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Thread: Soft-set honey

  1. #11
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    somewhat related question. one batch of honey, jarred up at the same time. all the honey in the round 1lb jars is clear, all the honey in the hex 12oz jars has set. no difference in treatment at all. what the fudge is driving that because i’m at a loss to explain it.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Thats odd, Neil. Could it be that, being smaller, the 12 oz jars crystallised quicker because they got colder quicker?

  3. #13
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    Honestly don't know, wondering if it might have something to do with shape in combination with temp or something.

  4. #14

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    I have been trying to make my soft-set ivy honey softer than my usually softish-to-semihard stuff, but still not approaching that of supermarket soft set the texture that shoppers seem to prefer. Should I accept that it is not possible? Has anyone had a good result?
    Alan.

  5. #15
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    I've not attempted soft set with ivy. The softest soft set I make usually results from using a reasonable amount of a suitable 'seed' and then mixing it really well, morning and night, over several days. This ends up creamy smooth and retains its consistency very well.

    Is there a good market for ivy? I thought it was a bit of an acquired taste. Moot point for me really as I never get a crop from it

  6. #16

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    Hi Fatshark,
    I used about 15% seed - so smooth you were hardly hardly aware of a texture. I cut the crystallised ivy comb from super frames drawn by my bees on super frames without foundation and supported by wooden skewers). I separated the honey from the wax overnight at about 60C and filtered it through a muslin bag at 30C to get the liquified honey. Temperature control was with a well-calibrated warming cabinet.
    I mixed with the seed with a stirrer attached to an electric drill (very slow speed) and left for 12hrs at about 10C. By this time crystallisation had occurred but the consistency was such that I could spoon it into jars (thankfully it was still warm and soft enough to settle without air bubbles). I had been hopeful of running it into jars before setting had proceeded - next time I will jar straight after mixing. If I had tried to mix (before jarring) again, the drill would not have been able to manage.
    The end product now, can be spooned out of the jar - with effort, but not enough effort to dissuade those who like it on toast before dashing off to work (I hope). The taste is magnificent - certainly does not (for me and others I know) come under the heading of acquired. I am able to sell soft set ivy (albeit last years crop which was not as soft), but most people here are used to using runny, clear, summer honey and consider, culturally, that crystallised honey is inferior. Probably a serious bee keeper would consider soft set ivy honey to be too much of a chore.
    Alan.

  7. #17
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    Thanks Alan

    I know what you mean about people considering clear runny summer honey being preferable. Some places only want that to sell. It's less work, so that's OK. However, it doesn't help shift all the buckets of rock solid spring honey I've got in the storeroom

    I make my soft set in a similar way to you describe except after mixing (at ~13C for as long as it takes) I then warm it again to 35-37C for 24 hours to help the (inevitable) bubbles rise and to get it to a good temperature for jarring. I've found this reduces frosting.

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