All real honey crystallizes. How much and when it starts depends on the type of nectar the bees gathered to produce it. Some seasons produce a range of nectars that can even cause ‘layering’ in the honey as each type of nectar solidifies at a different rate. Commercial producers often pasteurize or superheat honey to better blend it and keep it liquid longer, but temperatures in excess of 36C damage natural enzymes and nutrients, reducing the value and impacting the flavour.
Tiddley Bee honey is never heated above 36C. This warming allows it to flow without impacting its nutritional value- but it does mean that our honey can crystallize and layer faster than mass marketed honey products.
Many people prefer crystallized honey (it spreads better on bread and toast), but if you like ‘runny honey’, you can liquify it by soaking the jar in warm water (no more that 40C is recommended). Depending on the level of crystallization this may take some time, but it will (temporarily) return the honey to a liquid state. Crystallized and layered honey retains all its healthy properties – it has not gone bad!
It is important not to overheat honey as that will destroy many of the nutritious qualities it has, but even overheated honey is safe to eat.
Honey Moisture and Storage
Honey is hydroscopic, meaning that it absorbs moisture. Too much moisture can allow fermentation to occur – which is one of the only ways honey can go bad. While controlled fermentation can give us amazing products such as mead or honey wine, uncontrolled fermentation makes honey unfit for consumption. A sign of this is if the jar of honey ‘foams’ at the top (a few bubbles are okay though!) Foaming honey can create enough pressure to damage or even pop jar lids.
To prevent this, we start with honey with a moisture content below 18.1%.
To keep your honey safe and tasty, we recommend you ensure the lid is put back on the honey jar after use. Honey shouldn’t be refrigerated as that can speed up crystallization/hardening.
Simply keep it at room temperature for best results. Honey that was properly sealed and stored from the times of Egyptian pyramids has been discovered still safe to eat- but you might want to eat yours instead of saving it like the Pharaohs did.