Some of our honey from 2011 has begun to crystallize in the bottles, specifically the extracted honey that was always cloudy. The crushed-and-strained honey is no longer perfectly clear like apple juice, but it’s still liquid.
|LEFT: Crushed-and-strained honey from Sept. 27/11.
RIGHT: Crystallized extracted honey from Oct. 03/11.
If we had a bigger freezer, we would have frozen all the honey and taken out each bottle only as we needed it. Freezing honey puts it in suspended animation, right? Thus delaying the natural crystallization process? We may need to get a bigger freezer for next season. At any rate, I’ll update this post later in the year if the crushed-and-strained honey crystallizes. We could heat the honey to return it to liquid form, but we don’t mind it a little crystallized. It’s more creamy than solid, easier to spread on toast, and less messy. And it’s still fabulously more delicious than any grocery store honey.
UPDATE: I bit the bullet and clarified most of our crystallized honey today by letting the bottles sit in hot water for a while like I did back on December 18th, 2011. Then I somehow found space for all the honey in our deep freeze. I still have a bottle of the crushed-and-strained honey in the cupboard so I can record the date when it fully crystallizes. My guess is it won’t take long because our kitchen this time of year is like a walk-in refrigerator when we’re not home. Refrigerated honey apparently crystallizes fast.
UPDATE (Feb. 27/12): A bottle of the crushed and strained honey that wasn’t stored in the freezer has finally crystallized. It’s creamy and easy to spread. It began to get cloudy around the first week of February. It will likely be fully and solidly crystallized sometime in March. Refrigeration supposedly accelerates the crystallization process, and the temperature in our kitchen during the winter months (when we’re not in the kitchen) is definitely a bit chilly. The honey may have stayed liquid longer if we’d kept it stored at room temperature.