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I know that you typically boil jars prior to canning. It seems a little obvious that you can't boil a plastic honey bear and I have read & heard that bacteria can't live in honey; so, what is the proper procedure for preparing glass and/or plastic containers prior to bottling?
 

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Andy I just spray with a food sanitizer .

I actually use the same stuff i use in the brewery - Starsan.
 

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All Homebrew stores or local restaurant suppliers

You can get it online within 2 days from Northern Brewer , out of Mn
1 oz per 5 gallons , spray on , or dip and either let drain or shake out. Can let it dry too, stays sanitary for at least 3 hr after dry. Is good to go after 30 sec of contact. I just spray and place all my bottles upside down on clean paper towel and fill when I am ready, don't bother to even check if wet or dry. Been doing that for beer and sauces for years.

It is PH 3.5 and imparts almost no flavor, it stays good for months once mixed too. As long as clear , it can be used. It might precipitate if very hard water used, you will have to see.

I buy the $3 spray bottles from Home Depot and mark them and keep them all around the home brewery and bee processing areas. I also use it if cooking for larger groups, just spray down the prep areas.
 

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If you're lazy like me, just rinse out the clean jars with hot (not boiling) water and let them drain dry. If you're in a rush, dry them with a clean towel.
 

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I think i read recently that the USDA now says you don't really have to boil jars before canning- that washing in hot soapy water, thorough rinsing, then air drying is just fine for canning purposes. It now says that in my Ball brand canning blue book- it's changed from my blue book from 10 yrs ago.
I think hot soapy water, a bottle brush, with lots of rinsing would be just fine.
 

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My lazy actions relate specifically to the bottling of honey. I certatianly would not recommend such a simple process for everything. Honey, because of its unique composition doesn't promote the growth and reproduction of spoilage or disease bacteria and mould. These could be a real danger with many other food products. Particularly dangerous could be the growth of anaerobic bacteria that might cause botulism in some inadequately preserved food items.
 

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With the temps the jars withstand in the canner, if that doesn't kill the bad guys, a quick boil of the empty jars certainly isn't going to. That's why they say boiling canning jars isn't needed.

The honey doesn't need preserving, so a clean jar is all that is needed.
 

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I agree with Omie, hot soapy water with lots of rinsing for a plastic container.
I would use caution if drying with a towel. Be sure your towel is lint free. It's amazing what stays behind when you don't use a lint free towel. Never use cheesecloth to strain your honey.
I have also heard, in the case of canning, your dishwasher is adequate for prepping your jars. That's providing your hot water heater is set in an appropriate range.
 

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Candling

I like to "candle" my clear glass jars after filling and capping. When the jars are cool, I hold them up to daylight coming in a window. You can spot any submarines. A check on the surface of the honey shows up any floaters.
 

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So what should you use to strain the honey?
I use a fine weaved sheet of nylon fabric. It filters slowly but well. It's strong and never loses any threads to the honey. It washes well and can be used over and over. :smile:
 

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I'm with Zookeep. I use the Mann Lake strainer between my extractor and the bottling pail. I bottle in the 1 lb. plastic bottles (also from Mann Lake) which have been washed in hot, soapy water, rinsed several times, and air dried. Like srvfantexasflood said, you don't want bits of lint in your bottle. Bits of lint, particles of dust, etc. will cause raw honey to crystallize faster than a perfectly clean bottle will.
 

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what micron filters do you guys use? 200?
 

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I got the 400 micron strainer (that was the only one that my local supplier had on hand that day). My main interest is in straining out the capping wax, random bee parts, etc. Last fall, (my first harvest) I used cheese cloth for the cappings. This year I'm gonna try nylon stockings......for straining-not wearing.:lol:
 

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We use nylon netting(the soft kind) like they make veils out of, we double it and put it between the double stainless steel strainer we bought from Mann Lake. Works great, and you can wash it, you can get it at any fabric store or Wally World. Jack
PS.We strain it into 5 gal. buckets,set it on stools or chairs, tie netting over the top of the buckets, and let a fan blow over the top of them. We do this in our basement with the A/C on, if your honey checks over 18 you can bring it down over night.
 
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