how to remove moisture from honey

How to Remove Moisture from Honey [2 Effective Methods to Try]

Natural honey is called a superfood due to providing numerous health benefits. No wonder people go to some extra lengths to preserve them properly.

But even after all the preparations, it may get runny due to excess moisture.

Are you looking for how to remove excess moisture from honey? Then you’re in the right place. Because we’ll share two methods to remove excess moisture from honey.

So, how to remove moisture from honey?

Removing moisture from honey can be done with ventilation or without ventilation. Stack the honey in honey supers and place them in a closed room. Set the temperature to 25 degrees celsius. Also, use a humidifier to absorb the moisture. You can add a heating fan to accelerate the process.

Care to learn the details? Then keep reading our piece till the end. Let’s begin!

What is Moisture in Honey

Honey consists of 80-95% of water and only 5-15% of sugar(sucrose). The sucrose from honey gets broken down into two different types of sugar. That is when the nectar from flowers gets transported by bees.

Inside the honey cell, bees flap their wings to create heat by fanning the honey. The quick movement of bees helps to evaporate the moisture from the nectar. 

When it successfully removes the extra moisture we get the pure, sticky honey. To protect the honey from moisture bees seal the honey cells using beeswax. 

The standard moisture level in honey should be around 17-18%.

How to Identify Moisture in Honey

As we said before, worker bees seal the honey cell to prevent moisture. However, it’s hard to find 100% sealed honey cells. 

That’s why honey collectors usually take the cells that are nearly 80% sealed. Any less than 80% is not recommended. 

Because those will contain more humidity than the standard level. Honey collectors use a honey refractometer to measure the moisture level in it. 

Here are some of our recommendations about refractometers- 

Usually, honey that is collected in summer will have a low moisture level. Nearly 16% due to the heat. 

Honey that is collected in autumn has a rather high level of moisture. Almost 20%. 

Problems With Moisture In Honey

The problem with moisture in honey is that it gets fermented. Yeast grows inside the honey and consumes the sugar in the process. 

As a result, carbonic gas and acetic acid are produced as by-products. Fermented honey will have a sour taste and the smell will be close to vinegar. 

The following table shows the associated risk in different levels of moisture in honey.

Moisture LevelRisk Of Fermentation
Less than 17%Safe regardless of yeast count
17-18%Safe if yeast count is <1000/g
18-19%Safe if yeast count is <10/g
19-20%Safe if yeast count is <1/g
Greater than 20%Unsafe

Beyond 18% is the risk area and after 20% it’s totally problematic. If the honey moisture content is too high it’ll be runny. So the ideal margin is considered to be around 17-18%. 

Honey moisture in less than 17% is no good either. It would be too thick and lose its organoleptic qualities. 

How to Remove Excess Moisture from Honey

When the honey is in a beehive it’s well protected from moisture. But when it’s extracted and conserved it gets humidity in it. That‘s why preserving honey should be done carefully.

Remember that honey is hygroscopic. So it’ll attract and absorb humidity. If you’re not carefully preserving it, it’ll get fermented.

So, here we’ve shared two procedures for removing the water content of honey. Let’s get right into it.

Method-1: Passive Method(Without Ventilation)

In this procedure drying honey is done without any help of ventilation. And that’s why it’s called the passive honey dehydration method.

For this method, the instruments you’ll be needing are-

Got all you need? Then let’s see to the following steps-

Step-1: Adjust The Temperature

You can start by raising the temperature of your room. Use a room heater if possible. Increase the temperature to 25 degrees celsius. 

We’ll be drying honey with a humidifier. It’ll work as a honey dryer.

So, set the humidifier to 40%. Also, the room should be closed. Now place a hygrometer to measure the temperature and humidity in the air. 

Fun fact: bees control the temperature of their hive by a method called ‘Bearding’. This natural process takes place during overcrowding in a hive. 

Step-2: Adjust The Supers

Now time to place the honey supers in the room. Select a place near the humidifier for drying honey with a dehumidifier. Prepare a base using two-piece of concrete on the same height level.

There should be a gap between the concrete so air can circulate between the supers. Now place another super on the top of it diagonally. 

Like both, the boxes are placed as a cross. Be careful with placing it as it might weigh more than a honey frame. Pile up all the supers in the same way. Keep this like it for a week.

Step-3: Wait For The Result

Check up on the honey consistency regularly. Use a refractometer to determine the moisture in honey. Keep the process as it is until you get your preferred result.

It takes sound 1 week to reach the correct humidity rate in honey.

Method-2: Active Method(With Ventilation)

This method is done by using ventilation. The positive side active method is that you will need less time to get rid of the water content of honey.

And the instruments you’re gonna need are the same as method-1. You’ll only need a small fan as an extra instrument.

Step-1: Preparations

The preparation process for this method is the same as step-1 of the passive method. Therefore, repeat step-1 of method-1.

Step-2: Adjust the Supers

Unlike the first method, we won’t be placing the supers in a criss-cross way. Rather the supers will go on top of each other to fit the frame.

Stack them like a chimney. The last super to go on top would be empty. Now, take the fan and put it inside the top super facing it downward.

Step-3: Wait for the Result

This process is faster than the passive method. You’d need only 2-3 days to remove the excess moisture from the honey. Check the consistency of it at least 3 to 4 times.

Once you get the desired outcome you can prepare to preserve the honey.

Now, you can choose any of the two methods to remove the honey moisture in honey.


Common things people ask regarding honey can look like these-

Is it okay to eat fermented honey?

You can consume fermented honey. But know that the taste will be very different from regular honey. Also if the honey gets contaminated from other sources it’s best to avoid eating it. Natural yeast created from honey isn’t unsafe. However, other microorganisms or bacteria can make it unsafe.

What is the shelf life for honey?

Honey can stay good for a very long time if you preserve it well. Make sure to close the lid properly. Don’t leave it out in a humid area. Humidity may spoil honey. If it stays humidity-free it’ll last a very long time.

How to tell if honey has gone bad?

When honey gets spoiled its color changes from golden to dull yellow. The texture also starts to become thicker and turns grainy afterward. It finally goes bad when it gets white and crystallized. But it takes a lot of time before honey gets crystallized.

Final Words

That was all from us about how to remove moisture from honey. Hopefully, now you’ll be able to remove moisturizer from honey without needing professional help.

It’ll save you tons of money by just doing it yourself. Also, always keep the lid airtight when you’re about to preserve it.

That’s it for today. Stay happy, stay safe! 

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