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I recently inherited 7 hives a small extractor and some bee keeping "stuff". I have read a few books but I am not really clear about how to best filter the honey before placing it into jars. Currently I collect the honey as it comes out of the extractor. I have a two stage metal filter that goes over a 5 gal bucket that has a gate valve at the bottom. But when I try to pour the honey into the metal filter the filter just gets gummed up. Am I doing some wrong or is there a multiple stage process to filter the honey?
 

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If you are going to filter the honey it will be nearly impossible to do without heating it up first. If you want to keep the honey as natural (raw) as possible then fill bottling container and let the honey settle for a couple of weeks. Then bottle off of the bottom.
 

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I buy paint strainer bags at the local hardware store. They get it as filtered as I want it. I like a little sediment in it to make it look more "natural", or unprocessed.
 

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I have used paint strainer bags also. They worked well but they are messy. I now use a fine mesh stainless strainer that fits over the honey bucket.
 

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What I do is lift the extractor onto a table, overhanging the edge. Beneath it, I put a bucket that also has a valve on the bottom, which is fitted with a doubled up hops bag from the beer brewing store (using a ruber band to hold it on the top). When I had a solarium to extract in the honey would go right through that bag, no problem, but now (I've moved) I have to fill up the indentation of the bag, wait for it to filter through, re-fill, etc, etc.
 

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Well, that is how I do it and it works fine. Are you spinning the frames to fast and getting wax into the steel filter? How are you uncapping the frames of honey? A heated uncapping knife works best. I do as you said and the honey will start to backup in the filter, but a little time to settle usually takes care of that.
 

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If you use your course filter as it comes out of the extractor and then pour it through the paint strainer bags or your finer filter you should be able to bottle your honey pretty quickly. The nylon paint strainers give a very nice product but will need to be changed out more quickly if your not straining the larger bits out first.
 

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Last year I used a nylon bag strainer. This year I got one of those 2-stage stainless strainers. I noticed that this year's honey is cloudier than last years, so I am guessing that the metal strainer is slightly more coarse.

Temperature is a biggie. I tried to filter in October my first year. It took forever to get thru the bag. Now I work in July and leave the fall honey on the hive.
 

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Paint strainer bag for me.

I got some free buckets with lids from the bakery, and drilled holes in the bottom of one bucket and cut the middle out of 2 lids. So I can snap the paint strainer in place inside the holey bucket with a cut lid, and set that on top of the other cut lid which is snapped on a whole bucket. Then it will rough strain the as much honey almost as fast as i can pour it, then throw my cappings into it to drain.

I'll occasionally use the regular honey filters if I get a messy batch, but haven't bothered with that but rarely.

Rick
 

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You can produce clear, clean honey without filtering. One simple way is to use one of those 5 gallon 'bottling buckets'. Pour the honey into the bucket. Let it sit for a week or so (the colder the honey the longer the wait). The junk will float to the top. You bottle the honey from the bottom of the bucket.
 

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I extract directly into a bucket with a coarse filter across the bucket's top. The bucket has a honey gate on the bottom. A day or two later, I put that bucket on a table and place another bucket on the floor. The same coarse filter goes on top of the the empty bucket but I fold some cheesecloth over it. I open the gate of the top bucket and let it run into the bottom bucket. If the cheesecloth gets blocked up (it seldom does), I can just shut the gate off and replace the cheesecloth. A few layers of cheesecloth is all the straining I want. Clean but slightly cloudy honey is perfect for me and well received by customers.
 

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I extract into a 5 gallon bucket with a gate, then I filter through nylon pantyhose. I can filter four 5 gallon buckets before changing the pantyhose. Of course if you do this, you will need to buy the pantyhose new :)

Oh side note, the open end of the pantyhose can be stretched around the gate, then tied on. Open the gate and watch it flow.
 

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My first filter is some cheese cloth in a large strainer. I use cloths pins to hold the cloth around the edge. This takes care of wax and anything else that's large.

The last straining is through panty hose. It does give a nice clear honey.

Sr. Tanya
 

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One of the best investments I have made is a clarifier. The honey flows from the extractor into a heated, double wall clarifier, runs under a baffle, which retains almost all the big chunks of wax then it flows to the other end and under one more baffle which hold back most of the small bits of wax and foam. The far end has a gear pump attached and is routed to the bottling tank fitted with a 120 thread count nylon filter. I have tried the 120 count nylon without the clarifier and it can be really frustrating. It has completely clogged up with 10 gallons of honey on top. If I heat the honey in the clarifier to about 100F I can fill up a 42 gallon tank quickly without any clogging. This is a really nice system. Our honey is crystal clear after settling for a week in the bottling tank. When we get to the last few quarts we have a bit of foam. I have begun collecting all scraps of honey, I cannot sell, for mead. Works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Filtering Honey

One of the best investments I have made is a clarifier. The honey flows from the extractor into a heated, double wall clarifier, runs under a baffle, which retains almost all the big chunks of wax then it flows to the other end and under one more baffle which hold back most of the small bits of wax and foam. The far end has a gear pump attached and is routed to the bottling tank fitted with a 120 thread count nylon filter. I have tried the 120 count nylon without the clarifier and it can be really frustrating. It has completely clogged up with 10 gallons of honey on top. If I heat the honey in the clarifier to about 100F I can fill up a 42 gallon tank quickly without any clogging. This is a really nice system. Our honey is crystal clear after settling for a week in the bottling tank. When we get to the last few quarts we have a bit of foam. I have begun collecting all scraps of honey, I cannot sell, for mead. Works for me.
I have made is a clarifier. What exactly is a clarifier? Where do you find them?
 

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Has anyone ever tried using a backyard apple cider press to squeeze the comb?
Steve
I've had the same thought. I make venison sausage and have a 15 pound press that can press apples if you have the right part in there. Unfortunately I do not have said part but I thought about using it for emptying the cappings. I'll post it as a new question to see if anyone has tried it.
 

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Strained Honey

I strain my honey almost exactly like HVH does in the earlier post. what I use on the outlet side of my gear pump is a clear 1 1/4" hose run to my bottling tank with women's knee high nylon hose tied around a stainless hose clamp, I use 2 of the nylon hose , one inside of the other. I usually strain about 50 gal. of honey before changing them. The next day, all the honey is strained and the nylon hose is floating on top of the bottling tank. Depending on the weather I usually wait about a week before bottling. Honey is clear as can be. What could be easier???

K Green
 

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I find that straining the honey through a babies muslin blanket/sheet works great... Just take the bay out first!:D
Beautiful clear honey!
 
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