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  1. #1

    Default Honey starting to ferment

    This past week a friend of mine gave me 4 gallons of honey with too high water content that has started to ferment. It didn't smell too bad until I stirred it up and now I'm definitely getting a boozy weird smell from it.

    It's on the stove now and I'm slowly heating it to about 180 where I'll keep it for a several hours to kill off whatever is making it ferment, burn off the alcohol, and dry out the honey.

    I know this may not be salvageable which makes it kind of fun to experiment.

    Any one else ever tried to recover honey like this?

  2. #2


    Ten minutes is all you need at 160f
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  3. #3


    By the way, honey expands to approximately 1000 times it's original volume when heated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Saratoga Springs , NY


    If honey expands so much "when heated" (at what temperature?) then how do we ever successfully make bochet? I have heated honey in a crockpot at 350 F for 2 hours in my oven and the honey never overflowed the container. I don't think it expanded more than twice its original volume. But I am close to sea-level and so my experience may be very different

  5. #5


    Perhaps it's because the honey was fermenting? I put 4 gallons of honey in a 7 gallon pot and 3 gallons of it ended up on the floor.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Northern Newh Hampshire

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    I had some honey from a generous HBT user that was a high water content. I went to use it and it was seeping out of the container. I thought the container had a crack and was seeping from there, but it was indeed fermenting. Tasted kind of winey, so I just made a batch from it.

    Red Currant Sour Hydromel. (has that honey yeast as well as additional bugs).
    Ready to bottle, just lazy.

    I don't think it expands 1000x. I think it's closer to 2-3x. I've made a bochet at sea level (Boston) and one at the highest town east of the rockies (Bethlehem NH), no (significant) change in expansion.

    I think your batch will be fine. Especially if you plan on adding extra things like fruit, spices, etc.
    Gallons O' Boos made since 2012: 69
    "It may take longer to be patient" ~Chevette Girl
    My Home Brewing Blog

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