Saturday, August 4, 2007
Honey, To be or not to be that is the question (click pic to enlarge)
U.S. Grade A honey has to taste like honey and have a moisture level of 18.6% and below. Moisture levels above this threshold will ferment and is not considered honey.
To test the honey I use a refractometer. This instrument takes a small amount of honey placed on a glass lens. Holding the instrument to your eye, a scale is visible. Reading the scale, then take it away from the eye.
On the bottom of this type of refractometer is a thermometer. The thermometer has a scale to adjust for temperature change that affects the viscosity of the honey. By adding or subtracting this scale, will give the proper moisture content.
Example, a sample reads 18.2% on the eye piece scale and the thermometer adjustment is minus .5. I take 5 tenths off 18.2% and the final moisture content is 17.7%
There are many refractometers out there. Beekeepers use the ones that specify for honey. Prices range from about $75 - $350.
If someone wants their honey tested I will do this for free. To bring a small sample to be tested, the container should be full. A partially filled sample container will absorb any moisuture in the container and not reflect accurately of what the honey moisture truly is.