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Author Topic: Honey Problem  (Read 2953 times)
Agility Mom
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« on: November 10, 2004, 08:16:33 PM »

I extracted my honey in late September and my bees had done very well for me. However, I now notice that in several of the containers the honey has gotten very firm and is even a bit white looking. I put one larger jug that wasn't sealed in hot water and a quart jug that was sealed at low heat in the microwave and the honey has liquified in both again. The honey still tastes great.

Any thoughts on what might have caused this?
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Judy
Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2004, 09:18:24 PM »

From stuff I've read it happens naturally, and you did what was said to do.

I just don't know if it can happen that soon.
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Sting
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2004, 09:20:50 PM »

There is nothing wrong with it.  Your honey has simply crystallized.  All honey does so, at different speeds depending upon the nectar source and other conditions prevalent during the season in which it was gathered, and of course depending on how it is stored.  57 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimum temperature if you are trying to harden your liquid gold, which lots of producers do.  This product is marketed as "granulated" or "creamed" honey and is enjoyed for its spreadability.  The quality of the honey is not altered by crystallization.

The process starts with a tiny number of crystals seeding the honey and ends when all the honey in the container has hardened. ('Kind of like sourdough bread needing a starter).

As you have discovered, a little gentle heat will liquify your honey.  My guess is that yours has been stored in a cool place for it to have crystallized so quickly.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2004, 02:24:14 AM »

I had that happen to me too last year. From my fall harvest (taken in Febuary though). It was really interesting to see though.

Beth
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2004, 08:10:03 AM »

Judy,
Sting is right on in his response. All honey does crystallize, the nectar source plays a major role and the temperature at which you store your honey speeds up or slows down the process.

One thing I might add is that when you process your honey keep it covered as much as possible. Not only does honey absorb moisture from the air, if left uncovered any dust particles that get into it will only speed up the crystallization by becoming the 'seed' that Sting spoke of.

Oh, I guess there were two things. I have read that since microwave ovens are notorious for creating uneven heating patterns, it is recommended that they not be used for trying to re-liquify honey. They say that the uneven heating can harm the flavor of the honey by heating some of the honey to a too high temperature. I personally have never tried to use a microwave for this, so I can't verify or refute this, I'm just passing on what I have read.

A beekeeping friend of mine stores his honey in an outside, below ground cellar (temperature in the low 50's) so that his honey will crystallize. He says it's so that he has crystallized honey when he needs it and he can always liquify some if he needs that.
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Robo
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2004, 08:10:48 AM »

Judy,

Good to hear from you again Cheesy Glad things went well for you this season.  As Sting explained, this is quite normal.  Since this year was a good year for purple loosestrife and goldenrod here, I'm assuming it was in your parts as well.   Boh of these seem to be honey that crystallizes fairly easy.  I actually prefer crystallized honey for my tea & coffee.  Same great taste with half the mess Cheesy
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Agility Mom
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2004, 07:48:17 PM »

Thanks for all the helpful responses. At least I know that I didn't do anything wrong to cause this problem/non-problem. The honey is great.
I think the idea of just using the warm water approach is probably better than the microwave although I did it at lowish heat in short bursts and moved the jug around each time to try to avoid overheating any one part.

You know me, Robo, I always have a question or two. Had some connection problems so got out of the habit of checking in here every day. I have a lot to catch up on.

Judy
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Judy
Archie
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2004, 07:14:03 AM »

good morning,

every year I let most of my honey turn to sugar.  It is called creamed honey. the honey I want to stay liquid, I take off before the goldenron honey flow. Next year after you take off the fall honey, mix some cinnamon (to taste) and put it into 1 pound containers and let it turn into sugar.  I sell all of my "creamed honey" with the cinnamon in a very short time.  

Start your own niche with cinnamon creamed honey.    Cool

Archie
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Barny
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2004, 08:29:28 AM »

That sounds delicious Archie!!  Never thought of adding to honey before.. hmm wonder if a dash of nutmeg would improve the aroma as well?!
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2004, 09:42:02 PM »

I have seen creamed honey kits that make 5 gallons at a time. The kit came with 3 flavors, peach, chocolate, and strawberry. Sounds good but I think honey should still taste like honey. That is why I like your cinnamon honey idea, the grate taste of fresh honey with the little zing of cinnamon. How much cinnamon do you add to a pound of honey? Thanks, bye
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Ryan Horn
Archie
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2004, 06:26:01 PM »

Hi,
I usually mix up 5 lbs at a time.  I mix the cinnamon  just alittle at at time and keep tasting it until both the honey and I are happy .  I mix the honey in a Kitdhenmaid stand mixer VERY SLOW SPEED.  I then put it into 1 pound containers, cover and let it sit until it turns to sugar  (creamed honey)

Archie
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Honey, Vermont sunshine in a bottle.
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