Monday, August 9, 2010

Honey Extraction!

I was so excited about bringing home a jug of honey from the church fundraiser. As soon as I got home I opened it up and popped some bread into the toaster for some good ol' peanut butter and honey toast. Well, it turns out that almost half of the jug was wax. I ate it anyways, but I probably could have made enough candles to light Kenya for a year with the wax stuck in my teeth. I couldn't help but wonder what effect wax has on a digestive system, but I assumed it wouldn't kill me. I sat down with my Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping text book and read through the honey pasteurization in an attempt to figure out how to get the wax separated from the honey to make it more edible, but the text book talks about less traditional beekeeping practices so it wasn't very helpful.

After reading and talking to my dad, I decided to put the honey in a double boiler so that it would warm up but not too much so that the honey would get thinner but the wax wouldn't melt. This didn't really work out. The honey and the wax didn't really separate enough to be able to extract the wax without wasting a lot of honey. I tried using a strainer but it still wasn't really working out. After getting the majority of the wax out, but not as much as I wanted, I gave up and put the honey back into the jug with some wax remaining. About an hour later, I opened the jug to see how it was doing and since the honey and wax had both cooled a bit, the wax was perfectly floating right on the top! I was so excited because it made it super easy to scoop the remaining wax away and we are now left with perfectly fabulous, wax free honey!

I guess even the double boiler was to hot, but after letting it cool a bit it was the perfect temperature to extract the wax. It's a little sad how excited I was about this. I took the jug and skipped to all the bedrooms showing all the nurses how wax free the honey was. I think they just pretended to be excited about it to make me happy though.

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