When I cook, I love to play with contrasting flavours.  Sometimes the most unlikely pairing results in something truly tasty . Honey + garlic is one of those surprising combinations, and has been used endlessly to add incredible flavour to meat dishes, marinades and dressings.  For a more intense and robust flavour, I make fermented honey garlic.  I always have a jar in my pantry as a cooking staple, and to drizzle on dishes at the last minute for a punch of extra flavour. 


Fermented honey garlic after 4 days

It might sound counterintuitive to use honey as a fermentation medium due to its antimicrobial properties.  Honey’s low pH (acidity) and extremely low water content help to kill off any invading microbes.   However, by simply increasing the water content obtained by the juices released by the garlic, honey’s smothering antibacterial defence is weakened.  Beneficial bacteria are allowed entry and the wild yeasts that were dormant in raw honey are stimulated.  These yeasts kickstart the fermentation process by consuming the glucose and fructose found in the honey (and fructose from garlic), producing alcohol, carbon dioxide and acetic acid.  These fermentation byproducts, along with keeping the ferment in an anaerobic (no oxygen) environment, preserve the food and create amazing flavour.


Studies have shown that both garlic and honey can be beneficial to preventing sickness.  Ongoing research has linked garlic as preventative to heart disease, lowering cholesterol and helping to prevent the common cold. 

Organic garlic

Honey has been used for its antibacterial properties for centuries as an healing aid for wounds and as a soother for sore throats!  There are many who swear by consuming fermented honey garlic cloves daily to ward off any cold or flu bugs.

Not only is this a super healthy duo, fermented honey garlic honey is also delicious!  It makes an excellent glaze on meat, fish and grilled tofu.  I like to add it to vinaigrettes and brush it on pizza crust just before the pizza is ready to be taken out of the oven.


Fermentation Time: 1-12 months*

Raw, unpasteurized honey and organic garlic

*Fermented honey garlic can be ready in a month, but is best left for longer as it improves with age. If you are concerned about botulism, which is a very rare occurrence in a honey ferment, test with a pH strip or monitor.  A reading under 4.6 is considered safe since the botulism spores cannot survive in an acidic environment.

Cover garlic with honey
2-month-old fermented honey garlic


Recipe by Jody GowansCourse: Fermentation, Recipes


  • 1 cup peeled organic garlic cloves**

  • 1 cup raw, unpasteurized honey

  • Glass jar with lid


  • Slightly crush peeled garlic cloves.  Add to jar.
  • Cover garlic cloves completely with honey, leaving a 1/2 space from the top of the jar.
  • Close jar and place on a plate (to catch any overflow) at room temperature out of direct sunlight.
  • The garlic cloves will naturally float for a period of time (for at least a month) Shake or invert the jar daily to keep the garlic covered in honey.
  • The honey might start to foam during the fermentation process and will become more watery. The garlic cloves will darken in colour.
  • Store at room temperature in a sealed container.


  • ** the ratio is approximately 1 cup of cloves to 1 cup of honey

158 Responses

  1. Hi. I started a honey garlic ferment yesterday and now wondering if I over did bruising the garlic. I whacked em a couple of times and some of them are split and smashed up pretty good. I used pure, unpasteurized raw wildflower honey and the garlic bulbs are organic. I submerged them a little over 10 minutes after crushing them. Will the crushed garlic have an unwanted effect for the fermentation?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi! I started my honey fermented garlic on 11/14/21…I’ve kept it in a dark cupboard that’s room temperature. I used store bought honey that was labeled “organic” but not totally sure of it was truly organic. It bubbled up the first few days and I burped it daily until the bubbles stopped and the garlic sank to the bottom. It’s been in my cupboard and has only been opened a few times since. Both the garlic and honey has darkened and the honey is more of a liquid…is it still safe to eat? I really want to try it…Thanks!

      1. Hi Vanetta- everything sounds like the ferment went exactly as it should! The garlic does darken over time and will sink because it is saturated with honey. The honey will become very watery due to the garlic releasing its juices into the honey. Enjoy!

  2. Hello
    I have used all the honey and I am left with the garlic. Can I just refill with honey Is, reusing the garlic or do I need to use new garlic and just eat what’s left in the jar?

    1. Hi Robyn- I never suggest adding fresh garlic to a previous honey ferment. It is always best to start fresh to ensure all the microbial stages during the ferment follow naturally to ensure a successful batch

    1. Hi John- I have never experienced any bad smell from a honey garlic ferment. Not sure where you are at in the fermentation process- if it is early, give it at least a month to settle down. If you are still not comfortable, you might want to toss it and start a new batch.

    2. Your micro biome is replenishing it’s self and killing off the bad bugs. Allowing the good bacteria to balance out. It will take a couple weeks if you consume it on an empty stomach in the morning. If sick up it to am and pm (3 large cloves) Try to make your diet rich in fiber so the good guys have something to eat. Hope that helps

  3. I made my fermented honey garlic around May of last year. Is it normal for the honey to darken, as well as the garlic cloves to start getting dark stripes or turning completely dark all the way through? Also is it safe to keep a jar that has been opened on your counter to use and if yes, for how long?

    1. Hi Tonyia- yes, the honey will darken over time. I have a jar of honey-garlic that is now deep brown. It is also normal for the garlic to change colour and will completely darken over time as it absorbs the honey. I have jars of fermented honey-garlic in my cupboard that range from 1-3 years-old.

      1. I had a jar of fermented garlic honey that was in my camper all summer. Sometimes it was very hot in the camper. The honey is almost brown. Can I still use it?

      2. It is normal for the honey to darken over time- I can’t say definitively if the honey is still good, but I have personally never had any issues with my batches during the summer

    2. Thanks for wonderful article. Mine is out of honey as I added more garlic cloves then needed can adding new portion of honey to keep ratio consistent be safe? Thanks

  4. Since I started fermenting garlic in raw honey I’ve become completely obsessed by it. It taste so good and is a really good substitute for sweet, unhealthy condiments. I would love to dry and do a chilli honey ferment as well but not sure if it will last as long as garlic fermented honey. Something that really bugs me and that I can’t wrap my head around is why garlic fermented honey doesn’t turn alcoholic. Is there maybe something in the garlic that prevents this from happening?

    1. Hi Malin- it does eventually turn to alcohol but after quite a long period. I have a batch that is 3-yrs-old that now smells/tastes like alcohol, but the serving size is so small that it has no effect. I do not make mead, so I cannot give an accurate answer as to why the garlic honey ferment does not turn alcoholic. Try adding chili to your next honey garlic ferment- it’s delicious!

  5. Hi there, looks great. Thanks for sharing. I made my first garlic honey ferment in December 2019. It is delicious. Wondering if I can add fresh cloves and continue the fermentation, or should I start a new jar.

    1. Hi Pam- glad to hear your honey ferment was successful! I would not advise re-using the honey. You can add it to vinaigrettes, drizzle on grilled proteins, etc. For an optimal ferment, it is always best to start with fresh ingredients to avoid any cross-contamination.

  6. I use ph strips to test my 3 day old garlic honey and it didn’t change the color of the strips which mean my ph is about a 6. Should I be worried or is it really to early to test it. Also what what strips you use and/ ph meter would you suggest.

    1. Hi Jason- thanks for your interest and question. At 3 days, it is still too early in the fermentation period for the pH to lower below 6. This is a long ferment and can vary depending on the quality of honey, freshness and water content of the garlic. I would start testing at around 4 weeks.

  7. Hi, I was wanting to know if you make this if you have to have it tested and approved before selling it? Thanks

  8. One of my jars of honey-garlic smells alcoholic. What caused this? Is it still good? Also, what happens if the garlic isn’t fully submerged? Thank you!

    1. Hi Eryn- thanks for your interest and question. Alcohol is a byproduct of fermenting honey. The longer you leave the ferment, the more alcohol is produced. I mostly experience this when fermenting cranberries in honey, but it can sometimes occur in garlic ferments. The amount is very minimal, so you don’t have to worry about consuming it, but it can affect the flavour. Try to keep the garlic submerged or at least coated in the honey for an optimal ferment.

      1. Hi there, beautiful recipe! I saw you mentioned fermenting cranberries in the above comment and I had a quick question to that extent. I’ve been fermenting raw cranberries, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon in honey and I thought I popped the cranberries enough before the ferment but they seem to have refilled with air and I poured them all in a bowl and most are popping and when I ate one they tasted like alcohol a few weeks ago. Just the berries that hadn’t popped. Are they still safe to eat now that I popped them, or do you think all or do you think there is a risk of botulism or something else? Nothing smells bad, they were just like little balloons. Thank you!

      2. Hi Sarah- thanks for your interest and question. Your spice combination with the cranberries sounds delicious! I usually add cinnamon, star anise and cloves to my ferment. FYI, there is also an article on our site about fermenting cranberries in honey. I usually add cinnamon, star anise and cloves to my ferment.

        Even if you poke them, cranberries take a while to deflate in a honey ferment because their skins are so tough. It is also normal for them to taste like alcohol because a small amount of alcohol is produced by the yeasts in the ferment as a byproduct of fermentation. They should be fine. I cannot say conclusively that there is no botulism in your ferment, but it is not very common, and I have been fermenting cranberries and honey for years without issue. You mentioned that they have been fermenting for a few weeks? You could stop after a few weeks, but for optimal flavour and low pH, I like to leave mine for about a month.

    2. Hello, I just wanna asked if its right/okay to ferment it without the presence of oxygen? and what can i add to it in order to get more beneficial effect.

      1. Hi Eryn- this ferment is already done “without the presence of oxygen”. The instructions in the article indicate to seal the jar. There is nothing more to do to make this ferment more beneficial.

  9. I would like to ferment purple onion in honey. Please advise me on this.

    Thank you and many blessings for your goodness in teaching

    1. Hi Fran- I don’t have a recipe for onions, but you can follow the same guidelines as with the garlic. The onions release more liquid than the garlic and might give off a strong odour due to the sulphur compounds in the onions.

  10. hi Jody,
    my batch is 6 weeks old and the fermentation during the first few weeks was active, now a bit slower (seems normal). Still ph is around 5 (strips do not provide more exact reading). Should I be concerned about botulism? thank you

    1. Hi Val

      The strips can be hard to read (comparing the shading in colours). I suggest you try another reading.

      If the pH still reads above 5 you can add apple cider vinegar to it to help lower the pH. However, please bear in mind that a pH above 4.6 does not absolutely mean botulism is present- botulism does not always occur in raw honey- making sure the pH is below 4.6 is just a safeguard in the low chance that it is in the honey.

      When you started the ferment, did you use raw honey and fresh, organic garlic? Did the ferment bubble or foam (did you see activity that fermentation was occurring?)

      If you are very uncomfortable, then toss the batch, it will defeat your enjoyment of this delicious ferment- your stress is not worth it!

  11. Hi Jody
    Hope you can help, my fermented garlic and honey is 2.5 months old and I’ve tested the PH and it’s 4.8. I used a Tropical Honey by RAW it’s quite dense and dark as a starting point but it’s lovely honey so tried it. There were a few bubbles the first few days but it certainly didn’t foam up. I’m so disappointed can I save this? I would hate to throw it out. Would raw apple cider vinegar help to lower the PH or am I just throwing good after bad?

    1. you can add some apple cider vinegar if you are concerned. the ferment doesn’t always foam up, it depends on the population of microbes in the honey. Did you use fresh garlic? It is possible that the garlic did not release enough liquid into the honey to start the ferment.

  12. Started mine a week ago, and the garlic keeps floating up! I’ve turned the jar upside down a few times, hoping it would help. Will they eventually sink?

    1. Hi Maria- yes, the garlic will eventually sink. Some garlic can take longer to sink depending on how fresh it is. Keep inverting the jar until the garlic is submerged in the honey.

    2. My honey and garlic has been fermenting for about 2 weeks. The ph is holding at 2.5. Is this normal? I though it would be a little higher.

  13. I saw a story about fermented garlic honey in my news feed this morning, and was intrigued. Doing further research, I stumbled onto this page, which has the most advice I’ve seen so far.

    From other ferments we have done (pickles, salsas, sourdough, etc.) I understand the importance of using raw honey. Is there a difference between using filtered vs unfiltered honey?

    We also use EZ Fermenter lids and weights, but I have not decided if I want to do a pint or a quart (we grow lots of garlic, so I am not worried about not having enough). With different sized jars, should the head space be adjusted, or is a half inch a rule of thumb that can be used regardless of jar size?

    1. Hi Eric- you don’t need to fill the container with garlic and honey. The key is to keep the garlic completely covered in honey. Eventually, the garlic will fully submerge under the honey once it has released its juices and absorbed the honey. If you do want a fuller jar, an inch of headspace is recommended to avoid spillover from excess CO2 build up. It makes no difference if you use filtered or unfiltered, as long as it is unpasteurized.

  14. I?m not sure what I am doing right but I?m still alive after making 6 quarts over 3 years? I do find it odd that many people are using whole garlic cloves. This is what I do.
    MAKING IT: I start by mixing about 4 parts garlic, 1 part ginger and 1-2 parts onion (little different every batch) in a food processor and mince it adding a probiotic capsule or 2 while its mixing. I then toss it in a 1-quart mason jar close to ? full and top it off with raw honey slightly warmed by submerging the container in hot water. I fill it close to the top and let it settle, then I fill it again and keep doing this until the honey fills the jar completely and covers the mixture leaving ? to 1 inch head space.
    STORING IT: Place a mason lid on lightly, place it in a dark cupboard stirring it 3-4 times in the first month and then about once a month after that. I don?t bother flipping the jar because once the honey is on the garlic that?s where it stays. It usually starts to get tasty after about 6 months in the cupboard and I have had batches last over a year. I try to make 2 quarts every 6 months so I never run out.
    USING IT: I spread it on toast, use it instead of relish on burgers, add it to guacamole, add it to every salad I make, smear it on egg omelets/frittatas, and add it to my stir fried veggies or steaks after cooking once it?s on your plate as too much heat will kill the good bacteria. Next batch I am tossing in some minced jalapenos because it sounds awesome.
    I have never seen mold or had botulism. Lol
    Happy Fermenting

    1. My Honey Garlic is only a month and 1 week old and no longer has any bubbles. What does this mean?
      It was very active the first couple of weeks lots of bubbles and kinda foaming looking. But now there’s nothing?

  15. Hi, I?ve had a jar fermenting for going on a year now that my husband has been using. Without starting a new jar, Is it ok to add fresh garlic to that already fermented jar to keep up the supply?

    1. Hi Christina- I would advise against adding fresh garlic to your year-old ferment. Fermentation happens in stages where different strains of microbes thrive, alter the ferment the environment with their activity, paving the way for ideal conditions for the next wave of microbes to thrive in the ferment and continue the fermentation process. Jumping over these steps can lead to issues with the ferment (making it susceptible to pathogens). Start a new ferment with fresh garlic and honey. Garlic is in season now, so it’s the best time to start a new batch!

  16. I made a batch that I was consuming a clove a day from after 3 months of fermenting. It was always stored at room temp around 73 degrees until our ac went out and the house was 91 degrees inside for about 24 hours. The room temp is now back to 73 degrees but since then, I have been experiencing nausea after consuming the garlic. Is it possible the batch was ruined after the room temp went up like that? There is no foul smell or discoloring of the garlic or honey. Everything in the jar looks the same as before the ac was out, but I am responding with more nausea now. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

    1. Hi Kimberly- it is hard to diagnose if your ferment was compromised with the temperature spike. Your nausea could have been caused by other factors, but you might want to literally “go with your gut” and wait a few days and see if your nausea passes. Please seek immediate medical treatment should you have any worsening symptoms. I am not saying these are related to the ferment, but continued nausea can lead to dehydration and other serious complications. You might want to err on the side of caution and toss the ferment if you are not feeling confident. Without taking a sample and having it analyzed, it is impossible to accurately advise you if your ferment has been compromised by pathogenic microbes. I have personally never experienced these symptoms, nor have heard them reported from any of my peers. Please keep us updated and wishing you best health

  17. I started mine yesterday. 8 heads of garlic that I peeled and topped with local raw honey. I’m reading I should have crushed it but I did not. Day two it is nice and foamy. I have it in a large Mason jar and will shake it every day to make sure garlic stays coated. Will it still be okay if the cloves are not crushed?

    1. Hi Elle- thanks for your interest and question. Congrats on a successful honey garlic ferment! Crushing or cutting the garlic is recommended to release the garlic’s liquid into the honey to quickstart the ferment. It sounds like you used some really fresh garlic if you are seeing foam on Day 2! Keep on with the ferment as you were- you off and running! In about a month, the garlic will be fully submerged and you will not have to shake the jar. In the future, try to cut or crush the garlic prior to adding the honey- your next garlic might not be as fresh and juicy!

  18. I have a batch that is two months old. Had a good ferment and the cloves are dark and at the bottom and taste great. It was left in a hot car one afternoon. Do you think it is still good?

    1. Hi Stan- the ferment should be fine, but if you are concerned, it is best to test the pH (make sure it is under 4.6) and check for any mould. You mentioned you tasted it and I assume you have had no adverse effects, so keep it in a cool, dark place and the ferment will keep for months, if not years!

  19. I put for fermentation for 4-5 years it?s amazing still fermentation going on and garlic turned black it?s few drops are strong

  20. Hi, my mixture had minimal bubbles and would produce an audible “burp” when opened in the first few weeks. I’m at 1month now, there are zero bubbles, and when I go to burp my jar, nothing happens like when I started. Is everything ok/should I try something different ? Thanks you.

  21. Jody;
    I have a question about my latest fermented garlic. I used a Nourished Essentials cap all four times. The 32 oz mason jar was kept at 70 degrees for almost 30 days. the cloves were completely submerged the entire time. I opened it up and the aroma was not sweet but quite bitter. The Ph checked out at 5.79. I checked the Ph of my former batches and they were in the mid 4s.
    Is this batch spoiled? Will it improve with more time?

    1. HI Richard- the pH seems very high after 30 days. Did you see any activity (foaming or bubbling) in the first few weeks? Is the honey watery? Did you use fresh, organic garlic and unpasteurized honey?

      1. Jody:
        The honey is watery. There is beau coup bubbling. The honey was raw and organic. the garlic was conventional (there was a rush on garlic in the early pandemic days and so I bought USA at Whole foods.. I’ve rebatched it and plan to turn it every couple days and will check in a few weeks to see if the Ph comes down.

      2. Sounds good. Let it be and check the pH as you mentioned. It’s hard to gauge what is going on as we’re dealing with live critters who don’t all behave on cue!

  22. So…my first batch i did 1 cup to 1 cup. That was 3 months ago and it worked great but honey keeps going before garlic cloves so decided to make another batch using more honey less garlic. It’s been a little over 3 weeks and I can’t say I got the fermentation I did the first time nor am I feeling that it’s doing as well as the first batch. is this because there’s more honey in there for the crawler to try and do anything with? Did I totally blow it by adding double the honey to the amount of garlic? Any advice would be appreciated thank you.

    1. Hi Cindy- it sounds like you used too much honey. Fermentation hasn’t started because of the smothering, antibacterial properties of the honey. It needs to be watered down by the juices in the garlic. You can try adding more garlic to achieve the one to one ratio as instructed in the directions.

  23. Can I use a plastic jar with a screw on plastic lid? And is it okay to have 2 inches of air space above the honey? Thanks.

    1. Hi Rebecca, thanks for your interest and question. Plastic jars can sometimes be problematic as they can have micro tears that could harbour pathogens. Depending on the plastic, there is also the possibility that undesirable chemicals in the plastic can leach into the ferment. I strongly suggest using a glass jar. It doesn’t have to be a canning jar, I often save the jars from my grocery items (olives, sauces, etc). They are sturdy and reusable. As for air space, 2 inches is fine, but just be sure to agitate the jar to keep the garlic coated/submerged in the honey.

  24. I am one day into my first attempt. The room temperature is really warm and I have had to release gasses on the next day.
    I did one large batch with large whole cloves slightly crushed, and a smaller batch with cut up cloves.
    I’ve noticed, especially on the cut cloves some Green coloration on the Garlic.
    Is this mold or a natural occurrence?

    1. Hi Graham- No worries, it’s likely not mould. In reaction to the acidity in the ferment, the garlic produces ISOLALLIN which reacts with the amino acids in the garlic resulting in greenish-blue pigments called ANTHOCYANINS- it is harmless and adds a lovely pop of colour to your ferment – I mostly see this in brine ferments, especially when I ferment carrots, jalapenos and cucumbers! It is a good sign that the ferment is becoming acidic, making it more resistant to pathogens. Do keep an eye on it, and keep the jar sealed and agitate/invert the containers daily.

    1. Hi Jen- I would highly advise against using cooked garlic. You need as many living microbes both in the honey and on the garlic to help in the fermentation process, and the garlic needs to be as fresh as possible in order to provide the necessary liquids into the honey to kickstart the ferment.

  25. Hi, will the fermentation process work if the honey is 100% organic?! Or does the honey have to be “raw”?!

    1. Hi Aundrea- thanks for your interest and question. The absolute key to an optimal honey ferment is not if it is organic, but more importantly that the honey is UNPASTEURIZED (raw). If the honey is pasteurized, the beneficial microbes are killed off, making the ferment unsuccessful. In my area, I was able to find unpasteurized honey in my grocery stores, and I also look for it at the end of the summer at farmer’s markets. hopefully, you can find an unpasteurized brand and get started- you won’t be disappointed!

  26. Hi. I started my 2nd batch of garlic honey several weeks ago. The garlic has sunk, but there?s not enough honey to cover it. I shake/twirl it every day or so. Can I add more honey?

    1. Hi Sara- Congrats on your second batch of honey garlic! Yes, I would top off the garlic with more honey to ensure that the garlic remains completely covered. Hopefully the garlic you used was fresh and you crushed or sliced it to help encourage it to release its juices to help liquify the honey to reduce the honey’s antimicrobial function.

  27. My honeys PH is reading 4.6. It has been in jars for about 3.5 months now. On the counter. I used local raw honey. I was excited to try this but now… I guess my biggest fear is botulism. Any thoughts? Thank you!

    1. Hi Jen- If the ferment is at 3.5 months, it is unlikely it that the pH will decrease any further. I have personally had no issues with any of my honey garlic ferments, nor heard of any botulism cases, however, I would have to leave it at your discretion.

  28. How many years can you store the fermented honey. My honey 2 1/2 yrs old , the garlic is still crunchy and sweet, the honey is a dark brown color. Can I still eat the and use the honey?

  29. Hi
    It?s been 2 days since I canned this and today I noticed that the jar lids are sticking out. Could this be botulism? Do I need to throw this away and start over? Or is it still safe to ferment?

    1. Hi Mel- Thanks for your interest and question! The gas buildup you are witnessing is from the yeasts that were dormant in the honey. This is fine, you can loosen the jars to release this built-up gas. Eventually, this will subside, but don’t forget to invert or shake the jar daily to ensure the garlic cloves remain covered. This ferment takes awhile, and is best the longer you leave it. I like to leave mine for at least 6 months before I use it!

  30. You state the fermentation process eats the fructose and glucose. After the long fermentation process, can I be sure it is sugar free? Being diabetic would love to take part in the healing properties of this recipe, but concerned about impacting my blood sugar.

    1. I DeWayne- thanks for your interest and question. Yes, the yeasts consume fructose and sucrose in the honey and garlic during the fermentation process, but I can’t give you a clear indication as to how much glucose and sucrose remains. The longer you leave any ferment, the more sugars will be consumed, however, since this is a wild ferment, it cannot be determined how much the yeasts consumed (or continue to consume). I do know that after tasting my 2-year old garlic-honey ferment, I found it was still slightly sweet. Since you are diabetic, you should err on the side of caution and take into account the possibility of likely glucose/sucrose levels when including this ferment in your diet. Also bear in mind that this is a slow ferment, and is at its best after at least 6 months.

  31. Please educate yourself on C.botulinum

    WHO says “botulinum are heat-resistant, the toxin produced by bacteria growing out of the spores under ANAEROBIC conditions”…and the only way to destroy any toxin produced is by boiling (for example, at internal temperature greater than 85 ?C/185F for 5 minutes or longer)”.
    The pH below 4.7 does not kill spores, has nothing to do with toxin.

    1. Hi Sara, thanks for the input. True botulism is heat-resistant and grows in anaerobic conditions, but you did not include the quote that “C. botulinum will not grow in acidic conditions (pH less than 4.6), and therefore the toxin will not be formed in acidic foods (however, a low pH will not degrade any pre-formed toxin). Combinations of low storage temperature and salt contents and/or pH are also used to prevent the growth of the bacteria or the formation of the toxin.”

  32. I buy peeled garlic (it?s a big bag). I then just fill the canning jar with cloves (uncut and not crushed). Leave about 3/4 inches from the top and pour in raw unfiltered honey. It takes a little while for the honey to go to the bottom and keep on filling until all the garlic is covered. Then put an airlock lid on it and shake it up. Fermentation usually starts in a couple of days. Each day shake it to make sure all of the garlic is covered. The garlic will rise to the top and in about 4 weeks the garlic will start to sink. When 90% or so has sunk ( about 6+ weeks) then it?s ready. After about 3 months you can replace the airlock with canning lids. If you don?t use airlocks you will have to unscrew on a daily basis to release the gases formed by fermentation or be ready to clean up the mess from an exploding bottle. I eat 2 or more cloves daily. Have not been sick since I started last summer. The smell is not as noticeable as eating raw garlic. Good luck.

    1. Hi Jeff- thanks for your interest and question. Yes, you can ferment other food items. Fruit is also popular and chili peppers would be delicious. The key is to have moisture released into the honey, so be sure to use fresh, not dehydrated peppers.

  33. After honey/garlic fermentation has slowed down and the honey has thinned out a bit, is it ok to remove and store most of the excess honey in a separate jar?

  34. Hi there! I made some fermented garlic in honey maybe 7 months ago (all organic unpasteurized and good garlic etc…) we ate some at different stages throughout the ferment and they were very garlicky (yum) but almost too much so for the rest of my family and almost like eating raw garlic.. ? anyways, I kinda forgot about it the last 3-5 months and your article inspired me to go check on it.. I left the silicone nipple lid on all this time… didn?t ever think to take it off and seal it with a lid ???? There are the tiniest pieces of garlic ends BARELY sticking through the to of the honey brine… and the garlic has turned her dark… do you think it?s ok seeing as I never sealed it all this time with a air proof lid? Or is this ails one nipple lid ok to have left in all this time? Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Angela- it sounds like your honey ferment is doing fine! It is normal for the garlic to turn dark. As for timing, I let mine ferment for at least 9 months before I start eating it. Your family was right, the garlic is still strong for the first month or two. After almost a year, the garlic is quite sweet and delicious! If the nipple lid was unmoved, it might have created a barrier to keep out oxygen. Going forward, keep the jar well sealed, and at this point, you won’t need the nipple lid as the activity will have calmed down. I have a regular twist off lid on my jars.

  35. Thanks a lot for posting such valulable information. I was just wondering if I should use the garlic gloves as they are after they are peeled off instead of washing them with water and putting them in the jar. I just assumed that it may wash away the good bacteria attached on the garlic cloves, which may play critical role in fermenting the honey in the jar.

  36. I used a baggie filled with water to weight down the cloves. Some water leaked into the honey about 5 days into the process due to built up pressure. Do I Need to throw it all away?

    1. Hi Tracy- I wouldn’t advise using the baggie weight method for a honey ferment. It is sufficient just to shake or invert the jar to ensure the cloves remain covered in honey. I think your ferment should be fine with the little amount of water that got into it. Continue the ferment without the bag weight.

    1. Hi Sara, theoretically, you could use minced garlic, but I think you would have more control of the ferment if the garlic cloves were whole. They need to be crushed to help release their juices, or you could slice them in half.

    1. Hi Nazifa- 5 days is too soon for a honey garlic ferment. This ferment takes at least a month before it is ready, and is even better the longer you leave it to ferment. The garlic should be fully submerged, and the honey will be very watery and dark when it is ready to be consumed.

  37. Do you ever place it in the refrigerator after fermentation or just simply leave it at room temperature in dry place in your kitchen? I know it’s a crazy question, and I’m new to fermenting. Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Skylar- thanks for your interest and question, and no it’s not a crazy question! There is no need to store the honey in the refrigerator after the ferment is complete. I store mine in my cupboard with no issues. If you are not comfortable with this, you can store it in the fridge, but it will harden not be easy to use (you will need to let it rest at room temperature to soften before use)

  38. I have made this a few times and I love it. I use raw honey from a local apiary and it is usually crystallized before I add the garlic. I always have at least 1/2 an inch of crystallized honey on the bottom that doesn’t go liquid after a month of fermenting, even with stirring. Do you know the reason for this?
    I often use mine as a base for a meat marinade and also take it by the spoonful when I have a sore throat.

    1. Hi Christina- thanks for your interest and input. Crystallization is normal and is often found in raw honey. Good quality, pure honey contains 70% sugar, and less than 20% water which lends to its smothering, antimicrobial quality. Since honey is predominantly sugar, crystallization (or granulation) is inevitable when it is harvested from the protection of the honeycomb wax cells where it is stored in the beehive. I have never had it crystallize in my honey ferments, likely because the garlic I use is very fresh and “juicy”. Try and use the freshest garlic you can find, and either bruise or slice it to encourage it to release its liquid into the honey.

  39. Jody – I wonder if Pine Honey would work with this recipe? I am an American living in a small village on the south coast of Turkey and organic products are hard to come by. I really love the flavor of the local Pine Honey, but don’t want to sacrifice a lot of honey and garlic – not to mention the year to ferment if it’s likelihood of turning out successful is nil. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Ken- from what I’ve read about Pine honey, it is denser than floral honey. This might increase the duration of the ferment, so make sure to use super fresh, “juicy” garlic.

  40. My honey garlic ferment is 1 1/2 months old. The pH reading stays at 4.9. Is this safe enough, or how can I lower the pH level?

    1. Hi Liz- I would definitely let the ferment go for longer, for at least another month. This will allow the garlic to more become more infused with the honey, and vice versa. Retest the pH at that time. 6 months would be great for optimal flavour 12 months is better (if you can wait that long!)

  41. Hi,
    Does it fine to transfer the infused and fermented garlic cloves for a fresh honey jar after the fermentation stops? since the moisture in the garlic cloves comes out to the honey after the fermentation, the honey becomes more watery. So is it OK to transfer the garlic cloves to New honey jar? Or this new honey would allow clostredium botulinum to grow?

    1. Hi Mekhala- You can leave the honey in the jar you used for the ferment. However if you want to put the finished fermented honey in another jar, it is always advisable to transfer the finished honey ferment to a clean jar to avoid any contamination.

  42. Hi, I used commercially available honey to ferment, but it seemed like good quality. I set it this morning, and towards the evening I saw a few bubbles around the garlic. Does it mean I should let it be and check around tomorrow, while burping? How soon should I expect results?

    1. Hi Victor- thanks for your interest and question. You can absolutely use commercial honey as long as it is unpasteurized. It is unlikely that the ferment started that quickly, but not impossible. Keep on fermenting and make sure to either invert or shake the jar daily to ensure the garlic remains coated in the honey. You will likely not have to burp it for a few days as honey is a slow ferment. If you are using a fido or kilner jar, they are self-burping. If you are using a mason jar and notice that the lid is starting to puff out, just loosen the lid to release the built up CO2, do not remove the lid or you will introduce oxygen into the ferment.

  43. From what I just read, it is ok to have super foamy and have it run over. I took the weight out. Should I be turning the jar everyday to coat carlike then there is over 2 I chest of foamy bubbles and its thick

    1. Hi, yes a foamy honey garlic ferment is a good indication that the microbes are active and busy. You can leave the weight in, or use the shake method (shake the jar or invert it once a day). If is is super foamy and overflowing, you can slightly unscrew the lid to express built up gases. The goal is to ensure the garlic cloves remain coated in the honey. They will eventually release their liquid into the honey and subsequently absorb the honey. When this happens, they will independently remain below the surface of the honey and will not require any additional weight or shaking to keep them submerged.

  44. Hi Jody,

    I?ve just made my first honey fermented garlic and have used an ordinary glass jar. I?m just wondering how often I should burp the jar? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Alice- no problem using a regular, glass jar. As for burping, it is good to check the jar daily during the first 2 weeks of the ferment. Just loosen the lid to release built-up CO2 and re-tighten. It’s hard to give an exact amount as to how often to burp the jar as every ferment is unique (based on room temperature, the food being fermented, etc). Make sure to shake the jar or invert it daily to ensure the garlic is coated in the honey. Once the garlic sinks below the surface of the honey, there is no need to agitate the jar. If you can, try and wait (at least for some of the batch) for a year- it is divine!!

    1. Hi John- thanks for your interest and question. I can’t give an exact answer as it depends on the condition and quality of the garlic you use. The fresher, the better as it will contain more liquid. Crushing the cloves helps to release the liquid into the honey and subsequently allow the cloves to eventually absorb the honey. This could take between 1-2 months. Remember to either agitate or flip the bottle daily until the cloves sink below the honeyline to ensure the cloves remain coated in the honey

    2. Hello
      So the longer you leave it say a year the less you may smell of garlic? I want to try this but do not want to reek of garlic.

      1. Yes, the longer you leave it to ferment, the more the garlic will become infused in with the honey. I also didn’t find that the garlic smelled during the early stages of fermentation.

  45. I made a jar of honey and crushed garlic to ferment two days ago…and on reading up on the topic further- I learnt about botulism. But after doing further research on it, I found out that even though both honey and garlic usually contain the bacteria spores….the danger only exists when the spores become active and release toxins…which it can only do under specific conditions. 1) low oxygen 2) ambient temperatures 3) ph above 4.6, 4) low salt 5) protein source 6) low sugar environment. Honey ferments are definitely high sugar environments and after fermentation begins, it eventually becomes a highly acid (low ph) environment, so no need to worry about botulism….even though the bacteria is most likely present, it cannot release toxins in such a high sugar AND high acid (after fermentation) environment. Pheww….

    1. Hi Mepragoo- Wow, thanks so much for your research, this will really be helpful to people who are nervous about doing honey ferments. Good luck with your ferment, and try to be patient- it is so delicious when left for year!

    2. hello there Mepragoo,

      I am curious for your source for point 6 in your botulism statement here. I have read a few dependable sources, but so far I have never read the mention of low sugar content as a prerequisite for the growth of C. botulinum. on the contrary: I did read some texts that suggest (I have not read it said straight out) high sugar content does /not/ prevent or inhibit the growth of these bacteria.

      for example the last sentence in this part of a text, sugests to me high sugar content does not have an effect on C. botulinum growth:
      “In some cases inadequate processing permitted the growth of molds, yeasts or bacteria, which in turn raised the pH of the food sufficiently to permit the growth of C. botulinum, if present.

      In some of these cases, molds or bacteria grew due to poor processing and reduced acidity. In others, reduced acidity may have been due to differences in variety or in the degree of ripeness, pointing up the fact that overripe tomatoes and fruits should not be selected for home canning. *With fruits, the syrup added before processing does not become acidic until acid diffuses out of the food. This may take some time if the fruit is not heated (processed) enough.*”
      source: https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/nutrition-food-safety-health/botulism-9-305/

      However I would love to read clearly trustworthy sources confirming your point about high sugar content!! hope to hear from you!

      1. Ha! I read a whole lot on the CDC site about Botulism, but never this page until just now! Somehow that page didn’t seem very important, but it contains the info Mepragoo mentioned, including his/her point 6. I still did not see anything about the /need/ for a protein source (did read it seems more common with protein, but never about a /need/ for it to be present), but my question is answered. 🙂

  46. I have had honey/garlic in a pantry for about 5 months. However, I never noticed any bubbles……should I toss and begin again?

    1. Hi RB- thanks for your question. Did the garlic remain submerged/coated in the honey? Is the garlic no longer floating to the surface and has turned brown? You can try measuring the pH and if it is below 4.6 you should be ok. There would have been bubbles/foaming in the first few weeks of the ferment. If you are doubtful, it would be best to toss it. Not sure what ingredients you used, but unpasteurized honey and fresh garlic are key to a successful honey ferment (if the garlic is old, it will not release enough liquid to neutralize the “smothering” effect of the honey

  47. 10 days and some of my honey has green mold on it. I burped it during the day as instructed, I used Raw honey and cloves of garlic as instructed and covered all cloves with the honey flipped it to keep all cloves covered. What happened what did I do wrong??

    1. Hi Linnie- sorry to hear mold grew in your honey ferment. There are a few factors that could have caused the mold growth:
      1. when you burped the container, too much oxygen was let in- this is why I like using balewire (fido) jars which are self burping
      2. The garlic was too dry (did not release enough liquid to neutralize the antibacterial effect of the honey )
      3. The garlic was not coated or submerged adequately in the honey

      I have never had mold grow on any of my honey ferments (cranberry or garlic)- maybe try again making a small batch and use the aforementioned tips

      Good luck!

  48. I live in south Sudan where we have no organic foods/vegetables. all foods are imported from the neighboring countries and they are not grown organically. all articles I read recommended organic products for fermentation. what is you advice on fermenting foods that are not grown organically because am interested to give a trial especially sauerkraut.

    1. Hi Henry- yes, organic is always better, but to be honest I have fermented with non-organic vegetables and have had excellent results. In fact, I use mostly non-organic cabbage that is locally produced when I make my sauerkraut and it comes out great every time. You should go ahead and use what is available to you, but start with small quantities so that you don’t waste the food if your ferment doesn’t work (which is unlikely!!) Good luck and happy fermenting!

  49. A question about storage during the ferment process. I’ve got 3 pint jars of garlic and honey fermenting for the first time. I’m using the silicone waterless fermentation lids, and they have been releasing gasses as I was aware they would. However this has been an annoyance to my husband who doesn’t want the odors in the house. I’ve resorted to putting the jars in a plastic crate with a snap-on cover and keeping it in the garage. I also placed a small baking soda air freshener disk in the crate to hopefully help with the odors. Im wondering if this setup is okay. The other question would be the garage since the jars would be experiencing different temperatures over the months to come. I live in California. It’s pretty cold right now but warmer weather will come later. Will the temperature changes in my garage affect the success of the ferment?

    1. Hi Susan- thanks for your interest and question. Yes, California is a little chilly right now- I was just in Anaheim for the Natural Products Expo West! You can absolutely leave the honey ferments in your garage. The lower temperature will slow down fermentation, but won’t kill the beneficial microbes. The baking soda will also not affect fermentation (hopefully it is just baking soda in the disk). Don’t forget to agitate the jars daily to keep the garlic cloves coated in the honey until they eventually submerge on their own. Also keep in mind that honey ferments take a long time (best after one year).

    1. Hi Steve- thanks for your interest and question. No, dried garlic is not advised for this ferment. In fact, the best garlic to use is the freshest garlic you can find. It is the release of the liquid in the garlic that kickstarts the fermentation process. As the honey gets watered down with the garlic liquid, its antimicrobial defenses are weakened, thereby allowing the beneficial microbes in the garlic and honey to thrive.

  50. Can I use the leftover honey from the last batch of fermented garlic/honey in the next batch? I would still need to add more honey.

    1. Hi Lora- thanks for your question. There are conflicting views on “backslopping” (using liquid from a previous ferment to start a new ferment). Some report success, however, remember that the most successful ferment happens in stages. Different strains of microbes manipulate the ferment’s environment for the next species of microbes to take over. For example, the first stage of microbes (depending on the ferment) might be aerobic, thereby consuming all the oxygen in the sealed fermentation container. This strain dies off and the subsequent strains which are anaerobic will thrive, create acidity, resulting in an environment inhospitable to pathogens. In short, I would recommend to start with new honey for the most successful and safe ferment.

  51. How do I make kefir grains and kombucha from scratch? I dwell in a place where the mother kombucha and kefir grains are no where to be found and people arw hardly aware of it. Please help.

    1. Hi Uma- thanks for your question. It is not possible to make milk kefir grains from scratch, however you can purchase them online. I’m not sure where you are located, but I know that there are sellers on Etsy. If you let me know what city you live in, I might be able to recommend some producers. Alternatively, the website, http://www.culturesforhealth sells dehydrated cultures such as milk kefir, water kefir and kombucha. Dehydrated cultures are difficult to reanimate, but it’s worth trying if you can’t find fresh cultures. You can make your own kombucha culture from a bottle of unpasteurized commercial kombucha. I made my own using GT Kombucha (I used the plain one, but you can try other flavours if plain is not available). Unpasteurized kombucha will generally have a SCOBY in the bottle. I added the entire contents to a batch of sweetened tea, followed the recipe to make kombucha (see my the article on my site) and over time, I was able to grow a SCOBY.

  52. Are we supposed to cover it during this process? What is an airlock or Fido jar? I have mine in a regular glass jar with a screw on lid. I literally just poured the honey over the garlic.

    1. Hi Maria, thanks for your question. Yes, you can use a regular glass jar with a screw on lid. Just make sure to agitate the jar daily to ensure the garlic cloves are coated in the honey. Over time, the honey will saturate the garlic, and it will naturally sink below the surface. The drawback of using standard jars, is that you need to burp it to release built-up Co2. Fido jars are designed to allow the contents to escape (gasses and/or liquid)- they are self-burping. If you Google Fido jars, you can see the example of this jar. As for airlocks, this article explains a few easy airlock systems that can be used to eliminate built-up CO2 https://theculturedfoodie.com/burping-ferments/

    1. HI Sheila- thanks for your interest and question. The honey garlic should be ready in about a month, but it also depends on the freshness of the garlic. I recently fermented locally grown garlic and the ferment was very active (the garlic was very fresh and had a high water content). The longer you leave the honey garlic to ferment, the better the flavours will be. Try and be patient and leave it to ferment for a year- if you can’t wait that long, make a few batches and sample them after different periods of time to compare flavours.

  53. I fermented mine for a week in the sunlight, at a pretty high temperature, 85-90 degrees, is it still okay to consume? I hadn?t read the keep in a cool dark place part.

    1. Hi David- Thanks for your question. While it is always better to keep most ferments out of direct sunlight (unless you are making Indian achar pickles), the ferment should be fine- did you see any foaming or bubbles (an visible indication of fermentation)? Fermented honey garlic is at its best the longer you leave it. Just keep an eye on it for any mold growth and make sure to agitate it daily until the garlic has sunk below the surface of the honey.

  54. I wonder if it would be more beneficial to use Manuka honey in this for medicinal purposes or will any raw honey work just as well? Thanks. I am really anxious to try this. I love honey and I love garlic.

    1. Hi Kathy-absolutely! Manuka honey is amazing! I have been reading up on it lately and would love to use it not just as food, but topically as well. Any honey that is unpasteurized is great for the honey-garlic ferment. Garlic is in season right now, so it’s best to use the locally-grown garlic for awesome results!

    1. Hi Nestor- I don’t think there is a limit to how many fermented garlic cloves can be consumed per day. Many people swear by eating fermented garlic to ward off cold and flu viruses and increase consumption during the winter. I suppose it would be personal preference. I would personally eat 1 per day so as not to go through my stash too quickly (fermented honey garlic is at its best the longer it ages).

    1. Hi Joanna- yes foam/bubbles are fine, it’s a good indication that fermentation is underway. Since your ferment is super active, make sure to put a plate under your jar to avoid spill over. Also burp it if you are not using an airlock or a fido jar. What kind of garlic did you use? Was it local, organic, etc?

    1. Hi Art- Thanks for your question. It is still early in the ferment, the garlic and honey will improve over time, however some love the taste after a month. Not sure what you mean by “awful” taste. Is it bitter, rancid, too strong, etc ?

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