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lastbornjoker
12-10-2008, 08:39 PM
Hello all, Has anyone ever had any honey crystalize and not go back to a liquid state? I have had some honey (sams clover) that was a little darker than the rest i had slowly crystalize. I thought it was no big deal just that maby it had a higher sugar content or something. Well I have tried setting it out side in the sun all day. 70+ temps. Sitting it in hot water and sitting in front of an air vent blowing hot air out. Well its still mostly soild lol.What should i try next or is this something different? Ill try to post pictures in a bit.
thanks alex

wildaho
12-10-2008, 09:09 PM
Hey Alex,

How hot of water did you try? It can be stubborn sometimes. You can also use it crystallized too. It just takes more mixing to get all dissolved. A lees stirrer on your drill should make short work of it.

:cheers:
Wade

lastbornjoker
12-10-2008, 09:33 PM
http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm191/lastbornjoker/honey001.jpg
Not sure on how to upload the pictures but this is a link to them. Im kinda worried that this is something eles. Is this what crystalized honey looks like? If so ill just mix it real good when i go to use it.
heres more..http://s296.photobucket.com/albums/mm191/lastbornjoker/?action=view&current=honey005.jpg

wayneb
12-11-2008, 12:23 AM
That is exactly what crystallized honey looks like, so I don't think you need to worry that it is something else. It might take hotter temperature water than what you tried earlier, or it might be that you have to leave it in the hot water bath a bit longer. As wildaho says, you can use it as-is, as long as you can stir it until all those sugar crystals have dissolved.

Use it relatively quickly, since the chances of spoilage in the liquid that is in-between the sugar crystals increases with the amount of time that you leave it stored that way. At least that is reported by other folks who have used older (months to years) crystallized honey in meads in the past. I have never had any spoilage problems with honey that had crystallized myself.

Brimminghorn
12-12-2008, 05:14 PM
Crystallized honey is a pain in the butt! Using really hot water 170-180 degrees should do the trick to help dissolve and kill any bacteria that could be trapped between the honey crystals. Crystallized honey can harbor bacteria as Wayne mentioned mainly acetobacter which can ruin your mead. You might want to try sulfiting the must if you are worried about your mead getting infected.

Cheers,
Jon

lastbornjoker
12-12-2008, 05:45 PM
bacteria shouldnt be a problem if its still sealed right? Or should i sulfate it just to make sure?

wayneb
12-12-2008, 06:55 PM
It all depends on how the honey was originally packed and handled. As I've said, I haven't had a problem with infections in any crystallized honey that I've used, but other folks have. The easiest way to tell if you might have a problem is to scoop out the honey from its container and sniff. If you have an acetobacter infection, you'll smell a faint aroma of vinegar.

BBBF
01-14-2009, 12:06 AM
It all depends on how the honey was originally packed and handled. As I've said, I haven't had a problem with infections in any crystallized honey that I've used, but other folks have. The easiest way to tell if you might have a problem is to scoop out the honey from its container and sniff. If you have an acetobacter infection, you'll smell a faint aroma of vinegar.

Warm temperatures will cause mead to liquefy, but do cold temperatures cause honey to crystallize faster? I have a 5 gallon pail that's about 4/5th full and it's started to crystallize. I haven't checked the remaining honey in another bucket, but I plan on using most of that up this week.

osluder
01-14-2009, 12:50 AM
The National Honey Board has a document on the subject of crystallization (http://www.honey.com/downloads/crystallization.pdf). -- Olen

andrewschwab
01-14-2009, 02:45 AM
Bacteria???? in honey. Honey is an anti-bacteria folks. If no moisture can get to it your golden. Honey does get darker with age and flavour shifts also.

WARM water bath around 100 degrees, it may(will) take days to come back around.
DON'T heat past 110 degrees, you will kill the flavour and everything else that is good about the honey.

As mentioned you can use the honey in its current state, just lots o stirring

lastbornjoker
01-14-2009, 12:04 PM
WARM water bath around 100 degrees, it may(will) take days to come back around.
DON'T heat past 110 degrees


Yet another good reason for me to get a hot tub. Now how do i explaine to the wife?

osluder
01-14-2009, 12:09 PM
Bacteria???? in honey. Honey is an anti-bacteria folks. If no moisture can get to it your golden.

Actually, yes, bacteria in honey. I realize I am simplifying things, but honey is basically a suspension of various sugars in water. When it crystallizes, the sugars go out of suspension leaving largely water around the sugar crystals. I believe it is at that point that problems can arise. -- Olen

akueck
01-14-2009, 01:31 PM
Yup, that's the idea. The sugar crystals "reject" water as they form, leaving a lower-sugar content solution behind. If enough sugar crystallizes, the water content of the remaining areas can be high enough to allow for bacterial growth (also wild yeasts can show up). In a perfectly sealed container, I would assume that even crystallized honey would be biologically stable since no bacteria could land in it and any that was there when it was packaged would probably be dead from the osmotic pressure long before crystallization occurs.

osluder
01-14-2009, 01:42 PM
... honey is basically a suspension of various sugars in water.

Probably more accurate to call it a super-saturated solution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supersaturation) than a suspension (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspension_(chemistry)), but then again I was simplifying. :) -- Olen