But why does honey crystallize in the first place? Honey is made up of sugar (glucose, fructose, etc) and water. Over time, depending on a few factors like storage container type, temperature, and even what type of pollen the bees used, affects how fast the honey crystallizes.
To slow down the crystallization of your honey, you can do a few things.....
- Store your honey in a glass container. The water content of honey is lost much quicker when it is stored in plastic which is porous.
- Store your honey in a warm place, around 70 degrees. The cooler honey gets, the fast the crystals will form.
- Know what your bees have been eating. Believe it or not, bees who feed on Acacia, Sage, and Black Locust have honey that crystallize slower then bees who feed on cotton and dandelion blossoms.
So let's say you just went to your cabinet to grab some honey for you toast and ♫♪ Bumb, Bumb, Bumb ♪♫ it is all thick and crystallized. Fear not my friends.... there are a couple different ways to bring your honey back to a liquid state. One way to do it is just go put it in a warm, sunny window and wait. If you are pressed for time, just get a warm pot of water going on your stove and give your jar (glass not plastic) a nice water bath. I had to slightly warm some that was in a plastic container to be able to move it to a glass jar for proper reheating.
Keep in mind, heating and cooling the honey too many times can cause it to lose its color and that amazing smell. So, once you have it back in liquid form, try to store it properly so it stays that way longer. Also, when heating up honey, while it is debated among many in the apiary industry (aka beekeepers) as to the exact temperature when honey starts to loose it's beneficial properties, be safe and keep it around 110 degrees or less when warming it back up to break down the crystals.
**Homestead Tips on Tuesday is a weekly series where we help you learn skills, tips, and trick to help you on your journey of homesteading. Many places post list of things you should/could do as far as homesteading skill, but I feel lists are at times overwhelming and can make people give up before they even start. So every Tuesday I share one thing for you to try or consider. I hope you join us every Tuesday and I would love to hear about your adventures with each weeks topic.**