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andrewschwab
12-18-2009, 12:09 AM
So what is the BEST way to store honey?

Having read Ken's Schram's blog about taking the honey and freezing it through me for a huge loop.:o
I had always thought that
1. air tight container
2. cool location (cellar temps or lower)
3. when bringing it back to liquid do it slowly and no higher temp then 100 degrees.

Sooo I have spent some time looking about storing honey I really have found ZIP.

I ask where did Ken come up with this information. I would love to see a real study done with this. :eek:

bailey beekeeper
12-18-2009, 09:39 AM
cant tell you whats best but i can tell you what i do.

all my honey gets extracted, run through a screen to filter large debris, then into 5 gallon buckets that stay in my office.
i had over 100 gallons in the office this year.

yes it will crystalize, some faster than others.

to liquify i took an old chest freezer, thermostatic controller and 150 watt light bulb. put them together and made a very good heat cabinet that i can presicely controll the temp in.

you will find that temps of 105 to 110 are needed to liquify a solid 5 gallon lump of honey

2 days in the warmer and the brick is then liquid!

the main cost was the controller, the freezer was a throw away that i found.

bailey

Medsen Fey
12-18-2009, 11:24 AM
In Roger Morse's (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=817&Itemid=457) book entitled "Making Mead" on page 33, he makes reference to honey aging. He says that storage for a year or two was okay, but with time the honey aroma and flavor deteriorates. For their studies, when frozen, the deterioration of honey was prevented.

He was a professor at Cornell. If you do some searches looking for papers produced by Roger Morse you may find some scholarly publication that address the topic.

TXBeowulf
12-20-2009, 08:43 PM
I was under the impression that crystallized honey could begin fermenting on it's own, due to the possibility of lower sugar content in the remaining liquid that the crystals are sitting in.

I have myself used crystallized honey with no problem, but if this is a concern, it seems that one would not want to allow crystallized honey to sit for any length of time, especially at the higher temperatures that are common in the south.

epetkus
12-21-2009, 10:56 AM
Personally, I store my honey by freezing based upon the research that Medsen was referencing, and I have had GREAT success with it. I have a chest freezer in the garage, so I just plop in the gallon or half gallon jugs until I need to use them. The honey gets super firm, but not really "frozen" in the water sense. Also, there is practically no expansion (unlike water!) becase of the low moisture content.

If you buy honey (especially when fresh out of the comb), and do not plan to use it right away, I highly reccomend freezing it to "preserve" it. It won't crystalize, and if you believe/accept Roger Morse's work, it will retain all of the flavor and aroma.

Also of interesting note, studies show that the optimum temperature for honey to crystalize is 40 to 45 degrees F range. (like your refridgerator, so don't store it there if you don't want crystallization!).

Eric

akueck
12-21-2009, 07:57 PM
Frozen honey probably won't ferment, even if it does crystallize. Not much biological goes on at -10. Freezing to prevent crystallization also makes good sense from a kinetics standpoint. It should crystallize, eventually, but you might not be around to see it.

TXBeowulf
12-23-2009, 12:53 PM
That's a very good point.

If it doesn't affect the flavor/aroma/quality of the honey, I think this puts my number of chest freezers needed up to 4, when I finally get a garage to put them in...