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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a bountiful honey harvest last year. More than I could handle at a given time. I decided I'd extract into 5 gallon buckets and strain it later. Well, later came much later. By the time I wanted to bottle it, it was all crystallized. Except now it's crystallized with cappings.

I tried to double boil the buckets in a large Turkey frying pot and propane burner. It liquified it, but im concerned I also melted the wax. I have a bucket cooling hoping the wax separates from the honey and floats to the top. I mixed it all while it was heating with a drill and mixer.

The honey got to 107f when I pulled it off the burner. Is this hot enough to get the wax to float back up? My plan is to let it drip through a paint strainer bag to get the honey cleaned up.

I looked online for a few different options on reliquifying honey in buckets or in bulk. I have about a dozen buckets like this. Not sure how to proceed. Hoping I didn't screw myself doing any of this.

I was thinking about an immersion style heater initially, then saw the bee blanket for buckets. Then I seen bottling tanks.

What would my best option be here? Thanks
 

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Best option is a water-jacketed bottling tank. Unfortunately, that is also your most expensive option.

I built this honey heater that I can put 5 gallon buckets in and it works very well. I think I have about $50 - $75 in it. http://www.michiganbees.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Bucket-Heater_20100726.pdf

I added an inkbird thermostat to regulate and can keep the temp constant within about 3 or 4 degrees. Easy build and a good solution to your problem.
 

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Heavy stirring it while both wax and honey are molten can be a problem. I read somewhere that it can create what is called an emulsion that resists the normal tendency to separate. My son did something similar years ago with one pail and wound up feeding it to his pigs. He said pigs really liked it!
 

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Hex,

Have you tried either of these?

https://www.mannlakeltd.com/shop-all-categories/extraction-bottling/honey-bottling/heaters/blanket-heater

https://www.mannlakeltd.com/shop-all-categories/extraction-bottling/honey-bottling/heaters/round-pail-heater-120-volt-100-watts

I own and have used both. The 5 gallon band heater worked the best but it gets the honey slightly warmer. The blanket heater was extremely slow and if it is used in a cool room may not get the honey warm enough. I had to wrap other insulation around it to get it to reach it's full advertised temperature. The first blanket heater I sent back because it did not get warm enough no matter what I did. The blanket heater may take several days where as the 5 gallon band heater was able to totally decrystallize a 100% solidified 5 gallon bucket of honey in about 3 days. The blanket heater I would not recommend for something like this. Once the decrystallized honey is allowed to cool, the wax should solidify on top of the honey.
 

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....By the time I wanted to bottle it, it was all crystallized. Except now it's crystallized with cappings.
..........
What would my best option be here? Thanks
Keep in mind - the crystallized honey is great winter feed (works exactly the same as dry sugar - only better).
This thick honey usage is commonly ignored/overlooked; unsure why.
In fact, the thicker the honey, the better winter feed it is - because it hold its shape better (you make patties out of it and apply as if MC).
Not thick enough honey requires a thin plastic bag to hold it together.

I would drop all the busy work plans and the headaches.
Just keep that honey at a standby for winter feeding.
Better yet - the crystallized honey keeps indefinitely.
Bonus - all the cappings will stay behind clean and dry, after the bees ate the honey away.
 

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An electric heating pad set on low is about 110F surface temperature; set on medium, it is 135F surface temperature. With honey liquefaction occurring at 95F to 104F, low setting generally works for a couple of bottles at a time (especially if done inside a box); place honey containers accordingly (not in direct contact - separated by sticks, for instance) for effective liquefaction. Keep in mind, every manufacturer may have different settings; the numbers I cited paraphrase the manufacturer’s published information. Check often, and stir/shake bottle as appropriate based on the extent of crystallization.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, the initial batch in question that I reliquified may not work for consumption. I placed it in front of my wood stove and it's straining through. But it looks like mud and the stuff that strained through has a wax taste. I think I ruined this bucket...

I'm going to have to utilize a different method than initially. Amazon has the bee blanket pro where it has a thermostat. Ive been trying to work in two buckets for a customer that's been waiting quite some time for them. Sure is disappointing. I dunno if even if someone had centrifuge could separate the wax and honey.
 

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Well, the initial batch in question that I reliquified may not work for consumption. I placed it in front of my wood stove and it's straining through. But it looks like mud and the stuff that strained through has a wax taste. I think I ruined this bucket...

I'm going to have to utilize a different method than initially. Amazon has the bee blanket pro where it has a thermostat. Ive been trying to work in two buckets for a customer that's been waiting quite some time for them. Sure is disappointing. I dunno if even if someone had centrifuge could separate the wax and honey.
That is what my son found. Some true emulsions are hard to break. Mayonnaise for instance or the modern homogenized milk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Another guy im talking to said to try and heat it to 140 and maintain it at that temp for a couple days the wax is supposed to float up. Crossing my fingers.
 

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just make a small honey warmer, mine is a closet with a heater vent, and I have the thermostat set to 90F.
placing a 5gallon bucket of crystallized honey into the closet take 3-4 days to melt the crystals, or let the honey st in the warmer for a couple of weeks.
If you let it set for a week or 2 in the honey warmer, this will allow the wax and more to float to the top so it can be removed.
me, I never heat honey above 100F
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I did as a friend recommended. Got the warming cabinet up to 140f and had it sit for a few days. 90 percent of it came out of suspension and floated to the top.

There is still a slight wax taste. Couldn't believe how much wax came out. The next thing im going to do is warm it to 110f and then strain it. I let it cool completely so the wax would harden back up. I'm hoping warming the honey enough and keeping the wax solid, it'll separate out the rest of the way.

It may not be raw anymore, but I at least got to salvage it. If worse comes to worse, it'll be my baking honey.
 
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