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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Stokesdale, North Carolina
    Posts
    45

    Default crystalized honey

    Im a new beek and this is my first harvest. I have a five gallon bucket of honey that has got thick and I cant bottle it. Is this something that I have done wrong or does this just happen. What can I do with the honey, can this be fixed? Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,272

    Default Re: crystalized honey

    Crystalization is natural and normal. I am not familiar w/ NC Honeys enuf to know which ones crystalize sooner than others. I'm a little surprised to hear that yours has crystalized, because what I call early honey here sometimes isn't crystalized 6 to 10 months from harvest.

    If you are going to bottle this bucket of honey you are going to have to figure out a way to warm the bucket up w/out compromising the plastic, burning a hole in it for instance, or over heating the honey itself. How hot does your tape water get? You may be able to set the bucket of honey in your kitchen sink and fill the sink w/ really hot water and get it to loosen up enuf to laddle or spoon the honey from the bucket and into jars.

    You'll have to change the water a cpl of times, probably. I have done that w/ honey crystalized in the bottom of my 5 gallon square plastic totes. Good luck.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Lemont, Il U.S.A.
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: crystalized honey

    It's summer in North Carolina. Close your bucket and set it ouside in the sun for a day then give it a stir and see what it looks like.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,272

    Default Re: crystalized honey

    Yeah, that's right, I forgot. Isn't it getting up to 100 degrees there in NC. Set it inside of a car w/ the windows rolled up. By the end of the day it will be soft and maybe liquid. Maybe it'll take two days.

    Good one stajerc61.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Jackson, Ga USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: crystalized honey

    Crystallization is caused from too much moisture in your honey. You must have harvested uncapped frames of honey as well. This will cause your honey to crystallize. I personally will not pull uncapped frames of honey. Wait until the frames are totally filled and capped. When I harvest, I pull all frames that are capped and look to see what is partially filled. Then about two weeks later, I look to see if those frames are filled and if so, pull those. It adds work, but I don't want the embarrassment when a customer brings you back a jar of crystallized honey and asks you what to do with it.
    The car trick works real well to heat up your honey. Bad thing is, it is going to crystallize again. You need to get the moisture in the honey down. It is fairly easy to do with supers with frames of capped honey and it may work with your bucket of honey but will probably take much longer. I don't know how well it will work but you might want to try it.
    Put your bucket of honey with just a wire screen on the top to keep anything from getting into it, in a fairly airtight space, like a closet. Put in a heat lamp, or small electric heater and a de-humidifier. The object is to get the honey warm enough that it will release the moisture and the de-humidifier converts it back to water. This does work on frames of honey like I said but it could take a long while with a bucket of extracted honey.
    One simple way to test for moisture in honey. Take a jar of honey and turn it upside down quickly. Watch how fast the air bubble rises back to the top. The slower it goes, the less moisture. With a pint jar, you should be able to say " one thousand one, one thousand two" and as you say 'two' the bubble should hit the top. Any faster than that and you have two much moisture.

    Here again, these are from my experiences and the way I do beekeeping. Just thought this might help you in some way. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,272

    Default Re: crystalized honey

    GA,
    You sure you aren't writing about fermintation and not crystalization? All honeys crystalize eventually.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    central mn
    Posts
    283

    Default Re: crystalized honey

    I think sqkcrk is right ,, too much moisture in your honey will cause fermentation not Crystallization , crystallized honey is what I love ,, I make it crystallize , so I can eat it , I do eat liquid honey to but ,, honey any way is good ,, try honey wine ...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Jackson, Ga USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: crystalized honey

    I stand corrected, I was thinking of fermentation. The solidity just means the sweetener is more pure and less processed than the non-crystallized varieties. Some people even prefer it in the solid state because it melts in the mouth more slowly and isn’t as overwhelmingly sweet.

    Honey that tends to solidify quickly has a high amount of pollen, which many mass-market makers extract during the filtering process (the result is what is thought of as typical honey). The effect of this processing is a more visually appealing product, but with all of the good stuff removed.
    Ga-Bee Apiary Jackson, Georgia
    Bees And BS on Blogger.com Twitter - #kenken7565 ken7565@hotmail.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: crystalized honey

    Crystallization is effected by the pollen in it. Some pollen causes this to happen faster then other pollen. I'm up in the Oregon mountains (4200 ft), and the honey I pull in October starts to crystallize in December-January. It's all forest honey, no AG out here. No big deal, and I like it that way too. I put all my honey into canning jars, so I can reheat them easily when I want to remove the crystals. Besides the honey is fine, it didn't go bad, as some people may think. Here is a nice link to read:
    http://www.honey.com/images/download...allization.pdf
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Rock Hill, SC
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: crystalized honey

    Hi firebug,

    Most all honey crystallizes at some point. I prefer it that way but it makes bottling a pain the tail. I place mine in the front seat of my truck with the windows rolled up and this seems to do the trick.
    Experience isn't always the best way to learn...You usually get the lesson first...And the instruction afterwards...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,192

    Default Re: crystalized honey

    Here's a pritty good explanation of why honey crystallizes . http://www.countryrubes.com/images/H...allization.pdf
    It has to do with the balance of glucose. & fructose. There are a couple of honeys that resist crystallization tupalo is one, I think the other is a south american plant.
    Dan

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: crystalized honey

    My honey here is mainly tulip poplar and is chock full of pollen. My honey last year crystallized at the drop of a hat once the house hit 67 degrees (I can't stand a hot house at night). I'm adding a "thick honey" FAQ statement on my labels for my customers. If I have any left over (didn't have that problem last year), I may just take any remaining honey and whip it into creamed honey for the winter instead of building a warming box, spending that money, and paying higher electric bills. Being an advocate of "lazy beekeeping" ala Michael Bush this seems to make the most sense to me. Why fight it, just embrace it. You can even sell the creamed honey at a higher price, especially if flavored. If this is a hit, I may go all-creamed honey since there's less competition on that in the local market place.

    Before I had this realization , I put my jars (I jar everything, no bucket problems) in a stock pot, put a glass pie plate on the bottom so the jars aren't touching the pot that's directly on the burner, put water up to the neck and clipped a candy thermometer on the side and monitored a 115-degree temperature for an hour and a half. The next day, I strained the honey with a 400-micron strainer, and put the remaining crystals in a jar on its own. If there are crystals left behind, the honey will re-crystallize on you faster.

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