frothing honey

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Mike a 

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I was asked why a jar of slightly granulated honey which had been stood in warm/hot tap water (45-50'c) would froth up and over flow?

I'm guessing its one or some of these but a definitive answer would be good as I've promised the lady I would email her and let her know.

a. fermenting
b. high water content
c. air trapped in the honey when it crystallized
d. ?

She said she scooped off the bubbles and the honey tasted perfectly ok but wondered why it frothed up to start with.

(PS Not my honey - I was manning a stall at the show on Saturday)

cheers
bee-smillie
 

RoofTops 

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Sounds like the beginning of fermentation. As the honey crystalises the moisture content in the remaining liquid honey increases, so encouraging fermentation.
 

Rosti 

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I would agree with Rooftops. Mike, your associate does not say how soon after heating this occured through, but if the honey was contaminated and at room temperature then it could simply be a more pronounced gas release from the bulk of the honey, manefest as a foam.
  • Viable yeasts within the honey would produce CO2 as a fermentation by product.
  • Warming in tap water would increase temperature within bulk of honey to closer to optimum yeast growth temperature, increasing ferment rate.
  • Increase in temperature thins honey to alow a more rapid gas movement to surface but not so thin it can break free from the honey

Can't reconcile it as being caused by dissolved gases being released which is the only other possible I can think of.

aka: ferment making it appear to froth (and presumably would continue to do so whilst warm if it was a ferment). No acidic notes because ferment products had not built up enough to affect flavour yet (but surely would at some later point in time).

Must have been a fairly high infective dose introduced at some point / pretty poor hygiene. We can't know which or how.
 

Mike a 

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I spoke with the lady concerned again this evening and I asked her a few more questions. Here is a summary

How long was the honey in the water
20-25 minutes before she noticed the frothing so she removed it from the water, the frothing slowed and stopped once removed

Can you describe the froth
very tiny white bubbles

Roughly how much froth
approximately 1 tablespoon or about 30ml, just a little more than the little plastic cups you get with cough meditation

Did any water get into the jar
No

Was the jar previously opened before warming
No

Where was the honey kept
In the kitchen cupboard

Type of honey
blossom - advised it would granulate quickly which it did into a very pale yellow colour. The label on the back says bottled June 2009 and a second label advising how to heat the honey if it turned solid - Unscrew the lid one full turn and stand in warm water for 30 minutes

Any frosting on the inside of the jar
Yes, lots hence why she placed it in the hot water

Did you open the jar and look inside before you placed it into the water, if so what did the surface of the honey look like
Slightly rough surface with a satin sheen not glossy wet looking

Hope this helps ?
 

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