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Author Topic: Cooling Cabinet  (Read 2312 times)

Offline Lesgold

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Cooling Cabinet
« on: January 16, 2022, 11:47:47 pm »
Hi Folks,

Just doing a bit of research on creamed honey manufacture. It?s pretty hot here at the moment so it?s not ideal to be playing with creamed honey unless there is a cool place to store it. I?m just making a sample batch at the moment to see how it goes. I?m storing it in my camping fridge which has been set to maximum (50 F) That should work OK but it got me thinking. If I were to make a cooling cabinet (similar to my warming cabinet) and use an old fridge or bar fridge,  (depending on the size required) I could control the fridge accurately using a temperature controller.  (STC 1000) The fridge would still cycle on and off but it could be set to any temperature that I want. Anyone tried this or something similar? An old fridge would cost $20 to $50 and the controller about $15 so there is not a lot of money tied up in it. Construction and assembly time would be about 1 1/2 hours. Interested to hear your thoughts.

Cheers

Les

Offline Acebird

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2022, 08:26:25 am »
To my knowledge creamed honey does not dissolve at room temperature.  So why would you need a cooling chamber?
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Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2022, 08:39:10 am »
Ace,
You need a cooling chamber to make the honey crystallize.
If creamed honey gets to warm after it is done it can go back to being a liquid.
Jim Altmiller

Offline jimineycricket

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2022, 12:09:54 pm »
        As a former home brewer, I once used an old secondhand refrigerator as a cooling cabinet to make lager beer,  There is a controller on the market which will take over the controls of the refrigerator.  You may have to wire around the refrigerator's manufacturer's control unit.  I was able to take the whole refrigerator down to freezing temperature. 
jimmy

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2022, 05:17:38 pm »
That was my thinking. Plug the fridge into the controller which would turn it on and off according to the temperature that was preset in the STC 1000.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2022, 08:13:50 am »
Ace,
You need a cooling chamber to make the honey crystallize.
If creamed honey gets to warm after it is done it can go back to being a liquid.
Jim Altmiller
Is it refrigerated in the store?
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Offline Lesgold

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2022, 04:19:53 pm »
Hi Acebird. I think what Jim was trying to say was that the crystallisation and formation of creamed honey occurs best at cool conditions (from what I?ve read around 57 degrees) At the moment the temperatures in my area range from about 68 overnight to a high of around 85 of a day time. I therefore need the cooling to get the conditions right. Once the creamed honey crystals have formed, it will be stored at room temperature. I am still getting some of my early honey crystallising even though we have had days up to 100 degrees.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2022, 08:04:43 am »
I am still getting some of my early honey crystallising even though we have had days up to 100 degrees.
If something crystallizes naturally it means it doesn't take a lot of energy to happen but the reverse does take energy.
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Online NigelP

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2022, 08:21:30 am »
. Once the creamed honey crystals have formed, it will be stored at room temperature. I am still getting some of my early honey crystallising even though we have had days up to 100 degrees.

It wants to be stored somewhere cool and definitely out of direct sunlight. If soft set is exposed to higher temps it can (and does) separate into three layered honey, liquid, in-between and soft set. Unsellable when that happens.
I often have to provide shade over my soft set on market stalls to stop this happening.

Glucose is your enemy for setting honey, honeys with high level of glucose set really fast. We have a major crop Oil Seed Rape (Canola) and it sets solid in less than  a week after extraction. In fact if you don't get the supers off fast enough it will set in the combs inside the hive and become unextractable.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2022, 03:25:09 pm »
That is fast. I know that?s lot of the professional beekeepers put hives on the canola every year. I am experimenting with some seed honey at the moment. It took about 6 months to crystallise initially and I have quite a few buckets that have set solid. I am blindly plodding along to see what happens with the small test batch. I ground the crystals down for an hour with a mortar and pestle and then added it to some raw honey and mixed it. I am storing it at 10 degrees C to see what happens. Should I be stirring that seed honey at all? There is about 700 grams in the test batch.

Online NigelP

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2022, 04:24:00 am »
Les if you just leave it to set you will end up with a "soft set" honey but one with larger aggregates of crystals. Take a potato masher and plunge it up and down, being careful to not introduce air bubbles. As you force the crystals through the holes in the masher the shear forces break up the crystal aggregates into smaller crystals. A really smooth soft set honey will look white in the jar.


Offline Lesgold

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2022, 03:24:19 pm »
Thanks Nigel, I?ll get onto that and see how it goes. I assume you follow the same process when you get to a larger batch. Can you use a stirrer attached to a drill? I see there is a double bladed style available that doesn?t introduce air into the mix. Any thoughts on those?

Online NigelP

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2022, 05:29:27 am »
New one for me that Les. All the drill stirrers I ever tried introduced air and you ended up with a layer of froth in each jar. But if they are advertising one that doesn't introduce air, well worth trying as much less labour intensive than using a potato masher.......Now I have my creaming machine I'm a  contented bunny.
As I see it your biggest problem in the "tropics" is going to be heat. It is very difficult to make good soft set when it's too warm.  Even in the temperate UK I need to make a years supply during our winter, any of the stuff I make in the summer is just not as good.
I've  a batch brewing at the moment. In my bee shed its a round 2-3C but the friction created by the crystals rubbing over each other makes the mixture around 18C, which is fine. In the summer this temperature gets over 24-25C and it just won't set as fine...it "soft sets" but it's a coarser set. Which might not matter too much in the long run....depends how much of a perfectionist you are  :cool:

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2022, 06:22:20 am »
This is what I?m thinking of:

[ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Perhaps with a smaller pitch. The bottom blade pulls material up where as the top one pushes down. Not sure how effective they are but the idea sounds as if it could work. My seed batch is being held at 10 degrees in a small fridge. Was planning on storing the soft set the same way. I could get away without refrigeration for a month or two during winter. I would like to produce a quality product but I don?t think I can get anywhere near what you are producing. The honey that came out of the mortar and pestle was white. When I mixed it with some raw honey, the colour changed to a tan colour (similar to what I see commercially) It has remained that way ever since. The honey however is not grainy.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2022, 08:19:53 am »
This is what I?m thinking of:

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Off the top of my head I would not recommend that.  I think you should be looking at something like a DoBoy mixer at a slow speed for a long time.  Commercially I think something like a mill that crushes the crystals would work best.
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2022, 11:54:54 am »
Quote

NigelP
Now I have my creaming machine I'm a  contented bunny.

Nigel,
What does the heart, (the mechanism), of your creamer machine look like?  Can you post a picture?
Thanks,

Phillip
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Online NigelP

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2022, 02:47:24 pm »
Will do....can't at moment as full of soft setting honey. Just imagine a butter churn....but motorised.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2022, 03:49:28 pm »
Will do....can't at moment as full of soft setting honey. Just imagine a butter churn....but motorised.

Thanks Nigel..
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2022, 04:49:08 pm »
Thanks Acebird. This is a totally new area for me so any feedback is appreciated. From what I?ve seen on video clips etc,  a slow speed is what is required to keep air out of the honey.

Nigel, is your machine on an automatic timer? From what I?ve read, some of the models appear to be.

Online NigelP

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Re: Cooling Cabinet
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2022, 04:43:15 am »
Yes, its on a 15 minute churn rest for an hour and repeat for a few days.