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danr
03-01-2014, 06:21 PM
No question or enlightenment in this post. I just wanted to share that I just bought my first 5 gallon bucket of honey with the only people I know who would appreciate it. :happy11:

Most of my honey prior to today was ordered through the internet either from a large homebrew/wine supplier or from elsewhere in California. I contacted the San Diego Beekeeping Society recently thinking that they might be able to provide a good source, and their only suggestion was to try local farmers markets or Craigslist. I probably should try farmers markets to find sources, although I know at the markets themselves they usually only sell small containers. I did try Craigslist though and found someone who had 5 gallon buckets of Citrus Honey for sale.

I could buy either a 5 gallon bucket for $120, or 1 gallon jugs for $30. She also had some mason jars she sells at farmers markets, but prefers to sell in volume to others for resale. The honey itself is predominantly orange and lemon blossom from southeastern San Diego County. It tastes very nice.

I though I was just going to buy a couple of gallons, but in the moment I decided to buy a 60 pound bucket full. After all, buying in volume will save me money in the long term and I did not have to pay any shipping costs - at least that is what I am going to tell my wife. ;)

Now I just have to figure out what I am going to make with it and how the heck I am going to dispense it (somewhat) neatly from that bucket . . .

MJ7
03-01-2014, 06:25 PM
No question or enlightenment in this post. I just wanted to share that I just bought my first 5 gallon bucket of honey with the only people I know who would appreciate it. :happy11:

Most of my honey prior to today was ordered through the internet either from a large homebrew/wine supplier or from elsewhere in California. I contacted the San Diego Beekeeping Society recently thinking that they might be able to provide a good source, and their only suggestion was to try local farmers markets or Craigslist. I probably should try farmers markets to find sources, although I know at the markets themselves they usually only sell small containers. I did try Craigslist though and found someone who had 5 gallon buckets of Citrus Honey for sale.

I could buy either a 5 gallon bucket for $120, or 1 gallon jugs for $30. She also had some mason jars she sells at farmers markets, but prefers to sell in volume to others for resale. The honey itself is predominantly orange and lemon blossom from southeastern San Diego County. It tastes very nice.

I though I was just going to buy a couple of gallons, but in the moment I decided to buy a 60 pound bucket full. After all, buying in volume will save me money in the long term and I did not have to pay any shipping costs - at least that is what I am going to tell my wife. ;)

Now I just have to figure out what I am going to make with it and how the heck I am going to dispense it (somewhat) neatly from that bucket . . .

That's a great deal. I would probably use a punch ladle to get it into a container that I could then measure by weight.

danr
03-01-2014, 06:47 PM
I would probably use a punch ladle to get it into a container that I could then measure by weight.

That's a good idea, although when I first read your post, I thought you were referring to a special kind of ladle that would "punch" into the honey. ::)

I also have a big brewing funnel (http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brewing/brewing-equipment/fermenting-equipment/anti-splash-funnel-with-strainer.html)and was thinking that I might be able to fill gallon containers by pouring it through the funnel. It would be slow work, but maybe neater. I think the ladle would work well for smaller volumes.

WVMJack
03-01-2014, 07:13 PM
No funnels, if you want to split it up buy some gallon food grade buckets and just pour it into each bucket, funnels big PIA. If you try to pour from your big bucket into a primary you are going to add too much honey, really, dont try it, but on the other hand it might end up helping you make the best sweet mead you ever made :) WVMJ

danr
03-01-2014, 07:46 PM
No funnels, if you want to split it up buy some gallon food grade buckets and just pour it into each bucket, funnels big PIA. If you try to pour from your big bucket into a primary you are going to add too much honey, really, dont try it, but on the other hand it might end up helping you make the best sweet mead you ever made :) WVMJ

Those a some good lessons learned Jack; thanks for learning them for me and saving me the pain and suffering! :)

I am going to pick up some food grade buckets. I can see how those would be the easiest container type to fill.

danr
03-01-2014, 08:28 PM
I am going to pick up some food grade buckets. I can see how those would be the easiest container type to fill.

It looks like the 169 oz Capacity 8.7 Diameter x 7.3 Height (http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?sku=81283&catid=574) with Lid buckets could be ideal. Each one would hold a good amount for a 5 gallon batch of mead.

This White Lid with Spout (http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?sku=2288&catid=752)could make pouring the honey easier.

The US Plastic (http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/default.aspx?catid=752&parentcatid=687&clickid=topnavmenu) website seems to have a lot of buckets that would be good for various sizes of primary fermentation.

MJ7
03-01-2014, 08:32 PM
It looks like the 169 oz Capacity 8.7 Diameter x 7.3 Height (http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?sku=81283&catid=574) with Lid buckets could be ideal. Each one would hold a good amount for a 5 gallon batch of mead.

This White Lid with Spout (http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?sku=2288&catid=752)could make pouring the honey easier.

The US Plastic (http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/default.aspx?catid=752&parentcatid=687&clickid=topnavmenu) website seems to have a lot of buckets that would be good for various sizes of primary fermentation.

I'm not a huge plastic guy, so I'd probably go with pyrex glass containers.

fatbloke
03-01-2014, 11:39 PM
It looks like the 169 oz Capacity 8.7 Diameter x 7.3 Height (http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?sku=81283&catid=574) with Lid buckets could be ideal. Each one would hold a good amount for a 5 gallon batch of mead.

This White Lid with Spout (http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?sku=2288&catid=752)could make pouring the honey easier.

The US Plastic (http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/default.aspx?catid=752&parentcatid=687&clickid=topnavmenu) website seems to have a lot of buckets that would be good for various sizes of primary fermentation.
For plastics danr, its best to make sure about the type. PET or HDPE are considered food grade and non-reactive enough for the raw material as well as ok for primary ferment and the relatively aggresive nature of reaction during primary.

Some are considered as no-no, either because of chems used in manufacture or plasticisers that can leach in the presence of alcohol (which is, after all, a solvent), a good example is polycarbonate and bisphenol A......

I generally use a stainless ladle and kitchen spoon, with a silicone spatula. You can mix to weight in a bucket, allowing a base weight in the gallon for target volume i.e. 3lb in the gallon, stirring well then test for start gravity (or a lower weight etc), then add a little more if required.

Once its mixed with some or all the water, its straight forward to transfer with standard kit like funnels.

danr
03-01-2014, 11:51 PM
I generally use a stainless ladle and kitchen spoon, with a silicone spatula. You can mix to weight in a bucket, allowing a base weight in the gallon for target volume i.e. 3lb in the gallon, stirring well then test for start gravity (or a lower weight etc), then add a little more if required.

Thanks fatbloke. So do you just work out of the 5 gallon bucket, rather than transferring to smaller volume containers? I was thinking it would be better not to have airspace in the bucket as the honey supply is used up, but maybe I am confused on this point. I planned to try to transfer the honey to smaller, easier to manage containers, but this may not be a necessary step.

The plastic buckets I linked are supposed to be food grade, but of course I understand peoples' general concerns about any plastic containers.

Dan

fatbloke
03-02-2014, 01:16 AM
Thanks fatbloke. So do you just work out of the 5 gallon bucket, rather than transferring to smaller volume containers? I was thinking it would be better not to have airspace in the bucket as the honey supply is used up, but maybe I am confused on this point. I planned to try to transfer the honey to smaller, easier to manage containers, but this may not be a necessary step.

The plastic buckets I linked are supposed to be food grade, but of course I understand peoples' general concerns about any plastic containers.

Dan
Some and some Dan. Some of the honey I have is still liquid, but I've got some buckets there were harvested 15 to 20 years ago, that have crystalised completely. I just use a stainless knife to "slice" out chunks into the intended fermenter bucket, or if I'm gonna use a glass jug or similar, obviously it has to be dissolved first (I just put it in the bucket with some water, put the lid on and leave it for maybe up to a week - honey is hygroscopic, so after a while I can just blitz the hell out of it with a stick blender, which usually leave it ready to mix with more water to target volume or at least aerated ready to use how you want).

All the time the honey stays liquid, you could, for ease of use, transfer to better, pouring type containers, but IMO it's just as easy to ladle it out, using the spatula to contain it and prevent it running and making a mess. Transferring is too much effort (extra hygiene, labelling containers so you don't forget what's in them, etc).....

The air space left over the honey isn't usually an issue. Theoretically it could cause the honey to darken or oxidate, but it seems that because of honeys nature, that does take many, many decades - hell I can be slow at using it up, but I'd likely already be dead by the time that becomes a problem......;D

As with most of this sort of stuff, go with what you find easiest.

mmclean
03-02-2014, 08:46 AM
I would transfer the honey to a same size container with a honey gate.

Shelley
03-03-2014, 02:28 PM
Before you go spending money on containers, check with your local supermarket's bakery to see if they have any freebees. I can get various-sized food-grade buckets (with lids) for free for the asking. (If you go plastic, of course.) If you know a restaurateur, they might have gallon-sized glass jars available, from various cooking ingredients that come in bulk. Uline is another source of containers (including glass).

Ladling it out into smaller buckets will make it easier to reliquify if it crystallizes on you.

danr
03-03-2014, 02:57 PM
Before you go spending money on containers, check with your local supermarket's bakery to see if they have any freebees. I can get various-sized food-grade buckets (with lids) for free for the asking. (If you go plastic, of course.) If you know a restaurateur, they might have gallon-sized glass jars available, from various cooking ingredients that come in bulk. Uline is another source of containers (including glass).

Ladling it out into smaller buckets will make it easier to reliquify if it crystallizes on you.

Great advice Shelley. Thanks.

Dan

danr
03-09-2014, 01:17 PM
I appreciate everyones input. To close out this thread, I though I would share my decision:

I bought a few plastic buckets, although next time I will take Shelley's advice and try a local bakery. I used three 169 oz buckets, which I think will be good increments for 5 gallon batches. I also filled a one gallon bucket, some 1/2-pint mason jars and two honey bears - the mason jars can be used for backsweetening and the honey bears for eating.

I think my best decision was to buy a bucket lid with a pour spout. It made pouring the honey simple and mess-free. I expected the transfer from the big bucket might be a sticky affair, but the honey was not crystalized, and it poured easily and neatly through the spout. I put the empty buckets in the sink before I started and filled them systematically. The full bucket was heavy at first, but was easier to handle as it got lighter.

Here are a few picutres: