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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My honey is showing at the 19.2% moisture content, by refractometer. I checked it with another refractometer, and it reads the same. I put it in a room with a dehumidifier and a pail heater, but the % moisture is not coming down. I have had the dehumidifier going for a few days, but only put the pail heater in use yesterday. Any suggestions to bring the moisture content down into the 18% or lower range?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
As additional info, the humidity here has been very high. I am stirring the honey in the affected bucket, a couple of times a day. I imagine there is not much else to do, but does anyone have any idea how long it will take to bring the moisture content down? The other buckets are fine, just this one.
 

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I think the issue is that with honey in a pail there is very little surface area for moisture to evaporate. A solution would be a very large shallow pan but that's impractical. Or maybe hang a bucket full of honey with a small whole in the bottom so it slowly drips a few feet into a bucket below and is exposed to the dry air? Might work after a couple cycles of dripping. Just some wild thoughts and ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The bucket dripping is a good idea. Yes, I am concerned with the small surface area, and why I keep stirring it. Thanks!
 

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You might also try placing a small fan on a chair next to the bucket, or a clip on fan, so that the fan blows right onto the surface of the honey in that room you have setup with heater and dehumidifier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This really aggravates me. This happened to me back in 1984, and now again. Both times we were hit with a lot of rain and continual high humidity.
 

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what percentage of the honey was capped? I thought the bees wouldnt cap it until it was below the threshold. Just wondering. Good Luck. G
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Very little, but, the humidity is so high, it might have absorbed it during extracting.
 

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I don't know if this will help much, since you seem to be doing about as much as you can, though you could do something different, I guess.

Anyway, a friend of mine had a barrel of high moisture honey. His hot room was heated by a wood stove in the center of the room. He raised the barrel above and beside the stove. He set another barrel on the opposite side of the stove. He took a section of rain gutter and spanned the distance between the bottom of the raised barrel to the barrel on the floor across the top of the stove. He punched a hole in the side of the elevated barrel just above the bottom of the barrel, allowing honey from the elevated barrel to run the length of the gutter into the barrel on the floor, across the burning wood stove. That did the trick for him. Maybe that will inspire your creativity, maybe not.

One bucket? Feed it back to your bees? Harvest it again when moisture is right? Next time don't extract so much open celled honeycomb? Check moisture content before extracting? I don't know. Just thinking out loud.
 

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I hear a lot about testing before extracting on frames that are not capped. How do you do that? You have 10 or 20 frames, 2 sides each, thousands of cells per frame, do you pick a dozen and run it though the refract meter and hope for a decent cross sample?
 

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Take some of it out and heat it gently in your kitchen (with the ac up and the humidity low) until it thickens as much as possible then mix that back with the wet honey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Moisture is down to 18.5% today, so it is coming down. I will work on it another day or so. Thanks guys!
 

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Make a tent of plastic film and put the dehumidifier and the honey container inside. Have seen a similar idea used for a small scale lumber drying kiln. Much more efficient because you get a lot dryer air when it is not diluted by the whole room.
 

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After reading this thread i tried this experiment today - line a cooky sheet with parchment paper, fill with a shallow layer of honey, put in a warm (mine is 170 f) oven for 3-4 hours. Cover and freeze. Results in a solid taffy like candy that releases cleanly.
 

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Here are some photos of my 'drying hut'. Since these photos were taken, I have added more bracing for stability and have started hanging the fan from the ceiling to improve air flow. There is also a very small electric heater (set as low as it will go) and dehumidifier in the hut. It takes about 15 minutes to set up and take down and is made with PVC pipes and fittings. Generally, about a week in the hut is all that is required before a box is ready for extraction.

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You can also use an old air conditioner. As long as the air is chilled below the dew point the moisture will fall out. If the discharge hose is long enough the room will reheat the air before it goes into your drying room. Not saying to go buy an air conditioner but more have AC than dehumidifiers (especially in TX). It is how us facility guys ‘ring’ water from the air. You need to bring the heat back up but in TX I would think heat would not be a problem.
 

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if you knew a hvac guy you could pour into a pressure cooker and he hooks up his vacuum pump
it would be bone dry in 24 hours. too bad your so far away from here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
HA! I got a vacuum pump, but never thought about that. And I have a large pressure cooker. I would have to look at installing a barb fitting in the R/V port.

I am using a dehumidifier, but it quit coming down. I have been stirring it regularly, and take a sample from the spoon, after stirring. If this doesn't come down soon, I am just going to feed it back to the bees and let them take care of it.
 
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