Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
519 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I checked my honey with a refractometer, and it showed high at about 19%. I have 2 refractometers, and the 2nd one read the same. I left the honey in a room with a dehumidifier going, and heat bands on the buckets. Finally came down to 18.5%, but no more. I got a small bottle of Sue Bee honey and checked it. It reads the exact same! Not sure if my refractometers are inaccurate or if the moisture is correct. Anyone have similar experiences?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
336 Posts
Our bee club has a honey refractometer. Is yours an el-cheapo one like mine or a nice one like the club's?
The club's refractometer was calibrated by using a member's honey which had a known moisture level (from the State Fair).
If you look online, there's a way of calibrating using olive oil as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,043 Posts
It is important that you stir the honey frequently when attempting to dehydrate. It is just the surface of the honey that dehydrates and you need to stir to exchange the surface honey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
I checked my honey with a refractometer, and it showed high at about 19%. I have 2 refractometers, and the 2nd one read the same. I left the honey in a room with a dehumidifier going, and heat bands on the buckets. Finally came down to 18.5%

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't anything under 20 considered good? Some honey, depending on what the source of nectar can actually have higher brix and not be fear of fermentation. Brix is a measurement of particle density in a water solution based on Sucrose. Honey is a mixture of Sucrose, fructose and glucose and a few other things. The mixture can change significantly based on nectar source and thus I would assume the Brix would as well. Since Fructose, Glucose and Sucrose have different densities this should effect the Brix reading, correct?

~Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
519 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That may be true. The USDA says that anything over 18% can ferment, and anything over 19% will ferment. But, this is subject I have voids in my knowledge about. I do know that since 1979, I have honey ferment 2 times. It was good for bee food, and that was it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,219 Posts
According to USDA standards, here:
http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getf...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.

............

The link above is a PDF file, but does not have .PDF at the end of the file name, so some browsers may not like it. You need to either have a browser with built in PDF functionality, or download Adobe's free Reader: http://get.adobe.com/reader/

If the above doesn't help your situation, try this alternate link instead: http://www.honey.com/images/uploads/general/exhoney.pdf
Note the honey.com version is the same document and also a PDF, but stored on a different server with a different file name, and includes the .PDF at the end, so maybe that will work for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
519 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess things have changed since I read this, or I confused my source. I will try to find it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
That may be true. The USDA says that anything over 18% can ferment, and anything over 19% will ferment.

Take this FWIW, which is basically a person with limited knowledge and no real formal education on the subject, but....

From THIS link here on Beesource you can see there is a wide range of the various sugars found in honey and this is really only comparing a couple different honey's.

Fructose, listed as Levulose...don't ask me why sugars have ten different names for the same thing...has about 6-7% higher density then glucose, listed as dextrose. Since each degree of Brix is a measurement of 1g of sucrose in 100g of solution you would probably, not sure, get a different reading for 1g of fructose in a 100g solution then 1g of sucrose in solution.

Since moisture content readers for honey are the inverse of the Brix, meaning 20% moisture content is actually 80 Brix, if you had a 100% sucrose mixture vs 100% fructose mixture I would think you would be getting 20% moisture with 80g in 100g solution of sucrose but would be getting 14% moisture level with 80g of fructose. I'm guessing this because succrose is more dense then sucrose and thus the same one gram by weight has more particles which I would assume would increase the brix and thus lower moisture content.

IOW it would not surprise me at all to see one honey with 20% moisture content and another with 18% moisture content that both contained the same solution by weight. Again this is largely a guess though.

~Matt
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top