How to reduce Water Level in Honey

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enrico

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Hi,
If the water level in the honey is above 20%, how do we get the water level reduced?
Thanks,
Some use a dehumidifier
Be aware that readings can be very different from the top to the bottom of a settling tank. It is often only the top couple of inches that has the high water content and I put it in a rapid feeder and feed it back to my bees!
 

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Some use a dehumidifier
Be aware that readings can be very different from the top to the bottom of a settling tank. It is often only the top couple of inches that has the high water content and I put it in a rapid feeder and feed it back to my bees!
Do you leave it about 48 hours?
 
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Hi,
If the water level in the honey is above 20%, how do we get the water level reduced?
Thanks,
I use a dehumidifier especially for honey later in the season. I place in a warm (c21c), closed room. I spread the super frames out to achieve maximum airflow and surface area of exposed combs. I've found this is really effective and reduces the water content by approx 2 points (say from 21 to 19) in 2 evenings. I once tried 'drying' the honey in a large shallow dish in the oven too (at 40C) again reduces, but not as well as doing it in the combs with a dehumidifier. It's tricky at this time of year trying to get the honey to the right water content so supers can be removed and new ones given, for the incoming heather crop, so a dehumidifier is a great bit of kit to achieve this.
 

Amari

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I use a dehumidifier especially for honey later in the season. I place in a warm (c21c), closed room. I spread the super frames out to achieve maximum airflow and surface area of exposed combs. I've found this is really effective and reduces the water content by approx 2 points (say from 21 to 19) in 2 evenings. I once tried 'drying' the honey in a large shallow dish in the oven too (at 40C) again reduces, but not as well as doing it in the combs with a dehumidifier. It's tricky at this time of year trying to get the honey to the right water content so supers can be removed and new ones given, for the incoming heather crop, so a dehumidifier is a great bit of kit to achieve this.

Is that with frames of capped comb? I've often wondered how honey can loose moisture if it's capped.
 

Erichalfbee

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Is that with frames of capped comb? I've often wondered how honey can loose moisture if it's capped.
No. It’s done on uncapped frames. Doing this in a small heated room with a dehumidifier works well but why bother. Feed it back to the bees
 

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Bob Binnie in the USA explains a little of his process and how it works here. I think Enrico's method is sound because the wetter honey rises/ forms at the top. I'd be interested to know what happens to the readings after 48 hours or more in the settling tank. Say the honey (straight from the extractor) is 20 per cent initially, what are the top and bottom readings after 48 hours (or more) in the settling tank?

 
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I used a dehumidifier in my extraction room, I found it helped keep the room warm as well as dry. I figure if you need to heat your extraction room you may had well heat it with a dehumidifier as they are all most as efficient as heating as heaters anyway.

If you want to dry your frames after uncapping but before extracting then I would do as the video above, just leave them in the supers and stick a fan above. The air moving over the frames will help evaporate the moisture. If you can some how get the dry air port from the dehumidifier to blow over the frames that would be even better.

On a good dry summer day <=40HR, you honestly wont even need to use a dehumidifier, so long as you have a fan and good ventilation. I dried a bucked of honey with a fan and a electric drill set up to stir. So am sure just the fan will work on uncapped frames in the right weather.

There are 2 common types of dehumidifier tech. Compressor or desiccant. Compressor works best at 20c and costs less to run. Desiccant ones use more power, put out a lot more heat, are generally less efficient (except at extreme temps), but will work over a wider range. If you intend to put honey in a confined space to dry, I recommenced Compressor or it will get too hot. But to heat a large honey room in place of heaters, look at the desiccant ones. Some of the 12L Desiccant ones can consume 600W, and that basically all ends up as heat in the end anyway.
 

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Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
The simple answer is, not easily. I bought a dehumidifier and tried that. I had a bucket of extracted honey at 20% in a small room which, I had a fan on, dehumidifier and stirred frequently without success. I have a thread here asking how to do it and on other forums and I never got an affordable workable answer. Not one that worked for me anyway.

Bob Binnie is right leave it in the frames, blow air across it [lots] and test daily. Bob has extractor fans round the edge of his room too pushing the moisture out of the room. The secret to successful moisture removal out of honey is surface area. Get a large surface area and a fan blowing on it and you should get the moisture out of it. One guy in the states uses Comrcl food trays 30" long by 24" approx, by 1" deep. Pours the honey onto the trays, you've seen what I'm trying to describe [badly] and stacks them in one of those upright bulk tray movers on wheels, bakers use them. You slide the tray in and the next tray slides in about 4" above. The whole thing is about 6' tall. Put in a small room with a table fan blowing across the surface of the honey and a dehumidifier.

If you look on the websites of the extractor manf's or search for honey dehydrators pictures will come up of what the big boys use. As the cheapest I could find was £5k [which I cant afford] so I decided this year, unless the frame is fully capped it stays on the hive until it is. Another tip; don't rely on the shake test. If in doubt use your refractometer.

It doesn't take a lot of uncapped honey to give you problems when extracting with moisture content.

Its a shame the honey processing manf's dont make a table top version for the amateur beek as they'd make a killing as a friend and I designed and costed one out that wasn't expensive but other things got in the way. We still may do it.
 

Erichalfbee

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THIS works very well but it was half the price when I bought it
While not table-top, as its heavy, it sits nicely on the floor with a stack of supers on top, humming away overnight so that I can extract the following morning


Screenshot 2022-07-31 at 07.32.18.png
 
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The simple answer is, not easily. I bought a dehumidifier and tried that. I had a bucket of extracted honey at 20% in a small room which, I had a fan on, dehumidifier and stirred frequently without success. I have a thread here asking how to do it and on other forums and I never got an affordable workable answer. Not one that worked for me anyway.

Bob Binnie is right leave it in the frames, blow air across it [lots] and test daily. Bob has extractor fans round the edge of his room too pushing the moisture out of the room. The secret to successful moisture removal out of honey is surface area. Get a large surface area and a fan blowing on it and you should get the moisture out of it. One guy in the states uses Comrcl food trays 30" long by 24" approx, by 1" deep. Pours the honey onto the trays, you've seen what I'm trying to describe [badly] and stacks them in one of those upright bulk tray movers on wheels, bakers use them. You slide the tray in and the next tray slides in about 4" above. The whole thing is about 6' tall. Put in a small room with a table fan blowing across the surface of the honey and a dehumidifier.

If you look on the websites of the extractor manf's or search for honey dehydrators pictures will come up of what the big boys use. As the cheapest I could find was £5k [which I cant afford] so I decided this year, unless the frame is fully capped it stays on the hive until it is. Another tip; don't rely on the shake test. If in doubt use your refractometer.

It doesn't take a lot of uncapped honey to give you problems when extracting with moisture content.

Its a shame the honey processing manf's dont make a table top version for the amateur beek as they'd make a killing as a friend and I designed and costed one out that wasn't expensive but other things got in the way. We still may do it.
That’s exactly what I do maximise surface area by keeping the honey in the combs. My dehumidifier (had it for years bought for my first house which was a bit damp!) warms the room as well as circulates the air and removes water. I’ve just used it to reduce the water content in 6 supers, some frames read 23, mostly 21, but all full and mainly about a 1/4 capped. I check it again before extracting so I’m not wasting my time. The honey at the top of 3 x 35 lb buckets I left to settle afterwards for 2 days now reads 19, so according to other posts at the bottom of the buckets will be less. So that’s 100lb of honey reduced in water content to an acceptable level using the dehumidifier for a couple of days.
 
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THIS works very well but it was half the price when I bought it
While not table-top, as its heavy, it sits nicely on the floor with a stack of supers on top, humming away overnight so that I can extract the following morning


View attachment 33169
Bought one for our association for warming heather prior to extraction, bought at the end of last year, does it work well for reducing water too? Agree they’ve gone up a lot in price since last year. Haven’t tried it yet…how many supers do you stack on it at a time Dani? Any other tips to get the best use from it? Bought it when you recommended before.. 😊
 

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One empty super on the bottom and four on top. Keep it running overnight usually does it, but longer is no problem. It has a timer or it can be run constantly. It's useful for warming frames prior to extraction if you've stored them for a few days, in which case you could probably stack six on easily
Like you say I use it for partly uncapped frames.
 

enrico

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Or..... Sell it as bakers honey! Or jar it up and keep it in the freezer to use for yourself.
 

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Technically of course the resultant “honey” is not honey as described in the honey regulations as honey has to be ripened by bees! 😁
 

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