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Anyone ever have Bitter honey?

Hey folks quick question bad this never happened before. Just had a beautiful harvest of four frames… See pic…

Honey is like bitter oranges. Anyone ever have that?

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I have never had that. I know that some honeys can taste very odd, including oil seed rape (canola), buckwheat and manuka. I haven’t tried any of them, but apparently the first two can smell like overcooked cabbage, and many people don’t like the taste of manuka. However, unless you have a lot of tea tree shrubs around you, and the honey is jelly-like in consistency, I would not think that would be likely.

I hate to ask this, but is there any chance that you might have been exposed to coronavirus? Just a random thought, because it can affect your sense of taste. Your honey looks gorgeous, by the way. Perhaps get somebody else to taste it? :blush:

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I was tested recently and I am negative. It’s a fair question. My wife and daughter also say it’s super bitter. I just want to make sure it’s safe and not bad. It smells nice but tastes bitter.

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If it doesn’t kill bees, chances are it won’t kill you. They are much more sensitive than us to various poisons. The only thing I have heard of as an exception is a honey in Africa that is potently hallucinogenic, and can make people do life-threatening things. I don’t know how to overcome the bitterness, other than to use it in foods that have a lot of sour flavor in them, like salad dressings. The reason I say that is because I hate brussels sprouts and broccolini because they are so bitter. However, if they are dressed with a lemon sauce, they can be delicious. Worth a thought. :wink:

The most common way for honey to go bad is fermentation. That doesn’t make it bitter, just fizzy. In any case, it isn’t dangerous to eat at that point, just not as nice. However, if you ferment it into mead, as @Eva does, it can be delicious. Actually, her honey isn’t fermenting on its own, as I understand it, she is using it to ferment some lovely mead… :blush:

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That’s a great idea. I was worried about fermentation or bettles or etc. Thanks for easing my worries. And I am making ice tea with it now.

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I found this in my research

Fetterbush (Lyonia lucida (Lam.) Koch) is a low pinelands shrub found from Broward County northward. The resultant honey is said to have a bitter flavor.

Just wondering how to use 26 lbs of bitter honey And I hope they make a different batch next time…

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Hi @loganWHD,
You may keep it and feed it back in time of dearth. Bees are insensitive to bitter taste (or simply don’t mind it).

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In this particular case next question could be way more difficult. How to use 9 gallons of bitter mead?.. alc

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I think I can figure out how to use a few gallons of mead… I will tell you all how that turns out.

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“Bitter” is the keyword here. Bitterness sticks out in mead as a sore thumb even at very low levels. Chilling may help some, maybe ageing… But if not, it is 9 gallons to go through :slight_smile:

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Maybe i start with a gallon. :slight_smile:
i am gonna try some cooking with this honey, maybe a ham or some brussell sprouts, salad dressing, something like that. I also like the idea of giving some back to the bees

I am just hopeful that the next batch will be sweeter. Thanks for all the advice and help

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Well done in your research! Another gem for me to store away for future use, thank you.

As far as the mead goes, I somewhat disagree with @ABB in that mead used to be a replacement for beer. Most beers are bitter to my taste, so I think it might be very interesting. You may not win any competitions with it, but it might be a very interesting drink!

As brussels sprouts are already bitter, I personally would not use it on them, but you might love it. Try it and let us know. A bitter ham would not be great for me, as I am already very sensitive to bitter (I can’t drink IPA beers - too bitter). Salad dressing would be my best human option, but @ABB’s suggestion of feeding it back to the bees when they need it - that is my favorite idea. :blush:

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Hmm… I forgot about braggot. IPA braggot? :thinking:

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For anybody who doesn’t know what braggot is, this is a nice little introduction:

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So to add to the research I found this study done for anyone here in Florida that lists lots different plants as well as their resultant flavors.

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Some flavors grow on you. You never know, you might finish up liking it. Take coriander for example: They say you hate it at first, then after a while you start to like it. I haven’t eaten enough to start liking it yet.

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Coriander (cilantro to Americans) is an interesting one. There is actually a genetic variation that makes it taste like soap to some people. If you have that variation, you will probably never like it! :wink:

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I thought cilantro was the leafy portion of the coriander plant which makes coriander seeds… fortunately it doesn’t taste like soap to me!

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It is in America. But in the UK, and apparently Australia, both the seeds and the leaves are known as coriander :wink: By the way, I love, love, LOVE coriander and cilantro. Result of eating Indian food in the UK decades ago. Prawn on Puri was the one of my favorite dishes, especially from a restaurant in Birmingham just across the street from the hospital where I worked. Ultimate comfort food! For anyone who has no idea what that is, here is a recipe:

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That sounds nice to me! I love a good balance between bitter and sweet, like my grapefruit marmalade…

Do you have buckwheat or blueberries growing nearby? I know these are two of the potential culprits, though there are probably lots of others…