Subject: boiling honey
Date: 1990-04-04 18:00:39 GMT
In digest #391 Florian writes:
>"Doug," in #389 quoted from a reference text on honey and beehives, and
>indicated information as to the antibacterial properties of honey. It is
>my understanding that honey can contain a bacteria which has been known
>to be fatal to children under the age of two years. Being a father, I
>was aware of this and forbid my child from having honey for the first two
>years. The presence of this bacteria (pointed out in the baby books)
>suggests that anti-bacterial properties of honey are only partial. In any
>case, I don't think there is anything to lose by boiling honey during the
>mead- or beer-making process.
The reading I've done on making mead indicates that is, indeed, something to
lose by boiling honey. There are some light, aromatic compounds that are
easily driven off by boiling. What these sources recommend is pasteurization,
not sterilization. That is, keep the temperature >165F for about 20 minutes.
For mead, I bring the honey-water mixture to a boil, turn off the heat and cover
with a sanitized lid, and let it sit. For honey-beers, I go through a normal
boil for the beer, then add the honey and bring to a boil again before turning
off the heat. The heat capacity of 2.5-3. gallons of liquid is enough to keep
the temperature high enough for a long enough time.
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