Updated: Dec 15, 2020
Hoping your honey grows its value this season? Crossing your fingers it doesn’t ferment in the drum?
We’ve talked to some pretty disappointed beekeepers over the last 15 years who have extracted their honey (Mānuka and other varieties) into drums, put it in storage to grow its value, only to find it’s fermented or high in moisture and useless as a chocolate teapot.
Whether you’ve got moisture in your drums because of unavoidable environmental impacts or you want to enhance the flavour of your honey for specific buyer requirements or appeal to strict buyer standards, natural honey drying can help.
Natural honey drying improves honey appearance, consistency and taste
We’re evolving the way honey is handled in the drum so you can enhance your valuable, pure, great-tasting New Zealand honey. Our new (tried and tested) custom designed and built honey dryer is as close to the natural process of bees drying honey as possible.
This new, natural, effective honey drying process can fix drums that are fermenting and manage the risk before it starts to affect the honey flavour and quality.
We have customers who last season were forced to dry swollen/starting to ferment drums but this season were lucky enough to have honey for growth and we dried it after extraction to reduce the chance of any further headaches in growth storage.
Sound interesting? Got questions about honey drying? Here are some answers:
How much water is removed during the honey drying process? We target 17% as finished product. Through years of research and trials, we’ve discovered that 17% or below is far less likely to ferment than above 17%.
What do you do with swollen drums or high moisture honey when it arrives at your site? We have chilled storage to reduce the chance of fermentation before processing/drying. This also reduces the chance of the drums bursting or leaking while under pressure because it solidifies the honey. Then it’s safe for us to start the drying process. We also take care of drum transfer in and out of our secure storage facility.
How much HMF does the honey drying process add to the honey? Through testing we have seen a maximum of two added to the HMF results.
Wow! How do you achieve this?
We warm it up in our purpose-built, low volume warming room on our custom pallet shaker to keep the increase of HMF low. This equipment allows us to warm the honey at a lower temperature in a shorter time, and therefore reduces the addition of HMF compared to static warming. From there, the honey goes to our custom-designed and built low volume thermalising unit that flash heats and flash cools the honey. Then it goes to our “as close to nature as possible” custom-designed dehumidified drying unit to be dried for as long as it takes, using a safe drying temperature.
Can you dry a single drum?
We dry by the drum or by the batch. Give us a call to discuss your fermentation, high moisture or swollen drum challenges and we’ll come up with a honey drying plan for you. Or read more about our Smart Honey Services.
Is the fermented honey okay to use after drying?
We have before and after samples for you to see and taste for yourself - get in touch and we’ll show you how well it works.