Spun or Whipped Honey
By: Bishop Decker
“Spun or Whipped” honey is actually crystallized honey with a key difference from honeys that have naturally crystallized. With naturally crystallized honeys, the crystals are grainy, a bit like granulated sugar. Spun or whipped honey has been “taught” to crystallize with a very fine crystal…..giving it a very smooth feel on the tongue and spreadable on your toast or biscuits. My first exposure to this type of honey was Sue Bee Spun Honey when I was around 9 or 10….1960 or so. Mom brought some home from the store and I was hooked. I loved it on my toast and when mom wasn’t looking, it was very good straight off the spoon. I have been beekeeping for about 7 years now and began making my own spun honey from the very first year. When I first researched how to make it, I found several references to the “Dyce” method. The “Dyce” method uses the same ratio of a starter of very finely crystallized honey as does most any spun honey recipe. The method requires that the honey be heated to 138 degrees F in order to kill yeasts that may cause the honey to ferment. I know heating destroys some of the beneficial properties of the honey but if the honey ferments, it’s ruined. I have utilized this method, but I have also made it without heating and experienced no negative results. Both recipes are essentially the same. “My Recipe” is based on 8 pound batches because that works well for my Mixmaster Stand mixer. The ratio of starter to honey is the same whether heated or not. The ratio is 10 parts honey to 1 part starter
Frothy and foamy air bubbles prior to skimming, Cinnamon batch
First pass at skimming. Two or sometimes three rounds are needed. Cinnamon Batch
- 8 pounds of honey at room temperature
- 12 ounce tub of starter - either yours from a prior batch or store bought. To make your own starter: Grind down your crystallized honey to very fine crystals with a mortar and pestle– when rubbed between your fingers it should be smooth and not gritty.
- Mix at low speed until well combined; I mix for about 15 minutes. The color of the mixture will gradually lighten during the process.
- Let the honey sit for an hour or two to allow any air that was mixed in to come to the surface.
***Remove the air bubbles prior to pouring into containers.
-You may lay a sheet of plastic food wrap on the surface, and the air bubble froth will stick to it and can be removed. But this seems wasteful.
-My method – I use a spoon and skim the froth off and place it into a container for my immediate consumption. This is very similar to skimming the foam off during jam or jelly making. I will skim twice or sometimes 3 times before I am satisfied.
- If making cinnamon spun honey, I do the first 15 minute mix cycle until well mixed, then add 1/8 cup of good cinnamon - mixing until well blended. I use Ceylon or Saigon Cinnamon. I then go through the same process to skim the air bubbles off.
- Then measure and weigh the spun honey into containers of your choice if you are selling the honey. I have standardized jars that weigh 12 ounces when full.
-Place in a cool place, ideally 57 degrees F, for 5 or 6 days to allow a controlled set. I have a small dorm style fridge with a temperature controller. If the fridge is too cold the set may happen too quickly and not be as smooth.
- Store at room temperature and do not let the temperature exceed 90 F, otherwise the spun honey will liquefy and not return to the crystallized state