I’ve been experimenting with a new (to me) method of fermenting using honey. I’ve made mead before and used honey in ferments but I’ve never used honey and the main ingredient. My first few honey ferments have been wonderful so I plan on sharing a few of the recipe ideas with you.
Raw honey is a great fermentation medium because it naturally contains good yeast and bacteria and will inhibit the growth of mold and bad bacteria. But since it is a very high sugar ferment, it will produce quite a bit of alcohol. So keep that in mind. A large serving might make you a little loopy and it still contains a lot of sugar.
Honey ferments can also be very active. Be careful not to fill your jar to full or you might have overflow. 75% full seems to leave enough room bubbles. The first honey ferment, I used an airlock but I’ve found a Fido jar (as pictured) works better. You’ll need to give the jar a turn every day to re-coat the fruit that has floated to the top. I burp my jar once or twice a day, depending on how active it is. Be sure to burp your jar before you give it a turn or you might spray yourself with honey. Been there, done that.
These ferments just keep getting better with time. I’ve had mine for a couple months now and so far, it’s true.
You can use fresh or dried elderberries. I used dried for mine, rehydrated with warm water. Raw honey is rich in yeast and bacteria that will get the ferment going. If using dried fruit, you do need to rehydrate it first because the honey needs water to start fermenting, otherwise you’ll just have flavored honey.
How to Use Fermented Elderberry Honey
There are many different ways you can use the honey.
- Flavor water kefir and kombucha by adding a small amount to taste.
- Add a teaspoon or more to sweeten and flavor yogurt or milk kefir.
- Add a teaspoon to a glass of wine to sweeten it up and flavor it. To get just the honey without the fruit, remove honey from the bottom by using a straw.
- Make spiced wine by warming up a mug of wine and adding fermented honey to taste.
- Add to oatmeal.
- Spread fruit on toast.
- Glaze a ham, pork chops, or lamb chops.
- 2 cups dried elderberries (or 3 cups fresh)
- boiling water (enough to cover dried elderberries, omit if using fresh)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Raw honey
- If using dried berries, place in a 1L Fido jar with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Pour boiling water over berries until just covered. Cover and let set until cooled to room temperature. If using fresh berries, just place berries in jar with the spices.
- Once berries are cooled, pour honey over everything and fill until jar is about 75% full.
- Seal jar and place in a warm and dark location.
- Burp jar once a day. After burping, give the jar a turn to re-coat the berries (be sure to do this AFTER burping the jar to avoid getting sprayed).
- Fruit is ready to start eating in about a week but it does get better with time. I try to wait a month at least.
- Store at room temperature in a dark location. Will keep for a long time, at least a year, probably much more.
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