Firstly, crystallized honey is not spoiled or of inferior quality.
Why does honey crystallize?
Honey is a super-saturated solution of two sugars – glucose and fructose and as such, it is a natural process that some of the sugar will separate from the solution. Honey can even crystallize in the comb.
The proportion of these two sugars is determined by the characteristics of the plants the bees feed on to make their honey. It is the glucose that is more prone to crystallize so if a plant produces more glucose the honey from this will be more prone to crystallize.
Fresh raw honey will also be more prone to crystallize as higher pollen content will also promote crystallization. Honey will also crystallize more readily at temperatures below 10°C.
What can we do if honey crystallizes?
Find a warmer place to store your honey. If it has gone solid place the jar in a bowl of warm water and let it warm slowly. Do not microwave it as you will overheat it and destroy its nutritional qualities.
For those of us who have quantities harvested, the best thing to do is cream it. This does not remove the crystals but breaks them down evenly, then your honey will keep indefinitely.
Creaming honey requires you to “seed” your honey with honey already creamed at a 1-10 (10%) ratio.
This needs to be stirred in. To work best the honey needs to be kept at 10-14°C and stirred regularly, this process will take approx 1-2 weeks.