Keeping Your Honey – Part 2 Crystallization
Firstly, let me make this important point: 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. It is the glucose that is more likely to crystallize so if honey contains a large proportion from plants that produce more glucose then it 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 alsos 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, simply place the jar in a bowl of warm water and let it warm slowly. Do not microwave it as you risk overheating the honey and destroying 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 in order to keep your honey looking good 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.