Honey temperatures

Hello all.
I was reading on another thread about warming honey to extract and was curious as to what temperature honey was warmed to and how hot it could be heated to before it begins to deteriorate?
I’ve also heard that cooked or overheated honey can have some detrimental effects health wise. Any truth in this?

Never over 40°C as it denatures the honey and in UK is called Bakers/Confectioners honey - not sure about the rest of the world - it looses the good properties.

Warming cabinet with a thermostat depends on how crystallised or set the honey is - Honey is Thisxotropic - set and too viscose until stirred or warmed - usually Ivy, Rape (Canola), Ling (Heather-Calluna vulgaris), Mānuka and Kānuka (Leptospermum scoparium in Australia), Jellybush (Leptospermum polygalifoilum).

Honey has between 25% - 13% Water content depending on honey type below 21% is the norm

Thixotropic: a fluid that changes viscosity when a stress is applied, ie stirring. Or something like that, not sure about the heat part though.

Ok so 40°c is the max temp, nice found figure, cool thanks.
Any thoughts on the rumour that it becomes detrimental to ones health if heated too much, ie being cooked?

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35 to 40 degrees is fine.
Commercial honey is pasteurised at 65. It doesn’t make it bakers honey but some of the nutrients are lost. It does improve the shelf life and stops it granulating for longer. Ivy and OSR honey is not thixotropic btw. It just sets hard.

I decrystallize my honey at around 125-135 deg.F. That does a good job . It doesn’t take long before it crystallizes again. In that case you can still consider the honey to be “raw”, as I do.

Fahrenheit Jeff? Really?

Jeff if you uncrystallize honey it needs to be done until all the crystals are gone - 1 crystal and it will just go back under 14°C.

is Way too hot 51°C - 57°C. How long are you heating it for?

@skeggley Hi Greg, yes DegF. I’ve been doing it like that for over 20 years. It’s the range that a lot of books recommended at the time. Some recommendations were even higher than those figures. I remember a couple of years ago, one day the av. temp. for the whole of Australia was 40degC. I wouldn’t worry too much about your honey reaching 40degC. That’s my opinion.

@Valli Hi Valli, I wouldn’t consider those temps to be too hot for honey. Remember boiling point is 100 degC. The water my buckets of honey sits in is 125-135 degF. I leave the buckets in the water overnight or longer if required. When I’m straining my honey after taking the buckets out of the tank, the side of the buckets are still easy to touch. This is what I do & it works really well for me.

I was just concerned you were over heating the honey and it will loose all the goodness - do you use a Thermostat or Thermometer

Any heating of honey will reduce its aroma and flavour and in time darken the honey. Heating honey above 50°C (120°F) will damage its food value. This is because the diastase or enzymes put into the honey by the gathering and storing bees is destroyed within a few hours at 50°C.

Temperature is only part of the story because honey is affected not just by the temperature but also by the time the honey is held at that temperature. The chart below shows the limits of time and temperature if damage is to be avoided or minimised. As an example honey can be held at 54°C (130°F) for seven or eight hours but more than two hours at 65°C (150°F) would result in damage. A compromise can be achieved by holding the temperature at 54°C for a few hours and then raising it quickly to 65°C and then cooling it quickly. You may do this where you want to filter it fast.

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@Valli Hi Valli, you live in a cold climate. If you get into a substantial honey production, unless you sell the honey as soon as you rob it, you WILL encounter crystallizing. 99% of customers, I find prefer runny honey at the time of purchase. They are thrilled that it crystallizes with time, they know then that the honey is “raw”. How you deal with crystallized honey, if the time comes is up to you. I told you what I do.

not so raw if you are heating it to that temperature.

It just strikes me you are denaturing the honey - I was trying to be helpful.

My hubby prefers Creamed Honey - not just crystallized but seeded with very fine crystals gives a wonderful buttery texture that is quite something different.

What concerns me is, heating honey too long at various temperatures above certain levels denatures the Honey, it looses flavour and it is no longer considered Raw.

What you choose to do is up to you but I have to give a precautionary note in case others follow your lead but do not understand the detriment to the taste and texture of the honey.

There is a correct and incorrect way to handle certain foods - As a Chef I would be remiss if I let this not be noted

“Raw honey is honey that is unheated and minimally processed. It is pure honey where nothing has been added or removed. To be raw, honey should not be heated above temperatures one would normal find in a hive (approximately 95 degrees F). Additionally it should not be ultra-finely filtered to the point of removing pollen and organic materials that are an intrinsic constituent of honey.”

@Valli To answer your question, I use a thermometer, otherwise I wouldn’t have known what temp the water is. Call me old fashioned, but in my books there’s pasteurized honey & raw honey. My honey is always raw. PS, sounds like your well read on the subject, all you need to do now is put your vast knowledge into practice.

Thixotropic means it can be stirred and will soften, loosen become less “hard” it may take a while but they physics of Honey is Thixotropic.

“Heather honey from ling (calluna vulgaris) forms a gelatinous
state upon standing due to its unusually high content of a thixotropic
protein which imparts this thioxotropic property on it.”

That’s splitting hairs. Yes all honey will become less viscous if you stir it. So will jam. But to label all honey thixotropic is wrong. It is a term used to describe that honey that appears in a jelly state in the frames and as a result is difficult to extract; typically heather in the uk.

Dee the Term Thixotropic is one from Physics - it is the term used for any Liquid that has those properties - I didn’t write the paper but any engineer will understand immediately the properties and what they do - I’m married to and engineer - and thought I was being clever when I told him that creamed honey is Thixotropic and got a physics lecture as to why it is.

Ask anyone who does Physics - my husband splits hairs (cracks actually) down to the microns - it’s his job

I’m a simple beekeeper. I don’t split atoms cracks or anything else. My honey is largely tree and wild flower and is not thixotropic.

I would imagine that if it has set hard then it is no longer a liquid and therefore cannot be thixotropic at that time.
@Dee, once the honey is warmed does it then become fluid? And does it return back to a solid state when it cools?

Back to my unanswered original question.

Degrees in Fahrenheit!? A traitor to his people! Off with his head!