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Boogaloo
11-16-2011, 04:28 PM
How do you weigh honey? I've been buying 5lb batches and just using the whole thing at once but now I'm considering buying a 60lb pail and was wondering how do you break out a few lbs out of a large pail? Every way I can think seems like it would be reaaaaal messy.

~boog

Chevette Girl
11-16-2011, 04:53 PM
First option is a honey gate. You can install it in the bucket lid and just pour, the apiary I go to has one installed at the bottom of a 55 gal drum for their bulk honey setup where you bring your own jars. It flows nice and quickly, not like the honey dispenser at the bulk food store where you can stick the container underneath the spigot, open it full, go do the rest of your shopping, and still have less than a kilogram by that time...

Now that I'm just buying buckets instead of getting a dozen jars filled at a time, what I do is I ladle it out into some of the jars (full 1 kg and 3/4 full 2 kg which is 3.5 lb for JAO) so it's ready to go when I need it and I only have to get completely sticky going into the buckets once in a while. With a previous bucket, I'd just ladle the honey out into my fermenting jar on the scale and weigh it as I went. I like my nice stainless steel ladle, about three scoops is a kilogram :)

YogiBearMead726
11-16-2011, 05:12 PM
The two techniques I employed with some success were to set the honey bucket on a scale, record before and after weights, and by just shooting for a target OG. Together, it was a crude but effective way to figure out how much honey I had ladled out. It's basically the same idea CG put forth, only reversed on which container is weighed.

I'm with CG on this one...a nice big SS ladle is awesome to have for this situation. The less scoops you need to take, the less mess in the end.

Loadnabox
11-16-2011, 05:25 PM
I have a small 10 pound food scale

I ladle into a rather large bowl that I have (that weighs exactly 1.51 pounds) until I have the amount of honey that I want. If it's a recipe that needs more than ~5 pounds, I generally will use a left over 5# bucket (from a purchase of buckwheat honey) that I will fill to the top, empty out, rinse with the must or wine, then spoon another 5 pounds in.

Chevette Girl
11-16-2011, 05:29 PM
It's basically the same idea CG put forth, only reversed on which container is weighed.


Neither of my two kitchen scales will deal with a full bucket so I can't do weight by difference. <shrug> one works with the tools one has.

Boogaloo
11-16-2011, 05:29 PM
I didn't think of measuring the whole bucket. I might try that because I think it will produce the least amount of spillage the first few time I do it. I have to save some for the bucket but in the meantime will look for a SS ladle at the local thrift stores.

When you get to the bottom of the bucket can you just leave some in there and use the bucket as a primary fermenter? They must be food safe if there is honey in there.

Chevette Girl
11-16-2011, 05:31 PM
When you get to the bottom of the bucket can you just leave some in there and use the bucket as a primary fermenter? They must be food safe if there is honey in there.

That is my eventual plan! I need to replace some of my smaller buckets soon anyway! (I can only get the 30 lb buckets from my apiary)

Boogaloo
11-16-2011, 05:33 PM
I have a small 10 pound food scale

I generally will use a left over 5# bucket (from a purchase of buckwheat honey) that I will fill to the top, empty out, rinse with the must or wine, then spoon another 5 pounds in.

I guess that answered that.

Soyala_Amaya
11-16-2011, 05:37 PM
I just did this with my spiced pumpkin cyser. Worked very well as a primary fermentor, but if drill a hole for a bung, be VERY sure EVERY piece of plastic is washed off. I found four or five tiny pieces of white plastic floating on top of my must when I opened it to rack, good thing plastic floats and I had extra in the bucket to rack under the top couple inches.

Chevette Girl
11-16-2011, 05:39 PM
On that note, I bought a plastic fermenter bucket (labelled as such, pre-drilled lid and everything) and its lid still occasionally sheds a shred of white plastic into my must... fortunately way too big to fit through a racking hose, but I do make sure to sanitize EVERYTHING...

Boogaloo
11-16-2011, 05:41 PM
That is my eventual plan! I need to replace some of my smaller buckets soon anyway! (I can only get the 30 lb buckets from my apiary)

I need to find me a local apiary and start making 'local' mead. Also, lots of apple, peach, and pear orchards around here. Maybe a good project for next year is to make mead from all local goods. To bad there isn't local yeast!

BBBF
11-16-2011, 06:49 PM
First option is a honey gate. You can install it in the bucket lid and just pour

You can put it on the bucket lid? The first time I heard about the honey gate, I looked it up and I swear it was on the bucket. I'll have to look into this again.

schlapppy
11-16-2011, 07:17 PM
Honey gates are traditionally done on the bucket. I considered trying to make one on a lid, but there is no way I would trust the lid to stay on while the 60lb bucket is turned sideways.

http://thehoneyexchange.com/products/food-grade-bucket-with-honey-gate-and-lid

Personally.. I shoot for S.G. rather than pounds, as the sugar content can vary from one strand of honey to another.

Vance G
11-16-2011, 08:50 PM
If you buy the right honey which is raw and unfiltered, it will crystalize relatively soon. The darker varieties often very soon. Then you are not pouring, you are carving and it tends to be messy. Just a warning in case you hadn't thought of that. Putting it in jars of a known weight: a quart is considered 3 pounds, allows you to set it sealed and sugared into the dishwasher and reliquifying it without overheating and destroying it's best qualities. Microwaves and unwatched waterbaths tend to burn it if you are not very observant. I know squat about meadmaking but I do know a little about honey:<}

Vance G
11-16-2011, 08:54 PM
You can put it on the bucket lid? The first time I heard about the honey gate, I looked it up and I swear it was on the bucket. I'll have to look into this again.

Outfit called mannlake ltd among others sells those gates for about 8 bucks if you can drill a good hole to put them in. For eastcoasters go to brushymountain.com to save freight

Vance G
11-16-2011, 08:58 PM
That is my eventual plan! I need to replace some of my smaller buckets soon anyway! (I can only get the 30 lb buckets from my apiary)

Go to yer big box grocery store and if they have a bakery, they will have buckets up to five gallons for sale for a couple bucks. Free at Wallyworld here.

JimSar
11-16-2011, 10:10 PM
I pour honey out of buckets, in several stages, checking SG and/or weight each time. I rarely overshoot, but when I do, additional water to compensate puts me back on spec.

This is the scale I use, a 75# capacity postal scale with remote display. I like the fact that the long cord to the display allows you to weigh bulky items such as a suitcase and still see the LCD. With the airlines being as strict as they are now with luggage, this little scale has probably paid for itself many times over in the many years we've had it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/75-Lbs-Ultraship-Postal-Scale-Digital-Mail-w-AC-Adapter-/290520911733?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a4654f75#ht_3839wt_926

I deal with crystallization by using a FermWrap heater on the bucket a day or two before d-day, stirring it a few times along the way to help spread out the heat.

Boogaloo
11-17-2011, 11:28 AM
Outfit called mannlake ltd among others sells those gates for about 8 bucks if you can drill a good hole to put them in. For eastcoasters go to brushymountain.com to save freight

Did you mean... http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/ (http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/)

BBBF
11-17-2011, 02:38 PM
Honey gates are traditionally done on the bucket. I considered trying to make one on a lid, but there is no way I would trust the lid to stay on while the 60lb bucket is turned sideways.

http://thehoneyexchange.com/products/food-grade-bucket-with-honey-gate-and-lid

Personally.. I shoot for S.G. rather than pounds, as the sugar content can vary from one strand of honey to another.

Yeah, that was my thought after thinking about it a little more. A couple gallons on the floor is a lot worse that dealing with minor drips from transfering small amounts at a time.

Chevette Girl
11-17-2011, 03:01 PM
You can put it on the bucket lid? The first time I heard about the honey gate, I looked it up and I swear it was on the bucket. I'll have to look into this again.

I have lids I'd trust and lids I wouldn't, I don't use a gate myself but I know I've seen a photo of one installed in a lid. The advantage is you can make the hole and install the gate without having to remove the honey. That said, transferring your honey from one bucket to your gated bucket isn't that big of a deal either and it's probably a much safer place for the gate.


Go to yer big box grocery store and if they have a bakery, they will have buckets up to five gallons for sale for a couple bucks. Free at Wallyworld here.

I get 5-gal buckets from grape juice from my LHBS for a buck or two, and at least I know what was in 'em :) I haven't found a good source for lidded 3-gal buckets I'd trust since my bulk food store's supplier started using crappy lids on buckets which are a slightly different diameter from all my good lids. And hey, 3-gal buckets come free with the $93 of honey. :rolleyes: and most of my older 3-gal buckets have started to get scratched and stuff, one of them has already been designated "vinegar bucket" and two more are going to be on fruit collection detail only, from now on...

Boogaloo
11-17-2011, 03:09 PM
Anyone use these lids?

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/ImageViewer.aspx?description=Bucket+Lids&curimage=Buckets%2fsku%2f2276psku.jpg&image=Buckets%2fsku%2f2276psku.jpg&catid=686&itemid=31228

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=31228&catid=686

Boogaloo
11-17-2011, 03:14 PM
Also, I use the buckets below for my emergency food supply. You spin the lid on top and it locks in. You have to squeeze the red tab and turn in order to unlock. After i loaded these things up with food I threw in some oxygen depleting tablets and the vacuum inside the buckets caused the sides to suck in. So the seal is good on the lid. Maybe a good alternative to the standard buckets and lids. (Except the cost.)

http://preparetoday.com/store/index.php/shop-by-category/storage/super-pail/superpail-5-0-g.html (http://preparetoday.com/store/index.php/shop-by-category/storage/super-pail/superpail-5-0-g.html)

Vance G
11-17-2011, 04:01 PM
your five gallon bucket holds roughly sixty pounds of honey. Low moisture honey such as mine has four to six pounds more. It is a mess and I recommend you get it over with at once and break it down into known quantities. Then make a batch in the five gallon bucket to salvage the honey on the bucket. a gallon 12 pounds a quart 3 pounds. An empty distilled water jug works admirably for the gallon. If it solidifies set it capped standing in the dishwasher and a couple cycles will reliquify if needed. Since you should have no money in the container, you can cut and peel it off and add the appropriate amount of water which will melt the honey with a judicious application of a little heat or patient mashing. I heard someone working for the effect of having a layer of honey on the bottom of the brew bucket. Why not a lump standing in the middle? Just thoughts on honey. I know absolutely nothing of value on fermenting--yet

JimSar
11-17-2011, 04:18 PM
... I haven't found a good source for lidded 3-gal buckets I'd trust since my bulk food store's supplier started using crappy lids on buckets which are a slightly different diameter from all my good lids. And hey, 3-gal buckets come free with the $93 of honey. :rolleyes: and most of my older 3-gal buckets have started to get scratched and stuff, one of them has already been designated "vinegar bucket" and two more are going to be on fruit collection detail only, from now on...

Our independent donut shops sell 3 to 4 gallon buckets with lids for a buck fifty each. These previously contained fillings and are food grade. Sometimes it takes a while for the blueberry smell to come off. :) Check it out if you have non chain donut shops there.

Costco bakery department also has them, I got one for free a few years ago, but haven't tried since.

Matrix4b
11-17-2011, 07:52 PM
My method is simple. In an aproximation 1 gallon is about 12 pounds. I have a 1 gal plastic container meant for juice or something. I then sanitize this and a ladle. I just ladle it out until the gal container is full then dump in my brew pot. I do heat up the water some in the process but not boiling. While I am mixing it in I also put the warm water in the remainer of the plastic pouring container and swish it around, repeat until I have cleared the contianer. Yes there is a bit of heat, not much, and I may leave a little tiny bit behind.

How do I not spill? Well, I tilt the lip of the container over my honey bucket, I use 42 pound buckets. And then wipe the little residue off the lid. Now this does mean that I need to go through the 42 pound bucket as in 6 months it does crystalize leaving me to plan the next batch with warm water and stratigically mixing in water to thin it out enough to get out of the honey bucket but, I usually have 2-3 batches to go in a week or two so it's no big deal.

I suppose I could invest in more high tech but why? 1 gal per 4 gal of water is a fine ratio for sweet mead. I do sometimes backsweeten later. But then 1/2 of the gal container is 6 pounds. So it's all good.

The best option is not to overthink it and enjoy the process. I find ladling out the honey brings all sorts of great smells and excitement knowing that soon it will be fermenting.

Matrix

Duracell
11-17-2011, 10:34 PM
My method is simple.
Matrix

I do pretty much the same thing. I purchased 4 different honey size containers from my local bee keeper (1 lbs, 3 lbs, 6 lbs, 12 lbs [gallon]). After using the honey to make several batches I cleaned out the containers and now reuse them to measure out honey from larger containers.

Now I only purchase 1 gallon and 5 gallon containers and pour them off into the smaller ones for measurements. It's like a giant sized measuring set.

Loadnabox
11-18-2011, 09:50 AM
Honey gates are traditionally done on the bucket. I considered trying to make one on a lid, but there is no way I would trust the lid to stay on while the 60lb bucket is turned sideways.

http://thehoneyexchange.com/products/food-grade-bucket-with-honey-gate-and-lid

Personally.. I shoot for S.G. rather than pounds, as the sugar content can vary from one strand of honey to another.

I always aim tor an SG as well, however weighing or measuring first gets you close and I fine tune from there