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Author Topic: Sieving honey  (Read 1799 times)

Offline SouthAussieBeekeeper

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Sieving honey
« on: October 15, 2018, 02:38:13 am »
I have a stainless steel honey sieve. I've constantly had trouble with it, honey too often gets clogged up in the second chamber. In the past I didn't have a good way of heating up honey, and I thought that was why I've been having these difficulties. Recently I did heat up my bucket thoroughly, the honey was warm, thin and fluid and yet, it still got clogged in the sieve. Here's a photo of it:

https://imgur.com/a/v2KOXr6

I figure I might have honey that's thicker than usual. Either way, I've come to conclude that this honey sieve is crap. It can't consistently sieve honey. Because of this I've been bottling honey that's not as pure of wax particles as I'd like.

What's a better method to strain honey?

Offline G3farms

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 10:38:40 am »
Looks like your honey has started to crystallize and that is what is causing the strainer to clog up.

I have a bottling tank (16 gallon) that is made like a double boiler, it has a water jacket on the outside. I heat my honey to about 100*F  and let it warm over night to thoroughly heat it. The honey is thin enough to fill bottles and the air bubble to come to the top. The big plus is it will break down the sugar crystals in the honey.

How are you heating your honey?
Are you letting it warm up completely?
Stirring the honey as it heats helps greatly.
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Offline SouthAussieBeekeeper

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2018, 10:45:25 pm »
It was crystallizing because I left it like that for over a week due to frustration with it.

I heated the honey up at about the same temperature: 38 Celcius, for two days. The honey was warm and fluid like melted butter.

I have a chest fridge with a heater in it. I place what I wish to heat up in the fridge, and turn the heater on.

I've been apprehensive of stirring the honey. I didn't stir any of this one, maybe if I did it would have worked. In the past I found if I stir the honey too much it turns into a creamed honey like substance and then it'll never strain.

Offline G3farms

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2018, 03:31:28 pm »
I use to heat 5 gallon buckets of crystallized honey with a band heater (and would cover it with a heavy blanket for insulation) and found that there were still cold spots with in the bucket after two days. a good stir would help to eliminate the cold spots.

Never made any creamed honey before, but sounds lie you don't have your honey warm enough through out the entire bucket.

Not sure of the kinds of nectar the bees in your part of the world are foraging on, but it could be that it will crystallize very fast.
those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!

Offline minz

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2018, 09:09:59 pm »
I have a couple of the 400 micron plastic filters and seen the stainless two stage filter on amazon for half price and got it.
It does not work for me and clogs up all the time.  Maybe the plastic one expands and allows the honey to flow? Maybe I am just able to use the soft plastic spatula to go over the bottom of the plastic when it stops up but the metal one just clogs harder?
I tried it a couple of times so hopefully we will get some decent advice or it is going to sit on the shelf.
I thought the larger filter above the fine one would have been the ticket
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Offline SouthAussieBeekeeper

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2018, 12:00:47 am »
I bought myself a different sieve, let the wax float to the top and strained the honey from the bottle out of the tap, then poured the honey into a sieve after leaving it in a heating environment for 16 hours at 37 C/ 99 F. It got clogged straight away. This honey is very thick some of the thickest stuff I've got.

I'm not sure if I heated it up long enough to melt the crystals. I don't wish to overheat it because I know that's not good for the honey. At what temperature, and for how long would you guys suggest that I heat my honey, so that I can try to actually sieve this thick honey that I've got that loves to clog itself up?

Offline Live Oak

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2019, 01:35:35 pm »
I don't like to heat my honey up for any reason other than to decrystallize it. When you warm the honey up, it softens the wax which adds to the problem.  There are a couple of approaches to this that I have tried and both allow me to process the honey at room temperature and with a little filtering as is possible.  Many of my customers purchase my honey because they have allergies and they tell me that my honey helps them with their allergies. 

1. I use the 2nd screen but have 2 extra 2nd screens to swap in when one get clogged up.  This is also a pain in the neck and can get messy and time consuming if not done well.

2. I just don't use the 2nd screen and run the honey through the coarse screen which gets the majority of various materials out of the honey.  Once I have all of my honey strained into 5 gallon buckets in this manner, I have a 1,000 lb. honey tank (I have also done this with much smaller tanks), mix honey in the tank well to ensure consitent tasting honey.  Then I let is set for at least 2 or 3 days, most times longer to allow the very small particles that got past the coarse screen to settle to the bottom of the bottling tank.  This also allows any air bubbles to float to the top. 

I have tried both methods and am finding that I am liking method #2 more and more. 

Then the wife starts bottling.  Cleaning up the very fine wax particles left at the bottom of the tank is not a big problem as I set the tank outside and let the bees clean it up first before we wash it.  The bees clean up the tank VERY good almost perfect.


Offline Joe D

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2019, 09:51:52 pm »
When I sling honey, I put into a five gal bucket and put a lid on it. Let it set for a few days, skim the bigger pieces of capping off, then I have a big SS screen with a 5 gal. paint sieve under it to run the honey through and into another 5 gal bucket. I do have several of the paint strainers so when one slows on the flow I get another one.  Then I bottle it. 

Joe D

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2019, 02:28:13 am »
most sieving for larger quantities in Germany and other countries in Europe I know is done by heating honey. Most common a sieve in form of a cloth and a heating spiral sitting on that cloth. What i dont like about it is that the honey is - for a very short time - heated to up to 80 C. but it is clean after this process and it is commonly accepted that the honey does not suffer, says science. I see that a bit differently.
So I am planning on building a run-throuhg-warmer, where the honey is led through a stainless-steel-tube which is spiraled in a large pot of warm water. If I heat the water to a defined temperature - for the honey we sell directly we will not exceed 35 degrees, in very hard cases 42 - the honey cannot get warmer than that, cause it doesnt have direct contact to a heating element.
Before that I plan on sieving through a coarse mesh (the extractor will get a heater-element underneath set to maybe 35 degrees, too, then pour or pump it into a large tank which will be kept at lets say 30 degrees overnight. then let it run through the warmer and into a large fine nylon sieve which sits in another smaller tank. from this tank I can then fill the buckets or barrels and after letting that sit for another few days, skimming a little should do the job. Maybe I can let the skimming be even.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2019, 09:39:49 am »
most sieving for larger quantities in Germany and other countries in Europe I know is done by heating honey. Most common a sieve in form of a cloth and a heating spiral sitting on that cloth. What i dont like about it is that the honey is - for a very short time - heated to up to 80 C. but it is clean after this process and it is commonly accepted that the honey does not suffer, says science.

Depends on who's science.
For settling to work the honey has to be fluid.  You can skim the top and then pour from the top not the bottom.  There will still be crystals in suspension unless you super heat.  When you start having trouble with the sieve you make a decision on what to do with what is in the bottom.  You can cream it or make mead.  Crystallized honey is not bad its just that less people like it.  It's totally great for cooking or baking.
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Offline Beelab

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2019, 09:13:54 pm »
Hi SAB, I?m wondering if perhaps you have some type of jellybush honey or at least a good part of it. That stuff won?t sieve. I think you can get it tested for free at the honey lab of Sunshine Coast University. Then sell it for good money.

Does anyone know how high and for how long I have to heat honey so it NEVER candies?
Asking for a friend.  :smile:

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2019, 08:33:47 am »
It all depends on what nectars the bees used to make the honey. Some honeys crystallize no matter what you do. Others like most of mine which has a lot of Tupelo in it, do not for a long time. I am still selling last summers honey that I never heated and it still does not have any crystals in it.
I tasted honey directly in a large Beekeeping, company  store in Idaho that the honey was crystallized in the store and the woman admitted that they heat the honey to 130 degrees and filter it.
Jim Altmiller

Offline Beelab

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2019, 09:42:51 am »
Thank you for your thoughts Mr Sdm. We have acacia honey here that only crystallizes slowly a year after extraction. It?s very light and clear.
You mean, the store heated the honey to 130, then filtered it and it still crystallized? Hmm.

I heard there is a specific temperature the honey has to be kept at for a certain time, then cooled rapidly to avoid deterioration, loss of aroma and development of HMF. But I don?t know the temperature or time.
Someone knows and is willing to share I hope.
It?s about preparing liquid honey for show without rendering it inedible. It needs to be totally void of granulation and cloudiness and has to remain so for 2 months.

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2019, 08:28:09 pm »
Once you start heating your honey over 104 degrees it starts to destroy the medicinal properties. The longer it is heated the worse it is. The hotter it is the worse it is. I keep my honey below 104.
Now if you are going to put it in a honey show and really want to win, you need to heat it, at least 130 degrees or more and let it sit to get the heavy items to sink and everything else, including air bubbles, to float. then you use a gate valve to get your honey from the middle. The valve is normally at the bottom of the bucket and does not pick up the bottom trash if you do not disturb it. Make sure there is absolutely no pollen on the honeycomb you are going to use for show. It makes the honey cloudy.
Make sure all jars are filled the same amount. Have clean lids to put on at the show location. If you will have labels make sure they are perfectly aligned and look the same and are spotless.
Good luck.
Jim Altmiller

Offline Beelab

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2019, 09:48:31 pm »
That?s great advice, thanks Jim. Never thought about the pollen. Wondered why some honeys never clear up, no matter what I do.
Back to the drawing board.

Offline qa33010

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2019, 09:51:43 pm »
I guess I'm lazy.  After spinning I immediately empty through a as spaghetti strainer and let sit for a day maybe two and bottle.  All I promise is there will be no WHOLE bees in the honey...
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2019, 11:11:22 pm »
most sieving for larger quantities in Germany and other countries in Europe I know is done by heating honey. Most common a sieve in form of a cloth and a heating spiral sitting on that cloth. What i dont like about it is that the honey is - for a very short time - heated to up to 80 C. but it is clean after this process and it is commonly accepted that the honey does not suffer, says science. I see that a bit differently.
So I am planning on building a run-throuhg-warmer, where the honey is led through a stainless-steel-tube which is spiraled in a large pot of warm water. If I heat the water to a defined temperature - for the honey we sell directly we will not exceed 35 degrees, in very hard cases 42 - the honey cannot get warmer than that, cause it doesnt have direct contact to a heating element.
Before that I plan on sieving through a coarse mesh (the extractor will get a heater-element underneath set to maybe 35 degrees, too, then pour or pump it into a large tank which will be kept at lets say 30 degrees overnight. then let it run through the warmer and into a large fine nylon sieve which sits in another smaller tank. from this tank I can then fill the buckets or barrels and after letting that sit for another few days, skimming a little should do the job. Maybe I can let the skimming be even.

Blackforest, I like your idea here. It has been a few months, have you had a chance to try your new plan?
Phillip

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2019, 01:35:50 am »
I guess I'm lazy.  After spinning I immediately empty through a as spaghetti strainer and let sit for a day maybe two and bottle.  All I promise is there will be no WHOLE bees in the honey...

 :grin: :grin:

Offline bobll

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2019, 10:56:15 am »
Jim. If temps higher than 104 begins destroying the medicinal properties of honey, then what happens to beekeepers whose summer months hit 110 degrees?

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Sieving honey
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2019, 11:44:45 am »
Jim. If temps higher than 104 begins destroying the medicinal properties of honey, then what happens to beekeepers whose summer months hit 110 degrees?
Ooh, good question!
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