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Measuring honey....

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Boogaloo

NewBee
Registered Member
How do you weigh honey? I've been buying 5lb batches and just using the whole thing at once but now I'm considering buying a 60lb pail and was wondering how do you break out a few lbs out of a large pail? Every way I can think seems like it would be reaaaaal messy.

~boog
 

Chevette Girl

All around BAD EXAMPLE
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First option is a honey gate. You can install it in the bucket lid and just pour, the apiary I go to has one installed at the bottom of a 55 gal drum for their bulk honey setup where you bring your own jars. It flows nice and quickly, not like the honey dispenser at the bulk food store where you can stick the container underneath the spigot, open it full, go do the rest of your shopping, and still have less than a kilogram by that time...

Now that I'm just buying buckets instead of getting a dozen jars filled at a time, what I do is I ladle it out into some of the jars (full 1 kg and 3/4 full 2 kg which is 3.5 lb for JAO) so it's ready to go when I need it and I only have to get completely sticky going into the buckets once in a while. With a previous bucket, I'd just ladle the honey out into my fermenting jar on the scale and weigh it as I went. I like my nice stainless steel ladle, about three scoops is a kilogram :)
 

YogiBearMead726

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Aug 21, 2010
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The two techniques I employed with some success were to set the honey bucket on a scale, record before and after weights, and by just shooting for a target OG. Together, it was a crude but effective way to figure out how much honey I had ladled out. It's basically the same idea CG put forth, only reversed on which container is weighed.

I'm with CG on this one...a nice big SS ladle is awesome to have for this situation. The less scoops you need to take, the less mess in the end.
 

Loadnabox

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Apr 17, 2011
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I have a small 10 pound food scale

I ladle into a rather large bowl that I have (that weighs exactly 1.51 pounds) until I have the amount of honey that I want. If it's a recipe that needs more than ~5 pounds, I generally will use a left over 5# bucket (from a purchase of buckwheat honey) that I will fill to the top, empty out, rinse with the must or wine, then spoon another 5 pounds in.
 

Boogaloo

NewBee
Registered Member
I didn't think of measuring the whole bucket. I might try that because I think it will produce the least amount of spillage the first few time I do it. I have to save some for the bucket but in the meantime will look for a SS ladle at the local thrift stores.

When you get to the bottom of the bucket can you just leave some in there and use the bucket as a primary fermenter? They must be food safe if there is honey in there.
 

Chevette Girl

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When you get to the bottom of the bucket can you just leave some in there and use the bucket as a primary fermenter? They must be food safe if there is honey in there.
That is my eventual plan! I need to replace some of my smaller buckets soon anyway! (I can only get the 30 lb buckets from my apiary)
 

Soyala_Amaya

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 21, 2011
991
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Missouri
I just did this with my spiced pumpkin cyser. Worked very well as a primary fermentor, but if drill a hole for a bung, be VERY sure EVERY piece of plastic is washed off. I found four or five tiny pieces of white plastic floating on top of my must when I opened it to rack, good thing plastic floats and I had extra in the bucket to rack under the top couple inches.
 

Chevette Girl

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On that note, I bought a plastic fermenter bucket (labelled as such, pre-drilled lid and everything) and its lid still occasionally sheds a shred of white plastic into my must... fortunately way too big to fit through a racking hose, but I do make sure to sanitize EVERYTHING...
 

Boogaloo

NewBee
Registered Member
That is my eventual plan! I need to replace some of my smaller buckets soon anyway! (I can only get the 30 lb buckets from my apiary)
I need to find me a local apiary and start making 'local' mead. Also, lots of apple, peach, and pear orchards around here. Maybe a good project for next year is to make mead from all local goods. To bad there isn't local yeast!
 

Vance G

NewBee
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Aug 30, 2011
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Great Falls Montana
If you buy the right honey which is raw and unfiltered, it will crystalize relatively soon. The darker varieties often very soon. Then you are not pouring, you are carving and it tends to be messy. Just a warning in case you hadn't thought of that. Putting it in jars of a known weight: a quart is considered 3 pounds, allows you to set it sealed and sugared into the dishwasher and reliquifying it without overheating and destroying it's best qualities. Microwaves and unwatched waterbaths tend to burn it if you are not very observant. I know squat about meadmaking but I do know a little about honey:<}
 

Vance G

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Aug 30, 2011
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Great Falls Montana
You can put it on the bucket lid? The first time I heard about the honey gate, I looked it up and I swear it was on the bucket. I'll have to look into this again.
Outfit called mannlake ltd among others sells those gates for about 8 bucks if you can drill a good hole to put them in. For eastcoasters go to brushymountain.com to save freight
 

JimSar

NewBee
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Nov 11, 2009
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Vallejo, CA
I pour honey out of buckets, in several stages, checking SG and/or weight each time. I rarely overshoot, but when I do, additional water to compensate puts me back on spec.

This is the scale I use, a 75# capacity postal scale with remote display. I like the fact that the long cord to the display allows you to weigh bulky items such as a suitcase and still see the LCD. With the airlines being as strict as they are now with luggage, this little scale has probably paid for itself many times over in the many years we've had it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/75-Lbs-Ultr...ultDomain_0&hash=item43a4654f75#ht_3839wt_926

I deal with crystallization by using a FermWrap heater on the bucket a day or two before d-day, stirring it a few times along the way to help spread out the heat.
 

BBBF

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May 19, 2008
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Honey gates are traditionally done on the bucket. I considered trying to make one on a lid, but there is no way I would trust the lid to stay on while the 60lb bucket is turned sideways.

http://thehoneyexchange.com/products/food-grade-bucket-with-honey-gate-and-lid

Personally.. I shoot for S.G. rather than pounds, as the sugar content can vary from one strand of honey to another.
Yeah, that was my thought after thinking about it a little more. A couple gallons on the floor is a lot worse that dealing with minor drips from transfering small amounts at a time.
 

Chevette Girl

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You can put it on the bucket lid? The first time I heard about the honey gate, I looked it up and I swear it was on the bucket. I'll have to look into this again.
I have lids I'd trust and lids I wouldn't, I don't use a gate myself but I know I've seen a photo of one installed in a lid. The advantage is you can make the hole and install the gate without having to remove the honey. That said, transferring your honey from one bucket to your gated bucket isn't that big of a deal either and it's probably a much safer place for the gate.

Go to yer big box grocery store and if they have a bakery, they will have buckets up to five gallons for sale for a couple bucks. Free at Wallyworld here.
I get 5-gal buckets from grape juice from my LHBS for a buck or two, and at least I know what was in 'em :) I haven't found a good source for lidded 3-gal buckets I'd trust since my bulk food store's supplier started using crappy lids on buckets which are a slightly different diameter from all my good lids. And hey, 3-gal buckets come free with the $93 of honey. :rolleyes: and most of my older 3-gal buckets have started to get scratched and stuff, one of them has already been designated "vinegar bucket" and two more are going to be on fruit collection detail only, from now on...
 
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