Well the last two days have bee interesting to say the least.
I (as mentioned earlier) took the super of small X frames and did a crush and strain. And what a fine mess I got myself into. Everything started off simple and easy I crushed the comb in a 20lt bucket and left it to settle out for nearly 2 days. The comb rose to the top and the honey sank. I seemed to have about 1/3 honey at the bottom rising to a thin layer of comb on top I removed about 2/3rds of the bucket to a second bucket The bottom honey was put through a large sieve with the finest mesh I could find and it went though fairly easily Then I put the honey/comb mix into the sieve and let it drain overnight.
This morning I was quite pleased with what I had and commenced to put honey into large jars There were 3 full jars with a net weight of near 1.75 Kg each. Having done that I could see little specs of wax, not many and very tiny. In my quest for perfection I took some muslin left over from last year’s Xmas pudding and with a double layer for even more filtration started to refine this honey further. Well after 4 hours not one drop had gone through the muslin. Thinking this double layer was the problem I attempted to go to a single layer.
Up until this point I had kept the mess to a reasonable level with water and cloth to hand to keep everything clean and tidy.
When untying the string which held the muslin over the bucket everything started to slip into the bucket. Attempting to halt this slide, honey started oozing out of every nook and cranny of the now bag like honey strainer. I had it all over my hands, quite a bit went down the side of the bucket as my one eye aligned me off centre of the bucket. Things were deteriorating rapidly and in the end I had honey over clothes, body, bucket, floor and much less than I started with. All in all I lost about 1/3 of the honey I was trying to refine.
I came quickly to the conclusion this would be the honey for friends and rellies. They could refine this further if they so desired or not. I went back to the straight sieve arrangement and
in the end I got about 14Kg of honey and estimate about 5 kg of honey went down the drain.
The honey was just on 15% and I could tell straight away it would come up with low water because of the difficulty in cleaning of hands and implements during the process.
Lessons learnt for crush and strain :
- Plan better 2. Prepare better and 3. Old fuddies like me should stick to Flowsupers