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Thread: Separating wax from honey

  1. #1
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    Question Separating wax from honey

    Hello Folks,
    Just spent the evening pressing some heather honey from wired frames, there's quite bit more to do
    My question is, at the end of each round of pressing (Thornes) I am left with a heavy disc of wax and honey mixed, does anyone know a simple process to separate them and retrieve the honey ?
    Thanks.

    Mike

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    There is realistically no way of doing it. If you are pressing correctly (and you have my sympathies) the end cake should be near dry. If it is wet you are not pressing hard enough, long enough or warm enough.

    Last trick is to soak the wax in water to remove the last of the honey and then use it as a starter must to make mead. It would of course need more honey added to it for that.

    PH

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    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    I have quite a lot of cappings left that I've drained, but I know there's still honey in it. I thought that I might melt the cappings, and then use the honey as cooking honey (or for mead, as PH said). I thought the easiest way to separate the honey from the wax is if I borrow the association's electric uncapping tray (like this one) - but I still need to do that.
    Kitta

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    Senior Member Bridget's Avatar
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    We are feeding the great lumps back to the bees. At the end hope to have some nicely cleaned bits of wax. Unless you have a really small harvest we don't feel it's worth trying to get the last honey out of these slabs - better give it the bees.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

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    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Yes, so do I, Bridget - but I think I've left it a bit too late this year - and I have a lot.

    Beautiful and intricate as it may be, I get a bit fed-up having to chisel their beautiful sculptures out of the feeders when I do give the cappings to the bees. The answer is, of course, that I should give it to them in old ice cream tubs, or whatever, rather than my rapid feeders! Next time ...

    Kitta

  6. #6

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    If you are pressing vertically...AKA fruit press then you end up with the wax blocking fluid channels to the outer bits and end up with honey locked in the round wedge. Break up and repress. Slow and tedious. Got the T shirt!
    A better alternative is invest in a hydropress, it presses from the sides rather than vertical pressure. It's not perfect but as close as it gets for the hobbyist.

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    Thanks to everyone for their input.
    Despite driving the workshop temp up to 32 deg C for 6 hours before beginning, the heather honey is still a challenge. Slow application of the press is undoubtedly essential due to hydraulic/mesh constraints. In the end I have decided not to re-press but rather load the discs into rapid feeders and place on top of an open crown board and let the bees take it down and oh, the bees are still flying to the heather which although past its best is still showing well........more work yet !

    Mike
    Last edited by honeylover; 25-09-2017 at 07:34 AM.

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    We seem to be going backwards not forwards. In the early 80's this idea was put forward but initially it was tried with bags of crushed up comb. After a few highly decorated and aromatic kitchens, not to mention furious spouses, it progressed to what you see in this video. The wax cake up to a point actually helps with the filtering and after the honey is out the spinner ends up with the wax virtually dry or as close to as makes no odds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XehRwof480&t=65s



    PH

  9. #9

    Default Hydropress/spin dryer

    I agree the hydropress looks impressive but I cannot imagine using it in the kitchen because at some point you need to release 3 bar of water pressure and I would be wary pressing outside under less than ideal hygienic conditions. I would like to see a video of someone using it for honey if anyone can point me in the right direction.

    PH - the spin dryer seems to incorporate a lot of air and that did not look like heather honey you were spinning; it looked a bit paler than heather.

    I've no experience of the rollers to make the heather honey less viscous but looks inefficient and the automatic loosener machines look good but too pricey for the hobbyist. So I come back to the fruit press. Yes, its slow, but the wax block can be cleaned up by the bees to leave a nice dry flakey powder ready to melt or it can be washed in the bag a few times.

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    I never claimed it was heather in the video and you are quite right it was blossom.

    However I have used that spinner to deal with the cappings from some 10 tons of heather over the years so I know it works well with that honey. Yes there is some air involved but as the honey settles in the buckets it rises out leaving a rather delicious froth about an inch or so deep which is very easily scraped off leaving beautifully clean honey to be bottled up.

    PH

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