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  1. #1
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    Default When honey ferments

    Someone told me that the way you can tell whether honey was pasturised is to try and ferment it, sopposedly, pasturized honey won't ferment (is this true?).

    So I put a bit of honey in a bottle, poured some cooled off boiled water and closed the bottle. Now after a few days a bounch of bubbles have appeared and these small green lumps that look like pieces of gauze rolled up into balls.

    Does this mean it has fermented?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: When honey ferments

    Interesting question. Pasturized honey will not ferment unless yeast is added.
    Your description sounds like it fermented.

    However, there are areas where there is lots of yeast floating around in the air. That is how some beer is made in Belgium. If the floating yeast got into the honey while it was open it would also ferment.

    I'm not sure what we solved here.....

  3. #3
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    Default Re: When honey ferments

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
    Interesting question. Pasturized honey will not ferment unless yeast is added.
    Your description sounds like it fermented.

    However, there are areas where there is lots of yeast floating around in the air. That is how some beer is made in Belgium. If the floating yeast got into the honey while it was open it would also ferment.

    I'm not sure what we solved here.....
    Thanks for the help!

    This honey was straight from the jar into the bottle in which it fermented so it wouldn't have had much of a chance to catch any yeast that may have been in the air, however, I guess I can't be sure it wasn't exposed to yeast before it was bottled, right?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: When honey ferments

    I would say the odds are quite high that the honey had not been pasturized. Wild Yeast is quite common in honey and with a high enough moisture content and the right temp range (70-90F) it readily ferments into mead and probably progresses from there into vinegar over a longer time.

    Enjoy the mead.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: When honey ferments

    Well, I was told today that even pastursed honey will ferment. Which is it??

  6. #6
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    Default Re: When honey ferments

    You seem to be confused, pasteurized honey or non-pasteurized honey, only matters if the pasteurized honey remains uncontaminated with live yeast. If the temperatures are warm enough, the moisture content is increased, and live yeast is added or somehow enters the honey, it will certainly ferment. Pasteurization does not keep the honey yeast-free forever, but only if it remains protected from future contamination. Non-pasteurized honey probably already has viable yeast living in it, only waiting for more moisture, until it can then reproduce (grow), causing fermentation. Properly pasteurized honey (which is somehow an oxymoron), would not have live yeast living in it (the pasteurization would kill them), so live yeast would need to get back into it somehow, before it could ferment. Since yeast is fairly ubiquitous in our air and the rest of our environment - it would be fairly easy for yeast to reinoculate the previously pasteurized honey.

    If you are transferring pasteurized honey from the bottle which it was pasteurized in, then into a different bottle, there may be viable yeast in the air, or in the new bottle, that could enter the honey as it is being transferred.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 09-05-2010 at 01:14 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: When honey ferments

    Actually, this guy was saying that it would still ferment on account of the sugar content, but it dosen't really matter since you say yeast could have gotten in there since I was transfering the honey.

    Is there any other way I could determine whether the honey I have was pasturised?
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 09-05-2010 at 03:32 PM. Reason: UNQ

  8. #8
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    Default Re: When honey ferments

    I'm sure that a laboratory could do tests that would be able to determine if the honey was pasteurized (or overheated) at one time. I am not sure what they could test to determine that, but possibly bio-assay for enzymes that naturally occur in honey - pasteurized honey would likely have little or no active enzymes remaining. At least one of these enzymes generates hydrogen peroxide, which helps honey to kill some microorganisms that could enter the honey. Once they are destroyed, such as during a pasteurization process, the pasteurized honey would be more easily colonized by such organisms. Additionally many organisms, even yeasts, are suppressed by the high sugar content of properly cured honey, and are unable to reproduce (grow), until the moisture content of the honey is increased.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 09-06-2010 at 03:08 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

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