This is easy:
- When you extract your honey make sure you strain your honey well and keep it as clean as possible;
- Set it aside to granulate – 14°C is the best temperature for this
- When your honey has granulated pick out those buckets with a good fine grain and set them aside;
- Carefully scrape the fine debris off the top of the honey that you are ready to process. Wear your glasses for this bit;
- Put the buckets into your warming cabinet at 30°C for 24 hours;
- At this point the honey should be soft but not liquid, although there may be a little runny honey round the edges and that’s ok. If it is still a bit solid in the middle, give it another few hours;
- Get a clean wooden spoon and stir the honey to get it mobile – it should be like thick porridge;
- Pour the honey into your bottler but try and leave a couple of centimeters of honey in the bucket. There can be little black bits down there no matter how carefully you strained it so keep that and add it to your run honey then you can strain it;
- Give it a good stirring to remove lumps;
- Bottle the honey immediately – if you let it cool it’ll stiffen up in the bottler.
- Always keep about 3lb of soft set honey in case you need if for seed.
- Put the jars somewhere cool (14°C ) for a week to stiffen up a bit.
If you have no buckets of honey that have set with that nice fine grain then you must seed it. Here’s how:
- Put your bucket or buckets into your warming cabinet at 40°C for 24 hours then turn it up to 45 for another couple of hours or until all crystals are dissolved;
- Fine-strain your honey into your bottler and allow it to cool for a couple of hours or to about 30°C;
- While it is cooling put your jars of ‘seed’ into your bottler at 30°C to soften a little bit. You will need10% seed so 3lb for a 30lb bucket
- When the honey in your bottler has cooled add your ‘seed’ and stir it well – so long as you’ve got it soft enough this shouldn’t be difficult;
- Run the honey off into a clean bucket or buckets and leave to set. It will now set with the same grain you seeded it with;
- Once set – proceed as above.
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