How to reduce Water Level in Honey

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drex

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Due to time pressures this spring I was forced to take a few boxes of wet honey off my colonies at the animal sanctuary.
It was mainly uncapped, but capping were removed from the rest.
Frames were left in the supers, which were stacked on blocks so air could get under and the top left open.
In a warm summer house using an ordinary desk fan blowing at the supers, water content dropped by 2 % over 36 hours. Simple.
 

ericbeaumont

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Is that with frames of capped comb? I've often wondered how honey can loose moisture if it's capped.
I use a dessicant dehumidifier to remove moisture effectively from capped honey, so I doubt that cappings are completely airtight. Saves uncapping combs first, with consequent dripping and the risk of contamination.

I recall that the late Peter Little described stacking boxes at 45 degrees to each other to increase air circulation, and as Drex, putting the stack on blocks.

One autumn I got carried away and by the time I extracted the moisture was down to 14 or 15%, all capped honey, with no cabinet or closed room door. Took a while to extract!
 
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JamezF

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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! 😁

Ah, but does it say that the bees have to do the entire job? :D

James
 

Hachi

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Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
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.
Excellent. My error was extracting first leaving only an open bucket with a very small surface area by which to try and get the moisture out.
 

john1

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Thanks all,
I had only 2 supers and bees did not have much space in the super. So, I had to remove some uncapped frames that is why it ended up in having some water in it.
I think next year onwards, I should add more supers and take out only those frames which are capped.
Thanks all
 

enrico

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Thanks all,
I had only 2 supers and bees did not have much space in the super. So, I had to remove some uncapped frames that is why it ended up in having some water in it.
I think next year onwards, I should add more supers and take out only those frames which are capped.
Thanks all
You only need more frames! As the bees cap them take them out and replace with new frames until you extract and then you can replace with the wet frames. You could get away with two supers!
 
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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.

agree with this...especially the 'not easily' bit and not a lot of uncapped can = a problem, so.....the annoying answer is try to avoid extracting with high water content

i have used a food dehydrator successfully in the past (place in dishes with wide surface area and the thermostat has low heat temperatures so v controllable), where OSR honey was around 18.5 and i wanted it under 18 so it didnt ferment
 
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Any advice on the best Refractometer at an appropriate price?
I have seen one from STBK, but wondering if this would be accurately calibrated compared to others on the market?

Also what's Be /Brix? Should they be within a certain range?
Water should be <19%?
thanks
 

Gilberdyke John

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Any advice on the best Refractometer at an appropriate price?
I have seen one from STBK, but wondering if this would be accurately calibrated compared to others on the market?

Also what's Be /Brix? Should they be within a certain range?
Water should be <19%?
thanks
Search eBay for honey refractometer. Lots on there in price range 12 to 20 pounds. Just beware of delivery times if they're coming from China. You can check calibration quite easily. That's been discussed extensively in this forum.
 

blackcloud

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I got one from eBay and one from AliExpress a while back.
Both under a tenner delivered but check the scale has water% as it saves further conversion
I notice Bee Equipment have the exact model for £46 +p&p
Ouch

Bit late now but with the drying, surface area will help so leaving it in the comb with your chosen gadget running will be more effective than extracting and trying to dry out a bucket.
If you're in that situation then decant it into multiple wide shallow containers
 

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