Tag Archives: filtering

Breakthrough Kefir hacks

I just started making kefir again.  I think it took me a while to get over the loss of the culture I had going for years, and I needed time to be ready for a new culture in my life.  This new culture is exceedingly vigorous, like it’s got something to prove.

Throughout all those years rinsing the grains with my fingers, it never occurred to me there might be a better way.

I finally had an aha moment, though.  I sewed a little bag out of nylon screen (like, bug screen), that fits into a mason mouth.  Simple, open on top.

Then the grains get rinsed off while they’re in the bag! You don’t have to chase after them.   Genius!

I can’t imagine why I didn’t think of something of the sort ages ago.

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Honey part two

The Eastern Seaboard of North America is getting snowed on tonight.  Mostly it’s a question of how much snow are we getting? In our particular spot the forecast is “not as much as some”.   It started about five hours ago here, and a thick blanket has already settled on the world.   Outside the light flakes are floating straight down and piling up with determination, and are predicted to keep at it for another 12 hours.  So on this snowy night, let’s visit some stored sunshine from earlier this year:

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After the honey extraction comes filtration.  Have to get out all the bee wings, wax caps and bits of leaves.

See my super high-tech filtration system.

Wow, it takes a long time!  The honey has to be warm enough to flow, but not too warm, then it’s not raw any more.

The wax is something else.  It acts like glue gumming up everything, especially your filter fabric, but if you can leave it set long enough, it almost hardens into a block sitting on top of the liquid honey that settles out from it.  I have about a one pound chunk of wax, sticky with honey and kind of dirty, from my first year’s honey operation.

My fancy setup worked, but it was pretty clearly less than ideal! Embroidery hoop, sewing pins, nylon mesh, and rigid styrofoam blocks.

Next time (there’s always a mythical next time when everything will be better), I’m going to have all the honey out of the extractor in one large vessel, and filter/fill it into gift/sale ready jars in one step.

Aha!  I just figured it out! A bucket with a tap at the bottom.  The wax will float to the top.  Decant the honey from the bottom, and there will be little wax to deal with;  the minor other detritus will filter out easily.