Remember how I explained our honey extraction method a couple weeks ago? Well…forget all that. We’ve got a new system, and it’s way faster and easier. As far as I know, this method was “invented” by Henry’s stepmom, Joanne, after Henry dropped off some chunk honey at her house a while back. She’s a smart and creative lady, so I’m not surprised she figured out this simple extraction process.
To start off, Henry brought down a few frames mostly full of honey, and he cut the comb into chunks. (We did this on the front porch, so yeah, Henry is sitting on the edge of our clawfoot tub.)
The chunks went into a clean bowl, oozing already.
This is the potato ricer from the Coburg Antique Fair that I haven’t used since I bought it almost a year ago. I kind of love it and am glad that I now can justify keeping it around.
Henry loaded up the potato ricer…
…and squeezed some more. The honey probably would have been a little more free-flowing if it were warmer, but even so, most of it came right out of the comb. He let it drip for a while and then pulled out the little cake of crushed wax from the bottom of the ricer and started over.
Throughout the process, we all did a lot of finger licking.
It was a pretty messy operation, but doing it outside helped. After we were tired of letting things drip and drain, we just left all the sticky bowls and comb outside, and pretty soon, a big group of bees moved in to clean things up. A day later, I just had to scrub a little wax off everything, which was no big deal.
The golden honey (above left) is what’s left from our last extraction. It’s made from maple and wildflower nectar. The new honey (above right) is SO dark, but it’s delicious, too. I don’t know if I’m imagining it or not, but it has a little almost-molassesy flavor. Henry thinks it was made primarily from chittum/cascara (Rhamnus purshiana) nectar.
The potato-ricer extraction method does let little bits of wax in with the honey, so there’s a thin layer of waxy debris on top of the jar. Thankfully, it’s easy to skim off, so it’s not much of a problem. We got about a quart and a half from five partially-full frames. That should last us a while.