Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Life is Good!

I love it when things work out.  I posted previously that I was going to build a honey warmer.  I know, some of you were like, "What?"

As a beekeeper, one problem we all deal with is honey that crystallizes.  All honey will do it at some point or another.  It's just a question of when.  This has never been a problem for me before, but before this year, I've never had honey left in December.  It flies off the shelves as soon as we harvest it.  I still have a decent supply, and I actually have customers that want to give it as Christmas Gifts.

The problem - cold honey does not bottle well.

Crystallized honey is even worse.

The trick with getting your honey back into its most beautiful liquid state is to do it slowly at a low temperature.  If you heat it at too high of a temperature it will caramelize.  Caramelized honey is no good. If you get it to the point of caramel, it will never liquefy again.

Think "Making Candy" - it is sugar at this point!

I've been looking around for an old refrigerator to use as a honey warmer.  Then it dawned on me.  I have a mini fridge the girls used to drag around in college.  It hasn't worked for a while, and I primarily use it for storing pollen substitute for the bees.  After I looked it over, I realized it would be perfect.

Today - I broke out the tools.

I had a plan.

I had supplies.

It all came together.

Exactly like I had envisioned.

(Please excuse photo quality, the garage does not have the best lighting.)

Here is the fridge in question.  You can tell it's been moved around a bit, but it's not too shabby looking.

The view of the inside...

I had to make a few adjustments.  For one, the freezer section was in the way a bit.  It had to go.  Second, I needed a heat source.  Keep in mind, I need low heat over a long period of time.  This is where the genius of my plan comes in.  I won't take all the credit because I had help from some great guys down at the local hardware store.  When I say local, I mean small scale store, no big box stores could have helped with this project.  

They just don't understand me.

The freezer removed, and the light fixture installed, I think I'm in business.  Removing the freezer was easy enough. Adding the light fixture just required drilling a few holes in the bottom and a little wiring to supply power.  No worries, the wiring part was easy.  It was all color coded and pretty simple.

I always knew color coordinating was important to men.

Everything fits perfect.

I'll be bottling honey before you know it.

Really sorry about the photo quality.

Just super excited this actually worked!

1 comment:

  1. So clever! Love the help that comes from a small town hardware store - there's nothing quite like it!