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Author Topic: Crystalized/granulated honey  (Read 2965 times)
tillie
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« on: January 01, 2009, 09:43:48 AM »

I still have some honey from my first beekeeping year (three seasons ago) that is liquid and delicious. 

This past year for the first time I harvested before July 4.  I harvested on Memorial Day weekend.  Every jar from that harvest has crystalized - it's beautiful creamed honey but not what I was expecting.  I left my house with the heat set at 60 degrees over Thanksgiving for a week.  All of my honey was in the same place.  The Memorial Day honey all granulated - none of the rest.

I never take frames that have uncapped cells - at most there will be a few cells around the edges that are not capped, but I would say I only harvest frames with 96 - 98% capped honey. 

I won't harvest that early again this year - but I'm wondering
  • if taking the honey without letting it sit for a while in the hive in capped cells increases granulation?  Does some ripening process happen after the honey is capped?
  • I also wondered if something in the nectar - a type of pollen perhaps - might have increased the chances of this honey granulating?

Happy New Year Everyone,

Linda T, Curious in Atlanta
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ronbert
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2009, 11:51:26 AM »

The Glucose content of honey is the major factor in granulation.
See pp 690-692 in "The Hive and the Honey Bee".
The more Glucose in honey the greater the "chance of granulation".

The honey I extracted three years ago is still liquid (only two pints remaining). The last two years
the honey I extracted granulated in 2-3 months. Other members of the
MABA (Memphis Area Beekeepers Association) have had varying results with granulation.
The MABA honey (mostly cotton and soybean) has granulated in 2-3 months the last two years.
Dr. Skinner of the University of Tennessee suggests putting granulated honey in a water bath
at 120 deg-F for no more than one hour. I have followed his suggestion and found
that the honey does not "regranulate" (after 18 months) and has not lost flavor.
I hope this helps.

ron

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JP
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2009, 12:36:05 PM »

I agree its the glucose content. I've had some granulate in literally days, some weeks, some yrs.


...JP
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2009, 01:14:41 PM »

60° F is a pretty ideal temperature for crystallization.  Much better than 70° F.  Almost as good as 57° F which is the optimum.
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tillie
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2009, 11:13:43 PM »

Yeah, it makes sense that the temperature was perfect for granulating, but why did only one harvest of honey granulate and not all five harvest samples? 

Linda T in Atlanta, still curious.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2009, 12:33:18 AM »

I think that there is something that seeds the honey in the comb some more than others, I don't know what.  I just know my raw honey crystallizes quickly, but if I heat it up then it won't crystallize for a very long time.  I do know it is much much worse if there is leftover honey from the fall...that will seed the honey for crystallization for sure.
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Rick
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2009, 08:50:18 AM »

Scads,
Heating honey will not remove the "seed". It will however change the sugars, thus keeping it from granulating.

I would imagine for most on here, seed is not a factor as there is enough seeds regardless of the type of straining. To remove the seed enough to make a difference, you would need to high pressure filter the honey. Anything less and you have seed anyways.

So it really comes down to the sugar makeup of the types of honey, and the temps to which it is stored.
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tillie
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2009, 01:36:21 PM »

OK, that makes sense.  So the higher potential glucose of the Memorial Day harvest coupled with the 60 degree temp (and sometimes lower if it were colder outside), resulted in that particular honey granulating.  The other honeys, subjected to the same temp, must not have had a high enough glucose (thankfully) to promote granulating.

I do love the "creamed honey" but I wouldn't want my whole "crop" to end up like that and I don't want to heat it, so I'll happily spread it on biscuits!

Linda T in Atlanta
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2009, 05:46:45 PM »

>Heating honey will not remove the "seed". It will however change the sugars, thus keeping it from granulating.

Many things can act as seed for crystals.  This includes sugar that is starting to crystallize acting as seed as well as bits of pollen etc.  Heating will not remove the bits of pollen etc. but it will melt the sugar crystals.
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Michael Bush
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2009, 02:55:51 PM »


Many things can act as seed for crystals.  This includes sugar that is starting to crystallize acting as seed as well as bits of pollen etc.  Heating will not remove the bits of pollen etc. but it will melt the sugar crystals.


That is pretty much what I was thinking...any of the fall honey that remains in there will be the seed crystals for the current batch of honey harvested.
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Rick
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2009, 03:09:02 PM »


Many things can act as seed for crystals.  This includes sugar that is starting to crystallize acting as seed as well as bits of pollen etc.  Heating will not remove the bits of pollen etc. but it will melt the sugar crystals.


That is pretty much what I was thinking...any of the fall honey that remains in there will be the seed crystals for the current batch of honey harvested.

I see that last part in your original post now....... Smiley
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