The weather’s getting warmer, so if your LSE Honey crystallised during winter (like ours did), now is a good time to decrystallise it.
If you’re one of those people who don’t have the patience to read long blogposts, here are the short answers to the two main things you might want to know:
|Q1:||How can I decrystallise my LSE Honey?|
|A:||Immerse the jar in hot water for 30 minutes.|
|Q2:||Will this ruin the nice label on the jar?|
If you want to know more (and see photos), read on…
What is crystallisation?
Crystallisation is a natural phenomenon whereby honey turns from a liquid, runny state to a semi-solid, granulated state. Crystallised honey looks cloudy, not clear and golden like uncrystallised honey.
That’s what’s happened to my honey! Can I still eat it?
Yes! Properly stored, honey has an almost infinite shelf life. Honey found in ancient Egyptian tombs is believed to still be edible. Crystallised honey is totally safe to eat. But if you prefer, you can decrystallise it in a few simple steps (described below) and it will be as good as new.
Why did it crystallise in the first place? Is LSE Honey of inferior quality?
Quite the opposite! Honey is a supersaturated solution, which means the water in honey contains way more sugar than it can naturally dissolve. That’s why most pure raw or unheated honey has a natural tendency to crystallise over time. In fact, if it didn’t crystallise, that might suggest it’s adulterated or diluted.
Honey has two main types of sugar: fructose and glucose. Their ratio determines how quickly the honey crystallises. Glucose is less soluble than fructose, so honey which has a high glucose-fructose ratio (like brassica honey) crystallises almost immediately after harvesting. On the other hand, chestnut or acacia honey have a low glucose percentage, so they crystallise very slowly or not at all.
Er, that’s enough chemistry, just tell me how to decrystallise it!
- Boil some water in a pan (enough to cover the jar up to the neck).
- When it starts to boil, take the pan off the heat and immerse your honey jar in the hot water.
- After 15 minutes, take out the jar, stir the honey to ensure even heating and put it back in the hot water.
- After another 15 minutes, the honey should be decrystallised and runny once again.
How do I know it will work? And won’t putting the jar in hot water ruin the nice LSE Honey label?
To set your doubts at rest (and because we have too much time on our hands) we tried it out and documented the process!
Nice. But will it crystallise again?
The optimum temperature for storing honey is 21–27°C. Crystal formation increases at lower temperatures, so your honey may recrystallise when the weather gets colder later in the year. But you can always decrystallise it again in the same way. It may not be a good idea to do this more than four or five times though, because honey which has been decrystallised too often starts to lose some of its aroma.