preserve flavor and "quality" - basically avoiding accelerated aging. I am thinking a stainless steel length of tubing in a cold water bath ( home made) - scrounging / searching.
Is copper honey safe for short term exposure? It has several time the heat transfer rate as stainless and easier to fabricate.
 

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crofter "Is copper honey safe for short term exposure?" I have to research that issue. Honey is acidic and I am aware of acidic issues with copper as well as velocity, erosion, issues. Most every article I run across ends up talking about acid resistant stainless steel, 316 or better because of pitting and crevice corrosion issues. Dyce used a glass lined, double walled reactor tank for the initial test efforts. I need to jury rig something equivalent for smaller quantities.

When I have a solution I will post it.

In copper tube case, my guess, it would be low levels of contamination with copper and not worrying about perforating the pipe. I think glass is also a candidate - maybe aluminum. I am collecting ideas and will evaluate. 316 St. St is the quick easy answer for now. I think temperature differential, flowing cold water, and honey velocity (stirring) and viscosity will dominate the rate of heat transfer in the end. Normally a double wall or jacket tank using street or well water would seem practical. I have a St. St. ( 300 series) tank with a built in bottom water chamber and heater built in and stirrer ( inadequate I think) but no specific cooling system. Intuition says it will not be "fast"cooling but I am going to test it with water first. Honey will take longer to cool - proper stirring is required.

I am sure the factory guys have a unique tank and stirrer designs. Dyce wanted the honey cooled to 75F in about 90 minutes or less as a definition of fast cooling with no air introduced.
 

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I am sure that jacketed or siamese stainless tubing would be the way to go for both heating and cooling, in fact this could be a continuous flow as in some milk handling scenarios. Holding time measure in seconds! The big actors can ammortise the costs, but it would be nice if we could come up with something the hobbyist or sideliner could use for, say, a hundred pounds a season to be creamed. Some that are heavy on canola forage might want to do their entire production.
 

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crofter "it would be nice if we could come up with something the hobbyist or sideliner could use"

That is my goal. I am looking to able have long term storage, say 5 years, with quality and without a power source.

One problem with using concentric cooler tubes or even just tubes is hte behavior of honey. When going from hot to cold the viscosity changes quickly and the honey thickens on the side walls where it is cold, This insulates the rest of the honey and slows up the cooling rate. It needs to be "scraped off" or removed by stirring and mixed in. This is also why honey frames on the outside of the winter cluster act like insulation. The oil industry send "pigs" down the pipelines to clean the sludge off to increase flow rates. Being able to "scrape" or remove what is called the boundary layer of thick honey while cooling is the primary issue - I think. While getting a somewhat uniform temperature in the mix, say plus or minus 5F, is another requirement.

I worked in a chemical plant while in high school - got away with being too young for 3 months before they caught-on but my birthday was in a week. I use to mix 500 gallon chemical batches in a double jacket stainless steel vat. I could apply steam, hot water and cold water through the jacket to control the temperature of the batch. Now I understand a lot more about physics and using that experience to make creamed honey gives me some small batch ideas :D
 

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crofter "it would be nice if we could come up with something the hobbyist or sideliner could use"

That is my goal. I am looking to able have long term storage, say 5 years, with quality and without a power source.

One problem with using concentric cooler tubes or even just tubes is hte behavior of honey. When going from hot to cold the viscosity changes quickly and the honey thickens on the side walls where it is cold, This insulates the rest of the honey and slows up the cooling rate. It needs to be "scraped off" or removed by stirring and mixed in. This is also why honey frames on the outside of the winter cluster act like insulation. The oil industry send "pigs" down the pipelines to clean the sludge off to increase flow rates. Being able to "scrape" or remove what is called the boundary layer of thick honey while cooling is the primary issue - I think. While getting a somewhat uniform temperature in the mix, say plus or minus 5F, is another requirement.

I worked in a chemical plant while in high school - got away with being too young for 3 months before they caught-on but my birthday was in a week. I use to mix 500 gallon chemical batches in a double jacket stainless steel vat. I could apply steam, hot water and cold water through the jacket to control the temperature of the batch. Now I understand a lot more about physics and using that experience to make creamed honey gives me some small batch ideas :D
When you get into travelling wall scrapers it immediately gets out of the realm of hobby process controls! For cooling a flat pan that sits in a larger pan of iced water might be as effective as necessary.

An old beat up but functional deep freeze can be had cheap and an inline temperature controlled power supply can be had which will give you the 70 deg F innoculating temp. or the 57 F holding temp. Those items have been part of my meditation on creaming honey. Very likely as far as it will get though.;)
 

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corfter "An old beat up but functional deep freeze " --- that has been on mind too. Even a little specific heat / pre-chill then add warm honey to the pan. But then back to seeding, mixing bottling or canning issues / handling. I have acquired two refrigerators with freezers and an old beat up freezer for my honey frames, like to scrounge and recycle. I am thinking of building my own temperature & RH controlled chamber. I have been using a Variac, cartridge heater and fan in a cheap cooler . Could one adapt a kitchen mixer sitting in a tub with ice water - 1 gallon at a time - maybe. Ruby! Where are you?
 

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crofter & psm1212 "Honey Creamer tool " & "When you get into travelling wall scrapers it immediately gets out of the realm of hobby process controls!"

What about an ice cream maker? Manual or elctric drive will work :) Check out Immergood ( AMish) as the WHite Mountain Ice Cream CO., here in RI, is apparently having problems with supply / COVID-19 - problem unknown.
 
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