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How to Reliquefy Honey

By Edited Jun 20, 2015 0 9

Have you ever bought a jar of honey and had it crystallize before you finished it? Do you feel like it was a waste of money to buy such a large amount that you couldn't finish? Worse, do you think the beekeeper sold you bad honey? You will be encouraged to know that the more natural and healthy it is, the more likely the honey will crystallize. This is because it has not been pasteurized. The pasteurization process removes water from the honey--one of the major causes of crystallization. But it also removes most of the health benefits of eating raw honey.

Crystallized honey is not ruined, nor is it bad for you. In fact, many people prefer their honey with a fine crystallization called creamed honey. In creamed honey the crystallization process is controlled which makes a spreadable honey that won't drip off your biscuit when eating.

To reliquify, or decrystallize, your honey you need to heat it to between 100° and 120° F (38°-50° C). Honey bees keep their hive at a temperature of approximately 90° F (32° C). Heating your honey to 100° F (38° C) will decrystallize it, but it does so at a slower rate than heating it to a higher temperature. Going above 120° F (50° C) degrees is not recommended since you will risk destroying some of the healthy properties of the honey.

Place the jar of honey in a pan full of hot water. Your tap water is probably plenty warm to accomplish this. If your pan of water gets cold before your honey is completely liquified again you can change the water with fresh, warm water.

You can also heat the pan on the stove, but you want to be careful to not go over the 120° degree mark (50° C).

Getting the bee honey hotter than 120° F (50° C) will not ruin it. The pasteurization process usually heats the honey to between 160° F and 180° F (71° C and 82° C). Most honey you buy from the grocery store will have been pasteurized to keep it from fermenting and crystallizing. Therefore getting your water hotter than 120° F (50° C) will not keep you from being able to use the honey, but you will lose the health benefits of the honey, especially if you are using the honey to fight allergies.

Storing the honey in a place where it can drop below 70° F (21° C) degrees will promote crystallization. Therefore, don't keep your honey in the refrigerator.

Be sure to buy your honey from a local beekeeper so that you can ask them if their honey is local, raw honey. This will give you the greatest health benefits from eating honey.



Oct 28, 2010 3:10am
Great information about honey. But your article also made me laugh, because I am European, - we use Celsius, so your 70 degrees comment related to storing in refrigerators made 'the smile of the day' - Thank you!
Oct 28, 2010 7:19am
I also live in a Celsius country, but still think in Fahrenheit. I should update this to reflect both temperature scales.
Oct 28, 2010 4:01pm
I am glad that you learned something from me. Good bee/honey posts.
Oct 28, 2010 4:13pm
Sharing what I have learned through the years.
Oct 30, 2010 2:56pm
I actually buy my honey in one big, crystallized tub. I just soften it up a little bit so I can scoop it out with a spoon, it's much less messy than in liquid form! Great article, thanks for the tips, I usually just nuke it in the microwave, but this would be a much better method!
Oct 30, 2010 5:33pm
The honey here in Argentina is most often sold in crystallized tubs. You can get it in liquid form, but that is not the most common.
Oct 31, 2010 9:36pm
I like this article and the fact that you insist on "not go over the 120 degree mark"! (Me - too I have some hesitations as an European when I read the numbers.) I have some experience with honey as we used to keep bees and I participated in honey extraction for several years. Now the whole thing is dying because it was my grandpa (who passed away) who was really passionate about them and take good care for years.
Oct 31, 2010 9:39pm
And indeed the bees are "incredible creatures" and it is really fascinating to learn about them - how they are organized and their "body" language.
Oct 31, 2010 10:32pm
Yes, they way they communicate is amazing.
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