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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have about 4 (5-gallon buckets) that I market as uncapped, but the moisture content is ok (18% or less). Is there any reason why I can not use this honey, For some reason, we had a lot of uncapped honey this year and I processed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have about 4 (5-gallon buckets) that I market as uncapped, but the moisture content is ok (18% or less). Is there any reason why I can not use this honey, For some reason, we had a lot of uncapped honey this year and I processed it.
I melted a five-gallon uncapped bucket as a test. I did not have a strong fermented smell and i tested via my refractometer as 17.5. It also tasted good. So I am satisfied that this uncapped honey is ok. This year we had a lot of uncapped honey at the end of the season. I could see that it looked rather dry, even though uncapped, and when I tested it then it was below 18%
 

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I melted a five-gallon uncapped bucket as a test. I did not have a strong fermented smell and i tested via my refractometer as 17.5. It also tasted good. So I am satisfied that this uncapped honey is ok. This year we had a lot of uncapped honey at the end of the season. I could see that it looked rather dry, even though uncapped, and when I tested it then it was below 18%
At <18% you should be fine.
to the original question , if it is a bit over 18%
there are options
make mead
eat
give away
cook / can with it
can save it for feed
dry it down , but do it first not wait.
freeze for early feed
extract to get comb back then any of the above .

GG
 

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When we have uncapped honey we dehumidify it Before extracting. A day or 2 next to the dehumidifier gets it down below 17.5 (depends on starting moisture content). For already extracted but too wet honey, I have seen but never tried, set the full bucket up high and open the honey gate a bit so it drips down into an empty bucket on the floor in dehumidifier room. This increases the surface area and can dry the honey faster than in a deep bucket with comparatively minimal surface area. You could also rip pvc pipe and set up a long chute from 1 bucket to the next. If it tests at 17.5 you should be fine. But test the top and the bottom of the bucket if it's been sitting for a while. I have had readings more than 1% different, depending on honey moisture and rh.... Let us know what you do and how it turns out.
Happy Beekeeping!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When we have uncapped honey we dehumidify it Before extracting. A day or 2 next to the dehumidifier gets it down below 17.5 (depends on starting moisture content). For already extracted but too wet honey, I have seen but never tried, set the full bucket up high and open the honey gate a bit so it drips down into an empty bucket on the floor in dehumidifier room. This increases the surface area and can dry the honey faster than in a deep bucket with comparatively minimal surface area. You could also rip pvc pipe and set up a long chute from 1 bucket to the next. If it tests at 17.5 you should be fine. But test the top and the bottom of the bucket if it's been sitting for a while. I have had readings more than 1% different, depending on honey moisture and rh.... Let us know what you do and how it turns out.
Happy Beekeeping!
I have also found that there is a difference between the moisture in the top and bottom of the bucket. I use an electric band heater to liquefy the crystalliazed honey and stirred, It smelled good, tasted good, and the moisture 1 inch down was about 17.5 which is really good for our area. I rarely have this much-uncapped honey, and I do have a couple of buckets that I can not use.
 

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I Would try to reduce moisture before it ferments. Does fermented honey crystallize? (I know sometimes honey separates as it chrystalizes and the top liquid layer can ferment but not sure the chrystalized part does.) If your buckets are chrystalized and fermented honey does not, there's your answer. I have no problem using fermented honey myself. I find the taste interesting: it's sweet with a tang. I would not sell as honey though, unless you have a Weston Price (?) market and / or label it as fermented. I am sure some folks would love it and others would hate it. I do not think it is harmful to humans.
 

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When the honey flow stops it's very common and logical that there would be some frames of only partially filled uncapped honey. Just don't remove them immediately. I make sure it's been at least a couple of weeks since the flow has stopped so the bees have had time to evaporate the moisture. The bees will cure this honey just like any other, they just won't cap it. Uncapped honey is perfectly good as long as the moisture is in an acceptable range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When the honey flow stops it's very common and logical that there would be some frames of only partially filled uncapped honey. Just don't remove them immediately. I make sure it's been at least a couple of weeks since the flow has stopped so the bees have had time to evaporate the moisture. The bees will cure this honey just like any other, they just won't cap it. Uncapped honey is perfectly good as long as the moisture is in an acceptable range.
This is basically the process I used and it seems to be working fine. I did have some honey that had higher moisture content and I will not be able to use it. I noticed the uncapped honey with low moisture (17.5) had a darker color but an excellent flavor.
 
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