View Full Version : How long to heat honey

01-19-2005, 07:14 PM
How long does it take to break down the sugar crystals and at what heat without effecting the taste and color of the honey?

01-19-2005, 07:18 PM
Also does the container need to be open or closed?

Michael Bush
01-20-2005, 06:18 AM
>How long does it take to break down the sugar crystals and at what heat without effecting the taste and color of the honey?

I think any heat for any time affects it. But if you wnat to crystalize it you may have to heat it.

>Also does the container need to be open or closed?

If there is no vent of any kind the jars will explode. But closed with a vent (like a loose band on a canning jar or a loose lid on a jar) will lose less flavor than totally open. Also if you are heating it in hot water and it's open on the top it will absorb a lot of water and possibly get too high of a moisture content and ferment later.

01-20-2005, 10:00 AM
I will be warming the honey in a warming box with lights as my heat source.

01-20-2005, 04:02 PM
Try the books?

I do not remember what my source was, it might be the label I bought to put on honey, said 140 degrees F is the maximum. Leave it there for as long as it takes.

Dick Allen
01-20-2005, 05:15 PM
When I have crystallized honey, I heat it gently on my (electric) stove on the warm setting only until the crystals disappear. I check that by stirring and tasting. If it's bottled, the bottle is placed in a pan of water, and the same method is used. I'm not concerned about temperature since I don't heat it that long, nor am I concerned about moisture getting into it. So far I've never had any ferment after heating it to remove crystals.

01-20-2005, 10:15 PM
I usually preheat the oven and set the honey in and turn off the heat. But as I found out tonight it is NOT a good idea to get sidetracked and go to the movies... :eek: 150 was too much for the poor little bears.

Oh well, it will still work in mead, the flavor will just be a bit diminished.

Michael Bush
01-21-2005, 06:41 AM
Some of the new crystal clear plastic bottles melt, warp and even shrink when they get hot at all. I would experiment with one bottle if you have plastic bottles to reliquify. The ones that aren't so crystal clear you can put in boiling water and they seem to work fine but the crystal ones won't handle much temperature at all.

01-21-2005, 07:58 AM
Have you ever thought of using a dehydrator? I have an Excalibur that, unlike the stackable dehydrators, is like a big box with removable trays and a thermostat that can be set from 95-160 or so.


It uses very little electricity, and can be used for a lot of other things -- not only drying food, but yogurt making, rising bread, etc. I would think it could also be used to decrease some of the water content of the honey if you wanted. I've used it with my personal use honey, and it works great. You could probably fit 20 or so of the little honey bears in it at a time. They run around $200 for the largest size.


01-21-2005, 11:41 AM
>They run around $200 for the largest size.

Holy Cow! I got mine in the early 1980's and they were only about $75. Only problem I ever had with them is that the door tabs break off easily, so I use a soup can to prop the door shut when in use. This remind's me I need to make some more deer jerky.

BTW, good idea!

01-21-2005, 02:07 PM
>They run around $200 for the largest size. Holy Cow! >

I think I'll stick with the electric oven I got for a twelve pack:) And that included delivery and help carrying it in.

01-21-2005, 03:31 PM
>They run around $200 for the largest size. Holy Cow! >

LOL. The best is to find a disullusioned dehydrator -- who paid retail and now wants to get rid of the dust collector cheap.

Well, if you want cheap, another idea that I use to heat my yogurt is to set the jar on a $12 electric heating pad. On the highest setting, I'd think you would get to the 110-130 degree range. So, you could set your honey container on the pad, drape a stack of towels or a thick blanket over the whole thing and come back the next day.

Who knows? It's worth a try, and you don't have to worry about the little bears melting into a pile of goo. :)


01-21-2005, 04:28 PM
I've learned (the hard way) that if I set the oven on warm, I can let it maintain it's temp. that way for a while, but too long and it will melt plastic:0 I was almost single again after that one.

01-21-2005, 09:57 PM
I just made a wooden box large enough to put in a 60 pound bulk honey bucket drilled some holes on the top and bottom, put some slide shutters on the holes, installed a 100 wat light bulb and put in the honey containers. I adjusted the shutters to hold steady temp inside at 100 degrees. After 48 hours inside at 100 degrees I have not found any crystalized honey that has not turned back to liquid. I have even done crystalized comb honey without damaging it much.
My honey heater measures 40" X 40" X 40" and I used 1 inch foam sheets on the outside to insulate it.

Jim A Ohio
01-22-2005, 08:49 AM
I obtained a modified refrigerator from a retiring beekeeper which has a 40W and a 15W bulb in it. This holds the temperature at 100F similar to Clintons. It took longer than 48hrs for my goldenrod/aster honey which was hard as a rock.

Jack Grimshaw
01-22-2005, 09:52 AM
I built a hot box with a 60 watt bulb hooked up to a thermostat from Kellys and a cheapo bathroom fan.It will hold a 60# pail but I have only used it to liquify 1# plastic jars.At between 100 and 105 deg. it takes 2-4 days for 24 jars.I crack the top 1/2 turn so as not to build up pressure and retighten when cool.

Mike Gillmore
02-25-2006, 07:23 AM
I had several quart jars of Goldenrod/Aster honey that had begun to crystalize so I put together a small box, as described in the posts above, with a suspended light bulb. The temps in the box are holding around 100 deg but after more than a week there is still a lot of crystalized honey in the jars. The only one that is all liquid is 1 jar of wildflower honey from earlier last summer. I have been stirring the jars every couple of days, but the crystals seems to settle to the bottom again.
How long will I need to keep them in the box?
Is stirring the honey helping or hindering?
I have several people who would like to buy more honey in liquid state, but I don't want to overheat the product and destroy the "Raw" qualities which I promote with my product.
Thanks for any advice.

Michael Bush
02-26-2006, 09:12 AM
The temps in a hive are right around 100 F on a hot day. As long as you don't go over that I would think you could do it quite a while without hurting the honey.

02-27-2006, 06:05 PM
I have an old upright freezer with a 75 watt bulb in it that gets up to 115 degrees and can decrystalize 1 pound and 5 pound glass jars in about 6 hours when it is up to temp. I also can set a 5 gal pail on the rack but havent done so yet so cant tell ya how long it would take to decrystalize 5 gals. Bees wax starts to melt around 140 I heard. I also use it to drain cappings in a small rubbermade tote that has a screen in the top section.. I wouldnt be surprised to see hive temps close to 120 in hive when they get full sun. One has to monitor to make sure that it isnt forgotten once in the freezer. I usually put in in at nite and take it out in the morning. I also loosen the caps on my jars and the honey bears that are cloudy dont distort at that temp . I try not use plastic as much as possible tho ...Rick Alexander

Stephen Samuel
08-21-2006, 02:15 AM
For small jars I use an ad-hoc double-boiler.. Put a small pan inside a larger pan, separated from the bottom by using a couple of forks or some can lids with the sides bent up. Put hot water in both, and then set them on the stove on low. Put the honey in the inner pan.

The extra layer of water helps to keep the heat of the burner away from the jar (and possibly melting it), and helps keep the temperature, generally, from getting too high.

08-21-2006, 06:29 PM
Try to put the containers out in direct sunlight all day and see what happens. I had a solid, crystallized half gallon plastic jug of honey that I set out in the sun on my deck and it turned back to liquid quite nicely. Does anyone know if short term direct sunlight will hurt the flavor?

Big Ed
08-21-2006, 08:35 PM
I've never tried it, but someone here once mentioned that they put their honey in their car in full sun with windows up on a hot day. Supposedly works well. It's gotta get 140+ in there. Sure makes it hard to sit on black leather seats! :eek: