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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Henderson Nebraska
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    10

    Default warming crystalized honey

    We had a good year last year after two dry years and had three buckets of honey left after winter, but it has mostly crystallized. Farmers market season is starting again and everyone wants "liquid honey". I built a "hot box" with a 60 watt bulb which gets up to about 105 -115 degrees so it is re-liquifying but it seems stronger flavored than before. Does the flavor get stronger and color darker with age or heating? I was under the impression at these low temperatures the flavor wouldn't be affected.

    My other question is about the honey separating while warming. It seems much thinner on top with a stronger darker smell while the bottom is still crystallized. I realize I need to stir it to completely liquify all the honey but I'm wondering if this separation is normal during the warming process?

    I just want to make sure I'm not hurting the honey or selling inferior honey.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Jay

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,001

    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    I recommend that you get a thermostat and make sure the temp stays just over 100. A Thermostatically controlled powerstrip from Petco reptile section can be had for about $50 and does nicely. I once burned honey in a hotbox not using it. If your honey is melted and stirred and tastes good, sell it proudly. Don't apologize as it will still be a better product than most of what is available at the supermarket.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    486

    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    Good Question Jay... I'm rather new to having honey around. I was wondering if just putting the crystalized honey in a hot car would be a good option? I have some from last year as well. It's in a stainless steel pot with a lid on it. I'm thinking the hot car would liquify it again. It worked on a small bottle of honey that I had but I haven't tried it with the big pot of honey. I'll be sure to keep the windows shut I'm curious about strategies for this as well. Maybe the hot car could work for you too. Good Luck!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    903

    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    [QUOTE=Jay Goertzen;960406]We had a good year last year after two dry years and had three buckets of honey left after winter, but it has mostly crystallized. Farmers market season is starting again and everyone wants "liquid honey". I built a "hot box" with a 60 watt bulb which gets up to about 105 -115 degrees so it is re-liquifying but it seems stronger flavored than before.

    Don't go above 100 F use a thermostae - like the ones to keep chickens warm. Works well.

    Does the flavor get stronger and color darker with age or heating?

    It does.

    I was under the impression at these low temperatures the flavor wouldn't be affected.

    I should not - just the colour.

    My other question is about the honey separating while warming. It seems much thinner on top with a stronger darker smell while the bottom is still crystallized. I realize I need to stir it to completely liquify all the honey but I'm wondering if this separation is normal during the warming process?

    Heat rises! The top will melt first.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,158

    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    Got a hot tub or has a friend who has one.................place it in there!
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Whitmell, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    Sit it out in the sun where the sun can shine through the jar. It will dissolve the crystals and clarify it. After being in the sun for a few days it won't go back to creamed honey near as fast.

    I have some that is creamed and some of the same batch that was put in the sun for a few days last summer. It's a year old and no crystals.

    *edit* The sun will heat the buckets too enough to get it jarred up.
    Don't laugh it's paid for. -- Manure draws more flies than honey.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,950

    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    Does your "hot box" have a fan in it? My first one was a small refrigerator with a light bulb heater (it could sit on a desk) and even in there the temperature was 20 degrees different in the top than the bottom. I put buckets in and set the temperature to 100-105 and in two days it is completely liquid.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Henderson Nebraska
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    thanks for the responses. I'll get a thermostat and watch it closely until I do. sounds like right at 100 degrees is the safest bet correct or how much higher can I go? (it takes more than a couple days for a 5 gallon bucket to warm up at 100 degrees. thanks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,158

    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    Just take a heating pad wrap it around the bucket with a rubber band or ??? and it works just fine .... you've probably already have one in your home!
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  10. #10

    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    I run mine with two 75 bulbs and a computer 12 volt fan. Had a bucket with a dark line in it before the fan. I run the control from Honey Run. Works great. Thinking of adding a grow light to it to start some seeds see we keep the house on the cool side.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    Is the bucket plastic?
    When honey crystallizes some of the moisture comes out and that can result in fermentation. Was there any low viscosity honey on top to begin with that did not look crystallized? This could also account for the "stronger" taste or smell. My honey always crystallizes and it is left in the cellar for months. We are getting down to our last jars and you can most definitely taste and smell the fermented honey on top of a solid chunk of crystallized honey in the bottom. If it is too strong you can pour off a little or all of it before you liquefy the rest. Fermented honey is not bad for you, actually it is good for you. Sell it as aged honey with a slightly higher price. Mix it up real good and let customers have a taste. Some people gravitate towards foods that others consider spoiled. How many cheeses have you tried?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    To liquefy fill the bath tub with hot water and place bucket in tub. Add more water as it cools. A 2" styro board covering the tub will keep the water from cooling quickly.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    3,594

    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    To liquefy fill the bath tub with hot water and place bucket in tub.
    Does the State of New York approve of warming honey in one's bathtub?



    For your own consumption I suppose that you could warm the honey wherever you wished; the OP is selling honey...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,199

    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    No need for a bathtub. Or wasting hot water.

    The OP stated in his original post (June 2013) that he already had a honey "warming box". He was asking about an appropriate temperature, and the possible effects on taste and viscosity.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  15. #15
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    Does the State of New York approve of warming honey in one's bathtub?
    Sure. Why not? If the honey is in a closed container why would it matter how the heat transfer occurs? Do you feel it is more aseptic using a heater band?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    Refer to first post:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Goertzen View Post
    ...Farmers market season is starting again ...
    My other question is about the honey separating while warming. It seems much thinner on top with a stronger darker smell while the bottom is still crystallized.
    He is not supplying General Mills.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Do you feel it is more aseptic using a heater band?
    Yes.

    But go ahead and argue for "all" of the benefits of conditioning honey in your bathtub....

    I suspect a toilet would be part of the equipment in your "warming room" as well.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    942

    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    At a farmers market one of my customers passed on an interesting idea, just put the jars in the dishwasher for part of a cycle. Check every 5 minutes or so until reliquified. Cleans any residue on the bottles also.
    20 hives, 10 years, T and TF, All local stock

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    That might work using less water but I thought the container was a bucket too large for a dish washer.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    6,199

    Default Re: warming crystalized honey

    How about leaving the tub, toilet and dishwasher to serve their 'normal' uses and just use the hot box the original poster built for the express purpose ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Goertzen View Post
    I built a "hot box" with a 60 watt bulb ...
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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