As I suspected, the honey I took off in May and June was mostly from Oil Seed Rape which crystallises quickly. After a couple of months it was pretty much rock solid and very gritty to taste.
Solid OSR Honey
So I decided to have a go at creaming which means beating it until the crystals break apart rather than being locked together, giving it a much smoother consistency.
From Ebay I bought a heavy duty drill attachment “paddler” (an interesting google search) and set to. First off, you have to warm the honey gently – until it’s just soft enough to get the paddler in rather than completely runny. Unfortunately I don’t have a proper honey warming cabinet so just stuck the buckets in a hot car for a couple of hours which seemed to work perfectly!
The Smoking Drill with Paddler attachment
Then get paddling. This was quite a challenge, and at first the bucket flew across the floor with the drill motion. It’s very hard work to keep the bucket still and hold the drill. My drill is pretty ancient and after just a couple of minutes was billowing smoke! I had to keep letting it cool down between beatings, although it only needed about five minutes or so in total.
The honey is now a lovely pale colour and much more pleasant consistency – almost like double cream although still with crystals. I’ve heard about someone who markets this as “crystal honey” so may adjust my labels to make the grittiness sound more appealing!
Bottled up ready for labelling