Crystallization is the formation of glucose monohydrate crystals from an over-saturated sugar solution (i.e. honey).
Factors that will increase the rate of crystallization:
- Lower water content
- Higher glucose content
- Presence of solid particles (i.e. grains of pollen and honey crystals)
- Temperature close to 14°C (temperature above 28°C and below 5°C results in very slow crystallization)
Note that slower crystallization produces larger and more irregular crystals.
Crystallization is a natural phenomenon which does not spoil the honey. In most cases, the crystallization process can be reversed by gently heating the honey to "melt" the crystals.
How to de-crystallize honey
Honey that has started to crystallize, characterized by glucose crystals forming on the bottom of the container, can be easily melted. Simply put the honey container (with the lid on) into a warm water bath on the stove at approximately 45°C for a couple of hours, or as necessary. Stirring the honey occasionally will speed up the process.