I’ve lost count of the number of occasions when, purely by coincidence, I’ve been processing honey while listening to a Test Match on the wireless. Today it was the honey I scraped from the hive at Halstock that had been wasped out.
Yesterday, while buying paint, I noticed that the shop was also selling rolls of muslin, so I bought one. For some unknown reason it is in the form of a tube that, when cut to length, exactly fits inside my fruit press (which I retrieved from my apprentice, Laura, a couple of days ago). I used a couple of twisty-ties to close the bottom end around the shaft and the top end was hooked over the rim of the cage so as to make an open bag.
The honey had been in my warming cabinet for a couple of days and had reached 113.9F, which is more than I usually allow but well below 120F at which enzymes are killed. At first it flowed straight through the muslin and I collected it in jugs to pour then through a plastic double strainer (think of a giant tea strainer) into my newly washed and dried plastic bucket with a tap at the bottom.
Then the flow stopped and I unhooked the bag at the top, folded it over the comb and applied pressure by screw and lever. There’s still some dribbling from the spout now, but it’s more of a drip than a flow.
I shall leave it for a couple of days for bubbles to rise to the top and then bottle it. I had assumed that it would all be ivy honey, but it doesn’t really have that scrummy taste. Maybe I’ll try to find some pollen grains to put under the microscope.
I shall use the pressed comb to make some more honey flapjack for which I posted the recipe here some months ago.