Different Methods Of Straining Honey





Such combs as are taken from the middle or vicinity of brood-cells, are

generally unfit for the table; such should be strained. There are

several methods of doing it. One is, to mash the comb and put it in a

bag, and hang it over some vessel to catch the honey as it drains out.

This will do very well for small quantities in warm weather, or in the

fall before there is any of it candied. Another method is to put such

combs into a colander, and set this over a pan, and introduce it into

an oven after the bread is out. This melts the combs. The honey and a

portion of the wax run out together. The wax rises to the top and cools

in a cake. It is somewhat liable to burn, and requires some care. Many

prefer this method, as there is less taste of bee-bread, no cells

containing it being disturbed, but all the honey is not certain to

drain out without stirring it. If disposed, two qualities may be made,

by keeping the first separate. Another method is merely to break the

combs finely, and put them into a colander, and allow the honey to

drain out without much heat, and afterwards skim off the small

particles that rise to the top, or when very particular, pass the honey

through a cloth, or piece of lace. But for large quantities, a more

expeditious mode is to have a can and strainer, made for the purpose,

where fifty pounds or more can be worked out at once. The can is made

of tin, twelve or fourteen inches deep, by about ten or twelve

diameter, with handles on each side at the top, for lifting it. The

strainer is just enough smaller to go down inside the can; the height

may be considerably less, providing there are handles on each side to

pass out at the top; the bottom is perforated with holes like a

colander, combs are put into this, and the whole set into a kettle of

boiling water, and heated without any risk of burning, until all the

wax is melted, (which may be ascertained by stirring it,) when it may

be taken out. All the wax, bee-bread, &c., will rise in a few minutes.

The strainer can now be raised out of the top and set on a frame for

the purpose, or by merely tipping it slightly on one side it will rest

on the top of the can. It might be left to cool before raising the

strainer, were it not liable to stick to the sides of the can; the

honey would be full as pure, and separate nearly as clean from the wax

and bee-bread, &c. When raised out before cooling, the contents should

be repeatedly stirred, or considerable honey will remain. Two qualities

may be made by keeping the first that runs through separate from the

last, (as stirring it works out the bee-bread). Even a third quality

maybe obtained by adding a little water, and repeating the process.

This is worth but little. By boiling out the water, without burning,

and removing the scum, it will do to feed bees. By adding water until

it will just bear a potato, boiling and skimming, and letting it

ferment, it will make metheglin, or by letting the fermentation proceed

it will make vinegar. Honey that has been heated thoroughly, will not

candy as readily as when strained without heat. A little water may be

added to prevent its getting too hard; but should it get so in cold

weather, it can at any time be warmed, and water added until it is of

the right consistence.





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