The Process Makes the Difference
How whipped honey is made is often unique to each kitchen. Because there are a variety of techniques and processes on how whipped honey is made, this bold post is dedicated to the specific steps and techniques Built by Bees uses. Before unveiling these steps, please stand by for our 30 second elevator pitch.
Built by Bee’s Whipped Honeys are…
Ecstasy on earth. Small-batch, Built by Bees’ whipped raw natural honeys are available for gourmet consumption now. While some people call this creamed honey or spun honey, we call it whipped honey. Can we just agree to call it good?
Whipped honey is a process that controls crystallization. Because this honey contains a large number of small crystals, it prevents the formation of larger crystals. Larger crystals often occur in unprocessed honey. The whipped processing also produces a smooth spreadable texture.
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Pure raw USA Grade A clover honey and fresh, hand-selected fruit for a divine taste that is sweet and unforgettable. Just-picked fruit is combined with locally sourced clover honey that is never heated nor treated. This delicious all-natural whipped honey is a perfect spread on your favorite foods and a great complement to budding gourmet kitchens!
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Whipped Honey Defined
Whipped honey is known by a few names, so it will be helpful to get clear on some terms: whipped honey, creamed honey and spun honey are really all the same things. These terms reflect the converting of raw honeys, through a churning (and chilling) process, into a thick whipped honey. Set honey is a raw honey where time and temperature have converted it to a crystallized honey all by itself and nature. Now that you have some basic terms under your belt, what follows are the chronological steps Built by Bees takes to make its whipped honeys.
How Whipped Honey is Made
Every jar of Built by Bees whipped honey requires preparation, chilling, whipping, flavoring, jarring and then some more chilling. Following are the steps.
Prepare the Honey
Before we whip the honey, we prepare the honey. This preparation task is designed to ensure the base honey is free from naturally occurring crystals. If you’ve seen crystallized honey in a store, you’ll see the varying stages of the honey granulating and the associated hardening process. Honeys that sit on a store shelf and crystallize on their own are called “set honey”. Raw honey granulation naturally starts with the glucose crystallizing. Initially, crystals form and grow, starting out forming a grainy paste, moving to a textured sediment and finally maxing out into a hardened block.
Interestingly, Europeans are very fond of the grainy paste texture of “Set” honeys. Most people, however, are not much interested in honey within the sediment phase and certainly not the solidifying brick block phase at the end of the crystallizing process.
Honey Crystals Are Not All The Same
Natural occurring honey crystals in set honey are larger and thicker than the crystals we create in our whipped honey. To achieve the delicate texture we’re after, we really must start either with: 1) a 100 percent decrystallized honey or 2) a “mature” honey that we decrystallize ourselves. You can’t cheat the steps, so you need to get the honey “runny” and crystal free before creaming.
For that reason, it’s very important to initially warm crystallized honey around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This will dissolve the crystals. This process can take from a few hours up to a day or longer depending on the honeys initial state. While hotter is quicker, lower temperature is better. It’s better because it preserves the vitamins and nutrients. Because a higher heat process destroys nutrients and vitamins faster, it’s a shortcut we avoid. Once you know what it does to the honey, you’re compelled and morally bound not to heat it at higher temperatures.
If we fail to full decrystallize the honey, we’re left with large and small crystals together. When larger crystals hang out with smaller, more refined crystals, the larger crystals win and revert the honey to a set honey. For this reason, we keep the large crystallizes out of the equation from start to finish. We must do this because the large crystals prevent us from reaching the nice texture we want.
In the end, when you don’t cheat the process, your honey texture will have very fine crystals that create a creamy texture worth clamoring over.
Whip the Honey
To whip or cream the honey, we set the temperature of the honey mixer somewhere between 57 and 63 degrees. This temperature range is where honey crystallizes best. Once the prepared honey is poured into your mixing bowl or creaming tank, you will also need to add a creamed honey “starter”. The starter is the previously whipped honey that seeds the new batch of raw honey. Your starter is a finished creamed honey. It should have the same attributes that you want in your finished creamed honey. We find 10% of starter and 90% raw honey works great. From this point forward you want to churn the honey with either special creaming equipment or manually with a paddle to get the crystallization process rolling. Your objectives in the creaming phase are to attain the desired texture, consistency, and color. This process can take from two to five days. Our honeys are creamed with special commercial creaming equipment purchased from Poland.
Flavor the Whipped Honey
If you’ve every tasted our fruit or spice whipped honeys, you quickly recognize there was no skimping here. We take fresh, raw fruits and we cut them up and then freeze dry them into a moisture-free chunks. We then ground these chunks up in a large blender until they reach a fine powdery state. We also use all-natural commercial grade fruit juice concentrates too. That helps amplify the fruity tastes. While we’re trying to get the ultimate taste and texture, we wanted a clean profile. For that reason, we don’t add raw sugars. Why would we, as honey is already sweeter than sugar and raw sugars have no nutrition. There’s more good news: we don’t use any additives or preservatives either, so you are getting only honeys and fruits. We also make whipped honey kosher cinnamon and an award-winning Columbian expresso coffee whipped honey as well.
How whipped honey is made regarding flavors is also a unique process. When creating and/or adding flavors, it’s critical to limit the overall moisture content from the flavorings See the caveat section below to learn why.
Bottle the Whipped Honey
Once the fruits have been assimilated into the honey and poured into your jars or storage container, cap the jars and it’s back to the refrigerator.
Chill the Whipped Honey
The final phase of the process is to chill the honey again in wine coolers or refrigerators than can stay steady at 59 degrees Fahrenheit.
Store and Consume the Whipped Honey
Once you’ve attained the desired texture, store the whipped honey at room temperature. Over time, the whipped honey may start reverting back to it’s earlier texture and de-assimilating the flavors and raw honeys, especially when exposed to heat. It is ok to store your whipped honeys in the refrigerator, but just don’t get it too cold (below 50 degrees) or it will harden. We recommend getting yourself a wine cooler and storing in there if at all possible. These are nice and multipurpose and the best for retaining the whipped honey texture as long as possible.
Caveat If you store whipped honey in a very cold fridge, this will lead you to doing unthinkable things like microwaving whipped honey. This reverses the texture rapidly to a point where it’s hard to get the desired texture back.
Enjoy the Whipped Honey
Many nuances were learned through trials and failures. In the end, we were aiming for a “clean” product whose taste and texture were memorable and which we were able to reproduce with consistency. Learning how whipped honey is made took some time to learn before it became a craft. We’ve realized every batch, pale or drum of honey, even when the same type of honey is used, can be a little bit different. Over time, you learn to secure high-quality, reliable, low moisture honey sources, adjust for crystallization levels, etc. so you can adjust as needed and be content with your work.
How whipped honey is made, the type of honey used and the ingredients used in the flavoring all make a big difference in the final taste and texture. Make sure you start with the best ingredients to attain the best possible outcome. Cutting corners and shortcutting the process will shortchange the final result.
Ideally, you need to start the creaming process with a very low moisture honey, preferably below 17% or even 16%. This is because when you start adding back fruit juice concentrates and the like, you will raise the moisture level in the whipped honey. If you add to much moisture back into the honey, you could raise the moisture level between 18 and 19%. At this moisture level, the creamed honey can ferment and that’s really a bad deal that’s really hard to recover from. You can obtain moisture meters to measure the moisture level. So just keep your overall final honey moisture levels around 17% if possible. Also, consider storing your finished whipped honey in a room with a dehumidifier.