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I extracted honey from three different hives, below are some samples. I have two questions:

IMG_3992.jpg

1. The water % for each jar (based on refractometer readings) left to right are 18.3%, 16% and 14.8%. Are these % ok to sell? I know anything over 17% can ferment but didn't know how long that would take.

2. Our main flow is usually, tulip poplar, blackberry, and sumac. Based on that, any idea what nectar source made each jar? (blind speculation is fine, I'm not labeling any of them other than Raw Unpasteurized Honey)
 

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I extracted honey from three different hives, below are some samples. I have two questions:

View attachment 12349

1. The water % for each jar (based on refractometer readings) left to right are 18.3%, 16% and 14.8%. Are these % ok to sell? I know anything over 17% can ferment but didn't know how long that would take.

2. Our main flow is usually, tulip poplar, blackberry, and sumac. Based on that, any idea what nectar source made each jar? (blind speculation is fine, I'm not labeling any of them other than Raw Unpasteurized Honey)
I would say that you're fine....

If you really want to be baffled, read the definition of honey in our state of Washington: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.28.310
 

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If your refractometer is properly calibrated and accurate all will store indefinitely. Legal is under 18.6% water I believe. Three varieties is a good sales tool. Let people taste the differences and they can prove to themselves how discerning they are. Especially right after they loudly exclaim that honey all tastes the same.
 

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Vance is correct. According to USDA standards, here:
http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3011895

US Grade A honey can have up to 18.6% moisture.
US Grade B honey can have up to 18.6% moisture.
US Grade C honey can have up to 20.0% moisture.
US Grade Substandard can exceed 20.0% moisture

Of course, there are other factors besides moisture that affect honey grades. See the link.
 

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The magic 18.6%.

You read 81.4 % on the Brix-Scale of a sugar refractometer.
Then you need to do math: 100% - 81.4%.
You get 18.6%.

Are you aware that it is not 18.6% on the 'water-in-honey-scale'?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I calibrated the refractometer with Extra Virgin Olive oil so it read 71.5 on the Brixx scale. Here is the view through the refractometer for the 18.3% honey....did I read it right?

IMG_4156.jpg
 

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I calibrated the refractometer with Extra Virgin Olive oil so it read 71.5 on the Brixx scale. Here is the view through the refractometer for the 18.3% honey....did I read it right?

View attachment 12354
Can one calibrate any honey refractometer with EVOO?
 

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Can one calibrate any honey refractometer with EVOO?
I was having trouble calibrating mine with distilled water, and contacted the manufacturer and told them it wasn't working, and I was given the same directions to do it with EVOO too....
 

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I was having trouble calibrating mine with distilled water, and contacted the manufacturer and told them it wasn't working, and I was given the same directions to do it with EVOO too....
You can't calibrate a honey refractometer with distilled water because 0%/100% would be off the scale!

There are refractometers with scales down to 0%/100%, but then they won't have the ~20%/80% range that we need for honey.

It took me awhile to figure this out, too :D
 
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