Naturally over time ALL honey will crystallize. Honey contains natural antibacterial properties, so it will never go “off” but when it becomes crystallized some think it’s old…and therefore needs to be tossed out!
Some of the reasons honey crystallizes may be due to its water content, amount of pollen and even temperature. You don’t want to ever add water to your honey, but the bees need water to produce the honey. Whatever the bees were working and its particular natural sugar to water ratio will have some effect on how soon the honey may begin to crystallize. It is natural for honey to crystallize since it is an over-saturated sugar solution. The two principle sugars in honey are fructose (fruit sugar) and glucose (grape sugar). The content of fructose and glucose in honey varies from one type of honey to another. Some honeys crystallize uniformly; some will be partially crystallized and form two layers.
Temperature is another variable in the crystallization of honey. According to experts the ideal temperature to store honey is between 65° and 70°F. They also recommended storing it away from light. What is interesting to note is that crystallization of honey is most rapid at 50° to 60° F. Storing honey in tightly closed containers, away from direct sunlight and at room temperature seems to provide the optimum conditions to avoid or at least slow the crystallization process.
Crystallization may be reversed however, by heating which “melts” the crystals. Great care should be used in heating honey. Heat when properly applied can be a great aid in handling honey. Heat not only helps dissolve the crystals but can destroy yeasts, and thus prevents fermentation and retards granulation. Heat may also cause serious damage to the color, flavor and aroma of honey unless particular precautions are taken. Damage can result from a small amount of heat over a long period of time as well as high temperatures for short periods of time.
One very successful method of heating is with the Powerblanket designed Bee Blanket. These heated jackets when attached properly to a tank or drum are very useful in bringing the honey to a temperature where it is easy to work, pour and process. They are also very accurate so that just the right amount of heat is applied to the product so as not to over-heat and damage the contents.
The best temperature for ease of handling is between 95° and 100° F. Heat reduces viscosity and allows honey to be strained, cleaned and poured into smaller containers. In order to allow honey to maintain all of its wonderful and natural properties like enzymes, aromas and delicate flavors, heating is truly a science. In order to remain healthy and nutritious, honey must be heated with great care.
What to look for in a Honey Heater:
- Even and Accurate distribution of heat.
- Ability to monitor the amount of heat.
- Safety and Control.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember in working with honey is doing everything possible to maintain the highest quality of the product as possible. Honey that is overheated kills everything that makes honey, honey.
Bottom line…Crystallized honey is still good! The best definition of GOOD honey is any honey that is not overheated during the extraction and bottling process. Do not add water to your honey! Water is the one thing that can cause honey to spoil. The experts all agree, overheating honey will destroy honey. Accurate and controlled heating is a must.
Heat Authority provides electric heating jackets and blankets that will fit anything from a 5 gallon bucket to a 550 gallon stainless steel tote. Digital temperature controls, that allow for pin point accuracy. Don’t risk the quality of your honey to heaters that fail, unsafe practices that endanger the product and workers. Rely on tried and true heaters like the Bee Blanket by Powerblanket. Rely on quality built, rugged, durable and dependable heating products that will perform for years and provide the kind of results that will not only benefit your product but also benefit the end user. Those who consume honey heated correctly will benefit from all the natural goodness and nutritional properties inherent in this wonderful product.
For more information please feel free to email [email protected] or call a knowledgeable team specialist Toll FREE at (866) 805-HEAT 4328.
Links to BeeBlanket items on Heat Authority website.