This was one of my first ferments. I, my uncle, and neighbor keep bees, so there’s no shortage of raw honey here.
Why make it?
First of all, it’s crazy easy. Peel garlic. Pour honey. Put in a dark place. Turn it over/swirl it around every few days. Wait.
Another reason is that it increases the immune-boosting and medicinal properties of honey and garlic. Fermentation partially digests food for us, making more goodies bio-available.
It also tastes good. Use if for sauces, marinades, and glazes.
What you need
- Raw honey. It must be raw for the wild yeast and good bacteria to be present. The nearer the source, the better.
- Garlic, preferably organic. Grow your own; it’s easy!
- A container with lid (airlock is optional). I use half-pint jars.
What to do
- Wash your container.
- Peel the garlic. This is by far the hardest part. Go ahead and mash it a bit if you need to–you want those juices to come out in the ferment and dilute the honey.
- Fill your container 3/4 full of peeled garlic.
- Pour raw honey over the garlic, which will float. That’s okay–we’ll deal with that later. Just make sure there is no more than one inch of headspace. I prefer one-half inch.
- Cover lightly and place in a cool, dark place. Don’t store it in too cold a room though, like a cellar. You don’t want the honey to crystallize.
- Swivel and rotate the jar daily to disturb the top of the ferment. 2-3 times per week, tighten the lid and turn the jar over. Let it rest like that for a while. I usually turn it over in the morning, and turn it upright after I get home from work. Just be sure to loosen the lid slightly after turning upright. The turning ensures nothing tries to grow on top of the ferment.
You should see some activity in a few days. The honey will thin significantly and bubbles of CO2 will be visible. That’s why it’s important to cover loosely–that gas needs somewhere to go.
Try it after two weeks, but it won’t really be ready in my opinion until four weeks in. Eat a clove or two and a spoonful of the garlic honey when you feel a cold or flu coming on. I make a new batch every six months, but it probably has a shelf life of more like 2-3 years, especially if you move it into smaller containers as you use it.
This is an easy, useful, flavor-filled ferment for anyone to try–fermenting newbies or experts alike!