Crush and strain question...

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Omie, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ok, so my honey got crushed along with the comb, it sat and drained for two days and I've bottled it. The big gooey clump of crushed comb is leftover now, and no more honey will drain out of it.

    So now I recall people either putting it in a double boiler and gently warming it until the wax melts, then you let it cool and the wax forms a clean cap on the top that you simply lift off, right? And you can feed the leftover honey back to the bees?

    My real question is:
    I can't remember if you put this gooey clump into WATER in a pot and warm it, or if you simply put the clump into an empty pot to warm it. I need to know this! :)

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    water, or double boiler.
     

  3. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ackk!- I'm not sure what you mean! =8-*

    ---Do I put the clump of gooey wax (about the size of a grapefruti) into a pot full of water, (IN WITH some water) and then heat it over a double boiler?- or do I leave the top of the double boiler DRY and put the gooey clump all by itself to melt in the top empty pot?
     
  4. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    It'll be easier to work with if you start with some water if your intention is to feed the extracted honey (now diluted) back to the bees.
    However:
    1: Maybe I am not remembering correctly, but I thought you had a solar wax extractor. You can put the clump in the extractor, let the sun do the heating (maybe in your area it's too late in the season to get a really heating sun?) and you'll get the cake of wax on honey that,if not heated too long or too hot, is still excellent for baking and cooking.
    2. You can soak the cappings in water and extract a thin honey syrup that can be used to make mead--another delicious honey project. :drinks:

    A grapefruit sized clump isn't very much, but for this amount you'd put the water in the bottom boiler and the clump in the top. After heating and cooling you'll get a thin cake of wax and a small amount of heated honey--good for baking or cooking. Probably not enough to make any mead.
     
  5. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just want the pure wax, I don't really care about the little bit of leftover honey in the ball of crushed wax. I have no solar extractor, and I don't think the sun will do enough warming now.
    So I will just warm the clump til the wax melts, then let it cool, right? The wax will form a clean cap on top that I can just lift off?
     
  6. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Right --but,
    To get cleaner wax, you're best off if you add some water to the container with the cappings and stir it while still hot. Soluble substancds and small pieces of dirt will settle out to the dilute hony on the bottom and when the honey is thinner, it cleans more easily from the wax. At the interface you'll probably have some waste--heavier than the wax but floating on the syrup.
     
  7. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ok, I get it now!

    Thanks to both of you! :D
     
  8. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    How many frames gave you the grapefruit sized ball of wax? (This is very interesting. Something I've not gotten to thinking about yet.)
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sorry I had to leave so quickly. If you only want the wax, just crumble the ball into a small saucepan that you don't want to ever use for anything else. Add an inch of water and heat slowly until it is all liquid. Let it cool overnight and pick up your wax. A can you opened may be better than a pan. It is smaller diameter and you can throw it away when finished. With the amount you have, consider it practice. You won't have enough wax to matter. Maybe a tablespoon or two.
     
  10. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Skyhigh- it's a grapefruit sized ball of gooey wax crumbles and honey residue- not solid wax. It's what was left after mashing up about 4 whole medium frames' worth of capped honeycomb and letting it drain through a mesh bag for 2+ days.

    Iddee- too late- it's melting right now in one of my good stainless cooking pots! lol! Oh well...! :doh:
     
  11. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's amazing. 4 medium frames and as Iddee says, it'll turn into 1 or 2 tablespoons of wax. Bees are incredible.
     
  12. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I got about a cup and a half of beautiful pure wax- enough for 3 votives I think!
    Now to order some beeswax wicks- looks like I'll need a bunch ready for next Spring too!
    Am going to downsize the photos and post them later today.

    I had to use a little strainer to remove some gunky brown crumble waste blobs while the whole pot was liquified. Because when I first heated and then let cool- the wax disk had brown clumps of that residue all through it- not just on the bottom of the wax disc where I could scrape it off easily. So I gently rewarmed it til liquid again and stirred/skimmed with the sieve and got the residue blobs all removed. Then I let cool and this time the wax disc was almost perfectly clean- only some tiny dark specks on the bottom. When I make the votives I'll run it through a much finer sieve to make even cleaner.

    What was left was about 2 cups of half dark honey and half water, but nothing I'd want to eat. It was very sweet, so I poured it out on a cookie tin with branches laid all through it and a couple paper towels in it (so bees could climb out and woudln't drown) and put in on the ground in my garden. In the mere five seconds while I carefully poured it into the cookie sheet, two honeybees had already landed and were drinking at the edge!
     
  13. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Good work :thumbsup:
    I'm waiting to enjoy your pictures. BTW, the "globs" you strained out were probably clumps of pollen that were in some of the cells.
    I'm also waiting for the spirit to move you to try making mead. It's really something! :yahoo:
     
  14. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I guess it was about 5 medium frames of capped honeycomb altogether, which yielded this nice big disc of pure wax in the end. :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Yes I did see a few cells of pollen around the edges here and there- thanks for solving the mystery of the little brown clumps that I strained out!

    I'm posting the other pictures in my regular 2011 beekeeping year thread.
     
  15. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
  16. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

    Messages:
    1,399
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Now, where are the photos of your good stainless steel cooking pan? :lol:
     
  17. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i have been saving mine for melting an dipping the plasticell into to rewax or add wax to the ones the bees turn their nose up to....the brood combs ive melted down so far have come out more orange colored an have a stronger smell than virgin wax like what you have in the pic.
     
  18. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's perfectly clean! You guys had me worried there.

    I heated it and wiped off almost all the melted wax with paper towels, then a very hot soapy nylon scrubby sponge got the rest.

    But yes I'll probably buy a real cheap aluminum saucepan for future use. ;)

    2CoolDad- I guess brood comb has lots of cocoon residue/layers that gets filtered out when melted. Brood comb is supposed to be way more attractive to wax moths too, from what I've read.
     
  19. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i wouldnt doubt it a bit....but its not wax moths im worried about....the SHB here is INSAINE...it smells strongly of hive...which im scared would attract them...but then a hive smells like a hive too...may just make some small candles out of it to see if i can...lol

    I made a sieve from SS screen for my double boiler....i put it in before i put in the wax...when its all liquid i just lift it out an all the cocoons come with it....that setup wont work if you have alot of comb though...Iddee told me to melt it with water and i had 2 five gallon buckets full to melt...all heavy dark brood comb....so i got a big stock pot and 3 or 4 inches if water and chucked it all in....the rough wax with lots of cocoons i took off the top and remelted it in the sieve/double boiler which did a good job of cleaning it out....
     
  20. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

    Messages:
    1,399
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've read that aluminum may discolor your wax, but I have no experience there. Has anyone else melted wax in aluminum pans?