View Full Version : Honey Shelf Life

03-07-2016, 08:16 AM
This might sound like a strange question.....

My neighbor is moving and has had about 2 gals of orange blossom sitting in his garage for a few years. He used to make mead but his health declined and never got to use it. The honey is almost black in color, he says that honey never goes bad and I can use it to make a batch of mead and it will be good.

I have no idea if I can or can't.....

I did some research on line and it says honey doe NOT spoil so do you all think I can still use it? Will it make good mead?


03-07-2016, 08:38 AM
Taste it and see how good it is.

Newer honey is best for meadmaking but honey never actually spoils (assuming it is sealed properly the whole time). Honey also darkens with age, so that's why it is almost black. If it has gone grainy, a little bit of heat will liquefy it again.

03-07-2016, 08:47 AM
Yup, taste is the only way to tell. If it's gone bad, you'll know it from the taste. Honey tends to "sour" and/or get stale to my tastebuds, once it's gotten too old. And by sour, I'm talking about this kind of "old, wang-y taste" that I don't care for. I'd imagine it would carry over into the final product, and if I don't like the taste before it's fermented, I won't waste my time making something out of it that's probably only going to get worse.

If it's crystallized, then as long as it tastes okay, it won't matter.

So, if he's just giving it to you, then by all means take it and start testing it out. But if he wants you to buy it, then I'd definitely insist on a taste up front, and I would also insist on a good deal on the price since it's not fresh.

03-07-2016, 12:41 PM
Does honeys taste get better with age? I've never had any left over that long to find out

Sent from my HTC Desire 510 using Tapatalk

Medsen Fey
03-07-2016, 08:52 PM
Honey does not improve with age. It may not spoil, unless it gets moisture or crystallizes (which can create some surface spoilage by osmophilic yeast), but it loses delicate floral aromatic elements and darkens and develops more HMF which changes the aroma. If you freeze honey, you can store it without deterioration.

03-07-2016, 09:05 PM
If you freeze honey, you can store it without deterioration.

But wouldn't that accelerate crystallization drastically? My honey goes grainy fastest in cold weather.

Medsen Fey
03-08-2016, 09:10 AM
It isn't a problem because frozen crystallized honey is still frozen so no deterioration will occur.