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steve_e 

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Hi -
I've had honey in buckets after extracting it in a friend's extractor a couple of weeks ago. It was unfiltered (ie cappings and other detritus in the buckets) but didn't think that was a major problem for the two weeks.

I then strained it into a plastic honey tank (40K) - about seventy pounds in all. I strained it through a stainless steel double filter thing (again that a friend lent me). Pretty much identical to this as far as I can tell.

I've left it just over 24 hours to allow bubbles to leave and poured some into the first couple of jars. It's very cloudy (bear in mind my lack of experience - only my second year of jarring up honey, but it's much more cloudy than last year) and I was wondering if:

  • this is just sometimes what I should expect
  • I haven't left it long enough (the cloudiness doesn't look like air bubbles, it's
  • I've done something wrong and messed up the honey
I'm not going to sell it - just consume it myself and give some to friends so it doesn't have to be production quality, but I'd have preferred something a little less opaque. It tastes fine and doesn't seem to be fermenting. Any ideas?
 

Poly Hive 

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The critical thing is how warm was the honey when you strained it?

The double strainer... well yes. Uh huh. I think I last used one at your level of a couple of colonies. And it was pretty slow and to be honest a bit not that good.

If you have crystals or part crystals in your wonderful product then yes you will have cloudiness.

Warmth is a wonderful element in producing top class honey. ;)

PH
 

broandy 

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Might have a bit of rape in it, it be ok to eat try putting a jar on the radiator
might clear up abit, temp tho
 

warts 

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Steve_e
A good question...some of my extracted honey has started to 'cloud' (took it off approx a month ago) and am assuming it is in the process of crystalising ...so am interested in the responses you get (interestingly, mine is 'setting; from the bottom up)
 

steve_e 

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Thanks for that - to be honest I was a bit worried I'd warmed it too much. It was slightly granulated (had been stored quite cool for the last couple of weeks) so I warmed it for a couple of days up to about 35 degrees...

It then was much runnier although I did have to keep cleaning the fine mesh as it slowed down very quickly.

I'll try warming up the jars to see if that helps - I could do the process again if you think it would help as I have two ripening buckets so could decant one into the other?
 
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35C will not dissolve crystals, you need to bring it up to around 50C for a short while. Bubbles will also cause cloudiness but again you need to warm it up to a reasonable temperature. 35C is not enough to bring fine bubbles to the surface in my experience.

Also the double SS strainer will not remove bits of leg, antenna etc., though they are good for removing most of the wax lumps and dead bees. You need a cloth or a purpose made nylon strainer, 350 micron or less.
 

steve_e 

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Oh crikey, now I'm lost. I thought I read here somewhere that if you lifted the temperature above 35 degrees you'd damage the honey in some way?

Not that I'm doubting you Rooftops - how long should I leave the honey at that temperature before re-straining?
 

steve_e 

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Oh - and that would be a difference from last year. I used a muslin cloth to strain it. Only 13 jars though - I'm building up slowly...

How do people cope with the strainers getting clogged up so quickly? Just keep rinsing it through every few minutes?
 
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I have a warming cabinet and it will melt a 30 lb bucket of set honey in about 24 hours providing I stir it at least once. At the end the temp of the honey is around 45 - 50C. This does not harm the honey in the sense of raising the HMF level above 40. Many commercial honeys are heated much higher although it is cooled very quickly afterwards. At even 50C you would have to hold it at this temperature for several days to raise the limit above 40. See http://www.airborne.co.nz/HMF.shtml

If your cloth is clogging then this is probably due to sugar crystals. A honey at 45C - 50C will flow very quickly through a straining cloth.

This is not to say there isn't a market for honeys with lumps and bits of bee in it but if you want crystal clear honey higher temps and a fine cloth are needed and the honey will also need to be kept warm afterwards for a while to allow the finer bubbles to clear.
 

steve_e 

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Thanks very much for that rooftops. Hadn't really heard about HMF before. I don't have a warming cabinet but can put it on an aga warming plate for a couple of days.
 

Arfermo 

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Thanks very much for that rooftops. Hadn't really heard about HMF before. I don't have a warming cabinet but can put it on an aga warming plate for a couple of days.
I make wine and have a mat on which winemakers place demijohns, 4 at a time, to ferment. Quite cheap from winmakeing kit suppliers. It is ideal for settling honey but crystallisation, especially of rape honey, requires 45C + slowly stirring as rooftops says. Personally I wouldn't go up to 50C. A pal of mine puts 40lb honey buckets in his oven set at its lowest overnight. Works OK for him. OK for a decent turkey too!!
 

steve_e 

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Thanks Arfermo. I've now got my 70lbs sitting on the warming plate of the Aga with a blanket over it. It's heading towards 40 degrees and I reckon should achieve 45. :)
 

steve_e 

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Anyway, to let you know that was all a resounding success. I heated the honey for a couple of days to around 45C and then strained it for the last time through the filter previously mentioned and a muslin cloth.

Went through with no problem and no filter cleaning in about 3 minutes! Thanks for all the suggestions. Now I just need to leave it for 244 hours or so so the bubbles clear and then bottle it.
 

Hombre 

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Cheap point from typo

Nah, ten days is too long, it should be ready in 24 hours . . . :) :) :rofl:
 

tonybloke 

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good result, and a lesson for a lot of beeks, I reckon. ;
 

Peter Cox 

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Hi -

I've left it just over 24 hours to allow bubbles to leave and poured some into the first couple of jars. It's very cloudy (bear in mind my lack of experience - only my second year of jarring up honey, but it's much more cloudy than last year) and I was wondering if:


this is just sometimes what I should expect
I haven't left it long enough (the cloudiness doesn't look like air bubbles, it's
I've done something wrong and messed up the honey

I'm not going to sell it - just consume it myself and give some to friends so it doesn't have to be production quality, but I'd have preferred something a little less opaque. It tastes fine and doesn't seem to be fermenting. Any ideas?
Is raw honey not cloudy in the UK?
The filter you used appears to be the standard filter used in the US for small time production of raw honey - 400 and 600 micron filters. The filter will remove all pieces such as wax, legs etc. It will not remove all the pollen that you would expect to find as a by product of the extraction process. Pollen is considered a boon in raw honey for sale locally as it's claimed that consumption of such honey can aid in allergy therapy. The pollen in the honey is what gives it a cloudy appearance.
 
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Devon honey around here tends to be clear - although some process it into 'cloudy' or set honey. I was in a local shop the other day and a woman was vehemently saying she didn't want ser or cloudy honey as it obviously wasn't good honey if it was set...Not quite sure what her thinking was, but she wouldn't be budged...
 

steve_e 

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Queens - when I say cloudy I don't mean set (or creamed I think some people call it). I mean it has the constituency of 'runny' or clear honey, but is opaque rather than see-through - so, much as I think Peter was thinking of.

Peter, people over here also say that local honey is good for eg hay fever, since it contains local pollen. I wouldn't expect it to be totally clear, but mine really was murky. There should be some metric of clarity we could use don't you think?
 

Skyhook 

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I was advised to use 200 micron filter cloth, as pollen is much smaller than that and will go through, but it should take out everything else. Went through really well.

Incidentally, I bought a 1m square of 200 and a 1m square of 400. I used an eighth of the 200 to make a filter bag, and the rest is surplus. If anyone wants a small bit at cost, PM me.
 

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