View Full Version : If honey does not crystillize, does it mean is good quality?

01-30-2006, 11:43 AM
A question about quality honey rised last weekend between me and my friends. Once I've been told (by beekeper) that good quality honey should not crystallize. Is that true? Can anybody help me to answer this? And how can I tell if honey will crystallize when I'm buying it? I know, that all i need to do is to put the jar with honey in hot water and it will liquify again.

Michael Bush
01-30-2006, 12:24 PM
Honey that has (in my opinion) been overheated will not crystalize quickly. Honey that has never been heated will crystalized more quickly and taste much better. All honey will crystalized eventually but some, like Tupelo, crystalize VERY slowly.

How quickly depends on many things including the storage temperature and the makeup of the sugars (which depends on the nectar source).

power napper
01-30-2006, 04:11 PM
vroadrunner--Our summer extraction (July) seems to stay liquid and not crystalize but the fall extraction (mostly goldenrod and asters)only stays liquid for a month or so at best. In my opinion the summer honey is much better than the fall honey also. The crystalization is determined by what nectar the bees are bringing back to the hive.

01-31-2006, 08:01 AM
"Quality" honey is totaly subjective. When I sell honey at the local markets I offer my customers a taste of what I am selling. Some people like the clearer, milder honeys and some people like the darker, more flavorful honeys.

I still have some honey that I extracted in May of 2005 from the honey locust bloom that is clear and very mild that has shown no sign of crystallizing yet. I also have some from my October extracting that is darker and more flavorful that has already crystallized. I happen to like the darker stuff myself, but all my honey is treated the same once I remove it from the hive. I don't believe that either is "better" than the other.

[ January 31, 2006, 10:02 AM: Message edited by: carbide ]

Jim Fischer
01-31-2006, 11:14 AM
> Once I've been told (by beekeper) that good
> quality honey should not crystallize. Is that
> true?

Given time, any/all honey will crystallize.
The relative amount of glucose in the honey seems
to be the key factor in the process, explaining
why orange blossom honey (high glucose) tends to
crystallize more rapidly than other types. Another
key factor is pollen, which can act as "seeds"
for crystallization.

> Can anybody help me to answer this?

Not long ago, honey that was NOT crystallized
was viewed with suspicion, as "if it wouldn't
crystallize, it was likely adulterated". In
more recent times, people have gotten very
out of touch with "the basics", and want
"perfect" looking food, including honey that
is transparently clear, not too dark, etc.

Some beekeepers will find that customers will
bring back jars of crystallized honey, thinking
that it has "gone bad". No one knows how many
jars of crystallized honey are tossed into the
garbage by ignorant housewives every year.

If you have honey that crystallizes at the drop
of a hat, the most likely cause is an inadequate
filtration step. Pollen gains will act as
"seeds" for crystallization. Problem is, you
can't expect to filter out 100% of pollen no
matter what you do. Some pollen grains are just
too small - the smallest known is the pollen of
the Forget-me-not at 6 ┬Ám (0.006 mm) in diameter.
But the more pollen you filter out, the better
your chances for getting jars that don't
crystallize before they are consumed.

02-01-2006, 05:05 PM
Thank you all for the answers.

02-02-2006, 05:12 AM
It doesn't mean that it is bad.

It could be perfectly edible and just what your customer wants.

The big packers can't be all wrong. Look at how much honey they sell. You don't see much of it that has crystallized. Of course they heat it.

The average customer wants honey that is liquid. The average customer doesn't want to have to deal with crystallized honey.

The best honey is the honey that you like the most. Liquid, creamed, comb, summer honey or fall honey. There is bad honey (burnt or fermented) but, if what you bought looks good and tastes good, then it is good.

02-19-2006, 09:19 AM
Power Napper ...Some of that Honey you harvested in July could be Basswood. Its light and has a hint of citric taste , also one of my favorites. Some years theres not a lot of basswood to be had depending on the weather I suppose.I think generally speaking that tree honey doesnt crystalize as quickly as floral sources ...Rick Alexander

02-19-2006, 02:52 PM
just wondering does comb honey crystalize?

Jim Fischer
02-19-2006, 07:03 PM
> just wondering does comb honey crystalize?

Naw, it always gets eaten long before it
has a chance to crystallize! smile.gif

Of course it can. Let any honey sit long
enough, and it will crystallize. "Proper"
storage simply slows the process down.

Perhaps freezing would prevent it "forever",
however long you decide that would be.

Walt McBride
03-14-2006, 07:07 PM
There is one honey that is produced out here in the coastal mountains and foot hills in southern California, we call it black sage. At first it comes in water white then to extreme light amber color. I have never seen or heard it to granulate due to its low glucose level. It is a nice honey to produce.

newbee 101
03-19-2006, 05:53 PM
Make a batch of creamed honey before it becomes crystallized. Once it is made, you never have to worry about it again. It stays creamed honey "forever"! :D

[ March 19, 2006, 07:53 PM: Message edited by: newbee 101 ]