Saturday, August 7, 2021

How to decrystallize honey in 30 Kg buckets on small scale using a Sous Vide machine

Most Honey types crystallize over time and there is nothing bad about that, its just a natural thing to happen and there is nothing wrong with crystallized honey at all.

While some people seem to prefer crystallized honey it can become a bit unhandy for the beekeeper when it comes to bottling honey jars.

In our case we still store a lot of honey in 20 or 30 liter buckets, that's 8 gallons for people using imperial systems. We tend to first store it on those buckets prior either selling the buckets bulk or filling it into smaller jars for retail sales purposes. However filling of smaller jars can happen up to a few month later, hence the buckets can become crystallized by the time we intend to jar them.


When looking around for a simple solution to warm up the honey, to get it back into a viscous enough state to fill into jars we checked for something simple to use, low maintenance, zero effort requirement, and trying to be energy efficient.
That's when my brother Gordon was preparing some steaks using a Sous-Vide machine, when we found it to be also very handy to keep a large enough tub at perfect temperature to warm up our 30kg buckets full of honey. Same, same, but different.

As it turns out we can place 2x 30kg tubs into the black tub, heating up the water to approx 38 degrees Celsius and letting the buckets sit there for around 24h. Once done we can insert the next 2 buckets while the water still remains warm and keeps the heat for another few rounds of buckets.


Depending on how well insulated this is being setup, I could imagine it being fairly economical in terms of energy consumption. You also may change the heat source from electricity to gas.

The fact that we can easily just pop in 2x new buckets while the water is already pre-heated makes it fairly efficient, also if the heat source switches off for some reason then the heat does not just instantly dissipate.

Below you can see the Sous Vide machine dialled in for 25 hours at 38 Celsius.


Happy bottling!



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