We have sold the wildflower honey pictured above over the whole summer and the warm summer temperatures have kept its consistency nice and runny.
With the batch we are preparing now, we have noticed the slow process of crystallization has started, due to the honey being stored at temperature of around 15 degrees. The image below, clearly shows cloudiness forming, which is the beginning process of crystallisation.
The crystallization rate depends on the type of honey, whereby some honey will crystallize much quicker than others. Crystallization of honey is a natural and an uncontrolled process. Honey contains more than 70% sugars of which roughly half is glucose and half is fructose (these proportions may vary depending on the source of the nectar). Honey is thus a naturally an unstable super-saturated sugar solution.
Honey varieties with a low fructose to glucose ratio, such as our floral wildflower honey crystallizes swiftly in days and weeks, while honey varietals with a high fructose to glucose ratio eg, Tupelo, Acacia, Longan, crystallize slowly and can stay liquid for years.
During crystallization, the glucose sugar which is naturally pure white, separates from water and becomes crystals, while fructose remains as a liquid.
OK, so what happens when the honey crystallizes?
In order to return a jar of crystallized honey to liquid state, simply place it over a warm water bath of about 40ºC for about 15 minutes or as soon as the granules have dissolved. Be careful not to exceed40ºC, as subjecting honey to too much heat will destroy its live enzymes. It’s best to store your honey at room temperature in air-tight containers, refrigerating it is not recommended as it will accelerate the process of crystallization and harden the honey.