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Honey temperatures


I doubt honey could ever be considered detrimental to ones health. It may just lose its beneficial qualities. That is a very different thing then being actively detrimental. Even if it has been rendered “inert” through heating it wont be any worse then say a sugar syrup/caramel. It’s just sweet calories at that point.


@skeggley Here is an answer to your question:-

Fermented Honey or overly high heat will cause the honey to be ruined. Overheating HFCS (Hight Fructose Corn Syrup) fed to bees can be toxic. [sic] Guidelines for Storage of High Fructose Corn Syrup http://projectapism.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sammataro_Guidelines-for-HFCS-Storage.pdf

"Infant botulism can occur when a baby ingests spores of the C. botulinum bacteria in contaminated soil or food, such as honey.

However, you should avoid giving honey to babies less than 12 months old because it has been known to contain C. botulinum spores."

“Most cases of infant botulism, however, are thought to be caused by acquiring the spores from the natural environment. Clostridium botulinum is a ubiquitous soil-dwelling bacterium. Many infant botulism patients have been demonstrated to live near a construction site or an area of soil disturbance”


@adagna Hi Adam, I know what you mean. It’s just that my reference books all deal in degF. @Valli,@skeggley, @Dee, If we take the science out of the discussion a few minutes, it’s worth remembering that unpasteurized honey (raw honey) will crystallize & pasteurized honey (mostly branded honey in the stores) wont crystallize. Pasteurizing honey, apparently destroys a lot of the vitamins & enzymes in the honey. That’s what I believe, & I’m sticking to it.


Warmed crystallised honey will become liquid and eventually re-crystallise ( but not immediately it becomes cold :grinning:)
Pasteurised honey is not harmful at all it just tastes rubbish unless you’re heating it to make fudge


Just read this:

Have extracted the basic statements from the summary.
The rheological properties (1)of most honey types can be described as Newtonian. This means that even if the amount of shear applied to the sample by the viscometer is increased the viscosity remains constant.

Certain types of honey exhibit non-Newtonian characteristics. These are known as thixotropic and shear thinning and the two main types of honey that exhibit these effects are those produced from Leptospermum spp. (including manuka honey) and Calluna vulgaris(heather honey). When the shear rate of the viscometer is increased on these honeys the viscosity observed is reduced significantly with time.

So according to this article most honeys are not thixotropic


Great input everyone, thanks.


My question then, is how does the FlowHive perform with thixotropic honey? Is the shear action of offsetting the comb to allow the honey to run enough of a disturbance to - in essence, liquefy the honey, be it manuka or ling heather - to allow the honey to flow out of the frame for collection?


There is an FAQ (tried to post the link but it would not work) in “harvesting” which address’s this but the answer is not quite known yet. As more and more FlowHives come into production I am sure
the answer will come …for better or for worse


I decrystalize 60 pounds at a time. Heat controled water bath at 110 degrees for two days. Water bath can hold up to 4 60 pound jugs. Basic rule of thumb is that I tell customers if they want liquid honey to use stove top water up to neck of bottle with lid off and not let temp get higher than 120. After that it will loose some nutrition. Of course the water temp is always higher than the honey temp when warming but it needs to be watched. I use a gas stove for small jars and a canning tray so glass doesn’t touch bottom of pan. The larger water bath for 60 pounders is more regulated and you can just leave it be to do it’s job.


Hi @tony, I believe that what you said about the honey temp not reaching the same temp as the water is spot on. I find it harder to place my hand in water @ 125 degF than to touch the side of the bucket straight after pulling it out.


I know this is an old discussion, but I was decrystallizing honey today and wanted to add my technique for those looking for advice for small-scale setups to keep temps constant. My large canning pot can hold 3 half-gallon Mason jars of honey, and according to my meat/candy thermometer, a water bath in that pot on my gas stove with the burner turned to it’s lowest setting reaches a steady-state at about 115-120 F (46-49 C). It may not quite qualify as “raw” honey anymore, but it stays reliably at safe temps though I wouldn’t want to leave it going overnight.

After experimenting with this setup, I have developed a general rule of thumb for honey in my kitchen: if I need oven mitts, it’s too hot. If I ever need to decrystallize larger batches of honey or honey that is more completely crystallized and therefore needs longer in the bath, I’ll have to figure out a different setup that’s safe to leave running. Maybe something with a heating pad inside a cooler or something-- those heating pads are meant to be safe for skin, so they should be in the ballpark for honey…


You could do it safely with one of those new sous vide devices too:

Set up a big container of water though, don’t put the pump into the honey! :blush:


If I’m ever doing large enough batches that $70 is worth it, that looks like an awesome idea. Thanks for the link!


I got a tank made from aluminium that holds 2 x 20 liter buckets. That sits on 2 bits of wood so that a single burner electric hot plate sits under it in the middle. I put 2 other bits of wood in the tank under the two buckets. Then I fill the tank with hot water as well as set the hot plate at the desired setting so that the water doesn’t go any higher than 125degF.

I normally keep my honey in smaller 10 liter buckets now. I leave it on over night. The honey will be completely decrystallized by the morning.

With the water temp only getting as high as 125degF., I’m still happy to call the honey “raw honey”.

You would find that honey decrystallizing at that low temp will recrystallize at a later date. That’s a test of good raw honey.


Interesting paper.


Very nice find, Skeggs. Very detailed report. I guess the take home message is approximately what we have been discussing on the forum. Heating honey helps dry it and kill off yeasts, but unfortunately it does reduce enzyme activity and may result in HMF formation. :blush: