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Author Topic: Crush and strain versus extracted honey crystalizing  (Read 1841 times)
Cindi
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« on: March 19, 2008, 07:51:16 AM »

There was a topic of discussion some time ago here about whether extracted honey did not crystalize as quickly as crushed and strained.  I have some first hand experience here.

Two years I have extracted honey, that honey remained in a liquid state each time for about a year and a half, all gone, so I don't know how long it would have remained in a liquid state.

I went to check my honey (my four gallons in glass gallon jars) and they have commenced to crystalize.  Identical flowers around my place every year.  So I am going to have to go with that yes, crushed and strained honey (in my case anyways and the flowers foraged on) crystalized faster.

I do not want this honey in a crystalized state.  My customers (be them family or clients) like liquid honey.

I must return this honey back to a liquid state.  It is still not even close to being solid at all, it is still reasonably liquid, but it is going to be solid probably soon.

I need to know indepth, how to return it to a liquid state at the safest temperature possible to not destroy any flavours or quality of the honey.

Setting the honey in the water bath is the method I understand.  Certain temperatures must also be in order. 

Can someone explain the length of time and the temperature of the water to safely restore the liquid state of this honey.  How long does it take for all the honey in the gallon jar to become that temperature throughout the entire gallon jar.  These are questions that I would like someone(s) to would ponder and explain to me how this heating works.  I hope that I have explained clearly enough what my wishes are here.  Have the most wonderful and great day, lovin' and sharin' this earth, Cindi
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dlmarti
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2008, 08:22:37 AM »

my 2 cents...

I don't know the exact temp that will damage honey's flavor, but obviously lower is better.

Crystallization happens because of four things: agitation, number seed crystals,  temperature, and dilution (according to a candy makers article).

Assuming the dilution is correct (after all it was uncrystallized honey when you bottled it),  what you need to do is:
1. NOT agitate the containers.
2. Apply even low heat

If it were me and I had a bunch of bottles to do I would put a heating pad in the bottom of a box.  Put a high sided pan on top of the heating pad.  Fill with about half and inch of water.  Put the honey containers in the pan with the water.  Close the box for a few days.

I would probably start on low, and put a probe style thermometer in the water.

Remember your ultimate goal is not only to return the honey to a liquid state, but also remove as many seed crystals as possible.  So once you see the honey reliquify, I would turn down the heat a notch and leave it for a day or so.

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Cindi
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2008, 08:45:02 AM »

Dimarti, that sounds like an excellent plan, listening and learning.  Have a wonderful and greatest of this great day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
bassman1977
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2008, 08:56:00 AM »

I visited Maine Maple Products a few years ago.  Besides maple stuff, they also bottle Maine honey.  The day we visited, they were heating up honey that had crystallized (which they would have done regardless of crystallization or not).  If memory serves, they heated their honey in the 5 gallon bucket, but in a metal trough (for lack of better words) which kept the water temperature at about 120 degrees.  The honey would then sit in the water for about a week. Not only does this get the honey back into a liquid state, but it he said it will also keep the honey from recrystallizing a lot longer.
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dlmarti
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2008, 09:19:55 AM »

More info (from the man)  Smiley
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Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2008, 09:28:33 AM »

Dlmarti, beautiful, thank you, I have bookmarked the page and will peruse it later.  Beautiful and wonderful day!!!  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2008, 09:32:53 AM »

Bassman......That is the fastest way , but honey heated over 120 is no longer raw honey . The heat eliminates some enzymes . Watter bath of 100 will take longer but will not harm the honey . ( As was told to me  Smiley)
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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2008, 09:48:40 AM »

Suprstkr.  OK, sounds like no a degree over 100, whichever way it is done.  Have a beautiful and most wonderful day, lovin' life.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2008, 12:37:06 PM »

i re-liquify honey using a crock pot.  put some water in the crock, set it to low, and put the container with the honey on the crock.  takes an hour or so to do a large honey bear bottle.


-Steve
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annette
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2008, 12:46:56 PM »

I don't know yet about all this. From my experience, I have 2 bottles of honey sitting here. One bottle extracted last summer, one bottle crush and strain from last October. Both still in liquid form and not crystallized. They are sitting in a room that is cool all year round. I myself am surprised that they have not yet crystallized.

Just another opinion
Annette
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bassman1977
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2008, 01:00:29 PM »

Quote
Bassman......That is the fastest way , but honey heated over 120 is no longer raw honey . The heat eliminates some enzymes . Watter bath of 100 will take longer but will not harm the honey . ( As was told to me  )

Good info to give out when asked again.

Quote
Crystallization happens because of four things: agitation, number seed crystals,  temperature, and dilution (according to a candy makers article).

Could you explain the agitation part please?  I have a hard time buying into the fact that a few quick spins in an extractor is going to make much of a difference in crystalization.  Maybe if you are making candy, but we are not in this case.  Has it ever been proven that one extraction method will crystalize the honey faster than another?  I don't believe it would have anything to do with it (barring a heat source was used during some phase of the extraction process...heat knife or whatever).  

The past two years I harvested goldenrod honey.  The first time, the goldenrod honey took forever to finally crystalize.  Last year, there was a considerablely different taste to the goldenrod.  Obviously there was another type of nectar in the honey compared to the year prior AND a bit more water content.  This honey crystalized very fast...probably about a month it took to crystalize.

Both years I extracted with an extractor.  I use an uncapping fork only, to break the seals of the honey combs.   Other than the honey being spun out of a comb compared to crushing a comb, I do not see any difference at all in the honey.  Heat is not being applied in my case therefore no changes are being made to the enzymes in the honey.

I do believe that the nectar souces, pollen content, and water content are the deciding factors for crystallization regardless of the method of extraction and barring heat application.

I'm not convinced.

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dlmarti
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2008, 03:18:50 PM »

Quote
Crystallization happens because of four things: agitation, number seed crystals,  temperature, and dilution (according to a candy makers article).

Could you explain the agitation part please?  I have a hard time buying into the fact that a few quick spins in an extractor is going to make much of a difference in crystalization.  Maybe if you are making candy, but we are not in this case.  Has it ever been proven that one extraction method will crystalize the honey faster than another?  I don't believe it would have anything to do with it (barring a heat source was used during some phase of the extraction process...heat knife or whatever). 

I wasn't speaking of agitation from extraction, I was speaking of agitation of a super saturated sugar syrup (honey) in general, ie. after its in the container.
Or stirring the container to assist in getting the honey back to a liquid state, which would actually just create more crystals.

As to extraction causing crystals, I have read that, but I'm not sure I believe it.  Extraction normally leads to a honey with less suspended particles, which should actually inhibit crystallization.
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dlmarti
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« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2008, 03:50:12 PM »

This article has a nice section about extraction, crystallization, and filtering: ARTICLE

Basically what they say is that temps below 110 are natural, temps above are not.
They make no claims to when the flavor or health aspects of honey would change due to temperature.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2008, 09:28:28 PM »

Reconstituting crystallized honey is best done in a water bath at 105 degrees.  It will take several hours for an 8 ounce jar but it won't spoil the raw context of the honey.  When it starts to crystallize you have 2 choices, IMO, reconstitute it in a water bath or get out your electric drill and a paint mixer and churn away.  Make sure the mixer is only used for food items, not paint, and sanitize before and after each use. 
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Angi_H
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2008, 11:25:03 PM »

Cindi, I will chime in here a bit. As this is what I saw when I did the crush and strain on the honey from the cut out. They had some cells that had crystalized and when crushed it allowed it into the main batch of honey. Where as when you use the extractor you fling the liquid honey out and not the crystalized honey as it tends to stay in the comb and not get flung. I have noticed that this honey that I have now crushed and strained is wanting to turn hard and fast. It had a very low moisture content to began with and I had to super heat our house and place a heater next to the honey just to get it to drain and strain. This is just my 2c worth.


Angi
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2008, 07:57:50 AM »

Some years the honey crytalizes quickly and some years it doesn't.  It is some combination of seeds in the honey, temperatures, water content etc.  I don't think crush and strain is directly related but you might extract more pollen etc. when crushing and they may act as seed for crystals.
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