How to Save and Reuse Crystallized Honey

If you’re unfamiliar with the molecular makeup of honey, then you may think crystallized honey is honey gone bad. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Crystallization is honey’s natural way of preserving itself. Despite its liquid appearance, honey has a low moisture content that deters bacteria and yeast. If you were to look at a bowl of white sugar, you could see thousands of small crystals. When you look at cloudy or thick honey, you can also see sugar crystals. The only difference is that the honey crystals clump together. All honey will eventually crystallize. There are many factors that contribute to crystallization including the type of flower or plant the bees gathered the pollen from to make the honey. Temperature also plays a part. It’s best to store your honey around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Colder temperatures will increase the rate of crystallization while warmer temperatures will degrade the honey. If your honey has crystallized, you can make it smooth and golden once again.

1. Simply heat a pan of water with low heat.1. Simply heat a pan of water with low heat.

2. Remove the pan from the stove and place your honey jar inside. Be sure to take the lid off your jar before placing it in the warm water.

3. Now, all you have to do is let the honey sit until it softens.

4. Once the honey has come to a liquid state, put the lid back on and shake the jar. You may need to use an oven mitt or wrap the jar in a towel.

5. It’s just as important to cool your honey slowly as it is to heat it slowly. You’ 11 want to place the honey back in the warm water, make sure there is enough water to reach the top of the honey line in the jar.

6. Let the water and the honey cool together. If you can touch the water and it’s the same temperature as the room then your honey is ready.

A word of caution: You may be tempted to heat the honey faster or simply put it in the microwave, but high temperatures ( over 118 degrees) cam remove the vitamins and nutrients naturally ouncl in honey. Also, heating and cooling too quickly can increase the crystallization process.

A Word of Caution:

You may be tempted to heat the honey faster or simply put it in the microwave, but high temperatures (over 118 degrees) cam remove the vitamins and nutrients naturally ounce in honey. Also, heating and cooling too quickly can increase the crystallization process. 



Image source: 3 bees honey.com
Honey Warming Cabinet

another method to re-liquefy  honey on a small scale is to heat it in a warming box with a 40  watt light bulb until it is liquid. This is a slow process and may take 12- 48 hours. The ideal box temperature is between 35-40 °c, although some beekeepers use higher.




Liquefying crystallized honey

Crystallized honey can be brought back to liquid consistency by gently heating it in a hot water bath (Bain Marie) or warming cabinet (box) until the honey re-liquefies. Heating should be applied indirectly, not by direct flame to a container.

The temperature in the beehive is about 35 °c  (95  °f)  and can rise to 40°C (104 Of) during summer periods when bees are ripening honey. In order to liquefy honey, it is best to heat it at 35-40 °c (95-104 °f). The temperature should not go beyond 40 °c (104 °f) to avoid overheating. Overheating honey for any period of time will reduce its quality by destroying its enzymes, loss the delicate flavour, aroma and darkening the honey colour. Heating must be done with care if the nutritional value of  the honey is not to be spoiled. It  is possible to re-liquefy crystallized honey without damaging its quality by the methods described below.

Hot water bath – heat a saucepan filled with enough water to reach the level of honey in the jar to 35  –  40°C  (95-104  °f), then remove it  from the heat or turn off the heat. Take the lid off of the  honey jar  and immerse the jar in the water. Let it stand for about 20-30 minutes. The heat will slowly dissolve the glucose crystals and become liquid again. Stir occasionally to even the heat throughout the honey, as crystallized honey is a poor conductor of heat. Replace the hot water if needed. Remove the jar of honey from the water bath when honey becomes liquid again.

This works well with honey in glass jars, but not so well with plastic containers. They can warp or melt. If honey is packaged in a plastic container set in warm water, not hot water.

Honey in a plastic bucket can be re-liquefied by transferring or scooping it into glass jars, and the process above is used.