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Thread: Solid rape honey

  1. #21
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Two years later and I'm still struggling with oil seed rape honey. I realise I need to get tubs with taps on them and follow Rosie's heating advice (sorry - I haven't done that yet!). In the meantime I did put the tubs in the heating cabinet but perhaps not for long enough - I don't know. I get some honey strained through, and then it just sits there again in the strainer and won't budge.

    So now I'm wondering what size strainers or filters are you using for oil seed rape honey? I'm using the stainless steel double filter from Thornes. The honey goes through the top one, but not the bottom one, and the top one can't be used on its own. I don't really want to put the tubs back in the heater (or not until I get one with a tap). Any suggestions?

    Kitta

  2. #22
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    Kitta
    You need to melt it more the bottom filter is getting clogged with crystallised honey. I make sure mine is warmed right through and is clearish, not too cloudy, before you filter it. This might take 24+ hours at 45-50oC, mixing periodically to ensure it gets heated through evenly.

    i use the Thornes filter you describe. Usually I spin it out of warmed supers - I just stack them on my warming cabinet set at about 40oC for a day to two, then filter it as it runs from the extractor. This year there was a lot of hawthorn in with it and it was easier to work with.

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    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Got some hawthorn honey here too, with only a little rape in it I think. Also from other hives a decent rape crop which is only now turning white and solid. I think that it remained fairly warm at the end of the OSR flow so I had no problem with honey setting in the comb.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Thanks Fatshark. I probably removed the tubs too early from the cabinet warmer and set the temperature too low as well (over cautious). I'll definitely follow the stirring advice as well.

    I managed to extract my combs ok, Gavin (apart from a few that collapsed because they had foundation without wire) and immediately started filtering - but still, the bottom filter soon got clogged.

    I still have some OSR honey frames to remove from some hives next to the (now green) OSR field. I think I'll follow your example with those, Fatshark, and put the frames in the cabinet before extracting.

    Thanks,
    Kitta

  5. #25
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    If it's already crystallised in the frame you'll need to melt it out Kitta. Your OSR will be behind ours but your temperatures will be lower so it may well have set. I usually try and extract before the frame is completely capped … just as long as I can't shake nectar out.

    Lots of people here use an Apimelter … I was talking to some friends this evening who tell me one of the local commercial guys charges a fiver per honey extracted. You get back the weight of honey and wax. But where's the fun in that. What would you do with all that time saved from not having to clean up?

  6. #26
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    I managed to extract the first batch of frames ok, Fatshark - the problems started with the filtering. I still have to find out about the next lot. I might remove them today.

    If I manage to extract the frames easily enough, I now wonder whether I should bother with immediate filtering as I'm not ready to bottle them. Perhaps I should just extract the honey and then store it in tubs unfiltered, let the honey set hard, and only then heat and filter?

    Or, if I heat, filter, and churn the honey now and store it in tubs, will the honey then set as soft set (as opposed to the rock hard stuff) so that I can jar it later without reheating? (Sorry if I'm talking gibberish.)
    Kitta

  7. #27
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    The fact that it blocked your filter on extraction suggests it was semi-crystallised in the frames. That being the case you'd probably be best to extract it, let it set, melt and filter. You certainly don't have to filter then.

    I filter on extraction (assuming I can), allow it to set in buckets - and store it like this - then melt, seed with a suitable soft set and allow to re-set. It doesn't always work properly! I've had stuff that's too sloppy, stuff that's too hard etc. However, you do need to melt it completely and the re-setting after seeding needs to be at a temperature below 14 C. Difficult to achieve at this time of year (though perhaps not on the top of a windswept hill in Aberdeenshire!).

  8. #28
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Thank you, Fatshark. I want to write Module 2 (Honey bee products and forage) in November - so I'd better get my head round honey extraction and start studying! Thank you for your help.
    Kitta

  9. #29
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Not sure that you need to melt completely, or seed it. I just soften it enough to be able to mix it (it is still whitish) then pour into jars. It stays like that and doesn't set hard again. I was intrigued by Apiarist's post earlier in the thread - extract, freeze, store, pour. Sound good to me and ought to maintain the flavours and minimise HMF more than any other variant. Straining is optional unless it is for sale or show.

    Sent from my BlackBerry 8520 using Tapatalk

  10. #30
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Yes, I liked Apiarist's instructions too - but my fridge freezer won't cope with that.

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