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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just cut out twenty shallow frames of honeycomb for crush and strain. It's crushed and in a five-gallon bucket with holes drilled in the bottom set over a 600-micron strainer in a bucket with a honey gate. It's been sitting there for over 24 hours, and I have only two inches of strained honey in the lower bucket.

I'm worried that it's too cold. I put it outside in the sun all day with a dark-colored towel around it to gather some heat, but it's only 65 outside, and the rest of the week will be cool and rainy. The only thing I can think of to hasten the process is to scoop out a gallon of honey and wax at a time and heat it on the stove until it is thin, then send it through the strainer.

Any suggestions? Does this mean my honey (mostly clover and alfalfa) is already on its way to crystallizing?
 

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Look up honey heater, used freezer with a couple of 100 watt lights under to false floor with a 100-105 degree thermostat. Can be built from scrap parts of a furnace. Next on my to build list.....
 

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Could the pails be set in a hot water, even the bathtub, or would that be too hot ?
They have holes in them.

Maybe next time you will just cut the combs and use them that way instead of crushing them. You probably haven't crushed them enuf.

Why don't you reach down in the bucket and grab a handfull of comb and squeeze it over the strainer and then throw the handcrushed wax into another bucket and keep doing that until finished.

When done you will be ready for an extracter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All good ideas (except maybe the hand-crush method:D). I put a bunch in a pot on the stove and heated it up until it was liquid. It's straining much faster now. If it slows down again, I'll stick the whole assembly in our van and pray the sun comes out tomorrow.
Thanks
 

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600 micron sounds a little tight. It may be plugged. Is this a strainer designed for an extractor that typically only handles a small amount of wax and fines? If so, it may not be able to serve our crush and strain methods.

I use a basic nylon bucket strainer and by the next day 80% or more of the honey is in the lower bucket. We did have a hot week when I harvested. I also use a chrome paint mixer on a drill to crush the comb, so I know I'm working with little pieces of wax.

I found that the fines in my strained honey float to the top if I let it sit for a week. That lets me bottle clear honey from the gate at the bottom.

This last year was bottling perfection for me. I used calender time and put the bees to work so mine was minimal. The honey spent a few minutes with me and a drill, a couple days moving with gravity, a week in a bucket and another hour with me and the honey gate. I set all the gear out for the girls to clean up. They didn't even have a harsh word.

Please don't heat your honey. IMHO, too much damage.
 

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Good point. A fine 600 micron strainer could be plugged up.

Let the honey drip into the bottom bucket with no strainer. Then pour the honey in that bucket through the strainer.

That might work better for you.
 

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if you dont mind a few "floaties", i use what my wife strains pasta thru. it is made of almost like window screen material. then i leave it set for a day or so, so the little pieces float to the top, then just bottle with the honey gate. works pretty good for me.
 

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Go to the paint store and get yourself a 5 gallon paint strainer. (the cloth ones not the plastic ones). Put all your crushed comb in it then over a 5 gallon bucket start to tighten up the paint strainer so that it applies pressure to the crushed comb. You can squeeze the honey out. That is what I do with my capping to get every drop I can. It goes rather quick that way.
 

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Just a reminder because it isn't always clear [understood by] to me either,:rolleyes:.

> "Filter Sizes:
The smaller the micron number, the smaller the hole. (ie. 600 micron will have the largest holes)
600, 400 & 200 micron are the most common for filtering oil for making Biodiesel. 200, 100, & 75 micron are the most common for filtering for straight vegetable oil use. If your oil is really nasty, our 600 micron filter makes a great "pre-filter" to get the majority of the chunks out."
http://utahbiodieselsupply.com/filters55gallon.php and > http://www.utahbiodieselsupply.com/filters5gallon.php

I am pretty sure this is also true for the honey filters from suppliers.


I have not filtered crush/strain honey on a large scale. You may need to filter the honey with a very coarse filter [large holes] like a coarse vegetable strainer/washer and again with a filter with smaller [200 micron] openings. The hole size of a 600 micron filter may not even be large enough for crush/strain. Keep the honey warm >> 80-90 degrees F.

Side note: "Could the pails be set in a hot water, even the bathtub, or would that be too hot ?"

I would not resort to doing this unless all containers could be sealed which wouldn't be easy with crush and strain. Remember, honey is hygroscopic and you do not want it to absorb moisture [from steam in an enclosure for example]. A sealed 5-gallon bucket of honey in hot water would work but it needs to be stirred a couple of times.
 

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any crush and strain I work with, I put it through a kitchen strainer first. Takes most of the wax out, then restrain through fine mesh strainers. Otherwise you can overload your strainer and plug it up (as previously stated) warming it up will help a lot to, just don't warm it up too much. If your van has lots of windows, it will work fine. ever notice on a cold day how warm your car can be if it was in the sun??
 

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Strain the honey through a layer or two of cheesecloth to remove any bee parts or pieces of wax. It should go through cheesecloth fairly quickly, even in cool temps. Then get it sealed up right away. As mentioned, you don't want the honey absorbing moisture by leaving it open to the air for a long period of time. You can always go back later when it warms up and filter again through a finer mesh screen.
 

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warmer temps are a definite plus, but even in 65 degree weather honey should flow albeit slow
method for straining here is first 1) window screen, then thru panyhose stretched over colander dripping thru paint filter. when set up properly it's essentially all done in one run so it does not take to long and as long as the better half gives you permission to play in the kitchen ( this is critical, don't ask how i know) it should all go smoothly and quickly

beebiker
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, it's been about 65 in the kitchen this week. It took four days, but I just finished straining the honey. I heated up a small batch to about 90 degrees, strained it through a colander, then poured that through a 600 micron filter, thoroughly washing both strainers after each batch, or else the wax completely clogged the pores.

Even thoroughly strained, my honey is so thick it's almost chewy! I wonder if it's already on its way to crystallizing. I just hope it's thin enough to pour through the honey gate next week when I bottle. I'd hate to heat up all four gallons just to put it in jars.
 
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