If you are keen on making the best possible homemade honey, a question you’ve probably asked is ‘How do I filter my honey?’. Natural honey has wax and other debris such as pollen that you need to get rid of. You do not really need to filter the honey, though. All you need is to strain it, as honey will naturally clarify if left alone. Gravity will do the work and all the wax will float to the top. Here are a few tips to help you strain your honey perfectly so you do not have large lumps of wax in your honey.
What Level Of Filtering Do You Want?
Some people filter out all of the wax and pollen particles from their honey but many people love that fact that pollen and wax makes honey crystallize more quickly. For economy, a stainless steel perforated filter is best as they are available in a range of different grades from coarse to fine and can be removed for cleaning. If you use a plastic or nylon filter, these can be harder to clean when they become clogged up and coated with wax. For those who do not want their honey to crystallize for years, a 200 or 400-micron paint strainer from a hardware store gives you the highest levels of filtration.
What Advantages Does Cheesecloth Have?
Many people do not use cheesecloth thinking that it will put lint into the honey. As cheesecloth is made using woven natural cotton fibers, this is possible but should not be a concern if you buy top-quality cheesecloth. It comes in rolls anywhere from 8″ to 18″ wide and there are a range of different grades available from light weight to heavy weight meaning that you are sure to find the perfect type for your honey. Unlike permanent steel and plastic strainers, cheesecloth is cheap, easily washed and is biodegradable when you choose to discard it.
How To Use Cheesecloth To Strain Honey
If all depends on the scale you are making honey on and the setup you’ve got. Here is a brief look at how cheesecloth enhances the effectiveness of Un-tapping tubs, extractors and strainer systems.
These tubs consists of two tubs stacked one on top of the other. The top tub has its base cut out and a sheet of stainless steel perforated sheet over the gap. You can un-tap your frames into the top bucket and the honey flows through the perforations to the bottom bucket from which it is bottled. Most un-tapping tubs have a nylon mesh liner in the top tub to catch the wax. Cheesecloth makes an ideal liner material to catch lumps of wax and other sediment.
If you have a stand-alone extractor, the honey flows from the extractor into a collecting bucket from which it can be bottled. You have plenty of different types and grades of sieves that fit on top of the collecting bucket. You can buy stainless steel or plastic ones but they can be hard to clean as they get covered with wax. A much better solution is to use cheesecloth over the top of the bucket and then let the honey settle for 24 – 48 hours. The wax and sediment will rise to the top.
The 5-Gallon Strainer System
These systems look like two 5-gallon buckets sat on top of each other. They work in the same way as an un-tapping tub with the base of the top bucket having a stainless steel perforated mesh. As with the tub, honey flows down to the lower bucket where it is bottled. Most strainer systems use a nylon bag in the top bucket to catch wax and sediment but cheesecloth is perfectly up to the task. When honey runs down, the wax is held in the cheesecloth and all the honey will filter through.