Easy Processing of Oil Seed Rape Honey
Oil Seed Rape honey one year after jarring
Oil Seed Rape (OSR) is a common crop in Britain these days and seems to fill
the horizon in the Spring with it's bright almost luminescent flowers.
Many beekeepers have mixed feelings about OSR some say it is bland others welcome it
as a huge source of nectar just nicely timed to build up your colonies.
Against some opinion, blind tasting reveals that the public do like
it in preference to many other honeys.
The REAL downside of OSR is:
two harvest a year, and whoa betide anyone who forgets that OSR harvest. The honey will set so hard in the comb that not even the bees can use
|The same is true for OSR honey in the jar, a truly spoon pending experience.|
Honey is a mixture of surprise surprise - sugars, and a feature of concentrated
sugar solution is that is wants to crystallize and there is nothing the hobby beekeeper
can do to stop it without affecting the taste. Some honeys take a very long time and some are very
fast such as OSR. There are a few nectars such as Aecia that
will remain as liquid honey, but they are the exception rather than the rule.
|Large food grade container|
|Honey duty mixing propeller |
|High power electric drill (500 Watts or more)|
|Stainless Steel Mixing Propeller
Available in the UK from Thorne's Beekeeping Equipment
Don't put it into a Jar !
Store the filtered OSR honey in large containers, I use
a food grade plastic 25 litre (5.5 gallon) wine fermentation bucket. This
is quite heavy about 75lb so smaller a volume may suit you better.
This honey is going to set, so let it set on your terms...
Wait - let it set
Allow the honey to set absolutely solid , this may take
weeks, don't be in a hurry.
Although now crystallized the actual grain size of the OSR
crystals is very fine. The problem is they lock together tightly like a
jig saw to form this solid mass. Now that the honey has fully crystallized it
can not crystallizes
Slowly warm the set honey in a
I Use an old fridge with a 60 watt light bulb in the bottom, a
piece of wood prevents local heating of the honey and an hot water cylinder
thermostat (these usually can be turned right down to around 30C), used in air stops the temperature from becoming to hot.
It should not need to be warmer than 35deg C, allow a
couple of days. If the quantity is smaller only 4-8 hours may be
Do not get it liquid, just warm enough to get an agitator
in and no softer.
If you get it liquid then a) you will degrade the taste and
b) it will start to solidify again.
Cream the honey using a powerful
Using a rotary honey propeller stirrer (see above)
aggressively mix the honey for at
least five minutes getting into every corner of the container. Gradually all
the solid will change to a perfect creamed consistency, take care not to whip in
air as this will rise to form a froth when in the jar. Tip: If
you can use a drill that can rotate in reverse then use this direction. It
is then much less likely to draw a vortex and suck in air.
We have now pulled the individual crystals apart, they can not
re-engage with each other to become a solid again.
Although at a
microscopic level we still have a fully crystallized honey , the texture is that of double
Bottle it !...
Now...you know how to do that don't you!
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