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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Nephi, Juab County, UT
    Posts
    39

    Default All my honey has turned to sugar

    This is my first year of extracting honey. I've loved the whole experience.
    Well maybe not the clean-up.

    I extracted about 8 gallons on 10Sep10. I kept about 4 gallons mostly in quart Mason jars. Almost all of the honey has crystallized. I'm not worried about it but I just feel a bit hesitant to sell/gift solid honey.

    So.... from what I've read this is common, but wow... that was fast!
    Is there any way to slow the process?
    Realizing this is a supersaturated solution is there a way to heat it slowly and
    keep it in-solution?

    Thanks for any help you can offer.

    Stan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Medford, New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: All my honey has turned to sugar

    I'm very new to beekeeping, so not sure if my info is accurate. This is our first year collecting honey, too. Ours also seems to want to crystallize. I've been having a devil of a time trying to filter it. We're going to try to make creamed honey with this batch. From what I've read, it's really pretty easy. If your honey is already sugared, you can use some of that as your seed--you just have to break the crystals down to the small size you want for the creamed honey (blender, mortar and pestle--you only need about a pound to start). After you do all the steps and get the final product, it'll stay like that indefinitely--and it looks so much nicer when trying to sell or give as gifts.

    All that aside, I think that if you heat it up (not sure what temp.) and re-bottle it, that slows down the crystallization process, so it'll stay liquid longer, but it will eventually re-crystallize. Also, the cooler you store it, the more it has a tendency to crystallize.

    Hope this helps,
    Chris

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Greensburg, Ky.
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: All my honey has turned to sugar

    You will need to heat the honey inorder to bring it back to a liquid state. But you do not want to over heat the honey, i would use a cooking thermometer and not go over 125-130 degrees. They state that if you go over that you could burn the honey and/or lose enzymes and the live pollens. Also it will no longer be "raw" honey after being heated. Here is something interesting to read, it mentions about heating crystallized honey, click link below!

    http://www.sunmountainhoney.com/raw-honey.htm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: All my honey has turned to sugar

    So what can a hobbiest beek do to prevent crystallization? Obviously something CAN be done, because commercial honey, even the raw stuff, is usually sold as a liquid.

    Is there any correlation between moisture content and crystallization? If it's too low could some pure, clean water be mixed in to bring it to a sweet-spot (hehe, I made a funny ) of moisture content?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: All my honey has turned to sugar

    So what can a hobbiest beek do to prevent crystallization? Obviously something CAN be done, because commercial honey, even the raw stuff, is usually sold as a liquid.

    If you heat it up, it delays crystallization. Raw honey is just honey that has been heated to whatever temperature you want to heat it to - there is no set definition of what raw honey is. Raw honey ends up being whatever you want it to be.

    Is there any correlation between moisture content and crystallization?

    I am not aware of any correlation to moisture content. Crystallization is a factor of what kind of sugar the honey is. Tree honeys are slow to granulate. Weed honeys tend to granulate quickly.

    I extracted about 8 gallons on 10Sep10. Almost all of the honey has crystallized.

    So.... from what I've read this is common, but wow... that was fast!


    Wait until you pull honey and see cells with crystallized honey in them. The last honey I pulled and extracted (goldenrod and aster) has been crystallizing within a week.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,939

    Default Re: All my honey has turned to sugar

    The goal is to keep your honey as far from 57 degrees as possible but not over heat it. I have an old refrigerator that I have a thermostat and light bulb set up. The first year I used it I set the temperature to range from 95-100 degrees. All of my honey stayed liquid, but over the year it got darker.

    I now keep honey in the refrigerator between 83-89 degrees and I don't notice as much darkening, but some still happens.

    On the other hand when I freeze my honey it comes out looking just like it went in. I freeze quart canning jars, plastic jars and gallon glass and plastic jars full of honey. I have come to believe that freezing is the preferable way although the warm refrigerator makes it easy to just grab a bottle to use or sell.

    My honey that is still in buckets is starting to get pretty thick, but I am making creamed honey out of that, so I don't worry about it. I have my starter batch going now and will cream the rest in a couple of weeks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: All my honey has turned to sugar

    The faster it crystallized the smoother it is. I would use it the way it is.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Battle Ground, Wa
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: All my honey has turned to sugar

    While it doesn't help with your current situation, I've noticed that I can leave honey in the combs for over a year & it remains liquid, if I spin it out, it will start to crystalize within few months. I've even had some honey from broken comb that remained liquid for over a year in the bottom of a bucket, while the centrifuged stuff had all crystalized. Something about being spun out seems to lead to faster crystalization, or at least that's my experience.

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