Honey crystallizing

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by bamabww, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

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    I have given most of my first year crop away but had saved 12 eight ounce jars for us to enjoy over the next year (1 per month). I've noticed the 8 jars I have left are turning cloudy and in fact have started crystallizing in the bottom of the jars.

    I have stored them in our central air cooled / heated utility room covered in a cabinet. I've read on another thread on our board that the honey should be slowly heated to 100 to 120 degrees to turn it into honey again.

    Is it all right to put the crystallized honey in an oven, turn the temperature to 120 degrees and melt the crystals? Or how do you do it?

    Might try my hand at making some creamed honey as well.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I set my jars in a large pan, fill with water to neck., and bring the water to a boil. As soon as it begins to boil, I turn the burner off and let it set. By the time the heat transfers from the water to the honey, it is around 120 and most times clears. If there is some crystals left, I repeat.

    That is just one of many ways that work. Maybe others will tell their ways.
     

  3. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I do as Iddee does but I add one thing I put a canning jar lid ring in the bottom of the pan of water so jar doesnt set directly on the bottom of the pan. Not sure that it makes a difference.
     
  4. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    What rat and Iddee said.

    All natural honey will crystalize, some sooner than others, it depends on what types of groceries the girls were gathering when they were making the honey.

    Don't microwave or heat the honey in the oven. It's too hard to control the temperature, and you don't want to pasteurize it, Set it in hot water, and it will re-liquify.
     
  5. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I do similarly, except I boil the water, remove from heat, and THEN put the jars in. (You do have to put them in briefly up front to get the amount of water right.)

    When it's only one jar and I'm too lazy to fill a large pan to cover to the neck of the jar, I use a smaller pan, then after removing from the heat, place a towel over the top to keep the heat in while it sits. Not as efficient, but it works.

    I have several jars of crystallized honey in storage. This is the main reason that I do not put labels on until I am ready to give the jar away.
     
  6. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Just like Iddee, rat, gunny and Hobie said. I also use a water bath. Sit mine in a pan of water and turn the heat on low and just let it sit there for a while. Depending on what it is going in I don't even bother to re-liquify it (that is the lazy beekeeper in me), just put a big spoonful of it in hot oatmeal, hot biscuit, etc. and it will melt on its own.

    Gunny I will have to call your hand on all natural honey crystallizing, there is one that does not, can you guess which one (hint it only comes from the higher elevations).
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Show me your proof. I have always been told all will eventually. Even Sourwood.
     
  8. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    sourwood is what I was talking about, uhhhh got no proof I ate the evidence :lol:

    If it does it sure takes its sweet time then, and you should not let sourwood sit that long anyway, too many pancakes and biscuits needs eatin' for that!!
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Now, I can agree with that. :D
     
  10. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I guess i'm the odd man on the totem pole. Maybe because I'm so lazy, but my preferred method is using the microwave -in short "blasts". Depending on how much of the honey I want at the time I'll give a shorter or a longer heating.
    10-30 seconds will give me the liquid honey needed for spreading on a few crackers or slices of bread. Longer heats will give me more. The trick is NOT to heat till it all liquifies but enough to produce the liquid honey that by "shaking" (twisting, turning, rolling) the jar will liquify more, up to the quantity needed.
    Overheating will give you liquid honey but will chase off the delicious fragrance of each type.
    But I'll take this opportunity to give a plug for creamed honey. It contains tiny crystals, becomes fairly firm, but easily becomes managebly spreadable with a knife or a spoon, without losing flavor or fragrance.
     
  11. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Creamed honey is great also efmesch, I never turn it away either!
     
  12. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I have always been told tupelo honey will not crystalize
     
  13. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions / advice. I appreciate it.

    How long will the de-crystallized honey remain honey after the crystals are dissolved?
     
  14. rast

    rast New Member

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    During the summer you can just leave it your car or truck with the windows rolled up.
    Put in the oven with the only the oven light bulb on for 24 hrs. Bulb must be incandescent and oven door closed of course. Wife seems to create problems using this method occasionally.
    Very little effort expended with these two methods. (Paying attention Perrybee :D ?)
     
  15. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    "very little effort expended" sounds an awful lot like a fancy way of saying "a l--y man's way of doing it." :mrgreen: :lol:
     
  16. hankdog1

    hankdog1 New Member

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    Popular honey has the longest shelf life around here my grandpa had some in the basement for 25 years before it went to sugar. Of course I turn mine back to honey just by sitting the jars in the sink and putting in hot tap water. Repeat until it goes back to honey. I hate having to wash pots and pans unless it's something that is going into my belly.
     
  17. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    the rat writes:
    I have always been told tupelo honey will not crystalize

    tecumseh:
    that is what I have been told also. matter of fact the information I was told is that tupelo was the only honey that does not crystalize.

    crystalized honey works just fine by me... comes off the spoon real clean. some of my clients (a couple using the sweet stuff to swallow large number of pills related to cancer) actually place my honey in the frig so it will crystalize.
     
  18. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I spooned some crystallized honey into my tea last night- much neater and easier than liquid honey...pretty awesome, no drips! It had no problem dissolving quickly in the hot tea.
     
  19. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    It depends on how thoroughly the original crystals were dissolved and the temperature at which you keep the honey. If the crystals were totally dissolved (that process usually reduces the real quality of the honey--but does make it look nice and clear) and you store it in a warm place, it can stay uncrystalized for a very long time.
    Minute crystals that remain in the honey serve as a starting point for the formation of new, larger crystals.
    BUT, as you can see from some of the comments above, crystalized honey is nothing to be afraid of and really has its own advantages.
    My experience has been that people (non-beeks) are afraid of crystalized honey because they think that the crystals "prove" that the beekeeper added sugar to the honey. I try to explain to them that it is proof of the quality of the highlly concentrated nectars from which the honey was made.
     
  20. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Unless it isn't actually Sourwood, purchased at the Mkt near Ashville, Sourwood does crystalize.

    A person on another Forum says he/she uses a crockpot to warm a jar of crystalized honey in. I put mine in the window on the South end of the house. Or on the corner of the wood stove.

    Unless it is too hard to get out of the jar w/ a spoon, use it crystalized. There is nothing wrong w/ it and it is still honey.