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Drone Bee
Nov 9, 2008
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I am very dissapointed that the honey i extracted last month has already started to granulate, i would rather sell than keep, some have suggested creaming it, its an option, but what do you do ?

And does that stop granulation ?
My mentor recommended to me (as this was my first honey crop) to wait before I jarred it as it would sureley granulate, being probably a proportion of rape honey. I got 27lbs altogether and left it for a few days in a 25kg poly bucket formerly used for winemaking. I put into it a catering sized whisk and stirred it well every day for about 4 days and noticed it was getting thicker. By the following weekend it had set and I couldn't get the whisk out. I had inadvertently creamed it............but before I realised that I went off to find the instructions for creaming. It starts by saying "use a proportion of last years honey" :ack2: Anyway the upshot of it is - All British honey will granulate at some point, the granules form and interlock forming big unpalateable granules (because you don't want a chunk of granulated honey unspreadable on your bread) I inadvertently creamed mine by breaking up the granules before they had properly formed. Once it has set creamed it will not granulate. if you got onto "You know where" and put creamed honey into their search engine one of the useful threads has the link to the difinitive paper on creaming honey............
My way worked very nicely for a small amount but you wouldn't want to be stirring 100lbs................
I warmed it by standing in a sink of hand hot water for several hours topping up regularly with hotter, the temp never went above 49c. When it had warmed through and was stirreable again I put it into jars. It has set beautifully now.

I don't think the Dyce method with its grinding to reduce crystal size is a method suitable for the small scale beekeeper. My method is to warm the crytalised honey until it melts and then strain it. When it is cooled add 10% of a previous batch as a seed and stir throughly with a stainless steel stirrer on the end of an electric drill every day for about a week then bottle it. The ideal temperature for doing this is 14C which is difficult to achieve in the UK in summer. I find my best creamed honey is made in the winter using a fan heater with a thermostat to keep the room at the ideal temperature.

Of course getting the initial 10% seed is a problem if you have only just started beekeeping but if all else fails you could buy some local honey from someone else assuming it is the right consistency and quality.

On a scientific note the purpose of the seed is to provide the nuclei around which the first crystals will grow. At any temperature above absolute zero the molecules of the honey are still in motion but to form crystals they need to be stopped - which is what happens around the surface of the seed crystals. Without the seed the first crystals would just form around impurities which might be lower in number resulting in larger crystals.

Plenty of stirring helps break up the forming crystals and distribute them around the honey.