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This is my first year to make a pretty good surplus. I ended up with about 20 gallons of honey in 3 gallon buckets. The problem is some of my buckets seem high in moisture. They range from 17.75 to 19. I think a lot of it is clover but not 100 percent sure. I heard clover is ok if it is that high. What should I do? I have had it in the buckets for about a month and it seems ok but how can I be sure? Most of it were completely capped but some was only 3/4 capped.
 

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19 percent honey can ferment...in fact it in all likely hood will. I would eat it quick or heat it to about 140 then cool quickly. ....even better would be to dry it using a dehumidifier
 

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Put the buckets in closed room with the temp high and take the lids off. Turn the dehumidifier on to run permanently
 

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I have had mine in a small bathroom with a dehumidifier for about a month now. I bought a "remote" sensor for temperature and humidity from Radio Shack for around $35 and the room stays at about 33% humidity and 103 degrees. I can check it without actually going in the room.

My 20 gallons (in 5 gallon buckets) has moved from 21+ percent to an average of 18.5 percent. I'm going to leave it a little longer to try to get to an average of 18 percent. I stir it every day.

The frames were 95+ percent capped. I have left the rest of the honey on the hives hoping it will be dry by the time I get to it.

I've learned my lesson. Check it before you harvest it and let it dry naturally. This has been a lot of work and hassel.

Fuzzybeekeeper
 

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The rule of thumb I have heard is that honey will lose moisture below 50% RH and will gain moisture above 50% RH -- within limits of course. One of the surprising things I've found is that just because it's above 18.5% doesn't mean instant fermentation. I've seen honey at 20% not ferment for 2 months -- at least that I could tell by smell or taste.
 

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Does any one know the specific gravity of honey at 18%? I have an appropriate hydrometer, I don't have a spectrograph - yet. Thanks. Paul
 

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It was just pointed out to me, that the refractometer I bought has +/- 1% accuracy. I have 2 buckets of honey that read 19% I just placed them in a small closet with a dehumidifier. How long should it take to drop 1%?
 

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Here's another question? Where, in the bucket of honey, will you take your sample from, to determine moisture content, when you think it has dryed enuf?
 

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I note that someone here is "drying" honey in a bathroom. Does anyone honestly think that is sanitary ? Just the thought of it would make me discard the batch !
 

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Some times you do things when and where you can, not where you aught to or where you'd like to. It's a matter of what is practical.

Why do you feel that way about the bathroom? I've heard it said that the toilet is more germ free than your kitchen sink. So, would you feel the sam about the kitchen? Have you ever been in very many extracting plants? Aka honeyhouses? They can be pretty messy places. As are slaughter houses, and you probably still eat beef, pork and chicken, don't you?
 

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I have 2 buckets of honey that read 19% I just placed them in a small closet with a dehumidifier. How long should it take to drop 1%?

Will depend on how low you can get the humidity in the closet. Our dehumidifiers will shut off when the humidistat gets to 40% so am not sure how much difference that would make. Think I might get more success by cranking up the heat or maybe heat and dehumidifier at same time.
 

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The most informative treatment on moisture content in honey that I've found is here: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/aa249

I urge all of you to look at Figure 1. Equilibrium moisture content of honey. That was very illuminating for me. The average relative humidity in my area in August is 73%. Looking at Figure 1 means that honey left alone at 73% relative humidity will eventually reach about 25% moisture. In other words, my bees have to work VERY hard to dry the summer harvest. In fact, I have found that most of the time my bees will not cap the summer crop (cotton and soybean) until the high humidity has passed. Sometimes they attempt to cap honey that is too wet. I've seen it ferment and balloon out the cappings. All this doesn't mean that I must wait to harvest my summer crop, it just means that I darn well better dry the honey BEFORE I extract. Honey dries very quickly in an air conditioned space with some fans moving the air.

For those of you who are fortunate enough to live in areas where the relative humidity rarely exceed 59% have very little to worry about. The rest of us need to carefully measure moisture levels (preferably BEFORE you extract).
 
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