Warum kristallisiert mein Honig?

Why is my honey crystallizing?

Honey crystallizes - get over it!

"Why does my honey look so crumbly? Oh no! What are those flakes floating around at the bottom of the jar? And that crust on top of the jar? Disgusting! The honey must be bad, I won't eat it anymore".

And this is exactly where we say: STOP! Don't throw the honey in the trash. There's nothing wrong with him! Properly stored honey can stay good for decades - even centuries. Archaeologists have found honey in Egyptian tombs thousands of years old - and it was still good! How can that be? Honey's sugar content and low pH make it impossible for food spoilage organisms to survive in honey. In addition, of course, there is also a bit of bee magic, but that's a topic for another post ;-)

Back to your crumbly honey. Don't worry, it's just starting to crystallize. This is a natural process that almost all honey goes through. Hold onto your beekeeping veil, we're about to get scientific!

Crystallized honey, liquid honey and cream honey from PureBee

What is crystallization?

Honey is a highly concentrated sugar solution. The two main types of sugar in honey are fructose and glucose. The ratio of these two sugars is one of the factors that determine how quickly a honey will crystallize. The higher the glucose content, the faster crystallization begins. Conversely, honeys with more fructose crystallize much more slowly.

What actually turns into crystals is the glucose in honey. (Fructose is more water soluble than glucose, so it remains viscous, i.e. more liquid.) Glucose, being less soluble, separates from the water in honey, binds to a microscopic pollen grain or air sac, and then takes the form of crystals. Since the crystals are denser than the remaining honey in the jar, they will collect at the bottom. As more and more glucose crystallizes, the honey goes from an unstable saturated solution to a stable saturated form, causing the honey to become thick and grainy.

Are you still with me? Great! Let's keep researching.

Almost all honey crystallizes, but not all crystallization looks the same. Some honeys crystallize evenly while others only partially crystallize, resulting in a solid layer on the bottom with a liquid layer on top. The size of the crystals also varies from honey to honey. Some form fine crystals that make a nice, smooth and creamy spread. Other honeys develop large, jagged crystals that result in a thick, grainy texture. The faster a honey crystallizes, the finer the texture.

Have you ever tried our delicious Original Cream Honey? Guess what - CRYSTALLIZED. That's right, we purposely get these honeys to crystallize quickly in a controlled environment so they develop into a smooth, creamy and sweet honey that you just can't get enough of!

You want to know why this honey is white?

As honey granulates, it loses its golden yellow or amber hue and acquires a light, almost frosty color. This is because the crystals are essentially dehydrated glucose particles and are naturally pure white.

What influences crystallization?

Most types of honey crystallize after being removed from the comb, but honey containing less than 30 percent glucose - such as acacia honey - can largely resist crystallization. (Nevertheless, note that honey is a natural product, so it cannot be 100% ruled out that crystallization will still occur)

Besides the chemical composition of honey, temperature is another major factor affecting crystallization. It is best to store the honey in a sealed container at a room temperature between 18 and 23 degrees Celsius. Honey can also be stored in the refrigerator if necessary, but it will crystallize faster and become denser. If you store honey in the freezer, it will preserve and not granulate because the temperature is too cold for crystals to form.

A note on storing creamed honey: keep it at room temperature if you like it soft and creamy, and refrigerate if you want it a little thicker. However, warm temperatures promote the separation of cream honey. So if you want to keep it as creamy as possible, it's best to store it in a cool place or eat it quickly.

Centrifuged honey tends to crystallize faster than comb honey. The extraction and bottling process introduces tiny bubbles into the honey on which crystals can form more easily. Honey like ours, which is natural and not extensively machine filtered and processed, also contains particles of pollen, beeswax and propolis (basically all the good and healthy parts). Crystals prefer these particles. So crystallization is an indication that the honey you are buying is of high quality.

Discover our delicious PureBee honey

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Why People Don't Like Crystalized Honey

So why do some people freak out when a few crystals form in honey? The short answer is because we've been conditioned to think that way. People in other parts of the world don't even bat an eyelid at crystallized honey. In Germany, many people are used to the supermarket honey, which is usually a mass-produced pasteurized blend of low-quality and/or heavily filtered honey. This honey does not crystallize. Why? The honey undergoes a high level of industrial processing, which filters out all the pollen it contains. And as we just learned, it's the pollen that the glucose sticks to during the crystallization process. (Not all honey in the supermarket these days is "low quality". There are some high quality honeys on the shelves, but you have to read carefully)

How do you make the honey liquid again?

If you notice your honey starting to crystallize and you just can't take it, you can take some of the following steps:

The best method is to fill a bowl with hot (not boiling) water and leave the jar of honey in it until the crystals have dissolved. Turn the jar occasionally to ensure the heat is evenly distributed. It is important that the honey is not heated above 38 degrees Celsius in order to preserve the enzymes and vitamins it contains. So be very careful, because high temperatures can not only destroy the nutrients but also change the color and taste of the honey.

You can also use crystallized honey for baking.

My tip: Simply use your crystallized honey to sweeten freshly brewed coffee or tea. Or spread it on warm, freshly baked cookies or golden brown toast, where the crystallized honey will melt in seconds and give a wonderfully delicious sweet taste.

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