Friday, July 25, 2014

An Even Simpler Way to Strain Honey

Yesterday I harvested honey for the second time this year, and tried a new and simpler way to strain it. I simply scrape open the comb on each side with a fork (not completely mashing it, as I'd done before), then suspend it in a gallon-sized jar in a jelly bag (seam side out, for easier cleaning, and secured with a rubber band (I used one from some broccoli I bought at the grocery store - they're nice and thick). I top it all off with a plate to keep bugs out).
I leave it in a warm place for a day or so (until it stops dripping), then pour the honey into smaller jars for storage. Since I want to save the wax, too, I take the comb out of the jelly bag and heat it in a double boiler, just until melted. Then I pour it into my silicone muffin pan and let it cool for a few hours.
(Tip: if you wipe out your double boiler pan while it's still warm, the wax will come out fairly well. Better yet, after your wax is cooled (so you can weigh it), mix up a batch of lip balm in the pan - the oils will make it much easier to wipe clean!)
Once the wax hardens, I pop it out of the muffin pan. Usually, there will be some honey on the bottom of the cavity, since not all of it dripped out during the jelly bag stage. I'll save that in a separate container for baking, since it was already heated (I like to keep the rest raw).
I generally also have a layer of pollen on the bottom of each wax piece. I simply scrape this off with a knife and freeze it (I use it as a protein supplement for my chickens in the winter).

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