Fermented Honey

I have a pint jar of honey that I forgot about.
When I opened it last week it had begun to crystallize and ferment.
I figure I will reheat it to melt the sugar and kill the yeast.
It should still be good to eat.
Have any of you ever experienced this?

I’ve had honey crystalize on me. Once you melt it back to pourable it’s fine, but it’ll crystallize again. Just take out what you need to heat it up.

The fermented honey may be trying to become mead, an alcoholic beverage much favored in earlier times…


Experiments in the kitchen, even unintentional, gotta love 'em! I’ve had molasses ferment, never honey.

Didn’t they find old honey in the pyramids?..lol, I think honey is almost always good…perhaps even the older the better. I’ve never seen green growth on honey, and have eaten a lot of it in my 64 years. I also use it as an antiseptic treatment on cuts. It’s great for splinter removals too. Whenever I get a splinter (hey, I live in a wood hut on a beaver pond, so…splinters a-plenty)…I put a gob of honey onto it, cover it with a bandaid overnight. By next morning, the healing is almost done…splinter falls out and never any sign of infection, even if there was some to begin with. I consider honey a miracle healer.

Good luck with yours. I’d just heat it up in the microwave; it should melt up nicely.

Hmmm . . . I didn’t think honey could spoil, but I guess it can ferment.

I use honey to stop cold sores in their tracks. When you first start to feel a cold sore coming on (you know, that itchy, burning feeling?), keep the area covered with honey as much as possible. If you do, most likely it will never develop into a full-blown cold sore!

An additional plus is that your sweetie then has an excuse to call you “Honey Lips”! :wink:

Here is a similar question posted GardenWeb.com forum:

“I have a little thing going with a cousin who has bees (lots of hives). My husband works for the school’s maintenance department and the cafeteria ladies save all their gallon and half gallon jars for us. We trade them to the cousin for honey. The last honey (3 quarts) we got was sugared, no biggy, I put them in a pan of hot water on the stove on low heat and melted it. I noticed that the honey has a [U]very alcoholic taste[/U] to it, or perhaps [U]yeasty[/U]. It is very dark. I am not liking it too much. Is there any way to make it not taste so strong? If I cook it a little hotter and a little longer will it kill the yeast? Will it still have the flavor?”

And click here to read the very helpful responses!

Our best friends have had a 2 gallon plastic bucket of honey in their garage in a dark, cool location for 35 years…the bucket is just half gone…it still hasn’t crystallized, or decomposed in any way. It is a very dark color honey, and tastes wonderful!

Why in the world would honey stay so stable for so long? :think:

Our friends like honey, but they forgot they had it until my husband was visiting, and the subject went to honey! My husband uses a pint of honey per week.

Our friend’s 35 yr old was originally purchased in N. Dakota.

Oh boy, here is some additional information about honey that ferments!

“In the hive, the bees use their “honey stomachs” to ingest and regurgitate the nectar a number of times until it is partially digested. The bees work together as a group with the regurgitation and digestion until the product reaches a desired quality. It is then stored in honeycomb cells. After the final regurgitation, the honeycomb is left unsealed. However, the nectar is still high in both water content and natural yeasts, which, unchecked, would cause the sugars in the nectar to ferment.[U]The process continues as bees inside the hive fan their wings, creating a strong draft across the honeycomb, which enhances evaporation of much of the water from the nectar[/U].This reduction in water content raises the sugar concentration and prevents fermentation. [COLOR=Black][B]Ripe honey[/B], as removed from the hive by a beekeeper, has a long shelf life, and will not ferment if properly sealed.”[/COLOR]

It should be noted…the main reason that honey ferments is a water content in excess of 18.6%. If allowed time, the bees will remove the right amount of water content. A beekeeper who is in a rush to extract the honey before it’s RIPE will have a honey subject to fermentation.

Bees ALWAYS know what they’re doing. Beekeepers don’t.

Click here for the full article.

It is interesting how the bees make their honey.
I heated mine through and liquified it again.
It still has a little of the fermented taste and might disappear all together if I heat it again for a longer span of time.
I did search for and read several articles on line.
I had never heard of honey fermenting, but mine had.
The top was bulging and it was becoming foamy.
I’m guessing my cousin robbed the hive to soon.
Thanks for the article Artlady.

My husband has raised honey over the years, and this is the first time he’d come across the subject of fermented honey! It was surprising. His honey never did that, but then he never took the honey until after the bees had capped the cells, and everything was ready to go from the bees perspective. And we used our honey ourselves…didn’t sell it, didn’t give it away.

He was shocked that some beekeepers would rob the honey before the bees were done curing it.

Oh my, your honey jar was bulging and the honey was foamy! Eww. I’ll bet you were shocked.

Thanks for posting! It was a learning experience! I was glad to learn about it.

Bees are such amazing little creatures. My husband lost his bees due to some virus that is killing bees all over the country. It’s sad. Especially devastating for beekeepers that make it their living. They’ve lost millions.

Fermented honey was new to me too.

It makes for intersting reading.

I think I need to reheat the honey again and let it stay at a certain temperature for several minutes. It is no longer crystalized but it still has a very strong taste of fermentation.

Store bought honey is the only kind I had eaten before this. This batch is extremely sweet. I don’t know what kind of flowers or trees the bees had access to, but a little goes a long way.

Yeah, that would similar to ‘pasteurization’ that I think most storebought honeys have to go through to stablilize them. Would evaporate the alcohols that got started in the fermentation.