Author Topic: Honey question  (Read 735 times)

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Offline tedh

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Honey question
« on: December 02, 2018, 10:32:10 am »
Hi Everyone,
  Can honey be too dry?  The last bucket I bottled up tested out at 15.5%.  It tastes good, nice and smooth mouth feel, but looks as if it's starting to crystalize.  Does water content, or lack thereof, have anything to do with honey crystalizing or are they two different things all together?  My guess is that they are seperate issues.  What would be the consequences, if any, of honey being to dry?  Thanks, Ted
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Honey question
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 11:28:17 am »
  Does water content, or lack thereof, have anything to do with honey crystalizing or are they two different things all together? 

A low moisture content will speed up crystallization.  Is it possible to strain it well or warm it up to destroy any crystallization?  Then you could blend it with another batch of honey that has a higher moisture content? 

Offline tedh

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Re: Honey question
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2018, 12:12:44 pm »
I'll need to test the other buckets, but if I find some to blend I'll do that.  Thanks Bakersdozen!  The connection between the two, water content and honey crystalization, is interesting.  I wonder if there is an optimum water content?  Maybe call it the "Goldielocks" of honey, not too wet, not too dry, but just right.  Ted
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Offline iddee

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Re: Honey question
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2018, 12:16:42 pm »
I would like to have some links to that info from a reliable publisher. Anyone have any?
I have honey condensed down to solid candy, but no crystals.
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Offline tedh

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Re: Honey question
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2018, 03:15:48 pm »
Hey iddee!  Welcome back!
Share that which you have an abundance of.  In doing so both the giver and receiver are enriched.

Offline iddee

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Re: Honey question
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2018, 03:24:35 pm »
Hello, Ted. Glad to be back.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Honey question
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2018, 03:47:35 pm »

Here is a link to a web page that explains the crystallization of honey.


http://www.honeybeecentre.com/learn-about-honey#.XAQDv2hKiM8
The rate of crystallization increases with:

Lower water content
Higher glucose content
Presence of solid particles (ie. pollen grains & honey crystals)
Temperature close to 14 C  (Temperatures above 28 C and below 5 C result in very slow crystallization)
Stirring
Note that the slower crystallization produces larger and more irregular crystals.

Crystallization of honey is completely normal and does not damage the honey.  In most cases the crystallization process can be reversed by gently warming the honey to "melt" the crystals.

https://beesource.com/resources/usda/honey-composition-and-properties/
This is an interesting article that talks about the composition of honey, water contents, and the role different sugars play in honey. 

In regards to making creamed honey, some well respected members of my local bee club have written the following.
"Honey crystallizes best if it is  below 18% in moisture content; it does best in the 18%-17.5% range.  If you use honey in a lower moisture range your product will be very firm and not as spreadable." "To bring your moisture level up to 18% you may have to add water." "To bring your moisture level up 1% add 1# of water to 100# of honey."

Offline iddee

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Re: Honey question
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2018, 03:55:41 pm »
Thank You, B13. I had never read about it, one way or the other, so I just wanted to see it. We sell spoons that are condensed honey that are hard as rock candy. As you stir your tea or coffee, the honey melts into it. It has no sign of crystals, so I was just wondering. I do not know how the spoons are made.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
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Offline tedh

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Re: Honey question
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2018, 05:41:33 pm »
Thank you again Bakersdozen.
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Offline apisbees

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Re: Honey question
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2018, 01:48:23 am »
Honey to meet the grade of #1 in Canada and the USA needs to be below 17.8% so this should be the maximum moisture of our honey. the biggest influence on granulation is nectar source. the higher the % of glucose the sooner and faster granulation will start. Crystals or grains of pollen will act as seed and starting points for crystallization to begin, the temperature honey is stored at will effect how fast it will happen. Honeys with a lower moisture increases the sugars, one of which is sucrose that likes to form crystals.
I have found that if you have honey with an extremely low moisture it can be hard to melt all the crystals and recrystallizes rapidly.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.
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Offline Jacobs

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Re: Honey question
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2018, 09:32:31 pm »
http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/media/2774/crystallization.pdf

Here is the National Honey Board's take on the subject.

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Honey question
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2019, 09:42:56 am »
http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/media/2774/crystallization.pdf

Here is the National Honey Board's take on the subject.
Jacobs, nice article.  I don't think I would ever heat my honey to 140 degrees F.  At least not on purpose.  It got me to thinking about artisanal honeys and having the luxury of being able to collect honey made from specific nectars.  That could also include slow crystallization properties.   That's a nice chart at the end.

Offline apisbees

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Re: Honey question
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2019, 12:41:08 am »
It got me to thinking about artisanal honeys and having the luxury of being able to collect honey made from specific nectars.  That could also include slow crystallization properties.

It seams like it should be easy but the problem is bees do not like to collect a single source so even if the bees are on a large field of attractive nectar source some of the bees will be visiting other flowers looking for pollen and nectars. so it is unlikely to ever get a pure honey from a single source. even though the bees will not mix different nectars in the same cell, to keep them separate you would have to identify the cells and extract them separately. Near impossible to do. By knowing what plants are blooming and what nectars the bees are most attracted to, you can state what the main source of the honey is but I would never call it as a single source as we do not know of all nectar sources that are available to the bees.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Honey question
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2019, 08:36:55 am »
Ain't that the truth!  :D
You could set a colony down in the middle of a field of blooming clover and still find different sources mixed in with the clover honey.  :bee:  And why?  Because blooms usually don't secrete nectar all day long.  Many will secrete nectar early in the day, before it gets hot. A honey bee will forage ALL day long looking for the most desirable nectar (aka highest sugar content) available.   There are many factors that influence nectar secretions, I'm just keeping it simple.