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Author Topic: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve  (Read 587 times)

Offline omnimirage

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Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« on: March 25, 2017, 12:17:02 AM »
I've been processing my honey using the crush and strain method. I've bought a metal honey sieve from ebay, and it often gets clogged with honey, and I need to stop the straining, clean everything and then repeat. It's coming to be very inefficient and time consuming.

The other day I went to finish straining some honey. A little bit of glump fell of the side of the honey, and I had another bucket that I had a minimal amount of honey in it with too much wax on top, so I mixed the buckets, and went to strain about 20 liters of more or less pure honey, and half way through the sieve got clogged up. I put it in a fridge at 38 celesius, and I stired where it got clogged, which helped minimally, but now there's a thick layer of honey that won't go through. I now need to tip out the honey that didn't go through, clean it all, and repeat, which takes well over an hour; just to sieve half a bucket of honey! I've noticed that stirring it helps, but I can't stir it too much as it turns into creamed honey.

I'm really lost as to what to do, my method absolutely sucks and is not working. I remember the man who taught me beekeeping, used a different kind of sieve; his was made out of fabric that you wrapped around the bucket. I tried to buy one of these, but couldn't find what they were called and where to buy them from.

Has anyone got any suggestions?

Offline sc-bee

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« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 02:08:39 AM by sc-bee »
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Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2017, 07:01:46 AM »
It you cannot find the paint strainers, which is what I use after extracting and for getting the honey out of my cappings, get cheese cloth and put that over your bucket.
Jim
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Offline Jim 134

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2017, 09:47:19 AM »
      Your so much better off trying to find a nylon strainer. It will not add micro pieces of fabric to your honey. Like cheese cloth will.  It's been my experience if this does happen your honey will crystallize faster. Hope you have a great day.


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Offline Acebird

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2017, 10:06:10 AM »
Get a honey gate and mount it about one inch from the bottom of the bucket.  Keep the honey at the elevated temperature for 2-3 days.  Then you can tap off most of the honey in the bucket with very little debris in it.  This will go through the filter faster.  For the remainder you need another plastic container.  I use gallon jugs that we buy pretzels in.  Drill 1/8 holes in the bottom of the jug or container.  First spoon off the wax from the top of the settled honey and put that in the jug.  Don't pack it down.  This will act like a prefilter for what is left in the bucket that you settled out.  Just pour or spoon it out on top of the wax in the drilled out container.  Let it set for a few days.  You can actually spoon off the wax first from the settled honey before you tap it off with the honey gate.  it will be easier because it will be closer to the top of the bucket.  Timing might be spoon it off after the first day and tap it off on the third day.  The only requirement is time.  Save a lot of aggravation.
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2017, 10:24:52 PM »
I've tried paint strainers before. When processing large amounts of honey I found that it got stuck inside the bag and wouldn't seap through, though that was when I didn't have a heat source application.

I do have a honeygate on my bucket Acebird. I wish I did what you suggest and I think I might do that sort of thing more often in the future.

It's taken me about a week and I'm almost finished, but it's clogged up again. I've been stirring it and it's been sitting in a fridge with a temperature of about 102f/38c. I think I'm going to need to scrap it all out into a bucket, then heat it 'till it's liquid, and put it back through the sieve. I'm getting concerned about my power bill, and also time; I want to have all this done within about 4 months time, but at this rate it'll take me all year.

I took some crappy quality photos to illuminate the situation:

http://imgur.com/a/2ixfO

It's really particularly creamy and thick on top, I suspect maybe the heat is contributing to it forming that way. Underneath it's more liquidly, I've managed to get it to sieve through with some stirring but there's still a lot there that is stubborn to do anything but stay put.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2017, 08:24:34 AM »
We use a coarse strainer about 1/8 out of the extractor and put the honey into 10l buckets, leave for a few days preferably in warm spot and the wax will be on the top. you can then scrape the wax off and then put warmed honey through a fine sieve into a 20l bucket with honey gate to package with.
This system works.

Offline lazy shooter

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2017, 09:13:13 AM »
Bucket heater from Mann Lake.

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2017, 12:59:24 PM »
I would not use a bucket heater unless you can control the heat to keep it below 104 degrees F.
Jim
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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2017, 04:26:16 PM »
Yes I agree Jim, in fact our warmer is at 100.
But you don't need that high temp to get wax in honey to float to the top, 80 will get it there over a few days and not destroy the honey.

Offline Hops Brewster

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2017, 05:42:31 PM »
Get a honey gate and mount it about one inch from the bottom of the bucket.  Keep the honey at the elevated temperature for 2-3 days.  Then you can tap off most of the honey in the bucket with very little debris in it.  This will go through the filter faster.  For the remainder you need another plastic container.  I use gallon jugs that we buy pretzels in.  Drill 1/8 holes in the bottom of the jug or container.  First spoon off the wax from the top of the settled honey and put that in the jug.  Don't pack it down.  This will act like a prefilter for what is left in the bucket that you settled out.  Just pour or spoon it out on top of the wax in the drilled out container.  Let it set for a few days.  You can actually spoon off the wax first from the settled honey before you tap it off with the honey gate.  it will be easier because it will be closer to the top of the bucket.  Timing might be spoon it off after the first day and tap it off on the third day.  The only requirement is time.  Save a lot of aggravation.
Omni, this is good advise, especially the part about keeping temperature up, which is critical.  The honey will flow away from the wax and debris when it is warm.  Cold honey is terrible to work with.  It takes the junk along with it and clogs every screening material you can think of.  Just mind your temp, don't let it get too hot.
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2017, 05:05:40 AM »
I'm not even trying to strain away wax anymore, it's getting clogged and stuck when it's just more or less straight honey. I've been heating it constantly, the honey, bucket and whole environment within the fridge is quite warm and it's not helping.

So yesterday I scrapped out all the honey that wasn't sieving; I was mistaken, there was no liquid in there whatsoever, it was all creamed. I then put it in a bucket, and heated it for quite some time, until it went all liquid again. I then poured it into the sieve again. Instead of the honey dropping from the sieve into the bucket, it just went hard and creamed again; it's not liquid, it doesn't move, it's thick and hard and not going through the sieve.

Can I be making creamed honey? Have I maybe somehow set up conditions where the honey is crystalising, even when sitting in an 102f environment, before it goes through? I don't know why it's doing this, it's very frustrating and I'm close to just giving up on it, and putting the darn creamed honey into a beehive for them to eat because no matter what I do, it's just not working.

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2017, 01:09:40 PM »
I'm not even trying to strain away wax anymore, it's getting clogged and stuck when it's just more or less straight honey. I've been heating it constantly, the honey, bucket and whole environment within the fridge is quite warm and it's not helping.

So yesterday I scrapped out all the honey that wasn't sieving; I was mistaken, there was no liquid in there whatsoever, it was all creamed. I then put it in a bucket, and heated it for quite some time, until it went all liquid again. I then poured it into the sieve again. Instead of the honey dropping from the sieve into the bucket, it just went hard and creamed again; it's not liquid, it doesn't move, it's thick and hard and not going through the sieve.

Can I be making creamed honey? Have I maybe somehow set up conditions where the honey is crystallising, even when sitting in an 102f environment, before it goes through? I don't know why it's doing this, it's very frustrating and I'm close to just giving up on it, and putting the darn creamed honey into a beehive for them to eat because no matter what I do, it's just not working.
Omni,
Something does not sound right.
I take it you are doing crush and strain. Is the honey crystallized in the comb? Even so it should not recrystallize that fast.
Are you using frames with a lot of pollen in them? That may be the problem.
Jim
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2017, 06:16:38 PM »
Once crystallized it will take a very long time to liquefy if the environment is 102F and get all the crystals dissolved.  I would raise the temperature of the warming box to 110 and check the honey temp until it reaches 104 or 105.  It is going to require stirring at intervals.
Jim could be right that there may be a lot of pollen in the honey and that will make it recrystallize quickly.
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Offline Anybrew2

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2017, 06:50:18 PM »
Let the Honey and wax sit for a few days and then skim it to removed the layer of wax which would have floated to the top.
Then warm the honey either in the sun for a couple of days or  in an old freezer or similar with a light globe and it will be easy to filter.

works for me.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2017, 08:57:21 PM »
Well as I said in post number 4 settling is the first step but I doubt if the OP did it.  This is pretty much if you fight nature you find yourself working too hard.
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Offline Captain776

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2017, 01:08:42 AM »
If you have a bucket with a gate valve at the bottom, when you let it sit in the bucket for a while doesn't all the wax and debris float to the top?  You should be able to get clean honey from drawing off the bottom of the bucket and just deal with separating the smaller amount at the end of the bottling process.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2017, 08:44:31 AM »
Bruce, the wax goes to the top and the heavier stuff, bee parts and junk go to the bottom that is why you mount the honey gate just a little off the bottom.  You can skim most of the wax from the top if the bucket is full pretty easy.  Crystallization is a different ball game.  In time most of the crystals will sink to the bottom if the honey is thin enough so settling helps that too.
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Offline salvo

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2017, 09:14:45 AM »
Hi Folks,

I've only been doing this for about six years, and sometimes it comes down to "tricks".

A little old lady beek taught me how to warm and "clarify" crystalized honey effectively (at least for my needs). She explained that ona a warm day, you put the containers of honey in a closed vehicle which is parked in direct sunlight. It acts like a solar oven, but doesn't get sooo hot, and you can still say..."warmed only by the sun..."

It has worked for me with cases of one pound jars kept over winter and even glass gallon jugs. I haven't tried a five gallon bucket yet.

In the gallon jugs, all the "floatables" do actually float to the top, above a clear golden liquid honey. Once I cooled the gallon jugs the wax "set up" on the top. I then poked a hole in the wax and poured off the clear honey, warmed only by the sun.

Sal
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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2017, 07:19:46 AM »
Sal,
Be careful using your car for heating honey. I have a thermometer in my pickup and a sunny day it will reach 150 degrees with the windows closed.
I use a honey heater that I built from the design from this site. I have it set for 104. It totally dissolves the crystals and does not harm the honey.
Jim
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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2017, 07:27:00 AM »
Here are the directions for the heater.
#
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Difficulties straining honey; clogged sieve
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2017, 10:38:44 AM »
I don't have 5 gallon buckets but you could do them with two of these.
"http://s697.photobucket.com/user/acebird1/library/Honey%20warmer"

These are styro containers use for transporting drugs.  Drug stores fill dumpsters with them so they are free.
The bulb is a 10W LED you can go to a 13W LED an old 15W night light or use multiples.
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