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My dad and I have around 400 lbs. of honey this year (we're still hobbyists, right?). We bottle most of the honey into 1 and 2 lb. glass jars. We have a couple 5 gallon buckets with honey gates on them but noticed this year that both have a crack running vertically just beside the honey gate. The crack is on the exterior and no honey leaking yet. But I suspect the crack will go through to the internal wall eventually.
We're going to try mounting a honey gate in a square pail we have in hopes the flat wall on the bucket won't have the stress the round wall did in the 5 gallon bucket. The square pail is 3-4 gallons.
Any suggestions on what others are using for bottling? I see some stainless tanks for around $225 which may be the next step up from the 5 gallon plastic. I like the mobility of the 5 gallon though. Other options - in the 5 gallon range but more reliable that 5 gal. bucket with honey gate?
 

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Matt:

I made and used a homemade honey bottling tank for 3 seasons before I bought a water-jacketed Maxant tank. I don't have pictures of the actual one that I used, but I do have pictures of a prototype I built while I was waiting on the stainless parts I ordered to arrive. The ball valve in the picture is brass. You will need to use stainless steel, not brass. Stainless steel is pretty pricey. You may pay as much as $20 for it. The interior picture is an old galvanized junction box nut. Do not use galvanized anything with honey. I ordered a stainless steel nut that I used with honey. I also have an o-ring on the inside of the bucket and an o-ring on the outside of the bucket. I put a very thick layer of silicone on the outside of the bucket that you can see in the picture. The rest is PVC.

This set up worked well for three years and was working just fine the day I "retired" it for the Maxant. I bottled between 700lbs - 1200 lbs. a season with it.

Honeybucket1.jpg

honeybucket3.jpg

EDIT: Just found some pics of the bucket with the stainless parts added:

honey spout1.jpg

honey spout2.jpg
 

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Why not get a good grade polyetelyne barrel. You can install a drain on it just like the bucket. Can get them in various sizes. I think 35 to 40 gal. Is the normal. Will last a lifetime. Most of the cost 15-20.00 each. Usually co ops sell an for cattle feed bins. Wash em, and ready for your valve install.
 

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Hello Matt,

I have deep dislike for plastic and prefer stainless steel.

We got two SS cook pots (make sure, if you do, that you buy two without sandwiched bottoms!). One is 13" ID, the other is 11". I put them on a turkey cooker tripod whit flame regulator. See below.

IMG_9015.jpg
IMG_9016.jpg
IMG_9017.jpg
IMG_9018.jpg

I should have turned the images, but I guess you see what I mean. BTW, the valve is 3/4".
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the suggestions, folks.
I located (Glorybee.com) some decent looking stainless bottling tanks for the $100 - $125 range (with honey gate) and I think we'll give one of those a try. No doubt we could make our own for less $$ but dad and I have no shortage of projects already underway so we're going to redirect some of this season's honey money to a purchased tank.
 

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I am not certain how much you want to spend but Maxant makes excellent tanks. I use their 16 gallon tank with dripless valve.
 

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What Plannerwgp said. It saves a lot of headaches having a water jacket. It will pay for it self. Plus they hold their Value.
 

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MAXANT MAXANT MAXANT. Don't waste your money on the others. I have two 500 lbers. The first we bought was back in 1978 and the others in 1999. Both are still running in my operation today. They don't do just honey. I melt my capping each year (4000+ lbs) I bottle up 10,000+ lbs a year, and mix all my syrup with them. Only wish I had gone to a 1000 lbers on my second one. They will make your job must easier. Maxant has had my business for over 40 years.
 

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I bought the 300 lbs (25 gallon) Maxant last season and have not regretted it a day. But I understand the OP wanting to do something a little lighter on the wallet. Maxant sells a quality product -- but it is definitely at a quality price.
 

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I bought a 16 gallon Maxant bottling tank with the no (one) drip valve and have been kicking myself ever since, don't buy it, you will be sorry!!

Please buy a bigger one from Maxant, the little 16 gallon will run out too fast. Best product on the market! Good fit and finish, looks good and works good.
 

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I would appreciate it if you could explain in detail how you melt your cappings and how you make your syrup.
Thanks
MAXANT MAXANT MAXANT. Don't waste your money on the others. I have two 500 lbers. The first we bought was back in 1978 and the others in 1999. Both are still running in my operation today. They don't do just honey. I melt my capping each year (4000+ lbs) I bottle up 10,000+ lbs a year, and mix all my syrup with them. Only wish I had gone to a 1000 lbers on my second one. They will make your job must easier. Maxant has had my business for over 40 years.
 

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Plannerwgp For wax you pull the no drip bottling valve. And put a ball valve on. An turn it on and heat it to around 140deg. For surup put water in tank heat add sugar. Stir. Done. In fact I bought a. 16 gallon just for miscellaneous chores like this.
 
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