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Thread: Crystalized Honey

  1. #1
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    Default Crystalized Honey

    Given a quantity of honey (3-lbs in this case) that has considerable crystallization (70% or more).

    Is there any difference between the liquid and crystalized portions?
    Is it necessary/beneficial to ensure the entire container is re-liquified before using a portion for must or starter?

    Neal

  2. #2

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    Nope, crystallized is fine. Even the freshest honey of some varietals can crystallize rather quickly. In some cases I'd suspect the beekeeper over-filtered the honey or cut it with lesser quality honey if it refuses to crystallize. I hate when a beekeeper reheats a honey before he sells it to me just so that it looks nicer. I'd tell him that if his honey is in the bucket and has crystallized he should hand it to me as it is and don't reheat it.
    It doesn't any difference at all to the yeast if it's liquid or crystallized. Mixing your must thoroughly can help since it gives accurate gravity readings but if there are some clumps at the bottom of the carboy the yeast usually find it
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  3. #3
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    What Stasis said I actually prefer measuring honey when it's crystallized, I find it far less messy, just means if you want an accurate SG, you have to do a little more stirring, although not as much as you might think, it generally doesn't take me all that much longer for a 5 gal crystallized honey must than to stir a 5 gal liquid honey must until there are no crystals showing up on my long-handled spoon... and if you want to make sure it's all dissolved by the time you take your SG, just stir it up a few hours ahead of when you plan to pitch it, then stir every hour or so till you pitch. If it was mostly dissolved when you first mixed it, it should be completely dissolved by the time you pitch.
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  4. #4

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    a drill powered stirrer will dissolve it in 2-3 minutes even if it's in large solid chunks, and it helps with aeration as well

    I remember reading that it can be hazardous for long term storage if the crystallized honey sinks and separates from the liquid one because the liquid honey will also hold the water expelled from the crystals, and if it gets too diluted it becomes vulnerable to bacteria / mold, but as far as mead goes it won't make a difference, you dilute it anyway

  5. #5
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    That helps. Allow me to clarify the question.

    Is a partially crystalized quantity of honey analogous to a partially frozen... Coke - some of the water freezes while the more concentrated syrup remains liquid. Does honey separate (for lack of a better word) during crystallization?

    The reason for the questions: Suppose I only need a portion of what's in the container of partially crystalized honey. Should the mess be warmed/liquified/stirred to redistribute any separation?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neal View Post
    That helps. Allow me to clarify the question.

    Is a partially crystalized quantity of honey analogous to a partially frozen... Coke - some of the water freezes while the more concentrated syrup remains liquid. Does honey separate (for lack of a better word) during crystallization?

    The reason for the questions: Suppose I only need a portion of what's in the container of partially crystalized honey. Should the mess be warmed/liquified/stirred to redistribute any separation?
    First smell it, then taste it -- if it smells/tastes off, then don't use it. (I have rarely encountered "off" honey, so it's probably fine.) I think recrystallizing it, mixing and then using what you need is a sound, and easy, approach. If the top has over-liquified (more than 18% water), then mixing the lot in may help prevent that for the portion that you don't use.
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