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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What would you classify the attached photo as: Light, amber or dark? I was thinking dark but my wife thinks amber.
My son is going to enter the Oregon state Fair for honey. On the attached photos what would you class these two different batches? I am trying to get the fine air bubbles out (extracted on Sunday) run through a 400 micron and 100 micron filter today, which seems to have added fine air bubbles back into the honey. The honey is in a warmer at about 114 degrees, contest needs entry jars NLT Sunday. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n599/6minz/posting/honey2_zpsae079860.jpg
http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n599/6minz/posting/honey1_zpsa932b9cd.jpg
also any good suggestions for portraying good color for the photos would be nice.
 

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Don't the folks at the State Fair decide which color class what is submitted is placed in? If you submit your honey in a color class and the State Fair folks disagree, won't it get disqualified? What do the State Fair Rules and Regulations say?

Light Amber.
 

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I'm going to split the difference with my guess. Nice clarity and presentation, which tends to fool the eye a bit. I don't think it's amber. My guess is in the high side of the light amber range, maybe mid 50's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I appreciate the reply’s and I did some reading on what you guys are talking about and see if I can find a ELA scale to place behind the bottles (whatever that is). I did find some Pfund scale for honey color is that the same number you guys are quoting? From looking at these it would be difficult to fall into the dark amber scale of 114.
Contest rules state that you must enter in one of three classes, it does not state what happens if you do not actually fit in one of the classes. My concern is if I go for amber and it gets graded against something less strong and clearer we will get smoked! If I go dark and it is amber I would think it would go sweeter to the taste and if they thought differently maybe we could move down to amber? Its obviously our first time, so we are going to learn and have some fun.
 

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If you are unsure about which color your honey fits best in, do you have enough jars to enter honey in two color categories?

Color categories are used to separate honey by color, obviously. W/in the color range flavor is not supposed to used to take points off a certain color of honey, unless the flavor is off or has a burnt flavor to it.

Flavor preference is not supposed to be a determining factor in the judging of honey. Flavor preference is too personal and subjective.

Do you happen to have instructions on preparing your honey for judging? And an explanation of how the judges will be doing the judging? What does the Fair Rulebook say?
 

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There are several apps for iPhones (and all of the others) that will measure color by composite colors and darkness; you can compare these to the honey color charts. I keep a list of my honey color for each extraction, always using the same size jar and backlighting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes I did not only ask for the rules but they sent me a Power point on how they judge.
They do check for flavor, moisture content, aroma of honey, honey clarity and cleanliness, jars for cleanliness, jar lid clean, particles, bubbles and foam on surface of honey.
The second PDF from the fair says the class of honey (amber or dark) is how the samples are compared against each other.
30 points cleanliness and freedom of foam and debris
20 pts variety flavor
20 pts. Freedom from crystals
10 pts. Neatsness and condition of jars
10 pts uniformity of filling (includes labels if labelled)
The photos on the second one did not show any labels on the samples and I figure I will leave mine off since it only can provide a deduction.
I am going to enter one from one yard and my son his from a second yard. We are small time and we keep the extraction separate between yards.
 

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Interesting. Judging I am familiar w/ is done by starting w/ 100 points and deducting for flaws. And never w/labels. How would Judges be considered impartial? Thanks for providing further details. One trick about the lids is to look through all the ones you have and take one for each jar and switch them just before you turn them in. That way there won't be anything on the under side of the lid, should the jar get tipped during transport.

Best wishes.
 

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I appreciate the reply’s and I did some reading on what you guys are talking about and see if I can find a ELA scale to place behind the bottles (whatever that is). I did find some Pfund scale for honey color is that the same number you guys are quoting? From looking at these it would be difficult to fall into the dark amber scale of 114.
.
Unfortunately, it's not quite that easy. You would need a series of samples (1# honey jars in this case) at the different color breaks for comparison purposes. The thicker the sample the darker it will appear. Seems like all that should be left to the judges anyway. BTW, nice looking honey and best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry it is 100 pts, I did not list:
10 pts degree of density –DQ above 18.6%
Judges are Dr. Dewey Caron (I have read two of his books, they are a bit above me) and Trevor Riches. These guys have probably sampled more honey than I have extracted.
I am going to take Mark’s advice and we will drive down ours samples and change lids down there. There is an option to drop them off here local but I don’t know how you would have a clean lid after all that.
I am just getting Zane into it so it would be really cool if his entry does well.
I have entered both sets of three (3) 1 lb jars as amber, thanks for all your help.
 

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Watch your fill level, foam on top of the honey, and make sure you have clean lids. That's the only advise I've got about honey judging.
 

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Sorry it is 100 pts, I did not list:
10 pts degree of density –DQ above 18.6%
Judges are Dr. Dewey Caron (I have read two of his books, they are a bit above me) and Trevor Riches. These guys have probably sampled more honey than I have extracted.
How cool is that. Dewey Caron went to college w/ Jim Tew, my professor when I went college. Say Hi to him from Mark Berninghausen and see if he says, "Who?". :)

Over fill your jars and then skim them all down to the same level w/ a spoon, making sure that when a cap is put on there is no air space showing below the cap. Look your jars over and pick the best ones. No air bubbles in the glass and no waves in the casting.

When it comes down to it the Judges will have to look close to separate all of the entries, so any slight blemish is what they will look for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dewey was not at the intake for the fair but he was at the bee picnic the same day. I was returning his book to the club (maybe I should have had him sign it and stole it).
At the intake Trevor looked at the honey and just nodded at mine at amber and when it came time for my son he said ‘that one must be light’. I said I put them both in amber and asked if there was a deduction for wrong color. He said usually it is just a disqualification. Since it is a youth group they may just put him where it needs to go based on his color wheel. After all that I still got it wrong. I learned more from the guy taking in the honey then I did on all the reading though. Very helpful to my son. Now we wait.
 

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I don't know why they don't simply take in what is brought and put them in the proper class themselves? I hope for your Son's sake that is what they do. That's what is supposed to happen at our Fall Mtng here in NY.
 

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In my quest to learn everything I can about honey shows, I found a great handbook for Honey Judges and Beekeepers Exhibiting Hive Products- a workbook type book by James R. Thompson, an Ohio judge and carried only by Kelley Bee as far as I can see. He has a way to make grading glasses or color graders using light and dark corn oil...
PM me and I will send you this part- I have to find the book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
PM sent, also if you could post the official title and author I may see if Powell’s Books (used and out of print) has a copy I can purchase. I love their bookstore, it is a destination when we go downtown Portland. Their website is pretty amazing on how much they have that is not on the shelf’s.
 

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maybe they thought pint jars would be easier for folks to get?

A handbook for Honey Judges and Beekeepers Exhibiting Hive Products- by James R. Thompson. Also Plenty of information can be found here including several links to books you can check out at the used book store
http://easternapiculture.org/resources/honey-show-tips.html
and
http://easternapiculture.org/resources/honey-show-prep.html
One classic book available as a download pdf is here- You can also buy it from Wicwas press.
http://www.idabees.org/uploads/6/7/3/6/6736824/honey_shows_-_guidelines.pdf
 
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