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Thread: Solid rape honey

  1. #1

    Default Solid rape honey

    Took my rape honey off three weeks ago. Half has been bottled, and half is still in the bucket. It was my first big haul, and I didn't realise it would set so quickly and solidly. Can I still heat it up, and "seed" it with clover honey?
    Last edited by Derek Uchman; 21-06-2011 at 09:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd keep the two types separate. Clover honey will granulate anyway.

    Many folk let the rape honey set in buckets (I let mine set in the combs this year - doh!) then warm it just enough to get it moving. Stir it and bottle it. It will remain soft set, better than the frosted hard stuff that you get when you let it set in the jars.

    I sometimes extract mine into large polythene food bags sitting in large tins. After it sets I can warm it with a bit of judicious microwaving, enough so that I can squidge it inside its bag to mix and soften, cut the corner off, and pipe it into jars.

    Keep it quiet about honey harvests though - you'll make those people in the west jealous.

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    Honey! What's that then? Something we might not see this year in the wet and windy west. Just as well I went down the bee breeding road and not the honey crop road!

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    I'm not sure that those of us in the west will be jealous of the poor folk who have to cope with rape honey, Gavin

    For me, the main flow's just about to begin and wandering round the hives on a still summer's evening when the girls are ripening clover honey is just heavenly!

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    There's still a chance of honey as we tend to get late flows.All we need is an Indian Summer.

  6. #6

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    Thanks, Gavin. I'll take your advice. Glad to hear the situation isn't a complete loss.

    Sorry, westcoasters! I had no idea the situation was like that there. Hope things pick up, and you get your Indian summer

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    I had real difficulty getting an extractor in time so my rape honey set in the comb. Can antone advise me about how to extract it if that's possible. I don't want to give 75ibs of it back to the bees. Mike

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    Well, this westcoaster is bottling the biggest haul of honey we've had in a long time ... and managed to breed bees too. They've even given us some lovely comb honey which was drawn more evenly than usual. I suppose it helps to have bees which fly in anything except torrential rain!

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    Mike

    I cut out granualted rape honey and break it up into a plaster tank with a honey gate in the bottom. I then put the tank in my warming cabinet set at about 50 degs c and let the honey melt. A soon as it starts to appear in the bottom of the tank I draw it off so that it is not sitting in the heat for any length of time. As I draw it off more melts and sinks to the bottom.

    I sometimes test the honey produced this way and the enzymes are still active so the short exposure to the heat has not done too much damage.

    Once the flow from the tank slows down to a trickle I dig out all the softened wax and put it into a stainless bucket and put that into an oven at 90 Deg C. It takes all day to melt all the wax and by the evening I take it out to cool. By next morning I have a clean cake of wax on the top of the bucket and clean honey in the bottom. I lift out the cake by screwing in a cork screw. The honey recovered at this stage is saved for cooking because the enzymes will have been killed.

    Rosie

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    Quote Originally Posted by gavin View Post
    I sometimes extract mine into large polythene food bags sitting in large tins. After it sets I can warm it with a bit of judicious microwaving, enough so that I can squidge it inside its bag to mix and soften, cut the corner off, and pipe it into jars.
    Microwaving? Oh dear Gavin not good form at all, the massive energy really knackers the honey quality. - apparently, but then again : http://journals.uzpi.cz/publicFiles/44990.pdf cant find a reference to what microwaving does to enzymes though.
    12,5kg food quality buckets with lids, fit nicely one of these as a water bath for gentle & efficient warmth distribution:

    at 40C for 24hrs and your honey is liquified. Or stir after clearing from harvesting till close to set (that lovely shimmering look) and 8hours @ 40C and it is a pourable soft set and will not properly resolidify.
    Last edited by Calum; 06-09-2011 at 07:13 PM. Reason: nackers with a K

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